A sonography career is an excellent choice for people motivated to play a vital healthcare role in improving patient outcomes. Diagnostic medical sonographers, sometimes called ultrasound technicians, possess in-demand skills needed nationwide. However, taking advantage of all that a sonography career offers requires earning a bachelor’s degree.
While many working adults launched a sonography career with a two-year degree, earning a four-year degree opens the door to top jobs in the profession, including leadership roles. In addition, they hone their skills in an exciting healthcare profession.
Marian University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography Completion Program that allows professional sonographers an opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree while also working at their current job. Graduates from the program play a critical role in healthcare, detecting and monitoring issues such as high-risk pregnancies, cancers, and heart defects.
It’s a vital career field in a rapidly growing healthcare industry.
Growth in Sonography Jobs
A diagnostic medical sonographer uses specialized equipment to capture images inside the body that clinicians use to make accurate diagnostic assessments. Their work in the medical imaging field is critical to improving the accuracy of diagnostics, the efficacy of treatment plans, and overall patient outcomes.
They also have a skill set that is in high demand. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of people entering the profession by 2030 will increase by 14 percent.
Nationwide, the median pay for diagnostic medical sonographers reached $77,790 in May 2020. In Wisconsin, it’s even higher, with diagnostic medical sonographers earning an average of $86,810 per year. The top 25% in Wisconsin made more than $99,200.
Examples of Sonography Careers
Sonographers work in many different specialties. People in these positions work in hospitals, clinics, outpatient treatment centers, and the offices of specialists (such as heart specialists or pediatricians).
- Cardiac sonographers. These specialists take images of a patient’s heart chambers, valves, and vessels, creating echocardiograms.
- Abdominal sonographers. Abdominal sonographers focus on images in a patient’s abdominal cavity and organs such as the kidney, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, or spleen.
- Breast sonographers. This critical sonographic specialty confirms the presence of tumors or cysts found by the patient, a physician, or a mammogram.
- Musculoskeletal sonographers. Musculoskeletal sonographers focus on images of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.
- Pediatric sonographers. These professional sonographers work with children and infants.
- Vascular sonographers. Vascular sonographers focus on images of the blood vessels, often in the patient’s extremities, to determine if there are issues with blood flow or the formation of blood clots.
Job titles in the profession can vary depending on the sonographer’s role. Job titles for sonographer managers working at specialist’s clinics, private offices, and hospitals include Lead Sonographer, Chief Ultrasound Tech, Sonography Manager, Technical Director, and Department Manager.
Some sonographers also work in ultrasound systems sales and as research sonographers. The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography provides updated lists of job openings and job titles in the sonography field.
Marian University Online Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Degree Completion Program
Marian University offers an online bachelor’s degree completion program for diagnostic medical sonographers with a two-year certificate. The university designed the curriculum for experienced sonographers ready to boost their career with a four-year degree.
Applicants who have earned certification from the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) or Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) earn 60 credit hours toward their degree.
The 100% online program features seven-week courses. Marian University offers six different start dates for the program. Only one course is required per term, giving students more flexibility while earning their degree. The program’s curriculum is based on real-world applications that allow students to apply what they learn to their jobs immediately.
Students also can choose from a range of minor options.
- Health Care Administration
- Business Administration
- Criminal Justice
To get accepted into the program, sonographers must possess an ARDMS or CCI credential (with education from an accredited school or hospital program), have a 2.0 GPA or higher, complete the application process and submit an official transcript.