Diagnostic medical sonographers, or ultrasound technicians, are responsible for the operation of sonography equipment under the supervision of a physician, to produce images for diagnostic purposes. They must differentiate between typical sonographic images and images that indicate abnormalities. Sonographers practice in a variety of clinical settings and may be trained in obstetric and gynecological sonography, cardiac sonography, vascular sonography or other specialty areas.
A number of schools throughout the state offer either degree or certificate programs for those who are interested in a career as a ultrasound technician.
Diagnostic medical sonography programs require participants to complete coursework in science, including biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry and physics. Applicants to programs that offer a Certificate of Achievement are generally required to have completed a degree in a related health care field and may be required to have completed prerequisite coursework before admission into the program.
Sonographers must also complete a supervised clinical internship; most programs include this component in their sonography curriculum.
Sonographers need not be licensed to work in the state of California, but sonographers must be certified as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS), a credential administered by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS), to practice in the state.
The certification process includes graduation from an accredited sonography program, followed by the successful completion of certification exams. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited sonography program in order to sit for the exams.
The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.
Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Sonographers relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org
Annual Median Salary
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim||1730||$82,930|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara||470||$101,600|
|Santa Maria-Santa Barbara||60||$89,030|