Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Review

A job as a diagnostic medical sonographer comes with a fairly sizable paycheck and many specialties to choose from. The field is small but growing quickly, which means there will be many more job opportunities.

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The Good

Above-average income

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average diagnostic medical sonographer makes over $65,000 per year. This is considerably above the national average income of $34,750 per year. As with all professions, diagnostic medical sonographers in areas with a higher standard of living make more money than those who have lower living expenses. However, regardless of where you are, you should be able to earn a pretty comfortable salary as a diagnostic medical sonographer, particularly if you’re skilled in more than one specialty.

Numerous specialists to choose from

Diagnostic medical sonographers work in many different branches of medicine diagnosing various medical conditions and monitoring patient health. Some focus on a specific area of the body, such as the muscles or the abdomen, while others focus on a specific system in the body, like the nervous system or the female reproductive system. In order to get started in any of these fields, you need to obtain a certificate for that particular type of sonography. Plus, it’s possible to earn multiple certificates, which gives you a better chance of landing a good job in the area you’re most interested in. This degree of variety isn’t available in all vocational medical careers, so it’s something to think about if you’re considering a job in the medical field.

Thousands of jobs expected to open up

The number of diagnostic medical sonographer jobs available in the U.S. is expected to increase by 46% in the next decade, making it one of the fastest-growing professions out there. This is largely due to the fact that these types of imaging procedures enable doctors to diagnose illnesses and injuries more easily at a cost-effective rate for the patient. Job outlook will be the best for those who possess proper certification in one or more specialty areas.

Start working in as little as one year

If you already work in a related medical field, you may have the option to enroll in a shorter certificate program to become a diagnostic medical sonographer rather than completing the traditional associate’s degree. These abridged programs are typically available in hospitals and train medical staff who are interested in transitioning over to a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer. Certificate programs may not be available in every area, but they’re worth checking into.

The Bad

Smaller number of employed professionals

There are currently only about 58,800 diagnostic medical sonographers in the country, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This isn’t much compared to some other medical professions, like nursing, which employs several million people across the country. However, the use of diagnostic imaging technology in medicine continues to grow at a rapid rate, so although the field may be a little small for now, individuals going into diagnostic medical sonography shouldn’t have too much trouble finding employment.

Physical activity required

Like many other medical professionals, diagnostic medical sonographers spend the majority of the day on their feet, walking or standing while they give care to patients. In the case of sonographers, daily work may also involve lifting or moving patients and transporting heavy machines throughout the hospital. If physical exertion is an issue for you, this is something you’ll want to take note of when considering a job as a diagnostic medical sonographer.

The Details


  • Career Growth (2012-2022): 46%
  • Median Pay: $65,860
  • Number of Jobs: 58,800
  • Number of New Jobs (2012-2022): 27,000

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