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Become A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

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Working As A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Getting Information
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $68,970

    Average Salary

What Does A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Do

A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer uses ultrasound high-frequency sound waves to produce images of internal body tissues. Some typical duties include preparing patients, explaining the exams, and reporting the results to the patients or a physician.

How To Become A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, need formal education, such as an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Many employers also require professional certification.


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 hospitals.

Employers typically prefer graduates of programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Sonography, cardiovascular, and vascular education programs usually include courses in anatomy, medical terminology, and applied sciences. Most sonography programs are divided into the specialized fields that correspond to the relevant certification exams, such as abdominal sonography or breast sonography. Cardiovascular and vascular programs include coursework in either invasive or noninvasive cardiovascular or vascular technology procedures. In addition to classroom study, 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.

High school students who are interested in diagnostic medical sonography, cardiovascular technology, or vascular technology should take courses in anatomy, physiology, physics, and math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most employers prefer to hire diagnostic imaging workers with professional certification. Many insurance providers and Medicare pay for procedures only if a certified sonographer, technologist, or technician performed the work. Certification is available from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

Diagnostic imaging workers can earn certification by graduating from an accredited program and passing an exam. Most of the certifications are for specialties in diagnostic imaging; for example, a sonographer can earn a certification in abdominal sonography. Most diagnostic imaging workers have at least one certification, but many earn multiple certifications.

In addition, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have a Basic Life Support certification, which shows they are trained to provide CPR.

Few states require diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed. Professional certification is typically required for licensure; other requirements vary by state. Contact state medical boards for more information.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Diagnostic imaging workers must follow precise instructions to obtain the images needed to diagnose and treat patients. They must also pay attention to the screen while scanning a patient’s body because the cues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones may be subtle.

Hand-eye coordination. To get quality images, diagnostic imaging workers must be able to accurately move equipment on the patient’s body in response to what they see on the screen.

Interpersonal skills. Diagnostic imaging workers must work closely with patients. Sometimes patients are in extreme pain or mental stress, and they must get cooperation from the patient to create usable images.

Physical stamina. Diagnostic imaging workers are on their feet for long periods and must be able to lift and move patients who need assistance.

Technical skills. Diagnostic imaging workers must understand how to operate complex machinery and computerized instruments.

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer jobs

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • Arabic

  • Italian

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Cantonese

  • Mandarin

  • Georgian

  • Armenian

  • French

  • Japanese

  • Hindi

  • Tagalog

  • Urdu

  • Polish

  • Ukrainian

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Education

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Real Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Oakland, CA Nov 05, 2010 $104,392
Senior Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Sutter Health/Alta AES Summit Medical Center Oakland, CA Sep 25, 2009 $104,350
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland Oakland, CA Dec 11, 2007 $104,042
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer La Maestra Community Health Centers San Diego, CA Nov 07, 2016 $97,074
Diagnostic Cardiology Sonographer Rose City HMA, LLC Lancaster, PA Jan 03, 2011 $82,000
Diagnostic Cardiology Sonographer Lancaster Regional Medical Center Lancaster, PA Jan 03, 2010 $82,000
Diagnostic Cardiology Sonographer Rose City HMA, LLC Lancaster, PA Jan 03, 2010 $82,000

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Top Skills for A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer


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Top Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Skills

  1. Invasive Procedures
  2. Small Parts
  3. General Abdomen
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Assist with invasive procedures such biopsies, cyst aspirations, needle localizations and fine needle aspirations.
  • Performed all basic abdominal, small parts, vascular, obstetrical and gynecological exams in a timely fashion.
  • Perform vascular studies and general abdomen studies.
  • Communicate ultrasound findings to radiology team.
  • Assist Radiologists with Paracentesis and Thoracentesis procedures.

Top Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Employers

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Videos

Ultrasound Tech Salary | Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Income & Job Duties

Career Planning : How to Become an Ultrasound Technician

Cardiovascular Technician Career Information : Pros & Cons of Being a Cardiovascular Technician