Benefits of Ultrasound Technician School Online

Increasingly, online education is becoming a viable option for students who have complicated schedules or work and family obligations. Doing an online program is also a useful way of participating in a class in a particular program that would otherwise be inaccessible to you. However, there are more disadvantages than advantages if you want to earn your ultrasound technology degree online. In an online program, you must work harder to stay motivated and on schedule, you do not get immediate feedback or interaction with teachers and classmates, and you may be obligated to do your own work to find a facility for your required clinical rotations. You should really only consider online coursework as a supplement to, rather than as a replacement for, a campus-based program.

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There are only 2 certificate programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) that allow you to earn an online ultrasound technology degree. Roughly 55 students total graduate from these programs every year. While they are accredited, these programs are still not considered to provide the same level of rigor as campus-based programs.

Pros of Getting an Online Certificate in Ultrasound Technology

The main advantage cited for attending an ultrasound technician online school is that it is less expensive. This is no small consideration, as the cost of a traditional 2-year program can be high, thanks to all the expensive books and equipment you will work with. For many students, the ability to save some money on the cost of attendance is what allows them to pursue a degree at all.

As it takes a lot of time and effort to become an ultrasound tech, online schools also offer the advantage of allowing you some flexibility for fulfilling the lecture component. Students pursuing a certificate will be cross-training from another field of medicine and may be working close to full time, so being able to do didactic work at night or on weekends can be what allows them to earn their qualification.

You can only attend accredited online ultrasound technician schools. Look for a program that offers the same didactic curriculum as a campus-based program. Ideally, your program will have a relationship with a clinical program so that you will not have to arrange your own rotations. You also want to be sure there are online discussion forums with the professor and that you are able to arrange discussion sessions and study groups with your fellow students.

Cons of Getting an Online Certificate in Ultrasound Technology

Ultrasound-Technician-Programs onlineWhile you will probably do extra research online, ultrasound technician school is such an intensive program that you will get the most out of it if you opt for campus-based courses. As you will likely already be in the medical field and cross-training into ultrasound, you may feel the didactic courses will be complementary to those you took in your initial training, but the precision demanded by sonography requires complete focus. As you are probably still working, you will find motivation easier if you go to a physical classroom.

The nature of the program requires you to spend long hours in clinical rotations. Even accredited online ultrasound technician schools, which are the only ones you should consider attending, will not necessarily assist you with setting up your on-site training. They will also not guarantee that any healthcare facility appropriate for training will be within easy access.

You will also not get the opportunity to engage in classroom discussion online. Ultrasound technician school can be very exciting for medical professionals who are exploring the body in a new way. The give and take of in-class discussion is part of the learning experience. An online discussion forum, though handy, will not replicate that energy.


The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) only cites 2 accredited online ultrasound technician schools that offer associates degrees. As this is the most common educational qualification to secure entry into the field, there are plenty of campus-based programs from which to choose, so you do not need to opt for a distance-learning program that might not even guarantee you will be qualified to sit the licensing or certification exams.

Pros of Getting an Online Associates Degree in Ultrasound Technology

The main advantage offered by ultrasound tech schools online is some cost savings. You will still need to purchase books and other supplies, as well as whatever costs are necessary for your clinical work, but you will save money on didactic coursework.

You will also be able to organize your class schedule to suit your other needs. If you are working or have other responsibilities that preclude attending lectures during the day, you can attend class online at night or on the weekends instead.

Cons of Getting an Online Associates Degree in Ultrasound Technology

While you can study ultrasound technology online, schools may indicate that the course will not necessarily guarantee you are prepared to take your licensing and certification exams. If you are not prepared to take these exams, you will not be able to work as an ultrasound technician, thus defeating the purpose of pursuing a degree program in the first place.

The online programs also may not be able to arrange clinical rotations for you. These rotations are the most crucial part of your education and you will get a better education if your campus-based accredited program has a relationship with a medical facility and guarantees you an automatic rotation placement when you begin schooling.

You will also not be able to ask immediate questions and create a dialogue between yourself, your professor and your classmates with online schooling. This can be some of the most fun you have in your program. While you will usually have an online discussion forum, it will not have the same energy as you get with personal interaction.


The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) accredits only one program in the U.S. that offers an online bachelors degree in ultrasound technology. The degree is not very common, as only 27 schools offer it in the traditional format. If you are going to commit to obtaining a higher qualification in the subject, it is better to do so on campus.

Pros of Getting an Online Bachelors Degree in Ultrasound Technology

Since there are so few opportunities to earn this degree, it might make more sense to use an online option for some of your theoretical courses, rather than having to move to another state in order to attend school. It will also be considerably less expensive than the tuition costs of the campus-based programs.

Cons of Getting an Online Bachelors Degree in Ultrasound Technology

With the degree being so rare and intended for those who are going into management, research or publication, it is helpful to get the best degree possible. The specialized nature of the clinical and academic work necessary to earn a strong degree will demand the attention and commitment of a full-time, campus-based program. While this will be more expensive, it will ultimately pay off with an excellent credential.


The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) does not currently accredit any online program offering a masters degree in ultrasound technology. You should only pursue accredited degrees because it means that the education meets the standards set my leaders within the professional field.