Career Profile: Sonographer


Also Called: Ultrasonographer, Ultrasound Technologist, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Job Description:

Sonographer professionals aid physicians to diagnose illnesses and diseases through the use of diagnostic imaging tests. They work with an array of diagnostic imaging machines. These machines utilize sound waves to generate clear diagnostic images.

Sonographer professionals take on a wide range of functions and duties that may include the following:

  • generate clear and precise images of different areas of the body depending on the physician's order
  • prepare, use, maintain, and troubleshoot diagnostic imaging equipment
  • explain the procedure to the patient before commencing the imaging test
  • ensure that the patient is comfortable all throughout the diagnostic imaging procedure
  • direct the patient to assume the appropriate positions to acquire the best possible diagnostic images
  • create precise and accurate evaluation of the diagnostic imaging exam
  • submit the evaluated diagnostic imaging result to the physician

Sonographer professionals can either specialize on one or multiple areas of medical sonography such as:

  • echocardiography
  • vascular technology
  • neurosonology
  • obstetrics and gynecology
  • ophthalmology
Work Environment:

Most sonogrpaher professionals work in a clean, well-ventilated, comfortable and pleasant healthcare facility. They spend most of their time taking diagnostic imaging exams on patients of all ages in dark, cozy room.

Sonogrpaher professionals are at risk of developing musculoskeletal disorder, carpal tunnel syndrome, body fatigue, and back straining due to the nature of their work. Fortunately the use of ergonomically-enhanced equipment can substantially reduce these risks. Full-time sonographer professionals work 40 hours a week, and may also have on-call hours especially during emergencies.

Education and Training Requirements:

Aspiring sonographer professionals are advised to take accredited programs from credible community colleges, vocational schools, or universities. Sonography courses are mostly offered in 2-year Associate and 4-year Bachelor's degree programs.

Although some sonographer aspirants develop their skills from on-the-job trainings provided by employers, it is still recommended to get formal training and education. Moreover, they have to supplement school training with field experiences acquired from apprenticeship and internship programs. Graduates must pass the licensure exam in order to get certified and legally work as a professional.

Salary Range:

Earnings of sonographer professionals are generally influenced by geographical location, years of experienced, area of specialization, certification obtained, and special skills. On the average, sonogpraher professionals earn around $41,000 - $71, 890 annually. Meanwhile, those who have pursued advanced degrees and acquired additional trainings receive annual earnings of more than $78,080.

Job Outlook:

Employment outlook for sonographer professionals is very promising. In fact, work demand is anticipated to steadily increase until 2016. The growth will spawn from the rising demand for diagnostic imaging exams and the continuous expansion on the field of medical imaging.

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