Sonographer certification requirements vary by state. Typically, professional sonographer certification is required for licensure. Most employers prefer to hire diagnostic imaging workers with professional certification.
Many insurance providers and Medicare pay for procedures only if a certified sonographer, technologist, or technician performed the work.
Sonography certification may be attained by one of the professional certifying bodies. Sonographers usually must also complete a required number of continuing-education hours to maintain registration. To become a registered sonographer, one must first become eligible to take the examination by completing the proper education, training, or work experience. The sonography exam typically includes a physics and instrumentation exam in a sonography specialty.
The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) provides sonography certification of each person who passes the exam as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). This credential can be obtained for several different specialty areas like the abdomen, breast, or nervous system. The ARDMS also credentials cardiac and vascular sonographers. The American Registry of Radiologic Technologist offers credentials in breast and vascular sonography. The Cardiovascular Credentialing International credentials cardiac sonographers.
The ARDMS sonography certification exam on Sonography Principles and Instrumentation is about two hours long and contains about 120 multiple choice questions. The specialty certification exams (abdomen, breast, obstetrics etc.) are three hours long and contain about 170 questions.