How do you become a diagnostic medical sonographer? Aspiring ultrasound technicians should pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in an accredited diagnostic medical sonography program. It takes between 2-4 years to become an ultrasound technician. Ultrasound programs in some jurisdictions require a 2 year degree in a health-related field – along with several pre-requisite courses such as medical terminology, anatomy/physiology, and patient care – before applicants are accepted into a 2 year sonographer program. In other cases, individuals may be accepted into an associate’s degree program with just a high school diploma or equivalent. In order to become a diagnostic medical sonographer you generally need to obtain a minimum of a 2 year associate’s degree in the field. For those already possess a health-related degree and are working in healthcare jobs , 1 year certificate programs are available for those looking to transition into a career as an ultrasound tech. Some individuals also pursue a bachelor’s degree in the field. A certificate program, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree will provide students with the opportunity to practice the skills and gain the knowledge needed in order to apply diagnostic medical sonography techniques in real-world scenarios. For individuals who want to eventually move into management positions supervising other sonographers, a 4 years bachelor’s degree would be beneficial. See our listing of the top ultrasound technician schools & training programs
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The specific educational requirements required to become a diagnostic medical sonographer may vary state-by-state. Requirements for ultrasound technician certification varies from state-to-state. Some states require ultrasound technicians be licensed, which usually involves graduating from an accredited sonographer program, and obtaining certification by passing an exam. Certification for ultrasound technicians is obtained through ARDMS
. The base ARDM certification exam contains 110 multiple choice questions, as well as additional situational based questions that test the examinee’s ability to approach real world patient interactions. The exam is 2 hours in duration. In addition to the base ARDM exam, individuals pursuing certification must complete an exam in their chosen sub-specialty (e.g. abdomen, breast, fetal echocardiography). Specialty exams are 3 hours in duration and consist of 170 multiple choice questions. Not all states require licensing. Check with your local state board to determine if you need to be licensed in order to work as an ultrasound technician. When it licensing is required, licensees must generally have graduated from an accredited institution and passed the certification exam offered through ARDMS, though individual states may have additional requirements for licensure. If you’d like to know more about becoming an ultrasound technician, you can request more information.