SONOGRAPHERS use special equipment to direct nonionizing, high frequency sound waves into areas of the patient's body to diagnose various medical conditions. They operate the equipment, which collects reflected echoes and forms an image that may be videotaped, transmitted, or photographed for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician. Sonographers look for subtle visual clues that contrast healthy areas with unhealthy ones. Sonographers keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $66,000 average per year ($31.75 per hour)
- A medium occupation (53,000 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.8% per year)
SONOGRAPHERS train in hospitals, colleges and universities, vocational-technical institutes, and the military. Some training programs prefer applicants with a background in science or experience in other health professions, but will consider high school graduates with courses in mathematics and science, as well as applicants with liberal arts backgrounds. Formal training programs last from 1 to 4 years and lead to a certificate, associate's degree, or bachelor's degree. A bachelor's or master's degree is desirable for supervisory, administrative, or teaching positions.