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ARRT to Offer Just One Eligibility Pathway for Earning Sonography Credential

Effective Jan. 1, 2020, ARRT will offer just one eligibility pathway for earning a Sonography credential.  

Until then, candidates for an ARRT Sonography credential may use either the primary eligibility pathway or the postprimary eligibility pathway to earn certification and registration with us. ARRT will discontinue the postprimary eligibility pathway for Sonography so we can focus on our primary eligibility pathway, intended for students at professional education programs in Sonography. 

What are eligibility pathways?

Our eligibility pathways are the ways in which people prepare to become ARRT Registered Technologists (R.T.s). Most people earn their first ARRT credential using our primary eligibility pathway. Those candidates must earn at least an associate’s degree from an institution accredited by an agency ARRT recognizes; complete a professional education program in their discipline; and meet our other eligibility requirements.

Our postprimary eligibility pathway enables people who already hold an ARRT credential (or approved equivalent) to pursue another ARRT credential without completing a full professional educational program. Instead, they complete specific types of continuing education and clinical experiences. They must also meet our other eligibility requirements.

To learn more about our eligibility pathways and eligibility requirements, visit and click on Earn ARRT Credentials. 

How does this change affect R.T.s who already hold an ARRT Sonography credential?

R.T.s who already hold an ARRT Sonography credential—even one they earned through the postprimary eligibility pathway—will probably see no changes in maintaining their credential. They can continue to renew their credentials each year. They’ll experience no differences in the processes for completing their biennial continuing education requirements and their 10-year Continuing Qualifications Requirements, if applicable. 

The only difference would occur if they needed to requalify for a lapsed credential. After Dec. 31, 2019, they won’t be able to requalify for the Sonography exam without completing a professional education program. In the past, they could requalify by demonstrating specific clinical experiences. 

Visit our website to see all requirements for earning and maintaining an ARRT credential. 

How does this change affect people who are working on earning an ARRT Sonography credential?

Students using our primary eligibility pathway to earn an ARRT Sonography credential will see no changes.

People working toward our Sonography credential using our postprimary eligibility pathway will receive detailed information from us. In brief, they’ll have to: 
  • Complete all eligibility requirements and apply for ARRT certification and registration by 11:59 p.m. Central time on Dec. 31, 2019, and
  • Pass the exam within three attempts no later than Dec. 30, 2022

If they don’t, they would have to attend a professional educational program and complete all other requirements before they could regain eligibility to apply for an ARRT credential in Sonography.  

Why the change?

In recent years, the overwhelming majority of candidates for an ARRT Sonography credential have come to us through the primary eligibility pathway; few have used the postprimary eligibility pathway. In addition, the number of professional education programs in Sonography has increased significantly. That’s why we’ve chosen to focus on Sonography students preparing for ARRT certification and registration through an approved professional education program. 

How does this change affect other R.T.s and ARRT disciplines?

This change doesn’t affect current R.T.s unless they are pursuing a Sonography credential through the postprimary eligibility pathway. ARRT will continue to support our postprimary eligibility pathways in the other disciplines for which we offer credentials. 

About ARRT

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists promotes high standards of patient care by recognizing qualified individuals in medical imaging, interventional procedures and radiation therapy. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., ARRT evaluates, certifies and annually registers more than 335,000 radiologic technologists across the United States. For more information, visit