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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.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Diagnostic Radiologist
Top Careers After Diagnostic Radiologist
Hispanic or Latino11.1%
Black or African American0.9%
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New York Medical College8.7%
University of Florida4.3%
Washington University in Saint Louis4.3%
Tufts University School of Medicine4.3%
Medical College of Wisconsin4.3%
Vanderbilt University Medical Center4.3%
University of Illinois at Chicago4.3%
Thomas Jefferson University4.3%
Central Michigan University4.3%
State University of New York Buffalo4.3%
Stanly Community College4.3%
University of Rochester4.3%
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics4.3%
University Hospitals of Cleveland4.3%
East Los Angeles College4.3%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Columbia Basin Imaging, P.C.||Richland, WA||Mar 14, 2016||$400,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Jul 01, 2012||$391,313|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Radiology Associates of The Main Line, PC||Bryn Mawr, PA||Jul 11, 2009||$365,225|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Henry Ford Health System||Detroit, MI||Dec 01, 2009||$364,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Sep 26, 2015||$363,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Jul 21, 2015||$330,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY D.B.A. GUAM Radiology Consultants||Apr 15, 2016||$330,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Jul 20, 2014||$330,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Dec 31, 2014||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Mar 10, 2014||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Jun 01, 2014||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Jul 21, 2014||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Oct 01, 2012||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||GUAM XRAY||Nov 30, 2012||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||M.R. Ramakrishnan, PC||Big Stone Gap, VA||Jul 01, 2011||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Radiology Associates of The Main Line, PC||Bryn Mawr, PA||Sep 18, 2010||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Radiology Associates of The Main Line, PC||Paoli, PA||Sep 18, 2010||$300,000|
|Diagnostic Radiologist||Spectrum Pinnacle Consultants MGMT Srvcs-Ma, LLC||Methuen Town, MA||Aug 20, 2009||$300,000|
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