Job Description for Sonographer
A sonographer, or diagnostic medical sonographer, uses ultrasound equipment to view the inside of the human body and assist physicians in making diagnoses. Typically, a physician issues a medical order for an ultrasound, which the sonographer carries out using special ultrasound equipment to produce diagnostic images.Read More...
During image collection, the sonographer applies a clear gel on the skin in the area to be examined. The sonographer then uses a small piece of equipment called a transducer to transmit sound waves inside the patient's body. The sound waves create an image of the internal structure of the area, and this image is used to detect diseases, follow the development of a fetus in utero, and evaluate various aspects of internal organs' function.
A sonographer typically works indoors in a medical setting. Although sonographers are typically associated with obstetrics, they work in many areas of medicine such as vascular technologies, breast screenings, ophthalmology, and abdominal area specialties. A sonographer typically is expected to spend long periods of time standing, and they must be able to lift up to 50 pounds frequently; they must also have the full use of their hands, arms, wrists, and shoulders to accommodate the physical demands of their job. Sonographers must have strong communication skills and be able to meet the demands of their job while interacting with a variety of people (which may include physicians, nurses, and patients from a variety of backgrounds).
Education requirements for sonographers vary. Typically one must have received relevant formal education in United States, typically about two years of training as a sonography technician. This training can occur at a vocational or technical institution, college or university, or through military servic. Generally, employers require sonographers to be a graduate of an American Medical Association-approved institution as a radiologic technologist and registered in their state as a sonographer.
- Maintain equipment and follow safety regulations.
- Interpret and add electronic notes to diagnostic images.
- Operate and adjust ultrasound and other equipment to obtain diagnostic images.
- Complete paperwork and route tasks and images to appropriate staff.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Sonographer
Sonographers seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Kaiser Permanente, where the average salary comes to $111K.
HCA, Inc. is infamous for dishing out the smallest paychecks in the area (the median in that office is $68K), but the company pay scale is greatly mixed, meaning that workers on the low end may earn only $42K while workers on the upper end may rake in $93K.
Popular Skills for Sonographer
Sonographers report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Pediatrics, Add New: Abdomen, RVT, and Vascular are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 10 percent and 17 percent. Skills that pay less than market rate include Sonography, Abdomen, and breast. For most people, competency in Obstetrics/Gynecology indicates knowledge of Cardiology and Vascular.
Pay by Experience Level for Sonographer
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $54K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $64K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $70K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $76K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.
Pay Difference by Location
For Sonographers, Denver provides a pay rate that is 28 percent greater than the national average. Sonographers will also find cushy salaries in Portland (+25 percent), Phoenix (+15 percent), Atlanta (+15 percent), and Los Angeles (+5 percent). Austin is home to the smallest salaries in the field, lagging the national average by 11 percent. Workers in San Antonio and Detroit earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (10 percent less and 8 percent less, respectively).
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Key Stats for Sonographer
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