Ultrasound Technician Requirements

In the world of health care jobs, an ultrasound technician sits at or near the top of job possibilities that are in demand, yet don’t require long term schooling to get started. Sonography (ultrasound technology) is the usage of reflected sound waves to create images of the inside of the body. This great job does not pay a huge amount, but it is a solid career that serves well as a stepping stone to the future. The requirements to become an ultrasound technician are fairly straightforward, but there are many options that can greatly improve your odds of actually securing a position.

There are many different programs that can help you become a sonographer, but the more schooling you get the better. It helps to start studying in high school if you make the decision that early. You can take biology, general health courses or even chemistry to help prepare for this career. If you decide later in  life to become a sonographer, then you will need to check with your local college about what credits or schooling might transfer towards your studies.

The military is another avenue that can get you the right training to become a sonographer. This option is less than desirable for the majority of the population because it requires much more than just the schooling. If you are going into the military anyway, then sonography is a great area to study in while you are there.


College study is generally going to be a one year certificate program, a two year degree or a four year degree. By far, the four year degree is the best option and will provide you with the best job prospects upon graduation. It also will likely provide you the clinical work that is required as well. The one year certification programs are largely ineffective only because they are often looked down upon by potential employers and some are not even certified. Be sure to look into any course work you take ahead of time and make sure that you are being given the proper training.

The final step is to get certified by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and the clinical training. This also provides you the option of showing your expertise in any sub-categories of sonography such as cardiac, abdominal or other specific areas of the body. This can truly elevate your standing as an ultrasound technician.


The big reason so many people want this career is because of the explosion of jobs that are available each year. The career is one of the fastest growing and rewarding jobs in the health care field. The median income amount is about 65,000 per year. Ultrasound technicians are only going to rise in popularity with an aging population, so doing what you can to elevate your chances will be a huge benefit. Get the four year degree, do clinical work and get certified to boost your chances of finding the best jobs. Getting the short term version can certainly work if you get lucky and are up against others with similar experience. Otherwise your options might be fairly limited with a one year certification.

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