Career Detail


Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Diagnostic imaging embraces several procedures that aid in diagnosing ailments.
The Job
Diagnostic medical sonographers use special equipment to direct nonionizing, high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body. Sonographers operate the equipment, which collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician.
Work Environment
Sonographers typically work in health care facilities that are clean. They usually work at diagnostic imaging machines in darkened rooms, but also may perform procedures at patients' bedsides.
College Majors
Medicine, nursing.
Minimum Qualifications
Sonographers need good communication and interpersonal skills because they must be able to explain technical procedures and results to their patients, some of whom may be nervous about the exam or the problems it may reveal.
Personality traits helpful for this career
Love to work with people and work with high tech equipment.
Quick Facts
  • (PDF) How to best view PDF files Diagnostic Medical Sonographers * Nature of the Work * Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement * Employment * Job Outlook * Projections D
  • Employment growth is expected to be faster than average as sonography becomes an increasingly attractive alternative to radiologic procedures.
  • More than half of all sonographers were employed by hospitals, and most of the rest were employed by offices of physicians, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and mobile imaging services.
  • Sonographers may train in hospitals, vocational-technical institutions, colleges and universities, and the Armed Forces; employers prefer those who trained in accredited programs and who are registere
Compensation and Outlook
The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $61,980 in May 2008. The middle 50 percent of sonographers earned wages between $52,570 and $73,680 a year. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $43,600, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $83,950.
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Job Growth Outlook
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H.S. diploma H.S. diploma
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