Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

At a Glance

Years in School (after high school graduation):


Hourly Wage:

$22.76-$48.93 (Mean $38.24)
*Based on 2016 Alaska DOL data

One-page Description (PDF):

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Professional Activities

Sonographers use a transmitting device called a transducer to send out high-frequency ultrasound waves into a patient. The reflected sound forms echoes, and those echoes generate a visual representation of the patient’s internal organs, vasculature, and other soft tissue structures. The images produced are used to diagnose, treat, and screen for medical conditions.

Sonographers work under the supervision of a radiologist or other physician in a variety of medical settings and health facilities.

The diagnostic medical sonography profession has three primary career paths: general sonography (abdominal organs, pregnancy, female reproductive system, and most of the other body systems), cardiac sonography (heart), and vascular technology (blood vessels).

Educational Requirements

  • Completion of an associate degree in sonography is the typical educational requirement for entry-level sonographers. (Some occupational certificate programs exist, but they are usually for those who are already employed in a health-related field.)
  • A national certification examination from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) and/or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) is preferred.

Academic Programs

The University of Alaska Anchorage offers a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in general sonography. The program is only offered on the Anchorage campus. Special admission and application procedure requirements apply.

University of Alaska Anchorage, Diagnostic Medical Sonography
3211 Providence Drive
Allied Health Sciences, Room 148
Anchorage, AK 99508
Phone: (907) 786-6929
Email: ultrasound@uaa.alaska.edu

For a full list of CAAHEP-accredited programs, see this website: http://www.caahep.org/Find-An-Accredited-Program/


National Contacts

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600
Rockville, MD 20852-1402
Phone: (301) 738-8401
Toll free: (800) 541-9754 ext. 3
Website: http://www.ardms.org/Pages/default.aspx

The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists
1255 Northland Drive
St. Paul, MN 55120
Phone: (651) 687-0048
Website: https://www.arrt.org/

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
2745 Dallas Parkway, Suite 350
Plano, TX 75093
Phone: (214) 473-8057
Toll free: (800) 229-9506
Website: https://www.sdms.org/

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