≡ Menu

Exciting news! The 2024 Sonography Student Scholarship recipient has been chosen.
Thanks to all applicants for your participation!

Ultrasound Certification | ARDMS

The RDMS credential, offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), certifies expertise in the field of diagnostic medical sonography.

While medical ultrasound certification is not required in all states, most employers prefer that their ultrasound technicians hold licensure from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers ® (ARDMS).

According to the ARDMS, “certification is a voluntary process and documents that an individual has met specific requirements and has the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform within a profession”.

Each state’s department of health sets its own requirements for state licensure. States such as Oregon, New Mexico, North Dakota, and New Hampshire require ARDMS certification, while other states are expected to do so in the future.


Licensure on a state level typically requires candidates to hold a national certification or credential. ARDMS certification is highly regarded in the professional healthcare community across the United States and the world.

About the ARDMS

What is the ARDMS?

The ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers), formed under Inteleos, is a non-profit organization established in 1975. Worldwide, over 90,000 medical professionals have been certified by the ARDMS, representing a variety of specializations including cardiac, vascular, and OB/GYN sonography.

ARDMS is accredited by several prestigious and reputable bodies, including the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

ARDMS Certification Exams

How do I earn my ARDMS certification?

In order to earn certification from the ARDMS, individuals must take the​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination. Certain specializations require additional testing within five years of passing the​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ SPI exam. The most recent statistics from the ARDMS show an SPI pass rate of 75% for first-time test takers.

Professional Certifications Offered

The ARDMS offers many different credentials. Sometimes, only one major exam is required to receive a certificate, while in other cases a general exam as well as a specialty exam are required. The table below shows which exams must be taken to earn a particular credential.

Main Exam Specialty Exam Credential Earned
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Abdomen (AB)
  • Breast (BR)
  • Fetal Echocardiography (FE)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Pediatric Sonography (PS)
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Adult Echocardiography (AE)
  • Pediatric Echocardiography (PE)
  • Fetal Echocardiography (FE)
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Vascular Technology Exam (VT)
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Musculoskeletal Sonographer Examination (MSKS)
Midwife Sonographer Examination
  • No special examination needed
Midwife Sonographer Certificate

ARDMS Testing Prerequisites

Before applying for an ARDMS exam to earn your particular ultrasound certification, you must first ensure you meet the prerequisites. Most formal education programs will include the appropriate experience, credits, and clinical hours to provide eligibility to sit for the ARDMS exams.

Prerequisite #1, for example, is the completion of a two-year allied health program, plus 12 months of full time clinical ultrasound experience.

Another example is Prerequisite #2, which is the completion of an ultrasound program (diagnostic medical sonography, diagnostic cardiac sonography or diagnostic vascular degree) from an accredited educational institute, such as the CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs) or CMA (Canadian Medical Association).

Click here to see the full list of prerequisites.

How to Apply

You can apply for the ARDMS exam and schedule the test online once you have met the required prerequisites. The exam processing fee is $100, and you will also have to submit the required documentation.

Recertification & Renewal

Once you receive your ultrasound certification through the ARDMS, you must annually renew your credential by paying a yearly fee. The ARDMS also requires you to seek professional development in order to encourage you to keep up to date with emerging ultrasonography skills and technology.

Within a three year period you are required to complete 30 CME (continuing medical education) hours. You will also be required to complete reassessments for each specialty area. Typically, these tests are much shorter than the ARDMS exams. Within a ten-year certification span, for example, you would not have to write a reassessment until the seventh year.

ARDMS Job Search Tool

Ultrasound jobsUltrasoundJOBS.Com is a career resource geared to assist sonography employers and job seekers alike. It’s also aimed towards those searching for a new position, whether it’s their first ultrasound technician job or an advancement in their career. Not only does this ultrasound recruitment site serve as a resource for those looking for a new position, it also serves as a guide for employers so they can fill essential vacancies and showcase what makes their workplaces and positions unique.

On UltrasoundJOBS.Com, new and established sonography professionals can create an online profile/post their resume and search the job bank for opportunities. Additionally, the site also offers a wealth of career tip articles and video seminars.

Furthermore, UltrasoundJOBS.Com is a National Healthcare Career Network member, and a partner of the ARDMS.