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What is a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer is also referred to as an ultrasound technician. He/She makes use of high-frequency ultrasound waves to take pictures of internal organs and tissues of the body. This is done to assist the doctor in diagnosing and monitoring various conditions and diseases. As a sonographer, you are to make sure images or pictures are clear for diagnostic purposes. It is necessary that you also make adjustments to the sonographic equipment as at when due. In addition, you are saddled with the task of explaining sonographic procedures to patients. You are also to answer their questions as it's a necessity. Being a diagnostic medical sonographer involves monitoring and taking care of patients to ensure their comfort and safety during procedures.

It is important that during invasive procedures, you assist both the health care teams and the doctors. More importantly, you must clean and maintain the sonographic equipment. It's quite impossible to qualify for this role with just a high school diploma or GED. You must possess a bachelor's degree or an associate degree in sonography or related fields. Having a license is also advantageous as some employers prefer candidates with a license. You must have good eyesight and should be able to pay attention to details. As a diagnostic medical sonographer, you will earn an average salary of $69,656 annually.

What Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Do

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists, operate special imaging equipment to create images or conduct tests. The images and test results help physicians assess and diagnose medical conditions. Some technologists assist physicians and surgeons during surgical procedures.

Learn more about what a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer does

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.

Education

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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Average Salary
$74,003
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
14%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
41,802
Job Openings
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Average Salary for a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in America make an average salary of $74,003 per year or $36 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $110,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $49,000 per year.
Average Salary
$74,003
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Choose From 10+ Customizable Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Diagnostic Medical Sonographer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Diagnostic Medical Sonographer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Demographics

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
13%
Female
Female
87%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, 86.6% of them are women, while 13.4% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is White, which makes up 78.9% of all Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

  • The most common foreign language among Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is Spanish at 43.9%.

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Education

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Majors

2.0 %

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Degrees

Associate

54.6 %

Bachelors

28.0 %

Diploma

6.0 %

Top Colleges for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

1. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. Yale University

New Haven, CT • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,430
Enrollment
5,963

4. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

5. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

6. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

7. Georgetown University

Washington, DC • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,104
Enrollment
7,089

8. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

9. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

10. Tufts University

Medford, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,382
Enrollment
5,597
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Top Skills For a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.3% of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers listed Ultrasound on their resume, but soft skills such as Detail oriented and Hand-eye coordination are important as well.

Best States For a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. The best states for people in this position are California, North Dakota, Oregon, and Connecticut. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers make the most in California with an average salary of $115,284. Whereas in North Dakota and Oregon, they would average $99,415 and $89,209, respectively. While Diagnostic Medical Sonographers would only make an average of $87,522 in Connecticut, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. California

Total Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Jobs:
4,382
Highest 10% Earn:
$149,000
Location Quotient:
1.54
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. North Dakota

Total Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Jobs:
88
Highest 10% Earn:
$126,000
Location Quotient:
0.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Delaware

Total Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Jobs:
172
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.41
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
Full List Of Best States For Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

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Top Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Employers

Most Common Employers For Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

RankCompanyZippia ScoreAverage Diagnostic Medical Sonographer SalaryAverage Salary
1
1.Club Staffing
$87,744
2
2.Aureus Medical
$84,057
3
3.Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services PC
$82,804
4
4.SimonMed Imaging
$80,090
5$79,604
6$79,584

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