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Ultrasound Technician Certification

Getting Certified in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

certification is a license or credential that you earn to show that you have specific knowledge or skills. The ARDMS ® (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography) is one of the most recognized sonography license organizations across the United States and the world.

How do I earn my ARDMS Certification?

ARDMS certification is achieved by passing the Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam, and is something that most graduates will pursue once they earn their ultrasound technician degree. Learn more about the SPI exam and its components below.



Is ARMDS Certification Required?

Most states don’t require diagnostic medical sonographers to hold particular credentials, with the exception of New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oregon.

More recently, legislation to mandate the credentialing of ultrasound techs are being pursued by some states, with more considering it, and many employers prefer or require serious job candidates to have an ultrasound certification.

There are also additional ultrasound certification processes you can pursue to demonstrate the full range of your expertise and specialization that will help you stand out from the pack of other job applicants.


Ultrasound Certifications

Is the ARDMS the only organization that offers certification?

In addition to being certified through the ARDMS, diagnostic medical sonographers can apply for Sonography Certification through the ARRT (American Registry for Radiologic Technologists).

Completing an ultrasound program from an accredited school (recognized by the CHEA or USDE) within the last five years makes you eligible to sit for the ARRT certification exam.

Jessica Carlino, RDMS, RVT

“I would recommend taking your certification boards soon after graduation. The information is fresh in your mind, and you will become more marketable for jobs if you have those under your belt. Get yourself out there in the job field. Even if you don’t get the perfect job to start, keep an open mind and be receptive to any opportunities that arise.” – Jessica Carlino, RDMS, RVT

To acquire and maintain this ultrasound license, candidates must also abide by the ARRT’s Rules of Ethics. Additionally, an ultrasound practice (i.e. a medical center or hospital) can become accredited through the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM).

Various ultrasound certification programs are available to diagnostic medical sonographers who wish to earn a credential in a specific area of sonography.

Note that the ARDMS offers ultrasound certifications in Abdomen, Breast, Echocardiography, Neurosonology, OB/GYN and Vascular Technology and soon in Musculoskeletal Sonography. Examples of other organizations that administer ultrasound licenses include:

  • Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offers certifications in cardiac, vascular and phlebology ultrasound.
  • The Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO) offers ophthalmic ultrasound certifications (the field of sonography concerned with the eye).
  • The Ultrasound Guidelines Council (UGC) grants ultrasound certifications to technicians and their practices that perform ultrasounds on beef cattle.
Main ExamSpecialty ExamCredential Earned
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Abdomen (AB)
  • Breast (BR)
  • Fetal Echocardiography (FE)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN)
  • Pediatric Sonography (PS)
RDMS
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Adult Echocardiography (AE)
  • Pediatric Echocardiography (PE)
  • Fetal Echocardiography (FE)
RDCS
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Vascular Technology Exam (VT)
RVT
Sonography, Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) Exam
  • Musculoskeletal Sonographer Examination (MSKS)
RMSKS
Midwife Sonographer Examination
  • No special examination needed
Midwife Sonographer Certificate

Sonography certification and training program information by state. Select you state.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC


Ultrasound training and program information by degree level.

Not sure about your next steps?

Check out our Getting Started Guide to learn more about your options.

CAAHEP – Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is responsible for the accreditation of over 2,100 postsecondary education programs across North America, 23 of which focus on health or health science.

Their certification is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). This is key because to be eligible for ARDMS or other ultrasound certifications, one of the usual criteria is completion of an educational program that is recognized by the CHEA (or the USDOE or CMA).

The CAAHEP consists of member organizations that are knowledgeable in each health science field and thus are able to provide valuable input when it comes to accrediting an educational program.

nurse in hospital reception area

Among the member organizations are several related to the field of ultrasound, including the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), the American Society of Echocardiography (ASECHO), the Committee on Accreditation for Advanced Cardiovascular Sonography, the Joint Review Committee on Education in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS), the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS) and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU).

In short, when selecting an ultrasound degree or certificate program, ensure it is recognized by the CHEA, USDOE or CMA. If it is accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), you will be meeting this particular pre-requisite for the ultrasound license process.


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Article By: Ultrasound Schools Info Staff

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