In case you are thinking of pursuing a career that will involve helping patients suffering from heart problems recover easily, this might be that career. To learn more about the education requirements needed, the skills you must acquire as well as the expected salary from such a career, read this article.
Overview of an Echo Sonographer
Echo sonographers are also known as echo cardiographers or cardiac sonographers. Their profession entails using technology to help the surgeon or heart doctor view the blood vessels and heart tissues of patients. A cardiac sonographer spends most of his or her time examining the patient’s heart reaction using certain equipment. He or she may have to take ultra sound images of the patient’s heart and blood vessels, obtain their medical histories or explain procedures to be taken by the surgeon. The basic education requirement is an associate’s degree program in sonography or in a closely related course. In addition, echo sonographers who have had some voluntary involvement are better placed when searching for jobs.
•Education details: At least an Associate’s degree
•Additional requirements: A professional certificate may be necessary
•Expected job growth rate: 30% for all heart technicians in the next seven years
•Average salary: $53,210
General Career Information of an Echo Sonographer
In a typical setting, an echo sonographer operates ultra sound equipment to send sound waves through the heart chambers and vessels of a patient. These sound waves are then manipulated to produce images that doctors can use during diagnosis and treatment of a patient.
Technologists who deal with producing images of the heart blood vessels alone are known as vascular technologists. They however use the same ultra sound technology that all other type of sonographers use. Images produced by the work of vascular technologists are used by the doctors to help solve problems relating to blood circulation. On the other hand, people who explain to patients the procedures that are about to be done in their bodies are called Cardiovascular echo sonographers. These specialists are also tasked with the responsibility of taking medical histories, maintaining patient records, doing preliminary assessments and selecting the specific images to show to the doctors.
What it takes to be a Cardiovascular Echo sonographer
With just an associate’s degree in sonography, you are eligible to seek employment in this profession. If you want, you can complete a bachelor’s degree program in this field or complete a one year certificate program if you have been in the health sector for quite some time. Also, note that although acquiring a certificate from this profession is optional, people with a valid certificate are more likely to get jobs.
Job opportunities and salary
As we had earlier mentioned, jobs for echo sonographers are likely to increase in the next few years at an average rate of 30%, which is quite high when compared to job growth rates in other professions. As for their salary outlook, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimate that an average cardiovascular technologist earned between $13 and $40 per hour in 2013, which would translate to an annual salary of $53,210.