Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography

Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer
Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography Program Details

The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography (DCS) certificate program is programmatically accredited by CAAHEP for the Adult Echocardiography concentration. The DCS program will prepare students to work in the field of sonography with a specialization in Adult Echocardiography.

Cardiac sonography is a highly specialized field that requires sonographers to use state of the art sonography equipment to image internal body structures (primarily the heart). Students in this program will also be trained in doppler echocardiography, EKG techniques, stress tests, and holter monitoring. 

Program Goals

The primary goal of this program is to prepare competent, entry-level cardiac sonographers in the cognitive (knowledge), psychomotor (skills), and affective (behavior) learning domains.

Clinical Internship

The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program requires students to complete 700 clinical hours prior to graduation. Students will be placed at a clinical site by the AIMS Internship Department. The internship is designed to provide practical training in a real work environment; students will have a mentor who trains and guides them. 80 clinical hours will be completed during the DCS 220 course, and the remaining 620 hours will be completed during the clinical internship. Students are not permitted to begin the internship until all required classroom and lab hours are completed.

AIMS Education has clinical affiliations with numerous healthcare facilities throughout New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Students will be placed at one or more of these affiliated sites and must complete their clinical hours based on the schedule provided by the school. Internship schedules are based on the availability of clinical sites. All students (Day and Evening) must be prepared to complete their internship during normal business hours (Monday through Friday). The majority of clinical sites do not allow students to complete clinical hours in the evening or on the weekend.

Employment Opportunities

Demand for qualified cardiac sonographers has been increasing in recent years. As the population continues to age, this demand will only increase further. Job growth over the next decade is expected to be much faster than average.

A large number of the jobs available in this field can be found in hospitals, and many of those will be in cardiology departments. There are also job opportunities available in physicians’ offices, primarily with cardiologists, or medical and diagnostic laboratories, including diagnostic imaging centers.

Certification / Registry Exam Eligibility

AIMS students are eligible to take the Sonography Principles & Instrumentation (SPI) examination after successfully completing the following course - DMS 220: Ultrasound Physics & Instrumentation.

Up to 60 days prior to graduation, DCS students will be eligible to take the Adult Echocardiography specialty examination offered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Graduates who have passed the SPI exam and the Adult Echocardiography specialty exam will earn the RDCS credential from ARDMS.

Eligibility requirements for the RDCS credential are solely determined by ARDMS, and are subject to change at any time. ARDMS is an independent organization. AIMS does not guarantee registry exam eligibility.

Program Length
  • 1740 clock hours
  • Classroom instruction and lab - 1040 hours
  • Clinical hours - 700 hours
  • The day program can be completed in approximately 19 months.
  • The evening program can be completed in approximately 23 months.
Comprehensive Education and Training
  • Medical Terminology
  • Anatomy & Physiology
  • Adult Echocardiography
  • Image internal body structures
  • EKG Testing
  • Holter Monitoring
  • Stress Testing
Career Outlook
  • Salary range in NJ is $56,150 to $97,430
  • 10% expected job growth in US from 2016 to 2026 (faster than average)
  • Job opportunities in hospitals, imaging centers, and cardiologists' offices

*Salary and job outlook information comes from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment outcomes are not guaranteed.

Minimum Requirements
  • Associate Degree
  • Passing score on the Wonderlic Scholastic Level Exam
Selective Enrollment

The Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography program has a selective application process. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee you will be accepted into the program. From the pool of applicants, those who are considered most qualified for the study and practice of sonography will be admitted.

Additional Program Requirements

All sonography students are required to earn a cumulative GPA of 3.0 upon completion of the pre-diagnostic modules at AIMS.

Key Information



Start Date

Sep 14, 2020 (Eve)


19 - 23 Months*


Monday - Friday
5:30pm to 9:30pm



Other Financial Assistance


* Evening programs take longer to complete than day programs.

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