Medical Sonographers

(NOC 3216)

in All Health

Medical sonographers operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to aid physicians in monitoring pregnancies and in diagnosing cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular and other medical disorders. They are employed in clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

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  • 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 Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a small percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Sonographers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 48% 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

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

N/A

Minimum

$63,794

Median

N/A

Maximum

Compared to: All Health

Hourly Pay

$16.38

Minimum

$25.50

Median

$41.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$10,740

Minimum

$43,853

Median

$88,944

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Medical sonographers operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to aid physicians in monitoring pregnancies and in diagnosing cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular and other medical disorders. They are employed in clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this group.

Job duties

Medical sonographers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Operate 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 make adjustments to equipment, as required.
  • 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 aid in the monitoring of pregnancies and the diagnosis of cardiac, abdominal, ophthalmic, vascular and other disorders.
  • Perform quality control checks on ultrasound equipment to ensure proper operation and perform minor repairs and adjustments as required.
  • May supervise and train student and other medical sonographers. // 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.

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

  • Completion of 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

Although the majority of people in these jobs are employed 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

105

employed in 2016

78.3%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

95.7%
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4.3%
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44.3

median age

Compared to: All Health

36,515

employed in 2016

77.1%

employed full-time

10.2%

self employed

83.6%
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16.4%
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43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

56.5%

Halifax

21.7%

Cape Breton

8.7%

Southern

8.7%

Northern

8.7%

Annapolis Valley

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

81.8%

Health Care and Social Assistance

9.1%

Construction

9.1%

Public Administration

What is the age of Employment?

41.7%

35-44

25.0%

25-34

16.7%

45-54

Compared to: All Health

31.4%

45-54

27.6%

35-44

20.5%

55-64

15.2%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

52.2%

College certificate or diploma

$65,246 median annual income
34.8%

Bachelor's degree

$68,208 median annual income
8.7%

University certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Health

39.4%

College certificate or diploma

$36,693 median annual income
27.6%

Bachelor's degree

$57,186 median annual income
7.2%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

$83,000 median annual income
6.9%

High school

$24,119 median annual income
5.1%

Master's degree

$87,808 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 comprises 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

Medical Sonographer

Special Requirements: Standards exist for this job in Nova Scotia. Certification or membership in a professional body may be required by employers, however, a certificate is not legally needed to work in this occupation.

Regulating body:
Sonography Canada
PO Box 1220
Kemptville, ON K0J 1J0
(888) 273-6746
(888) 743-2952

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

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