November 6, 2013

Choosing a Career as a Sonographer

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Are you interested in a fast growing medical field where you will be able to interact with people?  A sonographer or ultrasound technologist is one of the fastest growing medical technical careers in the health care industry and is in demand. A sonographer or ultrasound technologist is an individual who is trained to the use of soundwaves that generate an image and are used in a non-invasive way to determine a medical condition. These sound waves travel through the body and echo back a response which is then translated and turned into an image. Although this sound wave can be used in various ways the primary use is for obstetrics or the viewing of a fetus in the womb.  A sonographer is trained to use these soundwaves properly and to direct them in areas of a patients body which can then photograph an image inside the body which will then be interpreted by a licensed physician.  This career is most commonly used in the obstetric or gynecological fields which is to examine and track the growth and progression of a fetus. Sonography is also used for the examination of other various body parts and functions, including the digestive system,heart, pancreas, liver,blood vessels, kidneys,as well as the brain and eyes.

College or vocational requirements

There are colleges and universities around the country that offer two and four year degrees in this field, although most hospitals will except a two year degree and some will even except a degree from a vocational school.  The courses generally required to pass to become a sonographer are anatomy, physiology, instrumentation, basic physics ,patient care  medical ethics, sonographic physics, gray scale and color-flow Doppler sonography, human medical terminology, and the basics of obstetric and gynecologic sonography.

A sonographer does not require a license but you do need to get a certification from an approved registration. This can be achieved at one of the many diagnostic medical sonography schools located nation wide.

Career environment

A sonographer generally works about fourty hours a week. Usually working in shifts, a sonographer will sometimes be on an “on-call” basis and be required to come in on short notice.  Most will report in at a hospital but many work at a clinic or privately owned doctors office. The environment should be at a place that is sanitary and friendly.


Sonographers or ultrasound technologists can expect to receive an starting income of $15 to $18 dollars an hour or a sonagraphy salary of about $30,000 to $35,000 a year. Many sonographers work in a privately owned doctors offices where there annual pay is higher reaching close to $50,000 and up. Some other variables that will likely effect the average ultrasound technician salary is that of geographic location and that locations economy situation, your on the job experience level, job demand and how extensive your schooling and education is. With a continued education and a dedication to your career, many individual will see their annual ultrasound technician salary reach as high as $70,000 per year.

Career outlook

The Ultrasound Technician Career outlook shows that the field is growing while patients seek more invasive ways of having there medical treatment diagnosed and while not being exposed to differnet forms of radiation such as from radiograghic technology or x-ray. This field is also growing because of the population aging and a need to replace sonographers that leave the occupation or retire.  There is also a need for more sonographers as technology advances and more sonographers will be trained to use those technological advancements and apply them into the career.

Category : Technician Careers

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