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Cardiac Sonography

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Photo of an illustrated chest xray
Photo of a heart echo exam
Photo of Karin Ozowski
image of a heart and a stethoscope

Are you looking for a health career where you can make a difference in patients’ lives every day? Do you want a job with variety? Would you like to train for a people-oriented career that's projected to be the fastest-growing requiring at least an associate degree?

If so, consider El Centro College’s Cardiac Sonography program with tracks for both adult and pediatric patients. This program prepares graduates to work as echocardiographers, who use sound waves to examine the heart and vessels in close cooperation with cardiologists.

Get started today in Cardiac Sonography!

What Does an Echocardiographer Do?

Echocardiographers, also called echocardiology technologists or cardiac sonographers, perform cardiovascular examinations to produce images of the heart and great vessels using high-frequency sound waves. These examinations are used by doctors to diagnose congenital heart disease, valvular disease, pericardial disease and other cardiovascular problems. Echocardiographers typically work in hospitals, clinics and physicians’ offices.

Intense Program Pays Off With a Great Career

As a student in the Cardiac Sonography program, you’ll benefit from our outstanding faculty and exemplary clinical rotations, which are recognized both locally and nationally.

Cardiac Sonography courses are completed in one nine-week summer semester and two 16-week academic semesters.

The program requires a full-time commitment comprising lectures, skills labs and clinical experience. The schedule for classes and clinicals varies from semester to semester, but classes are typically held four days a week during daytime and evening hours.

Each semester involves about 40 hours of class and clinical experience each week. You should plan a minimum of two to three hours of studying and preparation time for each class or clinical experience.

The demands of the courses are such that most students can’t work full time while enrolled in this program. If you need to work or have significant family responsibilities, we encourage you to plan your schedule carefully to accommodate the time commitment that this program demands.

This intense program pays off with experience and credentials that will give you an edge in a competitive job market. Graduates generally find immediate employment and have an excellent pass rate on American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exams.

Why Is This a Good Career Bet?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, health-related occupations will add the most new jobs to the economy — nearly one-third of the total increase — through 2022. Fourteen of the top 20 fastest-growing jobs listed by America’s Career Infonet are in health care occupations. Job growth in the health care industry reflects the medical needs of a larger older population and more insured people in the U.S. stemming from health care reform.  

Diagnostic imaging specialists are listed as a targeted occupation in Workforce Solutions of Greater Dallas’ top local job openings, showing 530 job openings this year at an average salary of $32.40 an hour.  

For jobs requiring at least an associate degree, America’s Career Infonet lists radiologic technician as number one in its 39 fastest-growing occupations and eleventh in its top 36 careers with the most job openings through 2022, with an estimated 46 percent job growth. Cardiovascular technologists are listed as fifth in fast-growing occupations and fifteenth in jobs with the most openings. 

U.S. News and World Report’s Money Careers lists diagnostic medical sonographer as eighth in its top 36 best health care jobs through the next decade. 

See more about careers in Cardiac Sonography.

Cardiac Sonography Degree and Certificate Options

El Centro College

The Cardiac Sonography program is offered exclusively at El Centro College among the colleges of DCCCD.

See all degrees and certificates in Cardiac Sonography.