The job outlook for sonography careers is good right now, which makes it an excellent time to start training for this burgeoning medical profession. There are several types of sonography careers, but they all include diagnostic imaging technology. Sonographers and sonography technicians are involved in detecting, diagnosing and treating medical conditions in the human body through the use of x-ray images. Ultrasound technicians may also specialize in ob/gyn, which involves taking images of fetuses in the mothers” wombs.
As a medical diagnostic sonographer, you can expect to bring home an average of $67,000 annually, although this job requires more advanced training than an ultrasound technician, which only requires a certificate program that can be completed in one to two years. Both of these careers have good job outlooks, though, with an expected growth of 18 percent through the year 2016. Since trade schools, vocational schools and community colleges offer shorter programs, many students may opt to become a technician and perhaps go back to become a medical diagnostic sonographer later on.
Your duties as a diagnostic medical sonographer will include the use of highly specialized equipment that directs high frequency sound waves into parts of the body where you are trying to detect and/or diagnose medical conditions for patients. The images may be recorded as videos or photographs. You need to be good at dealing with patients and have an amiable bedside manner, as the people you see may be in very fragile emotional conditions, especially if there is a possibility they have a serious condition such as cancer.
In order to become a diagnostic medical sonographer you will need at least an associate”s degree, although 30 percent of sonographers have bachelor”s degrees, and they may have more opportunities for advancement and career options. Whether you choose to become a sonographer with an associate”s or bachelor”s degree, or to complete a certificate program to become a radiology technician, you must make sure the school you attend is accredited. If it isn”t, the job outlook for sonography careers probably won”t be very good for you.