How to Become a Sonographer

What To Do Now? Sonographer Career Training

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Have you ever been to a clinic or hospital and needed an ultrasound during pregnancy or for another medical condition? Sonographers are technicians with a thorough understanding of ultrasound equipment and a knowledge of the conditions that warrant it. If you like medical settings and want to help patients, consider retraining to gain the specific skills you would need for the career.

The Career Skills You Need

Sonographers interact with patients so they need good interpersonal and communication skills. They often need to put the patient at ease by explaining the procedure and answering questions. Sonographers understand how to operate the technical equipment necessary for diagnosis, understand hospital procedures, and interact regularly with medical professionals like doctors and nurses.

Sonography is used during pregnancy as well as for assessing other medical conditions. Sonographers look at pictures taken during the scan and analyze the components, take measurements as necessary, summarize the preliminary findings, and then communicates this information to the medical team.

Are you detail-oriented, patient, and careful? Do you like medical settings? Do you enjoy helping people understand what is happening to their bodies? Retraining for a career as a sonographer could be an intriguing match for you. The Bureau of Labor Statisics reports that available sonographer jobs are expected to continue to grow into the future, and the median annual salaries in 2008 were around $60,000. Sonographers are needed even when the economy is in crisis.

Career Advice--Entering the World of Sonography

To retrain for a career in sonography, typically you need a two or four year degree, with a two year degree being the most common. One year certificates are available for medical personnel who want to increase their skills. Online sonography training courses can help you become a candidate for a career as a sonographer. If you like keeping up with the latest medical advances and enjoy helping people, you might consider enrolling in an online degree program to become a registered sonographer.

Career Outlook

  • Annual Median Salary: In May 2013, the diagnostic medical sonographers earned a median annual salary of $67,170 with top 10% making more than $92,070.
  • States with Highest Employment: California, Florida, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania.
  • Top Paying States: California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Rhode Island.
  • Where the Jobs Are: Most diagnostic medical sonographers were employed by hospitals in 2012. After hospitals, offices and clinics of private physicians, and diagnostic image laboratories employ the greatest number of registered sonographers
  • The Training You Need: Employers prefer job candidates who completed formal training in accredited programs and registered. Training is most often completed in hospitals, vocational schools, colleges, or in the Armed Forces. Registration can completed through agencies like the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Sonographer Employment Outlook 2012-22: 39 Percent - Much faster than the national average of 11 percent. The field is expected to add 42,700 more jobs by 2012.
  • Specializations in the Field: Sonographers with general training can take additional courses to specialize in fields including: Breast, Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Abdominal Sonography or Neurosonography

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, May 2013 Wages