Ultrasound Technologist/Technician  What They Do

Just the Facts


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers Career Video



Produces ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Observes screen during scan to ensure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to equipment as required.
  • Observes and cares for patients throughout examinations to ensure their safety and comfort.
  • Provides sonogram and oral or written summary of technical findings to physician for use in medical diagnosis.
  • Operates ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of the motion, shape, and composition of blood, organs, tissues, or bodily masses, such as fluid accumulations.
  • Selects appropriate equipment settings and adjusts patient positions to obtain the best sites and angles.
  • Decides which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas.
  • Prepares patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring patient to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning patient properly.
  • Determines whether scope of exam should be extended, based on findings.
  • Obtains and records accurate patient history, including prior test results or information from physical examinations.
  • Maintains records that include patient information, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records, such as pathology, biopsy, or post-operative reports.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Echocardiograph Technician -- Produces two-dimensional ultrasonic recordings and Doppler flow analyses of heart and related structures, using ultrasound equipment, for use by physician in diagnosis of heart disease and study of heart.
  • Ultrasound Technologist -- Produces two-dimensional ultrasonic recordings of internal organs, using ultrasound equipment, for use by physician in diagnosis of disease and study of malfunction of organs.
  • Cardiac/Vascular Sonographer --
  • Ultrasonographer --