4 Best ACCRED Sonography Programs in Arizona

Are you looking for the best sonography programs in Arizona? Sonography is a medical diagnostic test that uses ultrasound imaging to examine internal organs and structures such as the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, uterus or ovaries.

Sonography is an essential part of modern medicine. It allows doctors to diagnose conditions without having to perform invasive procedures. 

The most common applications include prenatal screening, obstetrics, cardiology, gynecology, neurology, urology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, emergency medicine, trauma care and radiology.

Sonography is a highly skilled profession in Arizona that requires extensive training. If you want to become a certified sonographer from the best programs in Arizona, you’ll need to complete at least 500 hours of classroom instruction and 200 hours of hands-on practice.

About Sonography Programs in Arizona 

Arizona is one of the top states for the employment of ultrasound technologists as the profession of medical imaging is expanding quickly.

If you’re thinking of enrolling in a sonography program in Arizona in 2022, start by looking into the field to discover a local program

Your preparation for a career as an ultrasound technician in either a general area of medical imaging or a more specific area, such as x-ray, radiology, or musculoskeletal imaging, among others, may be aided by ultrasound tech schools in Arizona. 

You could study human anatomy and organ function in your chosen curriculum.

Along with learning how to use ultrasound tools and technology, you might also learn how to communicate with patients and keep track of medical records.

Arizona Sonography Training Program

Sonography is a noninvasive diagnostic tool that helps doctors diagnose diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and pregnancy.

The procedure involves placing a gel-like substance on the patient’s skin, and then pressing a probe against their body.

Sonography is a skill that requires extensive training. There are two types of sonography training programs: classroom-based and hands-on.

Classroom-based training programs include lectures, demonstrations, and practice sessions. Hands-on training programs involve real patients.

Below are the training one should go through to become a well-trained sonographer in a place like Arizona.

Select a school:

It’s crucial to pick a program with accreditation, and there are various ways to obtain accreditation.

The most well-known accrediting agency is The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), and Arizona’s Gateway Community College has achieved that designation.

Obtain a Degree:

A diagnostic medical sonography associate’s degree is the minimum requirement for entry-level sonographers.

Some universities also offer Bachelor’s degree programs, and those who already have a degree may be able to enroll in an accelerated certificate program.

Pass the Certification Test:

Although Arizona is not one of the states that mandate certification for sonographers, you should expect your potential employer to want it.

You are instantly eligible to take the certification examinations if you complete a program that has received The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accreditation. 

Southern Arizona’s desert climate draws a lot of retirees, which raises the demand for qualified, medically trained staff. For graduates of sonography programs as well as those from other areas of the healthcare profession, this correlation offers a stable job outlook.

Areas Sonography Need Certification In Arizona 

It helps if medical sonographers have passed specific certification examinations and registered with registries that will stand out to employers in order to establish themselves in the employment market.

  • SPI: Physics as seen via the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) 
  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDCS): An ARDMS member (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) 
  • ARDMS (AE) Through the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers), adults can have an echo 
  • ARDMS (PE) Children’s Echo: using the ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) 
  • RVT: Registered Vascular Technician, ARDMS (American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers) 
  • National Center for Competency Testing (CCT) (NCCT) 
  • Through CCI, RCS (Cardiovascular Credentialing International) 
  • Through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT (S)).

The List of Accredited Sonography Programs In Arizona 

Arizona’s ultrasound technology schools are CAAHEP-accredited and ARRT-accredited.

In order to ensure that students are well-prepared for certification and admission into the healthcare industry as ultrasound technicians, accreditation shows that a school provides a high degree of quality education.

Gateway Community College is the only institution with CAAHEP accreditation. The list below also includes other universities that have earned the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) accreditation.

Gateway Community College 

The Healthcare United at GateWay (HUG) Clinic was inaugurated on October 31, 2013, by GateWay Community College.

According to a GateWay press release from November 1st of that year, it’s the first and only pro bono clinic on a community college campus in Maricopa County and the only ultrasound program in the country that’s offering services like it.

The facility provides physical therapy and sonography services to the neighborhood.

The knowledgeable instructors in the Gateway Community College program will instruct you in the fundamentals of sonography, including how to obtain, review, and record pertinent patient history and supporting clinical data, how to collect and interpret diagnostic information from ultrasound exams, and how to act professionally and ethically in a healthcare environment. 

You will learn so much more than just the basics of sonography and healthcare from the program.

The ARRT accredited Sonography Programs in Arizona 

  • Pima Medical Institute
  • West Coast Ultrasound Institute
  • Maricopa Community College

1. Pima Medical Institute 

You may be confident that this associate degree program from Pima medical institute will give you the skills necessary to perform the duties of a beginning diagnostic medical sonographer. 

You will gain knowledge of all aspects of sonography, including how the equipment functions as well as picture optimization, scan interpretation and identifying aberrant findings. 

Due to the extent of direct patient care in the healthcare industry, professionalism and great communication skills are prioritized at Pima Medical Institute along with clinical courses and lab training.

2. West Coast Ultrasound Institute 

At West Coast Ultrasound Institute (WCUI) they have years of expertise in teaching aspiring medical sonographers the precise abilities and information they require. 

Their Diagnostic Medical Sonography students study the following through online lessons, practical laboratories, and a 6-month externship: Obstetrics, gynecology, and abdominal surgery

strategies for solving problems using the fundamental ideas of physical science 

professionalism and morals 

How to provide patients receiving ultrasound procedures with the care that demonstrates beginning clinical knowledge, abilities, and attitudes 

The goal at West Coast Ultrasound Institute (WCUI) is to support and favorably impact the lives of their students while supporting the academic integrity and quality of the graduates. WCUI is here to help you obtain the healthcare knowledge you require in order to succeed.

3. Maricopa Community College 

Students who want to learn more about the discipline of sonography at Maricopa Community College or who have decided to pursue certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) can enroll in the Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program. 

Under the supervision of a doctor, highly skilled members of the healthcare team known as diagnostic medical sonographers use ultrasound to deliver patient services. 

Sonographers operate equipment and carry out examinations for medical diagnosis, providing care that is fundamental to diagnostic ultrasound imaging.

Clinical relationships involve working together with several local hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. 

Prior to taking the registration exam, the ARDMS mandates clinical instruction. Students who complete this program will be ready to take the abdominal, obstetrics, and vascular technology exams offered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Reasons you Should Select a Diagnostic Sonography Program that is Accredited

One of the most crucial considerations while looking for a sonography program is attending an accredited institution. 

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs is the most well-known accreditation body for sonography (CAAHEP). 

You can take the ARDMS certification exam after graduating from a program that has been accredited by the CAAHEP. 

The most thorough and straightforward route for students to qualify to take the ARDMS Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) exam is to successfully complete one of these CAAHEP-recognized programs. 

You may also be able to apply for the Ultrasound Schools Info semi-annual scholarship if you are currently enrolled in or have been admitted to a CAAHEP-certified program.

The Requirements for Sonography Certification 

It is usual practice for allied health practitioners to be certified or licensed, which serves as proof of their competence and understanding.

The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography is the most popular certification body for sonographers (ARDMS). Although the state of Arizona does not need statewide licensure, the majority of employers do.

Although it is not necessary to be certified or licensed to operate as a sonographer in Arizona, most employers will favor those who have. 

You must pass the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) tests to get certified.

To sit for these tests, you must have an associate’s degree from an authorized institution. 

The Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology are two more certification alternatives for those who want to specialize in a particular field, such as cardiac or ophthalmic (JCAHPO).

You can get in touch with the following State Board, Arkansas Dept of Health Radiologic Technology Licensure Program if you have any additional queries concerning ultrasound technicians’ certification or licensure in Arizona. You can also access their website.

Other Requirements for Certification 

The Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam and a subsequent specialty exam are the only exams required to obtain ARDMS certification. 

Provided you have successfully finished a physics or physics review course, you are even permitted to take the SPI exam while you are still enrolled in school. You can take the exam in a variety of places throughout Arizona.

Career Outlook for Sonography in Arizona

The average yearly wage for sonographers in Arizona is $80,710. However, the top 10% earn a yearly salary of $103,060. 

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers were employed in 1,850 different medical settings in Arizona in 2017, and statistics from that year show that the field is expanding quickly. 

Between 2014 and 2024, 80 new positions a year are anticipated to open up, which represents a 27.3 percent growth rate. The estimated employment and average pay for an ultrasound technician are higher than expected by national standards.

Since 2016, average earnings have increased by 9%, while the number of employees for the profession in Arizona has increased by 14% over the same time. 

The Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 12% increase in employment between 2019 and 2029. The average speed for all other occupations is substantially slower than this.

What Are The Requirements to Become a Sonographer in Arizona?

A 2-year associate’s degree or a 4-year bachelor’s degree from an approved institution, followed by certification from a reputable certifying body, are the usual educational backgrounds of ultrasound technicians in Arizona.

Which Certification for Sonography is Best? 

When it comes to educational programs for ultrasound or diagnostic medical sonography technicians, the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) is the most well-known accreditation organization.

Is Sonography a Rewarding Profession? 

The profession of sonography was ranked as the #5 Best Health Support Jobs by U.S. News and Money. 

Within the next ten years, the employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to expand by 19.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Sonographers often earn a median salary of $72,510.

What Dangers Come With Working as a Sonographer? 

The potential of radiation exposure increases if sonographers perform their work in hybrid suites created especially for transesophageal echocardiography–assisted fluoroscopically guided procedures (TEEFP) diagnosis for heart abnormalities, implants, and repairs. Exposure to radiation can raise the risk of developing cataracts, leukemia, and other cancers.

What Kind of Sonography Generates the Highest Revenue? 

The Ultrasound Technician’s Highest-Paying Specialties: 

  • Sonography of the brain (neuro): $112,000 
  • Sonography of the heart in children: $80,000 
  • $79,000 for cardiac sonography. 
  • $68k for vascular sonography. 
  • Sonography for OB/GYN: $68,000.


The best sonography program in Arizona is at the forefront of innovation and change in the field.

If you’re looking for a career that will allow you to use your knowledge and skills to improve other people’s lives, this might be the perfect opportunity for you to apply to any of the listed schools.

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