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What is a Medical Sonographer

August 20th, 2008


The healthcare field is made up of a wide variety of different sectors, jobs, and divisions, in which each play a vital and necessary role to people who are in need of health care.  Whether they work in a hospital, diagnostic imaging center, clinic, or university, a medical sonographer has many job responsibilities and roles in their line of work.  There are many ways to receive the required training to become a sonographer, making it a diverse job that many different people would be interested in receiving more information about sonographers and what they do.

Sonography is described as the process of using sound waves of human body parts to assess and diagnosis various medical conditions.  Sonography is commonly used in ultrasounds for pregnant women, but can also be used to assess a variety of needs.  Medical sonographers use special medical equipment to direct high frequency sounds waves into the area in question of a person’s body.  The sound waves reflect echoes and form an image which is then videotaped, photographed, or  transmitted to be analyzed by a physician.  Sonographers are also responsible for recording medical histories and explaining procedures beforehand to patients.

There are many ways to become a medical sonographer.  While states do not require medical sonographers to be licensed many employers may require certificates or degrees in the field.  Many employers do prefer to hire sonographers who have received educational training from an accredited college or university and degrees and certificates in the field may present more opportunities for interested candidates.  Many colleges and universities offer formal training in 2 year associate or 4 year bachelor degrees, with many vocational and technical schools also offering programs for medical sonographers.

Job growth in medical sonorgraphy is expected to grow faster than the average job.  Employment projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that there will be an 18% increase in jobs in medical sonography by 2018, brining in 9,000 jobs in the next several years.  Additionally, the median annual wage of sonographers in 2008 was $61,980, with the middle 50% earning between $52,570 and $73,680 annually.