To work as a medical sonographer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma; and
- have an associate degree in medical sonography.
Education after high school
Medical sonographers usually have at least an associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography. These programs include courses in anatomy, physiology, and physics. You also learn how to use sonography instruments and how to care for patients. Hospitals, vocational schools, and two-year colleges offer training programs. It is helpful to have taken math and science courses in high school.
For those who already have experience in the medical field, a certificate is a training option. It takes about a year to earn this degree. Obstetric nurses and radiologic technologists are the types of workers who are most likely to pursue a certificate.
Many employers offer some hands-on training when you are first hired. Training may last up to a year.
Some branches of the military train people to be radiological (x-ray) technicians. These military technicians also use ultrasound. Training lasts 12 to 19 weeks, depending on your specialty. Additional training occurs on the job.