Best Online Certificate in Sonography and Ultrasound Programs

TBS Staff Writers
Updated December 12, 2023
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are in high-demand in the ever-growing medical field. Learn what diagnostic medical sonographers do, and how

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An online certificate in sonography or ultrasound technology will give you the education and hands-on experience needed for a career in echocardiography, obstetric ultrasounds, or neurosonography.

Sonographers and ultrasound technicians work on the front lines of a life-giving and life-saving profession. They produce diagnostic images of the human body that assist physicians with early disease detection, pregnancy tracking, and medical procedures. Aspiring professionals can pursue an array of training options, including ultrasound certificate programs, sonography certificate programs, and ultrasound tech certificate programs.

This field is appealing to professionals because of its accessible training requirements and positive career outlook. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 10% job growth in this field from 2022-2032, which is over 3 times higher than the average rate for all occupations. COVID-19 impacted how sonographers complete their daily tasks safely, but the demand for these essential care providers has not slowed.

This page provides a detailed look at different training programs, a list of possible career pathways, and a ranking of the best accredited online sonography and ultrasound certificates.

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The Best Online Certificate in Ultrasound and Sonography Degree Programs

#1 Best Online Certificate in Sonography and Ultrasound Programs

Misericordia University

  • Location-markerDallas, PA
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$32,800
  • Out-of-state$32,800
  • Retention Rate82%
  • Acceptance Rate86%
  • Students Enrolled2,503
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment39%
  • AccreditationYes

Best Online Programs

Certificate in Sonography and Ultrasound


The Best Schools

Online Sonography and Ultrasound Certificate Program Ranking Guidelines

We ranked these degree programs based on quality, curricula, school awards, rankings, and reputation.

Rankings Methodology

What Are Online Sonography and Ultrasound Certificates?

Online sonography certificate programs can look quite different depending on the school. They typically run 1-2 years and feature a blend of didactic instruction, lab work, and clinical experience. Most programs emphasize over 1,000 hours of practical clinical experience in hospitals or medical clinics, along with training in on-campus simulation centers.

Students in an ultrasound certificate program learn to operate the imaging technology and instrumentation. They also gain specialized medical knowledge to help them analyze diagnostic images. Some programs offer concentrations in cardiac, abdominal, or musculoskeletal sonography.

Prospective students typically need a two-year healthcare degree for admission. Ultrasound tech certificate programs appeal to different types of people, including students coming directly from a medical degree, medical professionals switching fields, and sonographers looking for advancement opportunities.

After completing a sonography certificate program, graduates may pursue employment as a sonographer or ultrasound technician. Many employers, however, prefer candidates with professional certification from organizations like American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. Some states even require licensure, which means certification is mandatory.

Sonography and Ultrasound Certificate Program, Certification, and Degree Program Overview

Students can earn sonography and ultrasound postsecondary degrees through community colleges, four-year colleges, and universities. Students can pursue certificates through technical schools, colleges, universities, and hospital clinics. Finally, students can earn certifications from industry organizations. Typically, certificate programs train students, whereas certifications test experienced professionals.

Length: 1-3 years, but this can vary.

Prerequisite Education and Experience:

  • Completed associate or bachelor’s of science degree in a health field
  • *May already have working experience in the medical field
  • *May already be a practicing sonographer

Who May Offer Them?

  • Technical or vocational schools
  • Colleges
  • Hospitals

Internship/Clinical Experience Included in Program?

  • Yes
  • *If you’re a practicing sonographer, you may only need to take supplemental courses for your certificate.

Continuing Education Required to Maintain Certificate? Yes

Example Certificates:

  • Obstetrics and gynecology
  • Diagnostic medical sonography
  • Cardiac sonography
  • Pediatric cardiac sonography
  • Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS)
  • Cardiovascular technology
  • Vascular sonography
  • Abdominal and ophthalmologic sonography

Required in Every State?

No, only Oregon, New Hampshire, North Dakota, and New Mexico require licensing. However, employers and insurance providers usually prefer that sonographers and ultrasound techs have certification.

When to Pursue:

  • After students/professionals have completed an accredited sonography program, either through a certificate in sonography, associate’s degree in sonography, or bachelor’s degree in sonography.
  • *Program must include clinical experience.

Granted Through:
3 options:

Exam Required for Certification:
3 options:

Continuing Education Required to Renew Certification? Yes

Example ARDMS Credentials After Completing Certification:

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS)
  • Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT)
  • Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer (RMSKS)

Example ARRT Credentials After Completing Certification:

  • Registered Radiologist Assistant (R.R.A.)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MR)
  • Mammography (M)
  • Vascular Interventional Radiography (VI)

Required to Become a Sonographer or Ultrasound Tech?

No, but it makes students/professionals more competitive in the job market and allows them to pursue multiple specializations and prepare for different certifications.

Types of Ultrasound Technician Degrees:

  • Two-year associate
  • Four-year bachelor’s
  • Master’s degree

Example Degrees:

  • Associate of applied science in diagnostic medical sonography
  • Bachelor of science in vascular ultrasound
  • Bachelor of science in diagnostic medical sonography
  • Bachelor of science in radiation science

What to Expect From Online Sonography and Ultrasound Certificate Programs

The list below highlights popular ultrasound certificate program concentrations. These tracks teach students how to take and analyze images in various anatomical regions. Students learn specialized scanning techniques for those areas of the body, along with possible life-saving disease detection techniques.

Sonography and Ultrasound Certificate Concentrations

  • Vascular sonography
  • Breast ultrasound
  • General ultrasound
  • Fetal echocardiography
  • Adult echocardiography
  • Pediatric echocardiography
  • Obstetrics and gynecological ultrasound
  • Diagnostic medical sonography
  • Cardiac sonography
  • Abdominal ultrasound
  • Neurosonography
  • Pediatric sonography
  • Musculoskeletal sonography
  • Midwife sonography

Sonography and Ultrasound Certificate Courses

Choosing an Online Program

To choose the best ultrasound tech certificate program, prospective students need to know what to look for in an online program and how to pick a college. Learners need to consider their own career goals, interests, and academic history to find the best match.

For example, candidates should explore accredited programs with curricula that emphasize practical training and offer specializations they’re interested in. Ideal programs should also feature scheduling options and admission requirements that the applicant can reasonably satisfy.

Accreditation for Sonography and Ultrasound Programs

Prospective students need to pay attention to accreditation for all college and university programs. All schools should hold regional accreditation with the proper organization or else students may lose out on financial aid and employment opportunities.

Moreover, sonography certificate programs and ultrasound tech certificate programs should possess programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). This can influence postgraduate certification, licensure, and employment.

Sonography and Ultrasound Careers

Healthcare professionals in the sonography and ultrasound field enjoy a strong employment outlook. Their specialized training makes them part of a thriving workforce that the BLS projects will grow faster than the average rate for all occupations between 2019-2029. The majority of these specialists work in hospitals, physician offices, outpatient care centers, and diagnostic labs.

These professionals also tend to earn much more than the median annual wage for all occupations. As per the BLS, diagnostic medical sonographers earn median annual wages of $78,210, cardiovascular technologists earn $63,020, and health technicians earn $58,250. The sections below detail possible career paths.

Sonography and Ultrasound Organizations

Sonography and ultrasound organizations provide students and professionals alike with excellent education and career benefits. Members can access industry news and research, find scholarships, and get career support. They can also enroll in continuing education programs, attend events, and advance their careers with professional development workshops.

Sonographers and ultrasound technicians may join national organizations, but regional chapters and field specialist organizations feature a more limited membership pool. Some of the largest and best professional organizations in this field include:

Frequently Asked Questions

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