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Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is a diagnostic medical sonographer?
    • A diagnostic medical sonographer uses sound waves, a knowledge of anatomy, and imaging principles to aid physicians in the diagnosis of disease, in monitoring patient progress, or in research.
  • How can I become a diagnostic medical sonographer?
    • Diagnostic medical sonography is a two-year (five-semester) program designed to prepare students for employment in this imaging specialty. College courses include classroom instruction coordinated with clinical practice. Applicants must have a high school diploma or GED and make application to the program?
  • What kind of credentials are necessary to work as a diagnostic medical sonographer?
    • Students who successfully complete this program earn an Associate Degree in Applied Science (AAS), and are prepared to take national registry examinations given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and/or the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). National certification enhances employment opportunities.
  • Where do sonographers work?
    • Sonographers work in hospitals, private imaging facilities and physicians' offices. As well as full-time positions, sonographers may hold part-time or on-call positions. Flexible hours are often available.
  • What are sonographers' salaries like?
    • Starting salaries at the present time average $26.00 to $29.00 per hour for a new technologist or approximately $54,000- $60,000 per year. Hospital benefit packages are excellent and include health care, dental coverage, insurance, vacation and sick time. Private facilities may vary somewhat in the benefits they offer.
  • What is the outlook for jobs in the future?
    • According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, job opportunities in the field will continue into the twenty-first century.
  • What should an interested student do to prepare for entry into a sonography program?
    • Have a good background in math and science, develop good reading and communication skills. Admissions procedures and specific program admissions guidelines for Health Science students can be found on the Office of Enrollment Services website at
  • Is there a health hazard for those who work as sonographers?
    • There is no documented health hazard for those working with medical sonography equipment.
  • Whom may I contact for more information?
    • Contact Admissions Officer Michael Hynes or Program Director Paula Cardillo
      Michael Hynes
      Office of Enrollment Services
      Liston Campus
      Community College of Rhode Island
      One Hilton St.
      Providence, RI 02905
      Tel: (401) 455-6104
      Paula Cardillo
      Allied Health Department
      Flanagan Campus
      Community College of Rhode Island
      1762 Louisquisset Pike
      Lincoln, RI 02865
      Tel: (401) 333-7144
      Admissions procedures and specific program admissions guidelines for Health Science students can be found on the Office of Enrollment Services website at
  • What online resources would you recommend?
    • American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS)
      This website contains information on national testing and credentials that can be earned in sonography (ultrasound), as well as links to job listings.

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Last Updated: 10/20/15