Cardiac Sonography

As a cardiac sonographer, you play a vital role in the pulse of patients’ lives. You will specialize on the heart organ and use imaging to spot issues in blood flow, valve function and chambers. Your critical thinking during these procedures and your ability to communicate results support doctors in making life-saving diagnoses.

Every day, you’ll also interact with patients, explaining what to expect during the ultrasound and providing comfort during an uncertain time in their healthcare journey. Your compassion during these moments makes a significant difference in their experience. 

Cardiac Sonography (also known as Echocardiography) is ideal for those seeking a 9 to 5 job in a hospital or physician’s office setting. Oakton College’s state-of-the-art classroom and your clinical experience will prepare you for this exciting career and the national licensing exam.

Equipped with knowledge of anatomy, medical records, technology, patient safety and cardiology, your skills will distinguish you in the sonography labor market. The industry is growing fast, with a median salary of $78,210 in Illinois (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

This program will take place at the Oakton College Health Careers Education Center in Evanston, Illinois opening in 2025. This brand new, state-of-the-art facility will feature the latest equipment and technology. Students may apply now for the cohort beginning the program in Summer 2025. There may be specific courses that you need to take and pass before you can begin the programmatic courses. You can take these prerequisite courses in the Fall 2024 and/or Spring 2025 terms.

The application for this program opens in July 2024 for the cohort beginning the program in July 2025.

Degree

Students will learn skills in accordance with the standards and guidelines recommended by the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI). Upon successful completion of the program the graduate is eligible to sit for the CCI board examination.

This program is pending approval from the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB).

Learn More About the Degree

What You Need to Know

Enrollment is limited. There are a number of minimum requirements for admittance. (Please note: Meeting those requirements does not guarantee admission.) Students are encouraged to meet with a health career specialist at healthcareeradvising@oakton.edu for more information on program admissions.

Admission Requirements:

1. High school graduation or High School Equivalency Certificate*.

Foreign high school graduates or students with foreign college credits need to send English translated copies of their transcripts to Educational Perspectives, www.edperspective.org/oakton. Students with foreign college credit should request a catalog match.

2. High school GPA of 2.0 or higher.

3. EGL 101 placement based on Oakton’s Writing Skills Assessment Test (WSAT), or completion of EGL 101.

4. One year of high school biology or one semester of college biology or equivalent with a minimum grade of C within the past five years.

5. Completion of the following courses with minimum grades of C:
MAT 140 College Algebra
PHY 101 Applied Physics

6. Satisfactory interview with the Cardiac Sonography program director.

* Starting January 1, 2023, the High School Equivalency Certificate became the State of Illinois High School Diploma. High School Equivalency credentials received before that date remain valid.

MAT 140 and PHY 101 have their own prerequisites, which comprise of remedial and/or bridge Math courses, such as MAT 070 “Elementary Algebra” (for PHY 101) and MAT 092 “Intermediate Algebra Bridge” or MAT 095 “Intermediate Algebra” or appropriate score on the Mathematics Placement Test and MAT 080 “Elementary Plane Geometry” (for MAT 140). Most of these courses (or equivalent) might be completed while in high school, allowing students to be placed directly into MAT 140 and PHY 101.

Students completing the prerequisite courses while enrolled in Oakton, are supported by the Health Career Specialists and a Student Experience Navigator (SEN) who help them navigate Oakton’s Academic and Student Support Services, including Learning Center that provides tutoring and academic coaching among other services.

  1. New students should apply online at oakton.edu/apply. Current Oakton students should apply through their myOakton account.
  2. View your Admission Checklist. Your New Student Portal includes Admission Checklist and next steps.
  3. Submit admission documents, including transcripts (high school, college, AP, military) and proof of residency.
  4. Complete the minimum requirements for admission.
  5. Complete an interview. The application process must be completed prior to an interview.

Clinical placements require a health assessment, certain immunizations, yearly flu vaccine, criminal background check, specific skill certification (i.e., CPR). Clinical placements may require substance abuse testing and health insurance. These requirements represent an additional cost to the student.

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.
Overall employment of diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians is projected to grow 10 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 9,600 openings for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists in $78,210 per year.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Cardiac Sonography coursework spans two years, plus summers. The curriculum follows a set sequence and requires full-time study. Before you are admitted and begin the program, you may have some prerequisite courses to take. These classes: Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology and Mathematics for Healthcare will ensure that you are prepared to succeed in your degree. You can still apply to the Cardiac Sonography A.A.S. while you are finishing any prerequisites, pending successful completion.

Cardiac Sonography relies on one's working knowledge of anatomy, physiology, sonography procedures and patient care. Students take a full-time courseload, 12-15 credits, during the fall and the spring semesters. This equates to 30-37.5 hours of classtime per week, plus time outside of class for studying. As an Oakton student, your faculty will be here to help you. Also, you will be assigned a Health Career Specialist and Student Navigator who will support you throughout your time in the program; take advantage of the Learning Center for support with tutoring, academic coaching and more! After you're done with your classes and certification exam, the Career and Transfer Center is here for resume writing, interview preparation and will help you land your first job as a cardiac sonographer.