Best Ultrasound Technician Schools

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Ultrasound/Sonography Tech Schools

Ultrasound technician schools offer associate degrees in medical sonography. Students choose from majors such as cardiovascular sonography and diagnostic medical sonography. They can also major in magnetic resonance imaging. Programs feature coursework and in-person labs. Learners need a high school or GED diploma and a government-issued ID to apply.

Graduates can work as medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists. Related positions include nuclear medicine technologist and radiation therapist. These jobs may require more training.

The following sections explore common classes needed for ultrasound technician degrees. This guide also covers typical tuition costs and earning potential for graduates.

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Questions About Ultrasound Technician Schools

How long does it take to become an ultrasound tech?

An associate degree takes about two years to complete. Learners in accelerated programs and those with transferable credits may graduate faster.

Is it hard to get into an ultrasound tech program?

Typical admission requirements include a high school or GED diploma. Unlike other associate programs, ultrasound technician programs usually require a criminal background check.

Can I complete an ultrasound tech degree online?

Some ultrasound technician schools offer hybrid programs. Students complete in-person labs and an externship at a local hospital. They also take online coursework.

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Why Get an Ultrasound Technician Degree?

Medical sonographers ensure that patients receive correct diagnoses and medical treatment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for these professionals to increase 14% from 2020-2030. This figure significantly exceeds the projected growth rate for all occupations. These professionals earn a median salary much higher than the median for all jobs.

Many hybrid programs feature asynchronous online classes. Degree-seekers can schedule coursework around work and family obligations. Attending hybrid ultrasound technician programs also helps learners reduce commuting costs. These programs may offer more annual start dates than on-campus programs.

How Much Does an Ultrasound Technician Degree Cost?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in-state learners paid an average of $3,377 in tuition and fees at public two-year schools for the 2019-2020 academic year. Out-of-state students paid an average of $8,126 in tuition and fees. The average cost of tuition and fees at public four-year schools was $9,349 for in-state students.

Learners should also budget for health services, technology, and campus center fees. Ultrasound technician schools may charge fees for uniforms, shoes, and materials.

Students pursuing ultrasound technician degrees can calculate the cost of tuition, fees, and expenses by searching programs’ websites. Learners can reduce out-of-pocket costs by applying for institutional scholarships and grants. Students can also apply for private scholarships and submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal aid.

How Much Do Ultrasound Technician Majors Make?

According to BLS data, medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists earn a median salary of $70,380 per year. This salary exceeds the national median of $41,950 for all jobs. Outpatient care centers pay these workers the highest median salary.

Geographic location also affects earning potential. Diagnostic medical sonographers in California, Hawaii, and Alaska earn average salaries from $95,990-$108,400.

Experienced ultrasound technicians can make more by earning a bachelor’s degree. Technicians can also qualify for a raise and enhance their careers by earning certification.

Courses in an Ultrasound Technician Program

Students attending two-year ultrasound technician schools prepare to use imaging equipment in healthcare roles. Coursework emphasizes pediatric, breast, gynecologic, and vascular sonography. Learners develop skills during online classes and in-person labs. Internships and externships allow students to apply skills and network with potential employers.

Many ultrasound technician degrees require the following classes. However, curricula and graduation requirements vary by program. Prospective students should contact an admissions advisor for details.

  • Anatomy and Physiology

    Sonographers and ultrasound technicians must understand the body’s structures and functions to take clear images. This course teaches cellular metabolism. Students also learn about the skeletal and muscular systems and basic life processes. Most ultrasound technician programs require 2-3 anatomy and physiology classes, which learners complete before starting labs.
  • Cardiovascular Sonography Laboratory

    Learners complete labs before beginning an internship or externship. Students usually take this lab class while attending a cardiovascular sonography lecture course. During the lab, degree-seekers apply knowledge and develop skills. Students practice taking measurements, maintaining equipment, and working with patients. This course typically requires core prerequisites.
  • Electrocardiography

    Students in this class develop the advanced skills necessary to qualify for certification. Course topics include basic electrophysiology concepts and applications. Degree-seekers learn electrocardiogram protocols and patient care best practices. Coursework also explores telemetry monitoring and stress testing. The class includes a brief lab during which learners perform electrocardiograms on their peers.

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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

Medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists need an associate degree to practice. Many employers require candidates to hold a degree from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs. Employers may also prefer workers with certifications from industry organizations such as Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Responsibilities vary by specialization. Diagnostic medical sonographers perform sonograms and ultrasounds. They may specialize in one or more body areas or organ systems. Cardiovascular technologists take images of the heart and lungs.

Best Ultrasound Technician Schools 2022

  1. University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
    Location

    Oklahoma City, OK

    Tuition

    $19887

    Overview

    The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center offers a Bachelor of Science in Medical Imaging and Radiation Sciences with a Sonography Specialization. This program is perfect for high school students and non-major college students who wish to pursue a degree as an ultrasound tech.

    Program Features

    This program is accredited by CAAHEP through the JRC-DMS. Once admitted into the program, students will complete a further 68 credit hours in sonography courses and capstone projects. Its graduates are eligible to sit for the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography certification exam. Sample courses include:

    • Advanced Clinical Sonography
    • Problems in Allied Health
    • Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation

    Notables

    Students who wish to apply to the sonography program at UOHSC will be required to submit proof of 64 credit hours from this university or another regionally accredited school. These courses should satisfy the general education, math, and science pre-requisites as outlined by the department.

  2. University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
    Location

    Little Rock, AR

    Tuition

    $18076

    Overview

    The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences houses its sonography programs at the College of Health Professions. The programs, which includes both an on-campus and online programs, are designed both for new students and working healthcare professionals. Once a student graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, they will be eligible to sit for both the national and international ARDMS certification programs.

    Program Features

    Students will find that there are a few differences between the on-campus and online BS-DMS programs. The on-campus program is designed for students with no previous work or educational healthcare experience. The on-campus program also only admits students once they’ve completed general education requirements, allowing the students to focus primarily on their sonography studies. On-campus UAMS students are required to complete 120 credit hours and clinicals in order to graduate. Classes include:

    • Sectional Anatomy
    • Gynecologic Sonography
    • Sonographic Applications: Obstetrics

    Notables

    The online degree program is called the Career Ladder B.S. Degree. It is designed for ARDMS-certified sonographers who wish to go back to school and finish their bachelor education. There are no clinical education requirements for this degree, as most students will already be working as sonographers.

  3. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $27365

    Overview

    Ohio State University offers a variety of ultrasound tech schools programs that focuses on the general academic and clinical area of sonography. Students will graduate with Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences — Sonography Concentration. The school, which is accredited by CAAHEP through JRC-DMS, also prepares students to sit for the ARDMS certification exams.

    Program Features

    Students are required to fulfill general education requirements before applying to the professional program. Courses can either be taken at OSU or another regionally accredited institution, but all sonography courses must be completed on campus. Courses include:

    • Patient Care for the Imaging Professional
    • Introduction to Sonography
    • Small Parts of Human Anatomy

    Notables

    Once accepted into the sonography program, students will finish the required 120 credit hours, practicum, and clinical hours needed for graduation. The professional program runs six semesters concurrently, with a summer term required between a student’s junior and senior year.

  4. University of Wisconsin Milwaukee
    Location

    Milwaukee, WI

    Tuition

    $29665

    Overview

    The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee offers ultra sound tech students the ability to specialize in two clinical sonography tracks within their programs. The tracks, which are listed under the Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography, are in-demand specializations that are continuously in demand by healthcare organizations and hospitals.

    Program Features

    UW-Milwaukee has requirements for students applying to their sonography programs. Typically students must fulfill general education requirements and a variety of math and science courses in order to apply to the program. Additionally, students must also have training as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Students will take courses like:

    • Human Pathophysiology and Ethical Issues in Health Care
    • Allied Health Information Methods
    • Sonographic Technology and Instrumentation

    Notables

    Students who are accepted into the program can choose from two tracks within the DMS program, General or Echocardiography. Both tracks also have a specialization in vascular sonography. Most students choose the latter track specialization, as it allows them to sit for specialty certification exams administered by ARDMS and gives them an advantage in the workforce.

  5. Rutgers University
    Location

    New Brunswick, NJ

    Tuition

    $29521

    Overview

    Rutgers University offers a top-tier ultrasound school of programs for students who are ambitious and determined to become sonography specialists. The programs, which include three bachelor options and a certificate program, are all accredited by CAAHEP based on the recommendation of the JRC-DMS. Graduates of any of these programs will be eligible to sit for the ARDMS certification exams, and the school currently holds a 100 percent first-time pass rate for these exams.

    Program Features

    Rutgers University might be the only school on this list that has a dedicated DMS Professional Curriculum. It is composed of 45 required courses, including clinical practices and can be comfortably completed within 18 months. Sample courses include:

    • Introduction to Noninvasive Vascular Testing
    • Critique and Clinical Correlation
    • Patient Care for the Imaging Professional

    Notables

    While there are various options for students at Rutgers, it is important to remember that the professional curriculum requirements are the same no matter what option is chosen. The only differences come in the pre-requisites. Students who are interested in any option are encouraged to call a Rutgers advisor to see what program will fit their needs best.

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