Medical Sonographers

(NOC 3216)

in All Health

Medical sonographers use ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to help physicians monitor pregnancies and diagnose cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular, and other medical disorders. They work for clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group. Medical sonographers may specialize in abdominal, cardiac, cerebral, obstetrical and gynecological, ophthalmic, intraluminal or peripheral vascular sonography. They may also specialize in adult or pediatric echocardiography or neurosonology.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Health

  • Estimate 705 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 3180 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Sonographers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 50% of Medical Sonographers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $70,185. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$33.62

Minimum

$39.59

Median

$44.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$63,794

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$30.45

Median

$41.35

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Medical sonographers use ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to help physicians monitor pregnancies and diagnose cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular, and other medical disorders. They work for clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group. Medical sonographers may specialize in abdominal, cardiac, cerebral, obstetrical and gynecological, ophthalmic, intraluminal or peripheral vascular sonography. They may also specialize in adult or pediatric echocardiography or neurosonology.

Job duties

Medical sonographers:

  • Use ultrasound imaging equipment that transmits high frequency sound pulses through the body to produce images of those parts of the body requiring examination.
  • Monitor examination by viewing images on video screen, to evaluate quality and consistency of diagnostic images, and adjust equipment as needed.
  • Record, store, and process scanned images by using camera unit connected to ultrasound equipment.
  • Observe and care for patients throughout examinations to ensure patient safety and comfort.
  • Prepare examination reports for physicians to help monitor pregnancies and diagnose cardiac, abdominal, ophthalmic, vascular, and other disorders.
  • Do quality control checks on ultrasound equipment to make sure they work properly and complete minor repairs and adjustments as necessary.
  • May supervise and train student and other medical sonographers.

Sample job titles

  • diagnostic cardiac sonographer
  • diagnostic ultrasound supervisor
  • diagnostic ultrasound technician
  • echocardiographer
  • medical sonographer
  • registered diagnostic medical sonographer (RDMS)
  • registered ultrasound technologist
  • ultrasonography technologist
  • ultrasound technician

Skills

You should be interested in medicine and health. You must be able to deal with people in a mature, tactful, and professional way. You should also be comfortable working with instruments, apparatus, and technology. A background in science would be helpful.

Job requirements

  • A three- to four-year program in diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound technology or completion of a two- to three-year program in a related allied health field and a one-year post-diploma program in diagnostic medical sonography from an accredited institution are required.
  • Registration with the Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Professionals and/or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is usually required by employers.

Other considerations

While most people in these jobs work full-time, part-time and casual work arrangements are common. Membership in the Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers is available but voluntary.

By the numbers

Quick look

115

employed in 2016

79.2%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

91.7%
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8.3%
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44.3

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

75.7%

employed full-time

9.6%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

54.2%

Halifax

20.8%

Cape Breton

8.3%

Southern

8.3%

North Shore

8.3%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

75.0%

Health care and social assistance

8.3%

Construction

8.3%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

8.3%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

29.0%

55-64

21.0%

25-34

21.0%

35-44

17.0%

45-54

13.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Health

24.0%

25-34

23.9%

45-54

21.9%

35-44

18.4%

55-64

7.7%

15-24

Top levels of education

50.0%

College certificate or diploma

$67,058 median annual income
37.5%

Bachelor's degree

$62,116 median annual income
8.3%

High school

N/A

Compared to: All Health

38.4%

College certificate or diploma

$40,033 median annual income
27.1%

Bachelor's degree

$61,668 median annual income
8.7%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$81,191 median annual income
6.8%

High school

$24,829 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$69,296 median annual income

Education & training

Diagnostic medical sonography/sonographer and ultrasound technician

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class includes any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of physicians, to utilize medical ultrasound techniques to gather sonographic data used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases. These programs include courses in obtaining, reviewing, and integrating patient histories and data; patient instruction and care; anatomic, physiologic and pathologic data recording; sonographic data processing; sonography equipment operation; and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (DMS)

Right to Title and Practice: This job is regulated, and the job title is protected in Nova Scotia (you may not use this job title without holding a provincial licence). A licence shows that the holder has met provincial requirements and is required to work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia College of Medical Imaging and Radiation Therapy Professionals
380 Bedford Highway, Suite 310
Bedford, NS B3M 2L4
(902) 832-3167

Contacts

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600
Rockville, MD - USA 20850-1402
Tel: (800) 541-9754
Fax: (301) 738-0312
Sonography Canada
PO Box 1220
Kemptville, ON K0J 1J0
Tel: (888) 273-6746
Fax: (888) 743-2952

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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