How do I get Sonography Training?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 11 November 2019
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There are a number of ways to get sonography training, in part because this field lacks a preferred level of education, allowing practitioners to enter careers as sonographers with varying degrees of experience and training. Someone who is considering a career as a sonographer may want to think about where he or she wishes to practice, and look at the usual requirements listed in job openings published by hospitals and clinics to get an idea of the level of training they expect. It is also important to attend an accredited program when receiving sonography training, as attendance at accredited programs is given more weight by employers when they evaluate applicants.

One method is to get on the job training. The military trains sonographers as part of its medical corps, for people who are interested in serving their country while getting medical training, and after a sonographer's term of service is up, he or she can opt to re-enlist, or serve in the civilian world. Sonographers are also trained as hospitals and clinics, with candidates who have a background in the sciences being preferred.


Medical practitioners such as doctors and nurses who want to learn more about diagnostic sonography can take training programs aimed at care providers. These programs are often provided by medical schools as part of their continuing education programs, and they include a certificate for attendees which indicates that they have taken sonography training. Veterinary schools also offer this type of training for veterinarians who want to expand their practices.

For people who want to go to school specifically for sonography training, one, two, and four year programs are all available. Trade and vocational schools which offer training to medical technicians often offer sonography, and people can also opt to take medical sonography training at four year colleges, typically those with medical schools. Ambitious sonographers can go to medical school and receive training to become radiologists, which will allow them to use diagnostic sonography among other tools to diagnose and treat patients.

Membership in a professional organization of sonographers is strongly recommended for people who have completed sonography training. This membership will bolster employment applications by indicating that a candidate has achieved a minimum standard of training and competency, and it provides sonographers with access to conferences, trade journals, and other continuing education tools which they can use to keep their skills sharp and relevant. Professional memberships can also be useful ammunition in salary negotiations.


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Post 3

@JaneAir - I had an ultrasound done a few days ago and I got to chatting with the ultrasound technician. She said basically exactly what you said: you need a certification to get a job.

This particular ultrasound technician had actually started out as a radiology technician and branched out into other kinds of medical imaging including sonography. I gather this is actually pretty common in this career path because having more certifications and skills makes you more marketable.

Post 2

I live on the east coast and in my area most places won't hire you as an ultrasound technician if you aren't certified. I've actually looked into this as a possible career and there aren't very many schools near me that offer this program.

Interestingly enough the accredited programs in my area are at a community college, a university, and a career training institute. They all vary in cost with the community college being cheapest. The prerequisites for the programs are similar and actually the same as most nursing programs. They include Anatomy. and Physiology I and II, Microbiology, Psychology 101 and College Algebra.

When looking for a program I would suggest starting at the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health (CAAHEP) website. They provide a national list of programs that will allow you to sit for a certification exam.

Post 1

Thank you very much for educational information.

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