Sonographer Salary, Pros&Cons, Benefits and Working Conditions

 Choosing a career can be quite a challenge especially for those who are just coming out of high school or facing this kind of situation for the first time in their lives.

Reasons for Being a Sonographer

  Many have found out the hard way that had they taken their time to learn a little bit more about their career choice, they would have made a much better choice and yielded more success than what they are experiencing now. Being happy and contented in one's career is very paramount to success not only in this job itself, but also in the overall enjoyment of life, true happiness and peace of mind. Many sonographers now will agree and attest to the fact that choosing a job in sonography, not only attracts some of the best job options with a vibrant jobs outlook, but also yields a lot of personal rewards from the fact that one is able to make a positive life-saving difference of the lives of many patients and their families.

Benefits & Salaries

 Sonography is a very wide field of medicine with several exciting career paths for those who are interested in establishing a long-term and rewarding career in healthcare medical field. One can decide to go into diagnostic medical ultrasound, general radiology or even nuclear medicine depending on one's natural interest or desire.

 One's remuneration package or salary as well as job options will definitely depend on their career path of choice, their level of education, experience, certification and even the location that one works in. Generally, the current average pay for diagnostic medical ultrasonographer is over $73,000 USD whatever the career path that they choose, and this figure is scheduled to increase with time. One can also specialize in breast sonography, cardiac sonography, gynecologic and obstetric sonography.

Working Conditions

working conditions
 Generally, a general sonographer is trained to use the specialized equipment used to direct or channel high frequency sound waves to various parts of the body for diagnostic purposes. This equipment collects all the echoes and in turn, forms images that are transmitted, photographed or videotaped for the purposes of diagnosing all kinds of physiological conditions in this area under observation. In this kind of environment, one can therefore see that sonographers work with very high-tech and expensive machinery all day long including ultrasound and radiology gadgets designed for various purposes. There is frequent interactions with cardiologists or heat doctors, nurses, the patients themselves and even other sonographers in the same department. Apart from stellar communications and strong multi-tasking skills needed here, one is also expected to have very sharp attention to detail as a minor error can cause disastrous effects.

Program Credits

The program at Clarion offers the medical imaging bachelor’s program for students and professionals who have completed a two-year either of sonography, X-ray, they have a bunch of different things, radiology. If you’ve completed a professional or trade school program, you can apply and you can gain your Bachelor’s. They award up to 60 credits, I guess if you do a two-year program they award you 60 credits and maybe little less if you do a less lengthy program. And you can transfer up to 90 credits into the school. So for me, you know, I have a few other credits, so I’ll be able to transfer those in, which is exiting. A couple less classes to take. Perfect! And that’ll all be towards my 120 credit Bachelor’s degree which I can earn online. I mean, it’s perfect. I plan on taking, you know, a couple of classes here and there once I finish at Sanford Brown and I start working, I’ll probably leave the classes and everything to when my tuition assistance or reimbursement kicks in at my… at whichever employer I choose to work for, once I graduate Sanford Brown. Yeah! So, that’s my plan. I’m extremely excited and it all starts on September 20th when I start with the first program and it’s going to be a whirlwind, it’s going to be really interesting but I’m really excited.

Sonography Program

It just seemed like a lot of the bad critiques and reviews that this school got was due to a lot of people, I guess, feeling that they were misled. As I said, not every program at each school is accredited, by the same body. It would be nice if they were, I guess it would be a lot clearer but… I don’t know… it’s just not like that for whatever reason. I also noticed that a lot of the reviews were from, you know, at least like five, six years back… so I guess they’ve either clarified more to prospective students or because or more programs and more institutes have become accredited. I made sure that I did a lot of research, was very thorough with… asked a million and one questions when I went to… to meet with the administrative, I mean, to meet with admissions… counselor or representative, I should say, and he clarified everything. Everything that I was wondering about, everything that would have made me either choose or not choose to go to that school, I made sure I made sure I asked. Now, Sanford Brown as a 48 credit requirement in order for students to join the diagnostic medical sonography program. So, you know? Clearly, with me being in and out of school for the past however many years… I didn’t have 48 credits. I’m kind of, you know pretty close, but not quite there. I would have probably had to do another full year at Community College… or potentially a little more, I’m not 100% sure. So, you know, I went there even knowing that, even still… I still went there just to go speak to the representative and, kind of like, have a plan even if it wasn’t something that I could put into action right now.

So, I went there, spoke to this amazing admissions representative, Carlos and he kind of advised me that, you know, even though I don’t have that 48 credits I can still join their school, do either the medical assistant or medical billing and coding program and earn credits towards… earn credits towards the sonographer program. I chose the medical billing and coding. I felt that it was little… it was much more feasible for me. Something that I could use anytime in the future and it’s something that. Even if it’s on the side you can always do billing and coding from home. It’s not something were you have to sit in an office within a hospital or clinic or anything like that, in order to do... You can do it from home. So I’m like: You know what? Why not? Because if I ever want to make some extra money, I can just do that. Yeah! So, that course will give me enough credits to do… actually no, I would still have to take two other classes, which I’ve already found a school… which I’ve taken one class online with, Clarion University. So I can do those two classes that I need, which would be physics and math, online. And I would probably do them in January as I would graduate from this program in June. So I would do it during the Spring semester just due to additional courses, in addition to what I am doing at Sanford Brown.

Leaving School

 Once leaving that school I was kind of like back to square one. And I was like: Ok! Well, this was the other school on my list I’m going to actually find out more, do my research and, you know, and see what the school was about, just to see if I could still, if I could go there and get my… get my… credentials. The school was Sanford Brown. Never in a million years thought I would be attending Sanford Brown. Not… Nothing against anyone who goes there, or nothing like that, but I just heard do many bad things about the school and… that it kind of like… I was like: No! You Know? Sanford Brown, I wouldn’t go there. You know? Upon doing more research though, I realized that a lot of the bad critiques that the school gets is related to the fact that not every… not every institution Sanford Brown, like, throughout the U.S. is accredited and not each program. If the school itself is accredited not each program is accredited by the certification bodies that allow you to either take exams to become certified or they don’t allow you to do it as soon as you graduate that program. And that’s… I guess, a lot of people didn’t do that research, they didn’t put in that time or they didn’t realize that they needed to. I realized it because I did had attended another school and I had really researched it, that’s one thing I do. Like, I’m really thorough when it comes to stuff like that. So I knew what to look for and I knew what the program had to offer me in order for me to be able to get where I wanted to be.

Problems at School

There was one program that did allow you to start with little to no credits and they, kind of like, offered prerequisites as part of the course which I was like: Uh! This is amazing! I still get it done in 2 years, there’s no reason for me not to do it. So I applied to the school, I got accepted, I enrolled and then I quit my job – I was happy about that – quit my job and I was like: Yeah! This is it for me. I’m going. I’m going. When, the first semester, and that school in particular was an experience. It’s probably not, it’s definitely not a well-known school. It’s not the school that most people probably think of when I say I’m going for diagnostic medical sonography. But I chose it because I thought that it would give me the best opportunities as far as like internships or externships as they call it, once I got to that stage. But the school it.. I didn’t… We didn’t… I didn’t do well. I mean I did well as far as grades wise but the environment, it didn’t… it didn’t feel good. I can always go into, you know, bad mouthing the school but I’m not going to do that. It just wasn’t a fit for me, so I left. And, I had another school that I was considering but… for more than one reason I decided, I chose the school that I ended up attending for that semester over the other school.

Bachelor of Science in Medical Sonography

My part of my all striving for a Bachelor is that would I be the only grandchild out of? There’s like literally… my grandmother has a lot of grandchildren. There’s a lot of us and I’m not the oldest. Like, maybe within the top, like, six. As far as, like, age goes, I’m like six down from the oldest, or something. But I would be the first to earn my Bachelor’s. And I really want to do it. She, you know? She’s always supported me, my mom really want’s me to do it. Like, my parents don’t have a Bachelor’s either. It’s like: You know what? I want to graduate college. I just want to do it. And, going into this field doesn’t mean that I… I mean, as I said it’s not necessary in order to be successful in the field but it’s something that I want and it’s something that I can definitely earn, so I’m going to do it. So, anyway, I started researching schools, accredited schools in New York. That was really important, I had to, like, look into accreditation and everything like that, and certification and all that type of stuff to really understand which school… which school would be the best for me. I found a website that had all of the certified… No! all the accredited schools for the accrediting body that allows you to take your certification exam as soon has you graduate from a program, from one of those programs. So I found that website, I found the whole list of schools in New York. Might have mentioned that, you know, certain schools you… you would need an associate, you needed 60 credits, certain schools you needed a bachelor’s, certain schools you needed, like, 48 credits and this and that.

What Degree Should I Get?

For me, I don’t know why, but just traditional school just never been something that I liked and I don’t know why. I love doing well in things that I’m interested in, but I don’t like being forced to learn things that I don’t want to learn, and things that I don’t think that I can really apply and utilize towards my future. Like, if my future was being national champion at Jeopardy, yeas. Traditional school all the way, because I would learn everything that I need to learn for trivia, but for a sonography career it just didn’t feel like something that I needed and it wasn’t something that I wanted. I left with the intention of going back, though. Definitely, always had that intention. Went to go work and I’ve always worked in retail, you know, from my first job. So, I got hired by a luxury retail company and I was selling really high end clothes. I loved it! For the first… close to a year. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! I would go home every day talking about my job and what a great day I had. Even if it was stressful we still managed to make it fun, until one day. There was a change of management. We got a new manager and an assistant manager, not at the same time, the manager came first. And he completely depreciated everyone’s positions. Like, none of us felt like we were appreciated in the work place. We were doing the same amount of work, we were doing the same hours, we had the same responsibilities, which was basically running that store. We used to do floor moves, everything.

 But we just felt a lot less appreciated and the new manager had no problem making it very clear that he didn’t appreciate us and that he’d like… Oh! You know, whatever. Anyone could do this job. It kind of shook me up. Especially from going from a job that I really loved and I felt like I was making a difference to, all of the sudden, it just changing overnight, because one person got fired and another got hired. And it made me realize that that could be the rest of my life if I didn’t make a decision to go back to school, get my credentials in something that I know I could actually make a difference in. And have that piece of paper, whether it would be a certificate, a diploma, a bachelor’s, whatever. Have that to say… and to know that I’m always qualified for that job. If you don’t appreciate me here, I can always go elsewhere, type of thing. Fashion was always my first love, so that was kind of hard for me like realizing that… because I was like… I’m going to have to go back to traditional school, and it sucked because I really didn’t want to do that. One day I had a chat with my dad and then I had a chat with my best friend’s mom and then my mom and my grandmother, and they all kind of, you know, subtlety hinted that they would really love it if I would at least consider going into the medical field.