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What Does a Medical Sonographer Do?

If you like learning new technology and helping people, here’s a job to consider. Medical sonographers use specialized equipment to direct high-frequency sound waves towards a particular part of the body to create ultrasounds or sonograms. The echoes from those sounds are used to create images of structures inside the patient’s body. 

The most common sonogram is the one expectant parents see of their baby inside the womb. The technology is also used by cardiovascular and vascular technologists to take a closer look at specific areas of the body, including the abdomen, chest, heart and blood vessels.

Job growth for this profession is expected to be 19% from 2018 to 2028.

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$ 50,000 - $ 102,000
$ 74,000
5,230+
A diagnostic medical sonographer shows a pregnant woman an ultrasound of her baby
The most common sonogram a medical sonographer produces is an ultrasound for expectant parents. (Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)
A Day In the Life
Image
Rebecca Burton, medical sonographer
A Day In the Life

Rebecca Burton had worked for 16 years as a sonographer when she decided it was time to reskill and get her medical sonographer license. Now she works at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, California.

Rebecca says making people feel at ease is the secret to being a good medical sonographer

Job Responsibilities
  • Explain the process to the patient and answer questions
  • Prepare the patient for the scan
  • Operate the equipment 
  • Select images or record video to show to a doctor
  • Keep proper medical records of each patient 
  • Adjust and maintain equipment
Education + Training

The level of post-secondary education and training needed depends on what specialty you’d like to work in. Fields like magnetic resonance imaging, radiography and sonography require an associate degree and certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). To go into a more specific area of interest – like bone densitometry and mammography – requires extra classes as well as clinical experience. Finally, to become a registered radiologist assistant (RA) will require a bachelor’s degree, clinical experience and ARRT certification.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Have good people skills
  • Are physically fit and able to assist and move ill or disabled patients 
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Are interested in working with complex machinery

Medical Sonographer Training in Your Area

Coordinates
Amarillo College logo

Sonography, A.A.S.

Amarillo College
Amarillo (366.5 Miles)
Lincoln Land Community College

Vascular Sonography

Lincoln Land Community College
Springfield (376.9 Miles)
Lincoln Land Community College

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, A.A.S.

Lincoln Land Community College
Springfield (376.9 Miles)
West Kentucky Community and Technical College logo

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, A.A.S.

West Kentucky Community and Technical College
Paducah (388.9 Miles)
Eastern Iowa Community College District logo

Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography, A.A.S

Eastern Iowa Community College District
Davenport (411.2 Miles)
Hinds Community College logo

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, A.A.S.

Hinds Community College
Raymond (449.7 Miles)
Southeast Technical Institute logo

Cardio Sonography,A.A.S

Southeast Technical Institute
Sioux Falls (451.3 Miles)
Southeast Technical Institute logo

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, A.A.S

Southeast Technical Institute
Sioux Falls (451.3 Miles)
Southeast Technical Institute logo

Vascular Sonography, A.A.S

Southeast Technical Institute
Sioux Falls (451.3 Miles)
Lone Star College System logo

Sonography Non-Invasive Vascular Technology Advanced Technical Certificate

Lone Star College System
The Woodlands (477.1 Miles)
Lone Star College System logo

Diagnostic Medical Sonography, A.A.S.

Lone Star College System
The Woodlands (477.1 Miles)
Lone Star College System logo

Computer Tomography Advanced Technical Certificate

Lone Star College System
The Woodlands (477.1 Miles)

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