Diagnostic Vascular Sonography: Education, Salary and Career Facts

Vascular sonographers help doctors find out if a patient has serious health issues affecting his or her body. Get information about the training required for this career along with employment outlook and salary data. Schools offering Diagnostic Medical Sonography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

A diagnostic vascular sonographer is a technician who uses ultrasound equipment to investigate a patient's heart and vascular system. Along with the rest of the diagnostic medical sonographer field, this career is experiencing rapid growth. You can receive training through certificate as well as associate's and bachelor's degree programs. Due to the clinical nature of this field, programs are not available online.

Programs Certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees are available
Courses Medical terminology, abdominal anatomy, sonography physics and laboratory work, heart anatomy, hemodynamics and cardiovascular anatomy
Career Outlook (2016-2026)* 17% growth, much faster than average (for all diagnostic medical sonographers)
Median Salary (2017)* $71,410 (for all diagnostic medial sonographers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is Diagnostic Vascular Sonography?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a sonographer uses equipment that emits sound waves to penetrate through body tissue (www.bls.gov). The sound waves reverberate back to create a computerized image of the body tissue. Vascular sonographers are thus the specially trained technicians who work with the heart and cardiovascular system.

What Education Is Needed?

The BLS states that education programs are provided specifically for diagnostic vascular sonography at the certificate, associate's degree and baccalaureate levels. Completely online programs aren't available because of the hands-on nature of the work. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Professionals (CAAHP) accredits all of the programs. The CAAHP accredits certificate and degree programs that are in vascular sonography, which fall under the guidelines of cardiovascular technology.

Course examples include:

  • Medical terminology
  • Abdominal anatomy
  • Sonography physics and laboratory work
  • Heart anatomy
  • Hemodynamics
  • Cardiovascular anatomy

Although no state requires it, if you wanted a credential in vascular sonography, you will want to complete the requirements outlined by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS); this organization certifies sonographers within different specialties.

What is the Career and Salary Outlook for This Field?

The BLS outlines projections on this career based on data accumulated in May 2017, stating that the field of diagnostic medical sonographers, including vascular sonographers, is expected to see faster than average growth over the next few years. Projections show that there should be a 23% increase in job growth from 2016 through 2026, with 82,900 diagnostic medical sonographers in total employed in 2026. In 2017, the BLS reported the median earnings for all diagnostic medical sonographers at $71,410 with the bottom ten percent earning $50,760, while the top ten percent earned $99,840.

In terms of a work environment, vascular sonographers typically are on the move a lot, often operating machinery in rooms that are not well lit. They might also be responsible for lifting equipment and patients. The BLS further states that these professionals typically work full time, though their shifts might take place during weekends or overnight.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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