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Become A Staff Sonographer

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Working As A Staff 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 Staff Sonographer Do At UPMC

* Attend Echocardiography Laboratory teaching conferences and continues to expand own knowledge of echocardiography and congenital heart disease.
* Function independently and perform the full range of echocardiography examinations.
* Must be able to work various shifts and provide on-call, overtime and weekend coverage, as well as support examinations at the main campus, satellite and/or any outreach location(s).
* Identify four interesting cases, one simple shunt, one simple stenosis and one complex lesion case (as defined by the divisional director) per quarter and logs these cases into the Sonographer QA binder.
* Participate in teaching ultrasound students and cardiology fellows to the degree of own knowledge.
* Perform clerical duties accurately in a timely manner such as entering data in the patient logbooks and enters patient billing information into appropriate system.
* Perform complete echocardiographic studies (two-dimensional imaging and Doppler) on children with structurally normal hearts and simple cardiac lesions (i.e. VSD, ASD, and PDA) without assistance.
* Perform miscellaneous Echocardiography Laboratory duties to include: maintain supplies and equipment, pull and key echo studies, and maintain a clean Echocardiography Laboratory.
* Performing scans at the technical level as deemed appropriate by the Lead Sonographer and Medical Director
* Recognize complex heart disease and acquires some of the necessary images.
* Seek appropriate guidance to complete studies.
* Review patient's medical history to determine what echocardiographic information is needed.
* Work with all makes of equipment and explores new procedures and technology.
* Work with the child and family to secure cooperation so that a diagnostic echocardiographic study can be obtained

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How To Become A Staff 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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Staff Sonographer jobs

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Staff Sonographer Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish


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Top Skills for A Staff Sonographer


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Top Staff Sonographer Skills

  1. Diagnostic Ultrasound Exams
  2. Abdomen/Small Parts
  3. Radiology Residents
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform a variety of sonographic examinations; abdomen/small parts, vascular, and Ob/Gyn.
  • Work with Radiology residents in the understanding and reading of ultrasound imaging.
  • Appointed as instructor and mentor to Foothill College Diagnostic Medical Sonography students.
  • Perform Ultrasound procedures to include OB-GYN, Abdominal, Small Parts, Breast and Vascular.
  • Assisted radiologists with invasive procedures including thoracentesis, paracentesis, and multiple biopsies

Top Staff Sonographer Employers

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Staff Sonographer Videos

ARDMS Pulse of the Profession