Ultrasound technicians, also called diagnostic medical sonographers or sonographers, use some of the most advanced diagnostic imaging technology available to assist doctors in examining health conditions, identifying pregnancy and accomplishing other valuable medical services. Ultrasound techs evaluate whether the image is clear enough for the doctor and other medical staff to make an exact diagnosis and may be required to take measurements and implement calculations.
There are multiple educational paths that students can take to become an ultrasound technician or diagnostic medical sonographer. The schools below do not offer ultrasound-specific training, but they do offer medical assisting and other healthcare programs that are closely related. You can request information by clicking on any of the links below.
||DeVry University — For over 80 years, DeVry University has focused on relevant areas of study, offering associate, bachelor's and master's degree programs and specializations that cover 34 different career fields. Earn your associate degree in Health Information Technology from DeVry University, and prepare to be an HIT leader in contemporary hospitals, physicians' offices, medical clinics, and more. DeVry University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.|
||Herzing University — With a 45 year history, Herzing University is an accredited university that offers associate, bachelor's, and master's degrees as well as diplomas in over 45 different programs. The AS in Medical Assisting program builds on the online diploma program by incorporating the general education requirements required for this level of degree. Herzing University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
||Keiser University — Keiser University, founded in 1977, is a private, regionally accredited career university offering certificates, associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. The AS in Medical Assisting program prepares students to perform medical assisting duties under the direction of a physician or practitioner. Keiser University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.|
||Hodges University — Founded in 1990, Hodges University is one the premier private universities in the State of Florida. The AS in Health Information Management and AS in Health Administration programs, while not ultrasound training programs, do teach students how to use information technology to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. Hodges University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.|
||Rasmussen College — Founded in 1900, Rasmussen College has grown to now include 22 campuses and more than 40 diverse online degree programs where students can choose from many bachelor's and associate's degrees. The AAS in Health Information Technology program prepares students to become health information technicians. Rasmussen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.|
||Virginia College — Founded in 1983, Virginia College is a private institution of higher education committed to offering associate degrees, diploma courses, and baccalaureate degrees at over 20 different campuses. The BS in Health Services Management program prepares you for mid-level management positions in health care organizations including hospitals, physician practices, and home health agencies. Virginia is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.|
In order to become an ultrasound technician, it’s necessary to obtain the proper credentials. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs at the associates and bachelor level. These programs focus on medical imaging science, radiology, health informatics, and many other healthcare technologies. An online degree specifically for ultrasound techs is unlikely to be found. An entry-level degree that prepares students to become an ultrasound technologist is usually a medical assisting degree.
Most two-year associate’s programs in healthcare, medical assisting, health services, or health technology will prepare you for a career as an ultrasonographer, radiology technician, or other type of medical assistant, which may require additional training. These programs cover the fundamentals of sonography and ultrasound technology. Graduates are trained to work with and under the supervision of registered nurses, surgeons, and other medical professionals.
What’s unique about this field is the wide variety of degree programs that prepare graduates to become ultrasound technicians. Students can choose from associate degree programs in medical assisting or a Bachelor of Science in health informatics. The level of education a student chooses to pursue will determine the length of time required to earn the proper credentials. While both an associates and bachelor’s degree will prepare students for a career as an ultrasound technician, a bachelor’s degree will lead to higher income and growth potential.
Students may also wish to obtain an ultrasound technician certificate with the American Registry of Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS). Earning certification is a highly desirable qualification and widely recognized by employers. While an associate’s degree in ultrasound or ultrasonography is not usually offered, there are several viable alternatives to get you started in this field. They include:
Ultrasound technicians/technologists fall under the broader category of diagnostic medical sonographers, for which The Bureau of Labor Statistics has gathered substantial data regarding salary and employment outlook. The following data were gathered in May, 2008, and are the most recent that The BLS has published regarding sonographer salary and employment.
The salary of an ultrasound tech is significantly dependent on their level of education. An ultrasound tech with a subbaccalaureate degree or associate degree will probably earn less than someone with a bachelor’s or master’s degree, even if the higher degree isn’t in the field of sonography. Since sonographers often pursue medical assistantship or other allied health skills in school, while also learning ultrasonography, they can experience a lot of variability in career and salary options.
Medical assisting degrees with ultrasonography classes built in are one of the most widely available educational options that can lead to an ultrasound tech career. There are many subbaccalaureate and associate’s level degrees in allied health fields such as health information technology, billing and coding, radiography, general health care, and physician assisting, which may also incorporate sonography classes, if a student wants to pursue both. Not all schools allow students to combine fields or take many electives, though, so it is vital to confirm before enrolling.
The following schools offer degrees in allied health fields and other disciplines that can launch students into a career in medical assisting:
Since ultrasound technology isn’t its own major, not many scholarships exist that pertain directly to the field. There are, however, many general grants and scholarships available to students in any curriculum, including:
All students can fill out a FAFSA – Free Application for Federal Student Aid. A FAFSA is free, and provides eligible students with grants, loans, and work study opportunities. It is also is a pre-requisite for state financial aid programs. A FAFSA is also necessary to be considered for a Parent Plus loan. Basically, a FAFSA is a comprehensive form that breaks down financial aid eligibility and helps students assess their financial aid needs.
In order to fill out a FAFSA, applicants need to have the following documentation:
Once all documentation has been compiled and submitted online, students will receive a PIN number that provides access to award information. Based on the report, students can determine what school and program best suites both their financial and academic needs.
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