Do You Need to Go to School to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and how do you become a certified ultrasound tech? There are several Steps to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS) Ultrasound Tech.
They depend on your education level, whether you can go to school full or part time, and how soon you need to be in the work force. The education levels are Certificate program, AS degree or BS degree. All three of these paths end the same way- after graduating, you must pass at least two registry exams given by the ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers). As a whole, employers pay about the same salary regardless of how you went about getting your DMS Ultrasound Tech education. The golden ticket is whether you are ARDMS registered.
Not surprisingly, most people would say “I’ll take the certificate program”! It is definitely the fastest way to become a Sonographer Ultrasound Tech mostly because there is no general education and requires a fulltime student status. But it is trickier than it seems and you must do a little research first.
Educational requirements for ultrasound technician
There are tons of private Ultrasound Tech schools out there that offer a DMS certificate, but many are fraudulent and leave you unqualified to sit for the ARDMS exams. The private certificate program you choose must have the following criteria and Educational requirements met in order to qualify to sit for the ARDMS exams upon graduating:
If you are a high school graduate, the certificate program needs to be accredited by the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs). If the program is not accredited by CAAHEP, then upon graduating, you would be required to work fulltime for one year before being eligible to sit for the ARDMS exams and there aren’t many employers that would hire an unregistered Sonographer (this is the bind that graduates get in if they attended a fraudulent program).
If you already have either an AS degree in a patient oriented Allied Health field or any Bachelor’s degree or higher at an accredited college, then the private DMS certificate program does not have to be accredited by CAAHEP. However, after prerequisites are completed, the core program must be at least 19 months long which includes 960 internship hours to make the ultrasound technician requirements.
By keeping these important things in mind, as you go forward on your way to a fantastic career!