How to Become an Echo Tech

Are you interested in a career in the medical field that allows you to work with
advanced imaging equipment to produce images of patients’ hearts? If so, a
position as an echo technician could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Continue reading to learn more about the role of an echo tech, including what they
are, their key responsibilities, and the requirements to become one.

What is an Echo Tech?

An echo tech is a medical professional who is trained to operate advanced
diagnostic imaging equipment that is used for several imaging procedures. An
echo tech’s primary responsibility is collecting images of patients’ hearts; however,
that’s just a portion of their role. Echo techs also discuss the imaging procedure with
patients beforehand and help interpret the images once they’ve been captured.
Images captured by echo techs play a crucial role in the accurate diagnosis of
heart-related issues.

Echo Tech Job Description

While echo techs primarily focus on capturing images of hearts, their responsibilities
can include the following:

  • Getting patients and diagnostic equipment ready for imaging
  • Describing imaging procedures to patients
  • Placing patients in the correct positions for imaging
  • Analyzing the images
  • Keeping records current

Echo Tech Requirements

The requirements to work as an echo tech can vary depending on the position.
However, there are some common steps people usually take to pursue a career in
this field.

Echo Tech Programs

Many echo techs choose to obtain an associate degree in echocardiography or
sonography. It typically takes two years to complete an associate degree. Others
may opt to enroll in an echocardiography program at a vocational school or
participate in a certificate program, which can usually be completed in one year.

Echo Tech Certification

Certification requirements for echo techs vary depending on the specific job and
the state in which it’s based. While not all echo tech jobs require you to be certified,
obtaining your certifications can help you stand out amongst other candidates. Two
common echo tech certifications include the American Registry for Diagnostic
Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.
Since some states do require state-specific licensure, we encourage all echo tech
candidates to inquire about the local requirements where they live.

How Long Does it Take to Become an Echo Tech?

Depending on the level of education you wish to obtain, as well as any additional
certification you want or need to have, becoming an echo tech can take
anywhere between one to three years. Echo techs who live in states where
additional certifications are not required can typically start applying to jobs faster
than those who must obtain further accreditation.
If a role as an echo tech seems like something you’re interested in pursuing, we
encourage you to explore the open echo tech jobs in your area.

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