How Long Is Sonography School?
Sonography school is designed to take anywhere between 18 months to 4 years to complete, depending on whether you are pursuing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in sonography. Two-year programs are generally more common, because the job market for sonography is growing rapidly enough that candidates do not always need to complete 4-year programs to find work. A 4-year program will, however, make you more desirable to employers looking for sonographers, because of the added training and credentials you have earned.
There are options available to become skilled in sonography sooner, but you may not get a degree for your efforts. For example, Vanderbilt University has a School of Diagnostic Medical Sonography that offers a certificate after 18 months and training for the sought-after ARDMS certification. Non-degreed options in sonography education, sometimes only taking 1 year to complete, are usually recommended for someone already working in a health care field, according to information compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor. For those just starting their careers in sonography, or in health care in general, a degree track is the better way to go.
An example of an accredited program identified through CAAHEP is Mountain State University’s program in diagnostic medical sonography. At Mountain State, you can earn a bachelor or associate of science degree or a certificate (limited to medical professionals that are already licensed), depending on your interest. The bachelor’s degree program takes 26 months to complete; the associate’s and certificate programs take 18 months.
Since the length of time for training often differs from school to school, you should ask your university how long it generally takes students to complete their programs, or whether they offer accelerated programs online, offering more flexibility and the ability to take courses wherever reliable Internet is available.