Skip to main content

A Career in Sonography

From connecting with patients and their families during sensitive visits to collaborating with interpreting physicians to reach a diagnosis—sonographers are vital to health care and imaging innovation. After receiving a bachelor of science in diagnostic sonography, graduates from Indiana University School of Medicine have the knowledge and experience needed to pursue their goals and become an integral part of patient care.
10 percent increase in sonography employment
$75K median salary for sonographers
over 500 sonography positions available in Indiana

Currently, there are no state requirements to practice diagnostic sonography. However, institutions require an individual to be credentialed in one of the specialty areas listed below:

American Registry of Diagnostic Sonography

  • medical sonography (RDMS)
  • echocardiography (RDCS)
  • or vascular technology (RVT)

American Registry of Radiologic Technology

  • sonography (RT (S))
  • or vascular sonography (RT (VS))

Cardiovascular Credentialing International

  • cardiac sonography (RCS)
  • or vascular specialist (RVS)

  • The education, training, and experience to perform diagnostic sonography exams in the chosen concentration area
  • Commitment to professional growth and lifelong learning
  • Interpersonal skills such as communication, compassion, teamwork and leadership
  • Understanding and adherence to protocols, ethical standards and certification standards

These terms are often used synonymously, even within the healthcare community. So, what’s the difference between ultrasound, sonography and sonogram?

Ultrasound is the name given to high frequency sound waves that are above the human audible range. These high frequency sound waves are sent into the patient’s body using a transducer. Sound waves reflect off internal structures and return to the transducer. The returning sound waves are then used to produce an image of internal body structures. 

Sonography is the imaging technique that uses high frequency sound waves to produce images for medical diagnosis. This technique can be used to create images of a variety of body structures such as abdominal organs, the heart, a fetus, and blood vessels to name a few. 

sonogram is the image produced using the high frequency sound waves. Sonographers, who are highly trained health care professionals, produce a series of sonograms during the examination. Physicians then interpret the sonograms to make a diagnosis. 

Why sonographers are important :
From a sonographer


Job growth in sonography

The sonography profession has grown quite significantly in the last few decades, as it's not about to stop growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, sonography will see a significantly higher than normal increase in job growth. In fact, when considering both Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Technologists, it's predicted the field will see an overall 10% growth from 2021 to 2031 for medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists combined and 15 percent growth for medical sonographers.

Medical sonographers and Cardiovascular technologists combine their knowledge of ultrasound technology, imaging techniques, anatomy, and pathology to produce images that physicians use to make a diagnosis of a patient's condition. They work closely with physicians and are an integral part of the health care team.

Both medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists works in hospitals, outpatient centers, physician offices, and diagnostic laboratories. Most work full-time, however part-time, second or third shift, weekend only, and many other flexible schedules are now widely available due to the significant demand for sonographers and technologists.

Formal education is necessary to understand the technology, anatomy, and pathology of the examinations they perform. Universities that offer a bachelor’s degree program sets you apart and prepares you for leadership, higher education, and other employment opportunities. Certification by a national certification organization is required by nearly all employers. 

Visit these sites to find out more about the field of Medical Sonography and Cardiovascular Technology:

closeup of ultrasound procedure
Indiana Health

Ultrasound: Using sound to capture a moment

In medicine, there are countless ways for physicians to examine and understand a patient’s health care—from basic questions about their medical history to exploratory surgery. However, few medical techniques compare to the use of ultrasound. 

Continuing Medical Education in Sonography

Program director, Dina Peterson, partnered with IU South Bend Radiography and Medical Imaging Programs to help create a CME course for clinical site sonographers. This opportunity and others like it in the future help ensure graduates from the program and IU School of Medicine stay connected and informed on current advancements in ultrasound technology. 

        Advertisement for Ultrasound B-Mode Artifacts CME course

*Available for registered sonographers only