In hospital settings, one common device that doctors and medical practitioners use to depend on findings and treatments is ultrasonography. In ultrasound imaging, sound waves are used to create a moving image of the inside of your body. These are used for accurate medical diagnosis. Sonographers generally perform cardiac catheterizations, ultrasounds, electrocardiograms, and sonograms.
If you’re interested in this field of medicine, an online associate’s degree in sonography is an initial solid step toward a successful career in sonography. Graduates can be equipped for entry-level sonography jobs. Sonographers and ultrasound technicians usually examine the abdominal organs, bones, and heart.
With this online associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography, students can get an overview of the technology and get familiar with its potential applications by earning an associate’s degree in sonography.
Take the First Step Toward a Career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
The basic step in paving your career in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is enrolling in an online associate degree. Considered one of the allied health education programs, these two years will provide sufficient foundation and background in sonography, the devices to be used, and the know-how needed.
You can prepare yourself for this in-demand career in general education courses, electives, and core courses. You will obtain the clinical and technical knowledge of medical diagnostic imaging required for employment.
Associate degree in online sonography programs comes with medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, and physics courses. You develop essential soft skills, such as analytical, communication, problem-solving, and collaboration skills, as you work alongside your peers on online platforms.
The key to success is choosing the right online programs based on your objectives and goals. You can find opportunities in many settings, such as hospitals, clinics, health centers, and doctors’ offices. Moreover, you can use this associate degree to proceed to higher studies, like a bachelor’s degree.
Most sonographers earn an associate’s degree in sonography and then work toward obtaining professional certification from a credentialing agency. The top associate in sonography programs offered online satisfies the clinical requirements for certification, which is favored by most healthcare organizations.
This discipline includes training in magnetic resonance imaging and abdominal, obstetric, and gynecological sonography. Sometimes offered as a degree completion program, with online courses offering training in cardiovascular interventional technology, fetal echocardiography, and others that specialize in the brain, breasts, or other areas.
An associate degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography online program can be picked out more easily when you know what aligns with your goals. Listed below are the online Associate of Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees offered by reputable universities and colleges across the country.
Each program made it to our list based on these criteria:
- Offered online or in-person, as the student may prefer,
- Introduces students to basic diagnostic medical sonography methodologies, and foundational practices,
- Prepares students for entry-level careers in medical sonography,
- Serves as a solid foundation for proceeding to an online bachelor program,
- Provides opportunities to network with medical sonographers and other key industry players,
- Taught by highly qualified and experienced professors with extensive backgrounds in diagnostic medical sonography,
- Offers financial aid to online associate degree students,
- Embraces the standards of face-to-face and online education, as evidenced by the accreditation they receive from academic organizations.
Learn more about our ranking process through our Methodology page.
5 Best Online Colleges with Online Associates in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
The online Associate in Sonography Program offered by Jackson College is accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs. This is a suitable first step if you want to become a medical sonographer. A sonographer is a member of the allied health field who employs high-frequency sound waves to produce cross-sectional images of the patient’s anatomy for diagnostic reasons.
Sonographers collaborate expertly with both the clinical doctor and the radiologist. Sonographers must have a tremendous lot of independence in decision-making. You can develop such skills with this online associate degree in sonography.
The curriculum of this online degree consists of courses that are both academic and clinical. Its goal is to equip students for work in diverse settings in general sonography. For example, they can look for jobs in imaging facilities, hospitals, clinics, and medical offices after graduation.
Sonography programs have unique admittance requirements, and the student must be aware of and follow these guidelines. A point system and competition govern program admission. The value of the points is determined by the grades obtained in the prerequisite coursework and the interview.
Some of the sample courses to take in this online associate degree are the following:
- Introduction to Health Occupations
- Human Biology
- Sonographic Orientation
- Essentials of Sonography
- Abdomen and Small Parts Sonography
- Sonographic Techniques
- Sonographic Instrumentation
- Comprehensive Sonography
State Fair Community College
An online Associate Degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography is offered by State Fair Community College. Sonographers are specialists in diagnostic medicine who use ultrasonic imaging equipment to create 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data as well as diagnostic photos, scans, and movies.
This is an important step to take for those who want to pursue sonography careers. Moreover, you can find related jobs or proceed to a bachelor’s degree after graduation. Sonographers play a significant role in the diagnostic process because of the high degrees of decisional freedom and diagnostic input.
Students learn to use ultrasonography safely in the diagnosis of trauma and disease through classroom discussions, clinical applications, and laboratory practice. While this may be offered online, some lab work requires face-to-face attendance.
Students gain entry-level competency in the execution and evaluation of ultrasound examinations and procedures in addition to learning about the numerous opportunities in diagnostic medical sonography. This associate degree can be finished in as early as 22 months.
However, acceptance into the institution does not guarantee acceptance into the program. Students in the program are admitted to the college on the same grounds as other applicants. It is not possible to admit all competent applicants to the program because enrollment is selective. Students will be judged for the class by a selection committee made up of the program director, clinical coordinator, advisory committee members, and sometimes additional college staff.
Take note of the following courses as included in this associate degree in medical sonography:
- Human Anatomy with Lab
- Medical Terminology
- Radiation Production and Characteristics
- Patient Care and Health Care Communication
- Sonography Clinical
- Vascular Sonography
- Cardiac Ultrasound
- General Sonography
- OB/GYN Sonography
Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology
For those interested in becoming sonographers, you can enroll in the Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography degree program at Cambridge College of Healthcare and Technology. This online degree provides practical knowledge and training, suitable to solidify your foundation in sonography. Their program includes a clinical externship at nearby healthcare facilities and is completed in around 28 months. This means that in around two years, you’ll be prepared to begin your profession.
After graduation, you can find job opportunities wherever it is necessary to use ultrasound imaging and diagnostic medical sonography. For one sonographers are frequently in medical facilities such as health centers, clinics, hospitals, and care facilities. Diagnostic medical sonographers are essential to the provision of high-quality patient care.
A variety of body components are examined by sonography technicians, including the heart, blood vessels, prostate, thyroid, and breast. Expectant mothers require this as part of prenatal care to diagnose heart disease and heart attacks as well as vascular disorders early on.
Using imaging and testing tools, a diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technologist is in charge of looking at various bodily sections. This is done to aid medical personnel like doctors and nurses in identifying illnesses or symptoms.
You will learn everything from medical vocabulary to sonographic anatomy while enrolled in their Diagnostic Medical Sonographer program. Additionally, you’ll get the chance to receive practical training at nearby medical facilities and in their on-site training lab.
Here are the sonography courses to take in this online degree:
- Introduction to Health Sciences
- Sonography Anatomy
- Abdominal Sonography
- Introduction to Psychology
- Medical Terminology
- Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation
- OBGYN Sonography
- Anatomy & Physiology
- Vascular Sonography
- Echocardiographic Pathology
- Anatomy & Physiology Lab
You can become ready to start a specialized career in sonography by enrolling in Valencia College’s Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate in Science program. Sonographers are key to the diagnosis and care of patients. The sonographer uses ultrasound to provide images of the soft tissue organs of the patient, such as the breast, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, and thyroid so doctors and other medical professionals can check internally. Furthermore, ultrasound is commonly used for expectant mothers as they check the status of their babies inside their uterus.
Sonography is a program with restricted access so it’s crucial to check their requirements early on Students must apply and be admitted to the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program in order to enroll since admission to Valencia College does not automatically indicate acceptance to the program.
The program’s curriculum covers every subject needed to get an Associate in diagnostic medical sonography. The curriculum’s courses are progressive in style, with each one building on the one before it. Due to this progressive relationship, it is necessary to pass all of the courses in a term with a C grade (or higher) in order to move on to the following term.
Check out these sample courses included in this associate degree:
- Sectional anatomy
- Medical terminology
- Neurosonology and superficial structures
- Clinical sonography
- Human anatomy and physiology
- Clinical sonography
- OB/GYN sonography
- Sonographic physics
- Abdominal sonography
Baptist Health System School of Health Professions
The BHSP or Baptist Health System School of Health Professions offers the online Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. This online degree prepares professionals to work as sonographers by applying theory and implementing patient safety standards in the clinical setting. Doctors use sonograms to diagnose patients by taking photos of their bodies using specialized technology.
Sonographers have a lot of direct patient contact and establish close connections with ordering physicians and radiologists. Abdominal, neurologic, obstetrics and gynecology, and vascular imaging are among the fields that you can choose to specialize in during further studies.
Sonographers can pursue certifications in vascular technology and diagnostic cardiac sonography. The Associate of Applied Science (AAS) – Diagnostic Medical Sonography program at Baptist Health System accepts transfer credits but you need to confirm your qualifications.
This five-semester Associate of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography program is offered in a hybrid learning environment. The Department of Medical Imaging Technology is dedicated to providing high-quality instruction while following the standards outlined in the diagnostic medical sonographer’s code of ethics.
Here are some courses that you can expect in this online associate in medical sonography program:
- Abdominal Sonography
- Introduction to Imaging and Patient Care
- OB/GYN Sonography
- Sonography Clinical Practicum
- Abdominal Sonography
- Lifespan Growth & Development
- Medical Law and Ethics for Health Professionals
- Sonography Skills with Laboratory
- Physics and Instrumentation
Career Pathways for Associate Degree in Medical Sonography Graduates
A diagnostic medical sonographer, also referred to as a sonographer, creates ultrasounds, or images of various body parts, using imaging technology and sound waves. They have the skills necessary to gather and evaluate these sonographic images. Many medical disorders are diagnosed and treated by doctors with the aid of these photographs.
Diagnostic medical sonographers frequently work with imaging equipment near the patient’s bedside, but they may also do it in a separate room in a hospital or clinic. Here are some jobs you can pursue in the field of sonography after graduating from an associate degree:
A healthcare professional who creates images of the interior of your body using a specialized medical device is known as an ultrasound technician, sometimes known as a diagnostic medical sonographer.
Physicians and other healthcare professionals who use the images to evaluate and diagnose medical issues collaborate closely with medical sonographers. They produce sonograms and ultrasounds which are images vital for doctors and medical professionals.
Sonography Instructor Assistant
In the Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, this job is in charge of assisting professors in clinical education coordination and instruction. A sonography instructor assistant maintains the efficiency of all clinical affiliates and clinical education centers.
They help and aid professors in training future sonographers. They also constantly evaluate and improve the curriculum to ensure that it complies with accreditation bodies and the most recent industry standards.
Sonography Research Assistant
The field of sonography is continuing to grow and evolve. New technologies, devices, and systems are being innovated in the healthcare sector. As you graduate with an associate degree in medical sonography, you can land a job as a sonographer research assistant. They are tasked with obtaining accurate and credible information and presenting their findings to senior research staff in academic and scientific fields.
Sonography Program Director
The program director leads, directs, and advises the faculty and staff; assesses goals; deals with risks; develops strategies and policies; manages resources; and upholds a learning environment that promotes development. While this job is not available right after finishing an associate degree, it can be acquired if you pursue long years of experience and job growth.
Along with fulfilling and maintaining program accreditation requirements, other duties include student recruiting, committee assignments, and satisfying program effectiveness standards.
Tips to Become a Sonographer
If you want to become a sonographer, here are some invaluable tips that will help you achieve your goals in life:
Acquire an associate degree.
Aspiring sonographers must complete a two-year associate degree program accredited by the American Society for Ultrasound in Sonography. While this is the educational requirement, you can always go for pursuing higher education like a bachelor’s degree, or opt for further certification educational programs in addition to your associate degree.
Obtain a Sonography Certification.
After graduating with an associate degree, the next best move is to get certified as a sonographer. In order to demonstrate that you possess a particular skill or knowledge, you earn a certification in sonography. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography is recognized throughout the United States and abroad as one of the most respected licensing organizations for sonographers.
When you graduate from a sonography program, it is most important to obtain a registry in at least one of the disciplines offered by the ARDMS. There are ultrasound certificates offered at ARDMS in Abdomen, Breast, Obstetrics and gynecology, Echocardiography, Vascular Technology, or Neurosonology. Make sure to enroll in an accredited university or college so you can be able to sit for the licensure exam after graduation.
Participate in internships and externships.
Future sonographers should make the most of their learning journeys by participating in internships and externships. The benefits and experiences of externships and internships differ. Consider what you’ll gain from an externship or internship before you apply. Hands-on experience is gained by interns by taking on professional responsibilities.
On the other hand, externs typically shadow professionals without performing any job-related tasks. Externships can be as brief as one day, unlike internships, which are more like entry-level jobs. However, any of these two can help you become more successful in your sonography career.
Find ultrasound jobs through networking.
If you want to find ultrasound jobs or learn about career opportunities, skillful networking will make all the difference. Being proficient on social media is only one aspect of developing a high level of networking competency. Another strategy is to join communities and organizations in sonography. It is important to build a network of relevant contacts, on and off the internet, as well as establish mutually beneficial communications for sonographers interested in career opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions
What prerequisites must you fulfill in order to apply to an associate degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography?
The entrance requirements for accredited sonography programs differ depending on who is applying. If you’re applying to a bachelor’s degree, for example, admission teams probably have different expectations than if you’re applying to an associate’s program.
You most likely have little prior college experience if you apply to an associate’s program at a community institution. The admissions committee will, however, need to view your college transcripts if you have previously taken college courses.
You’ll also need to present your diploma or documentation of completion of its equivalent, such as a GED if you recently graduated from high school. It’s crucial to inquire and check your university or college about their prerequisites when applying for an associate degree.
Is a Sonography associate degree worthwhile?
Students who pursue an online sonography degree can be ready to begin working right away after completion. Schools create associate sonography degrees to satisfy the demands of both industry companies and aspirant professionals.
The precise clinical and technical abilities required to become a sonographer are covered in the curriculum. While pursuing their online associate degree, aspiring sonography technicians and technologists can also develop their professional networks and get experience through an internship.
Do online Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs require sonography internships?
One of the standard prerequisites for examination for those pursuing certification with the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography is one year of full-time clinical ultrasonography or vascular experience.
As a result, the clinical internship experience needed to apply for certification is a requirement in all of the associate’s programs on this list that lead to certification. You might or might not need to complete additional internship hours if you are already going toward a bachelor’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography while practicing the field. However, if you’re a practicing sonographer seeking certification in another branch of sonography, clinical internship hours may be necessary.
Is a certification required to practice sonography?
New Hampshire, Oregon, New Mexico, and North Dakota are the only states that require diagnostic medical sonographers to hold certain credentials. However, in recent years, some states have pursued legislation to require ultrasound technicians to be credentialed, while others are considering it.
Moreover, many employers prefer or require candidates with ultrasound certifications for serious job openings. To make yourself stand out from other job applicants, you can pursue additional ultrasound certification processes to demonstrate the full extent of your expertise and specialization.
- A sonographer visualizes anatomy, physiology, and pathology using sound waves produced by a transducer. They produce a report and a video for the physician. There are different parts of the body that diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in, like the heart, breast, liver, kidneys, and other internal organs.
- A sonographer’s salary starts at an excellent level and is in high demand. It is similar to many other careers in advanced care. It is a skilled, varied, and stimulating job that provides valuable information for patient care.
- When looking for the best associate degree in medical sonography, look for one with plenty of hands-on experience. You might consider this to be the most important aspect of your education because sonography is a highly hands-on, technical field.