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Sonographer Courses Reviewed And Compared

For anyone wishing to train as a sonographer, taking sonographer courses is the first step on the ladder to achieving a professional qualification in the field of medical sonography.

Diagnostic medical sonographers are also commonly known as ultrasound technicians. The job of a sonographer is to help health care professionals to diagnose diseases and medical conditions by using high frequency sound waves to build up images of internal body structures and tissues. One of the main benefits of using ultrasonic sound waves is that the diagnostic process is extremely safe – sound waves cause no potential damage to the body, unlike other procedures like x-rays.

In most places, there is no formal requirement to hold a sonography qualification in order to work as an ultrasound technician or sonographer. However, in the vast majority of cases, you will find it very difficult to get a job in sonography unless you have completed one of the many accredited sonographer courses and earned a recognized professional qualification.

But there are more benefits to taking sonography courses. One you have qualified as a sonographer, you’ll have plenty of job opportunities to choose from. Sonography is an extremely fast moving health care profession, and more and more ultrasound technicians are needed every year. According to the very latest research from the American Bureau of Labor Statistics, an additional 5,000 sonography jobs will be created over the next 10 years alone. This means that by becoming a sonographer, you’ll have no shortage of job opportunities and also be rewarded with an excellent sonographer salary.

Which Sonographer Courses Are Available?

In order to further your education and become an ultrasound technician, you’ll need to take one of three types of sonographer courses. These three levels of education training are at certificate level, associate’s degree level and bachelor’s degree. Here’s a quick overview of these three sonography programs:

If you already have some existing medical qualifications, the certificate or diploma level sonographer courses may be what you’re looking for. Certificate courses are spread over a 12 month period, and will give you enough theoretical and practical training to work in the sonography sector. In order to gain entry to a certificate program, you’ll need to have already achieved some form of allied health care degree or equivalent qualification. Most people who choose certificate sonographer courses are usually physicians, doctors, medical assistants and nurses looking to expand their medical skills to encompass sonography.

The next level of sonographer courses is the associate’s degree. This is a 24 month course which is designed for people who don’t have an existing medical degree. An associate’s degree is far more comprehensive than certificate level sonographer courses, and you’ll learn a lot more about the principles of medical sonography. Your course time will be divided between studying the techniques and physics of ultrasound technology, and then applying the skills that you’ve learned in a clinical environment on actual patients.

The final kind of training is the four year bachelor’s degree program. This is the most advanced form of sonography programs available, and is usually taken by those who are looking for a long term sonography career at a senior level or in management. Bachelor’s level sonographer courses will help to make you an expert diagnostic medical sonographer. Holding a bachelor’s degree in medical sonography will give you your choice of jobs virtually anywhere, and this will be reflected in your ultimate sonographer salary which will be well above the health care sector averages. Taking bachelor’s degree sonographer courses can be a good investment over the longer term, but remember that these courses take twice as long to complete as an associate’s degree and the course fees are considerably higher.

How To Take Sonographer Courses

There are two ways to take sonographer courses. The first of these is by attending traditional campus based ultrasound technician schools or colleges. With this style of education, you’ll learn your skills in classroom based ultrasound schools. There are usually several sonographer schools located in each area to choose from.

Another way to take sonographer courses is via distance learning. There are a number of online ultrasound tech schools which now offer ultrasound courses and sonographer courses. Learning online has several advantages. The course fees are often considerably lower than those charged by traditional sonography schools, and perhaps more importantly you have a lot more flexibility when it comes to learning. This is especially useful, as it allows you to fit sonographer courses in around your family or career.