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How to Become a Cardiac Sonographer?

Kulbhushaan Raghuvanshi
How to become a cardiac sonographer? A cardiac sonographer is a medical professional who operates ultrasound devices to produce images and scans of the heart.
Thanks to the continuous research and development in the medical sector we have reached a stage where almost every disease can be prevented from progressing to its last stages. Today the medical sector consists of a global team of dedicated experts who specialize in administering medicine and understand the technological aspects of medical equipment.
One such professional in this team is a cardiac sonographer who relies on modern medical equipment to check whether the patient's heart is healthy and working right or not. To be more definitive, a cardiac sonographer, aka echocardiographer or cardiac ultrasound technician, is a sonographer who specializes in the functioning of the heart and blood vessels surrounding it.

Who is a Cardiac Sonographer

Most people who don't know much about medicine must have heard this term for the first time. The main job of a cardiac sonographer is to take detailed images of the human heart with the help of an ultrasound machine which indirectly helps a cardiologist in determining the exact condition of the heart.
In generic terms when you use the term 'ultrasound' it is normally related to pregnancy but this amazing technology is also very useful when it comes to knowing the exact condition of the human heart.

Becoming a Cardiac Sonographer

Though being a cardiac sonographer is rewarding and lucrative, a lot of hard work goes into becoming a successful cardiac sonographer. You cannot take your job lightly in any circumstances as you're dealing directly with the patient's heart.


I would say an Associate or a Bachelor's Degree is very useful for becoming a successful cardiac sonographer. Make sure you complete your education from an accredited medical school and most cardiac sonographers obtain their Associate Degree in cardiac sonography. To get a high paying job you can also complete your Bachelor's Degree (4 years).
The first year of education is dedicated to core theoretical study and the second year is all about clinical studies and training in invasive or non invasive cardiac ultrasound technology

Entry-Level Certifications

Upon graduating from the program, the next step is to appear for the CCI or ARDMS exams. There are two separate organizations which offer entry-level certifications for budding cardiac sonographers; ARDMS and CCI.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) offer certification which is called the RDCS (Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer) and the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) offers the RCS (Registered Cardiac Sonographer).
Both these institutions offer certifications to students who have completed their associate or bachelor's degree.

Getting a Valid License

Some states in the US may need a cardiac sonographer to have a valid practice license. It's not a difficult process at all, you just have to give some basic paperwork, pay some fees and take an extra exam. The exam criteria varies from state to state.
Although not all the states in America follow this procedure of having a license to start your practice, some of them do because having a license is an assurance that the cardio sonographer is a qualified medical professional and knows how to do his/her job.


Now let's find you a job. With so many different types of employment opportunities available it can sometimes be very difficult to find the correct job for oneself. Which is why beginning with an internship is always a smart choice. The places where cardiac sonographers get hired are hospitals, offices of cardiologists, clinics and other medical facilities.
Hospitals, generally, provide cardiac sonographers a cardiology department along with all the necessary medical equipment required.
Another employment opportunity comes from travel companies who hire cardiac sonographers on contractual basis for 6 to 8 months. With a travel company you are expected to move to places which face a shortage of professional cardiac sonographers. Working with a travel company has its own set of advantages like moving to a new place, getting a high pay package and all your traveling expenses are also handled by your employers.


The field of cardiac sonography provides various job opportunities and subsequently salaries are witnessing a steady growth. A cardiac sonographer's salary usually depends on the place of employment, experience and the place.
Freshmen can expect to earn somewhere around $60,000 as a yearly package. Those with 4 to 8 years of experience will definitely have a better start with $73,000 to $100,000. Your salary structure will also depend on the city or state you work in.
Hope this story on how to become a cardiac sonographer was an interesting read. A cardiac sonographer works individually with patients and rarely a cardiologist will be in the same room when the sonographer is conducting the tests.
Though a cardiac sonographer doesn't diagnose any heart conditions you just can't deny the important role he/she plays in helping you get better.