USA Career Guide- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Education Needed to be Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

To become Diagnostic Medical Sonographer you need an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree programs in sonography offered  by Colleges and universities. Employers prefer a degree or certificate from an accredited institute or hospital program.

Licenses and Certification

A sonographer can get certification by graduating from an accredited program and passing an exam. Most programs are divided into the specialized fields that correspond to the relevant certification exams, such as abdominal sonography or breast sonography.
Some sonographers graduate with a degree in radiologic technology or nursing and then receive on-the-job training by their employer.
A few states require diagnostic medical sonographers to be licensed. Typically, professional certification is required for licensure; other requirements vary by state. Sonographers must take continuing education to keep their certification current.
Most states also require license and certification for diagnostic medical sonograpghers.

Pay of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $64,380 in May 2010.

 The median annual wage of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in May 2010:
Outpatient care centers    $69,740
Offices of physicians    $64,560
Hospitals; State, local, and private   $64,440
Medical and diagnostic laboratories   $62,290

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor

Job Prospects of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Additional job growth is expected as healthcare providers increasingly utilize ultrasound imaging as a safer and more cost-effective alternative to radiological procedures. Ultrasound imaging technology is expected to evolve rapidly and spawn many new sonography procedures, enabling sonographers to scan and image areas of the body where ultrasound has not traditionally been used.

Hospitals will remain the principal employer of diagnostic medical sonographers. Although hospitals remain the main employer of diagnostic medical sonographers, employment is expected to grow more rapidly in physicians' offices and in medical and diagnostic laboratories. Employment in these healthcare settings is expected to increase because of the shift toward outpatient care whenever possible.

Industrial Overview of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers held about 53,700 jobs in 2010 and work in healthcare facilities. About 61 percent worked in hospitals in 2010, others worked in areas such as physician’s offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories:

Hospitals; state, local, and private    61%
Offices of physicians    24
Medical and diagnostic laboratories    9
Outpatient care centers    2

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor
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