Cardiac vs. Medical sonographer

Sonography is one of the most lucrative and rewarding career one can take. However, most students do not understand that there are different categories of ultrasonographers that they can pursue. The two major categories of sonographers include cardiac sonographer and medical sonographers.

Cardiac Sonographer

Cardiac sonographers use ultrasound to analyze the anatomy of a patient’s heart and blood vessels. The common issue that cardiac sonographers help doctors to diagnose is the blood clots. To becoming a cardiovascular technologist, you must be physically strong, have interpersonal and analytical skills.



The pay scale for cardiac sonographers is highly competitive. The SonographerSalaryData put the annual salary of the top 10 percent at $90,640 as at May 2013. The average annual salary was $65,800 and the lowest 15% earned about $44,950. The payment is determined based on the size of the employer, experience, education and geographical area.



To working as a cardiac sonographer, you are required to have an associate or bachelor’s degree. The training will include laboratory, technical and classroom. The students are required to attend a mandatory Basic Life support (BSL) training. It is also important to be accredited by various bodies such as the Cardiovascular Credential International (CCI).

Medical Sonographer

A medical sonographer uses a noninvasive, nontoxic diagnostic procedure to produce high quality images of the body using high frequency sound waves. The procedure is used to capture the image of abdominal organs, blood flow, heart, reproductive organs and even the images of a developing fetus. General sonographer training equips students with skills in research and administration and scanning and diagnostics abilities.



The payment structure for medical sonographers is very encouraging to students interested in pursuing career as a ultrasonographer. The actual payments vary between the industry and geographical areas. Medical sonographers working in the big cities and outpatient care centers enjoy relatively higher salary. In 2011, the BLS indicated the mean hourly wage as $31.63 and the median salary as $65,210. The 10 percent well paid medical sonographers earned about $90,640 while the lowest paid 10 percent earned $44,950.



To work as a general sonographer, students can pursue an associate degree, bachelor’s degree or even certificate. It is also beneficial to be a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS).

Conclusion - Sonography Career in the United States

Pursuing a career to become medical or cardiac sonographer is a very good career decision. This is because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts the industry will enjoy an incredible employment growth of about 45.5 percent between 2010 and 2020.