Becoming an Ultrasound Technician, or Diagnostic Medical Sonographer as it is now called, is typically achieved by completing an associates degree, becoming certified through the ARDMS, and getting any state licenses to practice where you live. Below, we have outlined the steps to becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer from researching schools to getting your first job.
Start by requesting information from schools and speaking with admissions representatives. Compare the programs offered, check out course lists, and find a program that suits your personality and needs. We have put together a list of radiology schools offering ultrasound programs for you to begin this critical first step. We've done some research to get your acquainted with ultrasound courses and ultrasound training to make sure you understand what to expect.
Enroll in and complete an Ultrasound Technician program. If attending school during the day is not possible for you, look into radiology schools offering evening degree or online programs. Completing an associates degree for Diagnostic Medical Sonography will prepare your for a sonography license and provide you with the credentials needed to begin applying for ultrasound jobs.
Become registered with the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers). Many employers prefer that you be ARDMS certified and most ultrasound programs will prepare you for the exam. While there are only a few states that require registration, it is recommended that you take this step in order to make yourself a strong job candidate.
Apply for and obtain an ultrasound position. Be sure you understand what will be expected of you in an ultrasound job and that you can speak to the skills and competencies you have gain through your education and clinical training. Take a look at our ultrasound technician job description page to read about job duties that will be expected of you. Network with contacts you may have in the health care industry, post your resume on job boards, and sharpen your interviewing skills by doing mock interviews with friends and relatives.