What Do You Need to Become an Ultrasound Technician?

If you’re considering a career in ultrasound technology, you might be wondering what it takes to get started. Here’s a quick overview of the education and training you’ll need to pursue this rewarding career.

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The Prerequisites

Ultrasound techs are in high demand, and the field is expected to grow by 17% in the next decade. If you’re thinking about becoming an ultrasound technician, you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get started. In this article, we’ll go over the prerequisites for becoming an ultrasound technician.

High School Diploma or GED

In order to become an ultrasound technician, you will need to have a high school diploma or GED. After you have completed high school, you will then need to complete an accredited ultrasound technician program. Once you have completed your accredited program, you will then need to obtain certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Completion of an accredited ultrasound program

In order to become an ultrasound technician, you must first complete an accredited ultrasound program. These programs usually take about two years to complete and result in an Associate’s degree, although some may lead to a Bachelor’s degree. During your course of study, you will take classes in anatomy, physiology, physics, and math, as well as receive hands-on training in the use of ultrasound equipment.

The Certification

There are many professional certification organizations that offer certification in diagnostic medical sonography. The certification may be in abdominal sonography, fetal echocardiography, breast sonography, neurosonography, or pediatric sonography. Once you have completed your training and certification, you will be able to work in a hospital or clinic as an ultrasound technician.

Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) administers exams leading to certification as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), Registered vascular Specialist (RVS), and Registered in Musculoskeletal Sonography (RMSKS). There are also certification exams administered by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) in Sonography.

There are no federal requirements for diagnostic medical sonographers, but most employers prefer or require certification. Some states have licensure laws, but they vary widely.

The ARDMS credentialing process requires successful completion of both a written examination and a practical examination. The examinations cover physics, instrumentation, patient care, and safety; anatomy and physiology; obstetric and gynecologic sonography; and abdominal sonography. To be eligible to take the exams, candidates must have graduated from a diagnostic medical sonography program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRC-DMS), or hold an active credential from another organization recognized by ARDMS.

Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS)

In order to become a Registered Vascular Specialist (RVS), you must:
1. A minimum of two years full-time clinical vascular sonographic experience is required OR a minimum of one year full-time clinical vascular sonographic experience and successful completion of an accredited vascular technology program.
2. Be currently employed in the field of vascular sonography in a clinical setting.
3. Pass the RVS credentialing exam, which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering the following content areas: physics, hemodynamics, arterial anatomy and physiology, venous anatomy and physiology, duplex ultrasound instrumentation and technical factors, extracranial arteries, intracranial arteries, peripheral veins, transcranial Doppler, and arteriovenous accesses.

The Ultrasound Technician Job Description

Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use special equipment to create images of patients’ internal organs, which are then used by physicians to help make a diagnosis. But what else do ultrasound techs do? What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this important job? Let’s take a closer look at the ultrasound technician job description.


An abdominal ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images (sonograms) of the internal organs and blood vessels of the abdomen. The exam is also called a sonogram or ultrasonography. An abdominal ultrasound is used to evaluate the organs and structures of the abdomen including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys and bladder. The test may be used to detect abnormalities such as tumors, inflammation or blockage in the stomach or intestines. It can also be used to visualize blood flow in vessels and organs.

Abdominal ultrasounds are performed using a hand-held device called a transducer. The transducer is placed on the patient’s skin and moved over the area of interest. The transducer emits sound waves that bounce off organs and structures within the body and are then converted into images on a computer screen.


Ultrasound technicians, also known as diagnostic medical sonographers, use special equipment to create images of the inside of the body. These images can be used to diagnose and treat medical conditions.

The majority of ultrasound technicians work in hospitals, but some may also work in outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices, or in other healthcare settings. Some ultrasound technicians specialize in a particular area of the body, such as breast ultrasound or cardiac ultrasound.

Ultrasound technicians typically need to have an associate’s degree from an accredited program. Some states also require ultrasound technicians to be licensed or certified. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) offers certification in several specialty areas.

The job outlook for ultrasound technicians is favorable. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for diagnostic medical sonographers will grow by 22 percent from 2018 to 2028—much faster than the average for all occupations.

Obstetric and Gynecologic

An ultrasound tech is a professional who uses medical imaging techniques to take pictures of the insides of patients’ bodies. Because ultrasounds use sound waves rather than ionizing radiation, they are considered safe for both patients and technicians. Ultrasound techs usually specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology, or diagnostic radiology.

The job description for an ultrasound tech typically includes the following duties:

-Using ultrasound machines to take images of patients’ organs and body structures
-Reviewing images with physicians and other healthcare providers
-Explaining procedures to patients and providing them with emotional support
-Maintaining accurate patient records
– Sterilizing equipment and keeping the examination room clean


Cardiac ultrasound, also known as echocardiography or cardiac echography, is a type of ultrasound used to image the heart. cardiac ultrasound technicians use special equipment to generate images of the heart and blood flow. These images can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of heart conditions.

Cardiac ultrasound technicians typically work in hospitals, but may also work in private clinics or outpatient centers. They may be employed full-time or part-time, and may work evening and weekend hours as needed. Cardiac ultrasound technicians must be able to stand for long periods of time and lift heavy equipment as needed.

The Work Environment

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a healthcare professional who uses special equipment to create images or conduct diagnostic tests.Ultrasound technicians work in hospitals, clinics, and private practices. Some ultrasounds may be performed in patients’ homes, but this is less common. Ultrasound technicians typically work full time, and their schedules may include evening and weekend hours.


Most ultrasound technicians work at hospitals. They may be employed by the hospital, or they may be contracted out through an independent agency. There are also a number of outpatient diagnostic centers that employ ultrasound techs. These facilities provide diagnostic services to patients referred by physicians. Some ultrasound techs also work in mobile units that travel to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Physicians’ Offices

Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, may find positions in physicians’ offices. These offices may be general medicine or specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, cardiology or another area that uses ultrasound technology. The work environment is usually relaxed, and the sonographer often works independently. Physicians’ offices typically have normal business hours, but some may require evening or weekend shifts.

Imaging Centers

If you are looking for a fast-paced work environment, an imaging center might be the place for you. Imaging centers provide a variety of services, such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans. As an ultrasound technician at an imaging center, you would be responsible for performing ultrasound exams and providing patients with results.

One of the benefits of working at an imaging center is that you would have the opportunity to work with a variety of patients. Imaging centers typically see a high volume of patients, so you would be able to gain experience quickly. Another benefit is that you would be able to work alongside other medical professionals, such as radiologists and nurses.

One potential downside of working at an imaging center is that the hours can be unpredictable. imaging centers are typically open during business hours, but they may also require evening and weekend hours. Another potential downside is that you may have to travel to different locations to provide services.

The Salary

In order to become an ultrasound technician, you will need to have completed an accredited radiology program. The median salary for an ultrasound technician is $63,630, with the top 10% earning more than $86,880.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that ultrasound technicians can expect to earn a decent salary, especially if they are willing to work in a rural or underserved area. The median salary for an ultrasound technician is just over $60,000 per year, and the top 10% of earners make more than $80,000 per year. With experience and additional training, some ultrasound technicians may even be able to earn six-figure salaries.

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