Diagnostic Medical Sonography Degree Program
Doctor’s investigate what’s happening internally to our bodies but rely on the Sonographer to provide the proof through the intricate images of tissue and internal organs.
Take the Next Step
to Your Future
Find Your Program, Classes Start Soon!
The college offers accelerated hybrid programs to help you earn a degree in less than two years.
We are accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools and we are approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) for students to use their GI Bill education benefits at our Sherman Oaks, CA campus. Our Nashville, TN campus is not currently approved for VA Education Benefits.
News / Blog
What Is a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
A diagnostic medical sonographer (DMS), generally referred to simply as a sonographer or ultrasound technologist, uses imaging equipment and soundwaves to provide doctors with internal images that help them make a diagnosis and prescribe treatment for their patients.
It is a non-invasive way to visualize internal organs when a physician needs to see what is going on inside the body. It is often the first imaging test that is performed after a disease is suspected or detected.
Sonographers are needed for a variety of healthcare issues, including:
- Cancer screenings
- Heart health
- Organ health
- Prenatal care
- Infant care
- Reproductive health care for both men and women
How Do You Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
Are you a problem-solver with good communication skills? Do you love working directly with people who may be in pain and confused about their medical condition?
Are you detail-oriented and can follow precise instructions to obtain the images needed to diagnose and treat patients? If so, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) being a diagnostic medical sonographer may be a great fit for you.
Becoming a diagnostic medical sonographer requires an associate degree from a qualified accredited school and most employers also require professional certification.
Casa Loma College combines in-depth classroom coursework in medical concepts and terminology with hands-on clinical experience.
Upon successful completion of our Diagnostic Medical Sonography program, Casa Loma graduates are eligible to apply for national certification with the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
Specialty certifications are also available. All specialty certificates require you to first obtain the Sonography Primary Pathway Certification. After passing that exam, based on your Casa Loma education, you will be eligible for specialty certifications in the areas of:
- Abdomen (AB)
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Graduates also are eligible for certification by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
The Casa Loma College associate degree equips graduates to prepare for their certification exams and helps them put their best foot forward as they pursue their new career in health care.
What Is the Difference Between an Ultrasound Technician and a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
The terms medical sonographer and ultrasound technician are used interchangeably. Other job titles for a DMS may be:
- Cardiac Sonographer
- Cardiac/Vascular Sonographer
- Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
- Staff Sonographer
- Ultrasound technician
- Ultrasound Technologist
How Long Does it Take to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?
Casa Loma College works with you to design a program to meet your specific needs. You can complete your education and earn your associate degree in less than two years.
The college offers a hybrid program with both online and in-person classes. It requires seven semesters of course work and the program can be completed in 23 months.
|CIP Code||Credits||Months||Instructional Weeks||Award||Terms|
|Diagnostic Medical Sonography||51.0910||104.5 semester||23 months||100 weeks||A.S. Degree||7 semesters|
What is the Job Outlook for Sonographers?
This is an exciting and opportune time to pursue a career in Medical Sonography! According to the BLS, employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow 10 percent through 2031. That’s 10% faster than the average for all occupations. Most sonographers will be employed at imaging centers and state, local, or private hospitals, which employed 76% of all sonographers in 2021.
|Employment||Projected Employment||Projected Growth||Projected Annual Job Openings|
|California||7,700 (2020)||9,300 (2030)||13.8%|
|United States||140,400 (2021)||155,100 (2031)||10% (Faster than average)||140,400 (2021-2031)|
California source: Projections Central 2020-2030 long-term projections. United States source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2021-2031 employment projections. “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment for the projections period. “Projected annual openings” represents openings due to growth and job openings created by those who retire or quit their jobs for any reason.
What Will I Learn?
Graduates of the Casa Loma College Diagnostic Medical Sonography program are provided the education they need and develop the specific skills they need which include instruction on how to:
- Perform appropriate ultrasound scanning examinations and procedures.
- Record anatomic, pathologic, and/or physiologic data for interpretation by a physician.
- Obtain, review, and integrate pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data to facilitate optimum diagnostic results.
- Exercise discretion and judgment in the performance of sonographic diagnostic services
- Provide appropriate and compassionate patient care for patients undergoing ultrasound examinations.
- Demonstrate excellent communication skills with patients and other health care professionals, and act in an ethical and professional manner.
- Complete the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation exams.
- Complete the ARRT DMS Primary Pathway Exam.
- After an additional year of work experience, complete the ARDMS abdomen and small parts exam.
How Much Does a Sonographer Make?
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is a dynamic career that is growing and offers a competitive salary. Wages vary by state and location within that state. For a guideline:
- The annual median wage for California sonographers in 2021 was $109,350.
- The hourly mean wage was $52.57.
In the United States:
- The mean annual wage for Sonographers in 2021 was $77,740.
- The median hourly wage for Sonographers in 2021 was $36.24.
The mean wage means that half of the employees in the field earn less than the median wage and half earn more.
Recent Employers of DMS Graduates
- Adventist Health Simi Valley
- Central Coast Vein & Vascular
- Central Peninsula Hospital
- Christus St. Vincent
- First Choice Mobile Radiology
- Ideal Xtra Care Plus
- Imaging Specialists of Glendale
- Medical Imagery Staffing and Solutions
- Radnet-Liberty Pacific, Tarzana
- Radnet-Liberty Pacific, West Hills
- RJ Imaging
- St. Mary’s Medical Center
- The Institute of Prenatal Diagnosis and Reproductive Genetics
- Valley Presbyterian Hospital
“I graduated from the DMS program in December 2020. I love everything about this school and am so happy and proud to be a graduate from here. The professors and staff are amazing and really want to make sure you succeed in your field.” – Mar N.
Financial aid is an excellent tool to help reduce the out-of-pocket costs to attend college. Casa Loma College has a committed team of financial aid professionals on call to help students and parents navigate the process.
Casa Loma College participates in many programs to help reduce the cost of college, including:
- Federal Pell Grant
- Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (FSEOG)
- Federal Work-Study
- Federal Direct Loans (Subsidized, Unsubsidized, Parent PLUS)
- CSAC Cal Grant
To learn more about the financial aid process and the programs for which you may be eligible, please refer to our financial aid page.
For those who qualify, Casa Loma College is approved by the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) to offer academic programs under Title 38, United States Code, to enroll veterans and other eligible persons who qualify for educational benefits.
For a full list of benefits, and to learn more, please visit our Veteran’s Benefits page.