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Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound


Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Fast Facts

National annual wage range:
$48,660 to 99,1001
Tuition and fees:
Program length:
104 weeks

Opportunities for diagnostic medical sonographers continue to increase as sonography becomes a progressively more attractive alternative to radiologic procedures. In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts employment to increase much faster than the average for all occupations due to increasing demand for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic technology as the population grows and ages.1

Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound Program

A Brightwood College education in the Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound diploma program can provide you with the skills necessary to open the door to this highly sought-after career. The comprehensive curriculum can prepare you to become a responsible member of the healthcare team in a hospital, imaging center or private facility. In this program, you can gain the knowledge and skills necessary to perform ultrasound scans of the following areas:

  • Upper abdomen
  • Pelvic area
  • Superficial structures
  • Peripheral vascular system

What Do Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound Professionals Do?

Diagnostic medical sonographers specialize in creating images of the body’s organs and tissues. The images are known as sonograms (or ultrasounds). Sonograms are often the first imaging test performed when disease is suspected. Diagnostic medical sonographers may work closely with physicians or surgeons before, during, and after procedures.

Real-World Training in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound

The program's required clinical externship offers the opportunity to gain hands-on training and professional knowledge that can further strengthen your professional skill set. Your education at Brightwood College — in the classrooms, labs and on the externship site — can be the beginning of a rewarding career future.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Job Description

Specific job responsibilities will depend on his or her practice area and work setting. Many diagnostic medical sonographers, however, have duties including:

  • Preparing patients for procedures by taking a patient’s medical history and answering any questions about the procedure
  • Operating and maintaining diagnostic imaging equipment
  • Reviewing images or test results to check for quality and adequate coverage of the areas needed for diagnoses
  • Recognizing the difference between normal and abnormal images and other diagnostic information
  • Analyzing diagnostic information to provide a summary of findings for physicians
  • Recording findings and keeping track of patients’ records

Growth of Diagnostic Medical Sonographer Jobs

Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to increase 24% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.1 The recent 100 Best Jobs report from U.S. News & World Report (based on salary, employment rate, growth, stress level and work-life balance) ranks this profession at number 24.

How Much Do Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Make?

According to the latest national data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the median pay for diagnostic medical sonographers is $64,280 per year. Salary will vary based on experience, location of employment, and the specific job title and duties being performed.1

Registered Diagnostic Sonography Certifications

Based on the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography exam eligibility and Brightwood College admissions standards, graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the following exams upon graduation:

  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential with an Abdomen (AB) specialty
  • Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) credential with an OB/GYN specialty
  • Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) credential

In addition, prior to graduation and upon completion of the required courses, students in this program are eligible to take the Sonography Principles and Instrumentation (SPI) exam. All of the above exams are sponsored by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. 2

Please refer to the Certification, State Board, and National Board Exams section of the Brightwood College Van Nuys course catalog for information regarding requirements for exams and certifications.

Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound Job Titles

  • ABI technician
  • Diagnostic medical sonographer
  • Ultrasound technologist

How Do I Pay for College?

The right combination of financial aid programs could help you manage the costs involved in obtaining your degree. Determine the types of financial aid available, how to apply for aid and what you can do to make school more affordable.

Get Started Today

Connect with us to take the first step toward a new career and a brighter future. Request more information or give us a call to learn more about our Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Ultrasound diploma program.

The College makes no representation, promise or guarantee that completion of this program either assures passage of any certification examination or acceptance by any state board. Prospective and current students, as well as graduates, are responsible for researching and understanding all examination, registration or licensure requirements in any state in which they seek to become registered, licensed or employed. Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or career advancement.

1 The median annual wage for diagnostic medical sonographers was $69,650 in May 2016. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $48,660, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $99,100. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists, on the Internet at (visited October 18, 2017). Expected growth rate through the year 2024. National long-term projections and salary averages may not reflect local and/or short-term economic or job conditions and do not guarantee actual job growth or any particular salary.

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