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How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

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An ultrasound technician plays an important health care role in using medical imaging technology to evaluate pregnancies and internal illnesses. An associate's degree in sonography and professional certifications are common requirements for entry into this career field.

Education and Certification

Community colleges and universities offer two-year sonography degrees. You can also earn a bachelor's degree at a university to improve your educational qualifications. For people already working in health care, a one-year professional certification in sonography is an alternative. Classes in science, anatomy and medical terminology are standard in a sonography program. You typically have to complete a clinical, or hands-on experience, in a doctor's office, hospital or sonography lab. It is common to specialize in areas like abdominal sonography or breast sonography while in school, to help prepare for certification exams in these fields. Certifications improve employment opportunities.

Skill Development

During college and training experience, you need to develop several professional skills. An ultrasound technician must have excellent interpersonal abilities to get patient history information and to put nervous patients at ease during appointments. Technical abilities with imaging equipment and hand-eye coordination to operate the imaging wand while watching the screen are also necessary. Attention to detail is helpful in accurately gauging monitor readings, taking proper images and giving instructions to patients.