Sonogram Technician Career Guide

Overview and Job Duties

The healthcare industry is full of seemingly endless career choices. Doctors and nurses who tend to patients and work long hours day and night aren’t the only positions in this field. In fact, there are a number of specialists who play fundamental roles in patients’ diagnoses and treatments. Without their assistance and specialized knowledge, doctors would be hard-pressed to treat patients on their own. Sonogram technicians make up one such specialty. Their technical expertise defines the significant work they perform. Individuals from every background who have exceptional technical abilities and a genuine desire to help others might decide to study this discipline to become a critical part of the healthcare field.

Essentially, sonographers use ultrasonic imaging tools to scan for, detect, and diagnose various diseases, abnormalities, and other conditions. The sonogram machine uses sound waves to create a digital image of a specific part or tissue of the body. A career in sonographyrequires technical expertise and thorough medical training, as images must be clear and accurate to avoid problems for both doctors and patients. Professionals must also have excellent communication skills because they are responsible for reassuring patients during imaging to ensure the patient’s comfort.

Sonogram technicians are required to know the details of their patient’s condition or disease before conducting an ultrasound. They are trained to use the equipment correctly in order to capture a perfect image to send off to the doctor for further evaluation. They also gather and update patient records and case histories with their computerized images.

Job Outlook

Sonogram technicians have a number of different work choices available to them. They might work in public hospitals, doctors’ offices, healthcare facilities, private offices, or a radiology department in a large healthcare laboratory. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities are expected to grow by as much as 18% through 2018.

Salary

According to a 2012 report by National Hourly Data, sonogram technicians earn between $17.53 and $36.01 on hourly basis. When factoring in overtime, bonuses, and profit sharing, annual salaries experience an even greater range; the average yearly salary is $35,933 at the lower end of the scale, all the way up to $76,800 on the higher end (payscale.com).

Educational Requirements

As with any other job, one must undergo appropriate training before beginning to work. After graduating high school, one should enroll in a two-year sonogram training program either through a traditional, campus-based institution or an online university. Whichever school you select, just make sure to choose an accredited institution so that you can be sure your degree is accepted wherever you might choose to work.

Some students go on to complete additional programs to add a specialty to their field. This could lead to a unique position as an obstetric ultrasound technician, cardiovascular technician, radiologist assistant, radiological technologist, neurosonographer, or ophthalmic sonographer. Of course, your selection depends upon your qualifications and personal preference.

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