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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

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What is a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?

Career Description Produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Life As a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

  • Coordinate work with physicians or other healthcare team members, including providing assistance during invasive procedures.
  • Load and unload film cassettes used to record images from procedures.
  • Perform legal and ethical duties, including preparing safety or accident reports, obtaining written consent from patient to perform invasive procedures, or reporting symptoms of abuse or neglect.
  • Observe screen during scan to ensure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to equipment as required.
  • Perform clerical duties, such as scheduling exams or special procedures, keeping records, or archiving computerized images.
  • Perform medical procedures, such as administering oxygen, inserting and removing airways, taking vital signs, or giving emergency treatment, such as first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Skills Needed to be a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Below is a list of the skills most Diagnostic Medical Sonographers say are important on the job.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Other Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Job Titles

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS)
  • Medical Sonographer
  • Ultrasonographer
  • Staff Sonographer
  • Ultrasound Tester

Is There Job Demand for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers?

There were about 67,300 jobs for Diagnostic Medical Sonographer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 23.2% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 15,600 new jobs for Diagnostic Medical Sonographer by 2026. The BLS estimates 5,400 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Diagnostic Medical Sonographer are Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Rhode Island, Illinois, or Connecticut. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Make?

The salary for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers ranges between about $51,430 and $100,480 a year.

Salary Ranges for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers who work in Hawaii, Alaska, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Diagnostic Medical Sonographers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $56,450
Alaska $93,740
Arizona $83,320
Arkansas $63,140
California $92,660
Colorado $83,430
Connecticut $82,370
Delaware $72,230
District of Columbia $90,860
Florida $65,830
Georgia $61,960
Hawaii $94,350
Idaho $80,330
Illinois $76,700
Indiana $68,970
Iowa $68,960
Kansas $72,020
Kentucky $65,790
Louisiana $60,360
Maine $78,220
Maryland $75,270
Massachusetts $83,780
Michigan $61,130
Minnesota $80,390
Mississippi $61,200
Missouri $73,920
Montana $76,700
Nebraska $64,200
Nevada $76,220
New Hampshire $79,680
New Jersey $77,110
New Mexico $63,840
New York $74,960
North Carolina $66,850
North Dakota $70,950
Ohio $65,840
Oklahoma $68,900
Oregon $86,380
Pennsylvania $66,470
Rhode Island $84,990
South Carolina $65,870
South Dakota $60,500
Tennessee $64,080
Texas $71,580
Utah $75,070
Vermont $78,210
Virginia $74,390
Washington $87,960
West Virginia $61,740
Wisconsin $83,670
Wyoming $66,090

What Tools do Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Diagnostic Medical Sonographers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Database software
  • MEDITECH software
  • Medical procedure coding software
  • Calendar and scheduling software

Becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

What education is needed to be a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer?

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Work Experience

Where Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Are Employed

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Sectors

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers work in the following industries:

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Industries

Those thinking about becoming a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer might also be interested in the following careers:


Image Credit: via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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