How To Start Your Sonography Career

Are you interested in becoming an Ultrasound Technologist, Diagnostic Medical Sonographer, or Ultrasound Tech Sonographer?

diagnostic medical sonography student

This blog posts discusses the steps you can take to start your career and apply for entry level employment.

What Do Ultrasound Technologists or Sonographers Do?

Ultrasound is a wonderful career path. Not only do Ultrasound Technicians or Sonographers experience the joy of participating in the thrilling moments of pregnancies of expecting mothers, they also specialize in providing vital support to doctors and physicians, helping to diagnose patient’s medical conditions. As an ultrasound tech, you will make a positive impact on the lives of patients you scan.

Ultrasound is considered one of the safest and least invasive diagnostic imaging tools as it does not use radiation or require the injection of dyes. Ultrasound technology uses sound waves to produce images of developing fetuses in the womb, as well as various internal organs and body parts. You will specialize in recording accurate images and distinguishing normal human anatomy from pathology. Ultrasound techs examine patients, then capture and select the best images to make calculations and evaluate preliminary results. Their work directly assists doctors.

Are you well suited for a job as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer or Ultrasound Tech?

If you possess the following qualities, you will be considered a good candidate for an Ultrasound program.

Hand-Eye Coordination

This is an important quality for Ultrasound techs to have. They must be able to accurately move scanning equipment on a patient’s body in response to the image on the screen.

Technical Skills

As an ultrasound technician, you operate computerized instruments and complex machinery. A certain amount of tech savvy is required.

Physical Strength

Physical stamina is required of Ultrasound techs, as they may be required to help move or lift patients. Sometimes the job calls for long hours of standing as well.

Attention to Detail

Ultrasound technicians must be detail oriented. While scanning patients, sonographers must pay attention to the subtle cues on screen that indicate healthy versus unhealthy areas on bodies. Precise instructions must be followed to obtain the images required to help diagnose.

Communication Skills

Ultrasound techs must possess interpersonal skills, as they work closely with patients on a daily basis. In certain circumstances, patients may be in pain or experiencing mental stress. It is required of the sonographer to work with the difficult patient to obtain usable images to diagnose.


Scanning is a skill that takes time and practice to develop. Some students learn fast, but others take longer. The end result is usually the same for both—they are competent ultrasound techs.

Strong Determination to Succeed

In order to succeed in the field of Ultrasound, students should not just settle for a minimum GPA and weak scanning skills. There are a whole list of qualities that an outstanding graduate should possess, including good attendance, good behavior. good scanning abilities, as well as a good GPA. Class Participation, and willingness to go the extra mile are also important.

Enroll in An Ultrasound Tech Program

Launch your career in sonography by enrolling in an ultrasound tech program. You may choose to attend school and train at a community college, vocational school, ultrasound tech school, programmatic program, or other allied health organization. You will need to obtain your education from a school that offers a 2 year or 4 year program. One year certificate programs are not recommended for those seeking entry-level employment, as they are primarily for professionals who are looking to supplement their training or learn specific diagnostic skill set.

As per your ultrasound tech program, there are many important classes you must take, including physiology and human anatomy, ultrasound physics, and scanning skill subjects such as abdominal organs, pelvic organs, fetal organs, small parts, vascular and clinical protocol. You will gain strong scanning skills and mastery of ultrasound technology.

It is highly recommended you check out the credentials of your school and their accreditations, and review the success stories of their graduates. The school you enroll in should:

  • Have up-to-date ultrasound machines and equipment.
  • Prepare you with basic scanning skills that you can apply for entry-level employment.
  • Have an open door policy to student’s concerns.
  • Have a strong, knowledgeable and caring faculty.
  • Your school must be patient with your learning ability because Ultrasound is a skill learning program. The more you practice, the better you are.
  • Before graduating from your ultrasound tech program, you should have enough confidence in your scanning skills in order to seek entry-level employment,
  • Your school should also have career placement assistance.

Job Outlook For Ultrasound Techs

The BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) predicts many future job opportunities for sonographers in the coming years, and as the healthcare industry continues to grow. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists is projected to grow 39% from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ultrasound techs with experience in more than one specialty will have much better job opportunities as well. The majority of Ultrasound technicians work in General medical and Surgical hospitals. Others work in offices of physicians, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and outpatient care centers. Some work in specialty healthcare facilities and hospitals as well.

In 2012, the median pay of Ultrasound techs was $60,350 per year, (or $29.02 per hour) depending on level of experience. Entry level Sonographers can expect an average a salary of around $40,000 – $45,000 per year.

While there are no mandatory licenses or certification exams required for a sonographer to be hired, many ultrasound technicians seek to obtain voluntary credentials in the field of sonography which are offered by ARDMS (American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography).

Now Is The Best Time To Start Your Career at an Ultrasound Tech School!

This September, head back to school and start your career as an Ultrasound Technician in New Jersey! Many exciting career opportunities await.

Questions? Give us a call at (908) 851 9911.

Or apply now.