Welcome to the Sonography Career Guide! Here you will find everything you need to jump start your career as a sonographer. Sonographer education requirements, sonographer salary information, sonographer job description and sonographer school information are just some of the helpful things that you’ll find here. We have researched the best schools with sonography programs and feature plenty of other helpful articles to help you pursue your career.
Congratulations on your decision to become a sonographer. It’s one of the most sought after careers in the medical field that has a great future outlook for job growth. Also, the sonographer salary numbers are high compared to similar professions so you’re on a strong in-demand career path.
Sonographer Career Overview
A sonographer performs diagnostic medical sonography or diagnostic ultrasound … operating ultrasonic imaging devices to view inside the human body in real time and produce diagnostic images, scans, videos. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information in the image.
This profession requires a high level of decision making and diagnostic input. Sonographers need to have a comprehensive understanding of ultrasound physics, cross sectional anatomy, physiology, pathology and communication skills.
If you’ve decided to become a sonographer, you need to know the route to pursue your this type of career. In the US the most widely accepted sonographic education is provided by CAAHEP/JRC-DMS accredited programs. The profession is sub-divided in specialties such as cardiac, obstetrical, vascular, and general sonographers withe general sonographers being registered in abdominal and/or obstetric and gynecologic sonography.
To become a songorapher you’ll need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate at a minimum. Many employers also require professional certification. Click here to see the top songraphy schools in US.
Whether you are just gathering information about sonographer career, sonographer salary numbers or looking for a sonography school, we’ve got you covered.
Colleges and universities offer both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs in sonography and in cardiovascular and vascular technology. One-year certificate programs also are available from colleges or in hospitals, although these are usually useful only to those who are already employed in related healthcare jobs.
Employers typically prefer candidates with degrees or certificates from accredited institutes or hospital programs. Most programs also include a clinical component in which students earn credit while working under a more experienced technologist in a hospital, physician’s office, or imaging laboratory.
Sonography, cardiovascular, and vascular education programs usually include courses in:
Most sonography programs are divided into the specialized fields that correspond to the relevant certification exams, such as:
Obstetric & Gynecologic Songography
Cardiovascular and vascular programs include coursework in either invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular or vascular technology procedures.
Someone who works in a related occupation, such as a radiation therapist, could become a diagnostic medical sonographer or cardiovascular technologist or technician or vascular technologist following some term of training during employment.
Cardiovascular technicians who work as electrocardiogram(EKG) technicians are typically trained on the job by their employer for 4 to 6 weeks.
Certification & Licensing Requirements
Most employers prefer to hire diagnostic imaging workers with professional certification. Many insurance providers only pay for procedures performed by certified sonographer, sonography technologist, or sonography technician.
Diagnostic imaging workers can earn certification by graduating from an accredited program and passing an exam. Most exams are specific to the specialty that the diagnostic imaging candidate is interested in pursuing. For example, a sonographer can take a specific exam to become certified in abdominal sonography. Most diagnostic imaging workers have at least one certification, but may earn various certifications.
A few states require diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed. Typically, professional certification is required for licensure; other requirements vary by state.
You’ll be better equipped to tackle a career in as a sonographer if you have this mental and physical skills:
It’s All in the Details. Diagnostic imaging professionals follow precise procedures to capture the images needed to diagnose and treat patients. They focus attention to the monitor while scanning a patient to look for subtle clues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones.
Hand-eye Coordination. To capture quality images, sonographers must be able to accurately move equipment on the patient’s body in response to what they see on the screen.
People Skills. Diagnostic imaging professionals work closely with patients. At times patients are in extreme pain or mental stress, and they must be able to work with patients to capture usable images.
Stamina. Songographers are standing for long periods and must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance.
Technical Ability. Diagnostic imaging professionals must be competent in operating complex machinery and digital instruments.
Future Job Outlook For Sonographers
he Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS, predicts excellent job growth for sonographers. The demand for songographers projected to grow by 46% by 2020.
The median annual wage for cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, was $60,350 in May 2012. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $27,830, and the top 10 percent earned more than $80,790.