Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Job Description

An ultrasound technician is someone who helps a doctor take images of the inside of the body using sound waves.

woman in black crew neck t-shirt standing near black flat screen tv

The diagnostic medical sonographer, also known as an ultrasound technician or diagnostic radiologic technologist (DRT), is responsible for helping a doctor with tests that use sound waves to take images inside the body. He/she operates equipment, such as x-ray machines and ultrasounds.


In addition, the medical sonographer must maintain equipment and assist other staff during tests.


Duties of a medical sonographer are:

  • Equipment preparation - The sonographer needs to prepare all of the equipment for each test before it begins, such as inserting needles into patients for blood tests and checking that tubes are connected properly.
  • Operating equipment - The sonographer uses a machine that is similar to an ultrasound but with different controls. It takes images of the inside of the human body which are then shown on monitors or screens.
  • Diagnosis and treatment recommendations - After tests, sonographers must analyze data and make informed decisions about how to proceed with each case, such as whether surgery is needed. They must also help doctors and other medical staff interpret images of patients' internal organs and make recommendations about their treatment.
  • Communication - Medical sonographers often work closely with laboratory, radiology or cardiology staff to provide regular updates on patient's conditions or test results.
  • Other duties - Depending on where they are employed, they may be required to maintain inventory, clean medical equipment or assist with other tasks.


Medical sonographers usually need postsecondary training in diagnostic imaging and clinical laboratory science or radiologic technology. Graduates of 2-year programs can qualify for certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).


Medical sonographers can seek certification by the ARDMS in different specialties, such as vascular and cardiac ultrasound.

Statistics on Diagnostic Medical Sonographers


  • Overall employment of diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. (bls.gov)
  • The largest employers of diagnostic medical sonographers were hospitals; state, local, and private 61%. (bls.gov)
  • The lowest 10 percent earned less than $30,140, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $96,790. (bls.gov)

Articles On Diagnostic Medical Sonographers


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists: Occupational Outlook Handbook: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including vascular technologists operate special imaging equipment to create images or to conduct tests. (bls.gov)


Diagnostic Medical Sonographer 

Diagnostic medical sonography is an imaging modality that can work in conjunction with other imaging modalities such as x-ray, MRI, and CAT scans. (explorehealthcareers.org)


Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A diagnostic medical sonographer could be answering the question "Is it a boy or a girl?" as well as a host of other life-changing medical questions with the help... (money.usnews.com)


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (onetonline.org)


The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography was founded in 1970 to promote, advance, and educate its members and the medical community in the science of diagnostic medical sonography. (sdms.org)


How To Become A Sonographer - ARDMS

Are you interested in pursuing a career in sonography? Here's a guide to any questions you may have about jumpstarting your sonography career today. (ardms.org)


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers at My Next Move (mynextmove.org)


What does a diagnostic medical sonographer do? - CareerExplorer

Are you interested in working in healthcare? Particularly in assessing and diagnosing medical conditions? You may want to consider a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer! (careerexplorer.com)

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