What is an Ultrasound Tech?

Ultrasound techs, also called diagnostic medical sonographers, use special equipment to create images or conduct tests.

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Job Description

An ultrasound technician, also called a diagnostic medical sonographer is a trained medical professional who uses special equipment to create images of the human body. These images are used by physicians to make diagnoses. ultrasound techs often work in hospitals, but they may also work in private clinics or in outpatient care centers.


An ultrasound tech also known as diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who uses diagnostic imaging to take ultrasounds of patients. ultrasound techs typically work in hospitals or medical clinics, but may also find employment in private practices, research facilities, or government agencies.

The duties of an ultrasound tech vary depending on their place of employment, but generally include operating sonographic equipment, preparing patients for procedures, and communicating results to physicians. Ultrasound techs may also be responsible for keeping patient records and scheduling appointments. Some ultrasound techs specialize in a particular area of medicine, such as obstetrics or cardiology.

Job prospects for ultrasound techs are expected to be good in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment in this field will grow by 22 percent from 2016 to 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations. ultrasound technology is becoming increasingly popular as a diagnostic tool due to its safety, effectiveness, and relatively low cost. As the demand for diagnostic imaging grows, so too will the need for qualified ultrasound technologists.


An ultrasound tech’s salary will depend on their experience, education, certifications, and the state they work in. The Bureau of Health Workforce reports that the median annual salary for diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists was $67,530 in 2017. The top 10% earned more than $92,040 while the bottom 10% earned less than $47,080.

Education and Training

To become an ultrasound tech, you need to have an Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography or in a related field. You also need to have a valid certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). Some employers may require you to have a Bachelor’s degree.


Prerequisites for sonography programs vary, but most students complete an accredited associate’s degree in allied health, nursing or a related field before enrolling in a certification or bachelor’s degree program in diagnostic medical sonography. Students must complete prerequisite coursework in math, science and communication before beginning the professional program.


Most ultrasound tech programs are two-year associate degree programs, although some may be four-year bachelor’s degree programs. Admission to ultrasound tech programs is usually competitive, and preference is given to candidates who have completed prerequisite coursework in math and science.


There are two main types of certification for ultrasound technicians: Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) and Registered Cardiac Sonographer (RCS). To become an RDMS, you must pass an exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). To become an RCS, you must pass an exam administered by the Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI).

Ultrasound Technology

An ultrasound technician, also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer, is a medical professional who specializes in using ultrasound technology to image the human body. Ultrasound techs use special equipment to generate sound waves that create images of the inside of the body.


Ultrasound technology, also known as sonography, has been used for medical purposes since the 1940s. However, it was not until the late 1960s that this technology began to be used for diagnostic purposes. In 1978, the first commercial ultrasound machine was introduced, and the use of ultrasound for diagnostic purposes has increased rapidly since then.

Ultrasound is a type of energy that is transmitted through the body using sound waves. These sound waves are generated by a transducer, which is a small handheld device that is placed against the skin. The sound waves travel through the body and are reflected back to the transducer. The reflection of these sound waves is then converted into an image by a computer, which can be viewed on a screen.

Ultrasound images are often used to assess the health of unborn babies, as they can provide valuable information about the baby’s size, position and development. Ultrasound can also be used to investigate suspected problems in adults, such as problems with blood flow or organs.


Ultrasound imaging, also called ultrasound scanning or sonography, involves exposing part of the body to high-frequency sound waves to produce pictures of the inside of the body.

Ultrasound exams do not use ionizing radiation (as used in x-rays). Because ultrasound images are captured in real-time, they can show the structure and movement of the body’s internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels.

Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions.

Physicians and other medical practitioners use ultrasound to take pictures of the inside of your body in order to better understand what is causing your health concern. Ultrasound pictures are called sonograms. They are liken to X-ray images but without the use of radiation. Ultrasound waves aresound waves with frequencies higher than those a human can hear.


Before the procedure, you will likely have a conversation with the ultrasound technologist about your health history. You will then be asked to lie on a table and to expose the area of your body that will be examined. A clear gel will be applied to your skin in order to help transmit the sound waves from the transducer. The technologist will then move the transducer across your skin until they capture the images needed. The procedure usually takes 30-60 minutes.

Career Outlook

The ultrasound technology field is expected to grow by a whopping 44% in the next ten years! That’s almost double the rate of other occupations. As our population continues to grow and age, the demand for diagnostic imaging services will continue to rise. Ultrasound technicians play a vital role in the healthcare industry and are in high demand.

Job Growth

US News & World Report recently released their rankings for the 100 Best Jobs of 2019. Ultrasound Technician came in at #8 on their list, and with good reason. As the population ages and baby boomers begin to need more medical care, the demand for diagnostic imaging (including ultrasound) is expected to rise sharply. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 20% increase in job growth for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers between 2016 and 2026 — much faster than the average for all occupations.

Salary Potential

The salary of an ultrasound technician varies depending on experience, geographic location, certification, and facility type.

In 2018, the median salary for diagnostic medical sonographers was $74,320 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10 percent of earners made more than $102,090 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earned less than $54,170.

Ultrasound technicians working in hospitals tend to earn higher salaries than those working in other types of facilities. In 2018, the average salary for hospital-based diagnostic medical sonographers was $79,080 per year, according to the BLS. Those working in physicians’ offices averaged $72,760 per year, while those employed by outpatient care centers earned an average salary of $71,610 per year.

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