dcsimg

Sonography Technician Schools and Programs

Sonography technicians (also called sonography ultrasound technicians, sonographers, or medical sonography technicians) take images with sound waves, gathering vital information about a patient's internal organs. About 95 percent of working sonography technicians are employed by hospitals, with the remainder working in clinics or mobile facilities.

Sonography Career Overview

Professionals in the field typically complete certificates or degree programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from qualified health care schools and colleges. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that employers increasingly prefer hiring job candidates who have received career training from a formal, accredited program and hold registrations. Following completion of a formal sonography technician program, graduates may pursue registrations from The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). No states currently require licensing for sonography technicians. By pursuing additional training or degrees, sonographers may choose to specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, or breast sonography.

Sonography Compensation and Career Outlook

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for sonography technicians in 2009 was $63,010, which is comparable to the median annual wage of $63,750 for registered nurses. Job openings for sonography professionals are predicted to increase by 18 percent during the 2008-2018 decade. Sonography professionals with multiple specialties or a willingness to relocate will find the greatest number of opportunities, the BLS says.

Sonography and Ultrasound Education

Colleges offer two and four-year degree or certificate programs, leading to an associate's or bachelor's degree in sonography. One-year vocational certificates in the field may be acceptable to some employers, the BLS reports; however employers often favor registered professionals with degrees.