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Ultrasound Sonographer Career Information and Salary

Job Descriptions January 2, 2013

The healthcare industry relies on professionals called ultrasound sonographer for medical diagnoses through the use of specialized equipment. Sonographers inspect the internals of a human body by employing specialized ultrasound equipment; they are commonly employed in healthcare settings such as hospitals, clinics and primary care centers. Read on for salary information and job prospects.

Wage Potential for Ultrasound Sonographers

In 2009, diagnostic medical sonographers earned an average annual salary of $63,010 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; (www.bls.gov)); wages across the profession ranged between $43,990 and $85,950. During 2009, the most common settings in which these professionals receive jobs included outpatient centers, physicians’ offices, diagnostic and medical labs, hospitals, universities and colleges. Ultrasound practitioners employed by these employers earned on average between $61,820 and $66,250. Wages vary according to location. Diagnostic medical sonographers in Alaska, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Massachusetts, earned the highest wages, ranging between $75,500 and $78,000 yearly. In regard to metropolitan areas, diagnostic medical sonographers employed in metropolitan regions such as Santa Cruz, California, took home more than $97,000.

Job Potential

Ultrasound sonographers view internal parts of a human body and assist doctors in diagnosing the medical conditions of patients; they accomplish this task by employing specialized equipment. The sonographer views images produced by the ultrasound; after watching the images on a computer screen, the sonographer analyzes them. Specialization in areas of ultrasound sonography is also available to these professionals, including ophthalmology, echocardiography and obstetrics-gynecology. There is an encouraging job growth forecast of eighteen percent for diagnostic medical sonographers during the decade from 2008 to 2018 (source: BLS).

Education Prerequisites

Prospective ultrasound sonographers are required to complete degree courses in medical diagnostic sonography that typically last for durations ranging from two to four years. Coursework is usually more substantial in bachelor degree programs and focuses on topics such as obstetric-gynecological and vascular sonography. Both two-year and four-year courses include hands on training in clinical settings. Four year course provides additional clinical training rotations focused on specialty areas of study. Diagnostic medical sonography programs can also be considered by ultrasound sonographers; these programs enjoy listing by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

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