How to Become a Veterinary Sonographer: A Comprehensive Guide

How to Become a Veterinary Sonographer: A Comprehensive Guide

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Do you have a passion for working as a sonography specialist? Are you set to graduate from school, and are unsure of what to do with yourself once you leave? Or are you planning to switch to a veterinary sonographer, and are wondering about how to become a veterinary sonographer? Worry not because you are at the right place.

This article will help you gain a better understanding of veterinary sonography, how to become a veterinary sonographer and the role of a veterinary sonographer.

What Is Veterinary Sonography? 

Veterinarians are assisted in caring for animals by a veterinary sonographer. They might carry out fundamental duties, such as assessing an animal’s wounds or illnesses, taking vital signs, administering tests and medication, treating wounds, and interacting with pet owners. They are also in charge of billing and updating patient records.

Role of a Veterinary Sonographer 

Generally, veterinary sonographers have a similar role to that of a general sonographer. But, they sometimes have additional roles as they work with animals. Similar to how a nurse helps a doctor, a veterinary sonographer assists a veterinarian with technical matters. 

Most of the time, they can handle any work assigned to them by the vet, except making diagnoses, administering medications, and conducting surgery. The following are some of the daily tasks: 

  • Getting animals ready for surgery, which includes giving them anesthetics.
  • Sampling blood and urine, and testing them.
  • Helping the vet out during surgery.
  • Administering vaccinations and medicines following the veterinarian’s instructions.
  • Contacting pet owners to learn about and document patient case histories.
  • keeping track of and reporting on patient behavior and health.

How to Become a Veterinary Sonographer

The requirements to become a veterinary sonographer vary depending on the state you live in. However, most regions require you to achieve a certain level of education and pass the certification tests. The following are some of the requirements to become a veterinary sonographer: 

How to Become a Veterinary Sonographer
How to Become a Veterinary Sonographer


A veterinary sonographer needs a two-year veterinary technology associate degree, a bachelor’s degree is typically not necessary to become a veterinary sonographer. Make sure the degree is accredited by American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA), or Committee on Veterinary Technical Education and Activities  (CVTEA)

These courses can be normally found at community colleges, technical colleges, and universities. Online courses are also available that enable you to study on your schedule. The important part of these programs is the practical clinical experience. You can get these programs through a scholarship if you are taking an online course. 


Volunteering at veterinary clinics, or animal shelters can be the first step in your training if you’re a high school student interested in becoming a veterinary sonographer. You can gain valuable experience with animals as a result. Your training to become a veterinary technician may also include any laboratory or clinical work you conduct with live animals.


Most states use the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) as part of their certification requirements. This is a three-hour, computer-based test that covers a range of subjects, including surgical nursing, anesthesia, dentistry, and pharmacology. 

Your results go to your local veterinary board when you have completed the exam. Once you pass, you can move on to other certification requirements. The majority of states require you to complete a certain number of continuing education hours to recertify.

When you become a certified, licensed veterinary sonographer, you can obtain further certification in specialization areas. That includes internal medicine, dental technology, zoological medicine, and equine veterinary nursing. In these fields or academies, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) provides training and examinations. If you pass one of these specialist tests, you become a member of that academy and obtain a nationally recognized credential.

The Skills Required 

As a veterinary sonographer, you must possess the following skills:


The veterinary sonographer must communicate clearly and understandably with the owners of the pets to ensure that the pets are given the proper care. They must be able to communicate with the veterinarian, and maybe other medical experts by writing concise patient notes and relaying pertinent information.


They have to spend some time managing and keeping records. Maintaining patient records, including logs, reports, and other paperwork, is their responsibility. If necessary, it should be simple to locate these records, thanks to their organization. Since a lot of information is now digital, sonographers must feel at ease using technology and filing documents electronically.


Being empathetic means having empathy for the pet and the pet owner, making sure to act and speak accordingly. Your empathy can also enable you to communicate with the pet owner about their pet’s health in an appropriate manner, especially if you have to provide unfavorable news.

Wrapping Up 

If you have been wondering about what exactly a veterinary sonographer does, and how to become a veterinary sonographer in the U.S., this article should have given you the answer to your questions. Being a part of the healthcare industry, you should consider becoming a veterinary sonographer in the U.S.

If you are someone who is passionate about becoming a veterinary sonographer or planning to take the SPI exam,  make sure to try out our free SPI practice test. You can successfully get ready for the SPI exam with this free resource.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Medical and veterinary sonography are similar in many ways. The same imaging technology is applied to locate and identify abnormalities within patients’ bodies. Before one can legally work as an ultrasound technician in either sector, they both require certification. There are some distinctions, even though they are similar. veterinary ultrasound technicians work with a variety of animals, whereas medical sonographers exclusively focus on one species, humans. 


Here are some of the highest-paying states for veterinary sonographers: 

  • District of Columbia
  • Connecticut
  • Nevada
  • California
  • Massachusetts


Veterinary sonographers handle delicate sound-scanning apparatus to get precise photographs of an animal’s insides. They offer a valuable service to both pet owners and veterinarians while working with a number of imaging instruments in various medical settings. To monitor pregnancies, internal injuries, or invasive infections, veterinary sonographers use imaging equipment.

4. How long does it take to become a veterinary sonographer?

The timeline varies, but it generally takes around 2-4 years to complete the necessary education and training to become a certified veterinary sonographer.

5. What career opportunities are available for veterinary sonographers?

Veterinary sonographers can work in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, research facilities, and even with zoo or marine animals. The demand for skilled professionals in this field is growing steadily.

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