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How to Become a Sonographer

To become a sonographer; an associate or a bachelor's degree in medical sonography is the basic requirement.
Stephen Rampur
Out of the several types of medical jobs in the health care industry, a career as a sonographer is one of the prominent ones. In medical terms, there are many names given to them, some of which include an ultrasound technician or a diagnostic medical sonographer.
The main responsibility of these medical professionals is to use diagnostic imaging equipment of ultrasound to construct images of the human organs, for the purpose of diagnosing disorders.

Job Summary

Their everyday work includes directing high frequency sound waves to the body of the patient, where there seems to be a possibility of a health complication. This is done using advanced ultrasound equipment.
They have to capture the images of the internal parts, record the information, and provide the same to the physicians for further medical procedures. This is just one of their major duties. There are many other responsibilities that require a substantial amount of attention and accuracy.


If you are thinking about making a career in this profession, it is better if you possess a good grade point average (GPA), somewhere between 3.5 to 4.0. If you take a look at the community colleges, you will find a few generic courses to choose from.
There are some universities which provide exclusive programs on sonography. Before gaining entry into such programs, it is a plus point if you have a background in science. These programs generally include two sections, namely didactic and clinical. The first one mainly includes classroom work, while gaining full understanding of the theoretical aspects.
In the latter section, students are imparted training in practical aspects, which provides a clearer understanding on carrying out these procedures. There may be some courses which allow the students to gain practical experience in different medical settings. These courses include topics in anatomy, ultrasound instrumentation, physiology, and patient care.
If you have completed an unaccredited program, you will need to gain work experience of a year in order to be eligible for taking the registry test. This essential exam is administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS). You can even go in for a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor's degree in the same field.
You do have the option of obtaining the relevant certification. Note that this is not obligatory, but it is essential for increasing your prospects of getting a good job. However, in some states, you may be asked to acquire a certification for practicing in this profession.
Those who are registered with the ARDMS are referred to as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS). An RDMS can expect a decent starting salary. The next step would be to search for a job to gain valuable experience. You can even register for special courses which provide on-the-job training, by working at hospitals and other clinical facilities.
Being in the medical sector, the salary range falls in the higher category, with a median annual pay of approximately USD 59,000. For better prospects, you can specialize in one of the areas including echocardiography, ophthalmology, neurosonology, and many others.