Cardiac Sonography Technologist: Job Description & Career Info

Read on to see what cardiac sonography technologists do. Explore the education and training requirements, and get information about career prospects and alternative career options in the field.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Athletic Trainer
  • Cardiovascular Technologies
  • Electrocardiograph Tech. - ECG, EKG
  • Electroencephalographic Tech. - EEG, END
  • EMT and Paramedic
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Industrial Radiologic Technology
  • Medical Radiologic Therapist
  • Nuclear Medical Technologist
  • Perfusionist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Radiation Protection Technology
  • Radiological Science and Technologies
  • Respiratory Care Therapy
  • Surgical Technologies
  • Ultrasound and Sonography Technologies

Career Definition for a Cardiac Sonography Technologist

Cardiac sonography technologists use high-frequency sound waves to form images of the heart and circulatory systems, which are then used to diagnose and assess cardiac difficulties and proper blood flow patterns in patients. General duties include preparing equipment, prepping patients and explaining procedures, reading the images and reporting their findings to a cardiologist. Most sonographers work a 5-day, 40-hour work week in a hospital setting, and are required to stand or walk for the majority of their shift. As the need for cardiac sonography technologists increases throughout America, the potential for choosing ideal living locations is high.

Required Education Associate's degree or bachelor's degree; national licensure voluntary, but some states require a license; certification voluntary but may increase employment opportunities
Job Duties Explaining procedures, reading images, reporting findings to a cardiologist
Median Salary (2015)* $54,880 (cardiovascular technologists and technicians)
Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 22% growth (cardiovascular technologists and technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Needed

The most common education level for a cardiac sonography technologist is a 2-year associate's degree, but 4-year bachelor's degree programs are becoming increasingly popular, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). A national license is not required, but some states do have mandatory licensing. Certifications are also looked on favorably by employers. These exam-based certifications are available through Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) and the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

Skills Required

Cardiac sonography technologists must have strong communication skills and a good bedside manner to explain the technical details of a procedure to patients and to make them feel comfortable before, during, and after the exam. Cardiac sonographers must also adhere to strict safety guidelines.

Career Outlook

According to the BLS, employment of cardiovascular technologists and technicians, including cardiac sonography technologists, is expected to grow faster than average, with a projected 22% increase between 2014 and 2024. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians earned a median income of $54,880 per year in 2015, according to the BLS. Career advancement is possible with increased specialization in vascular technology or invasive cardiac procedures. With experience, cardiac sonographers can also move into education or management.

Alternate Career Options

If you're looking for an alternative career option, here are some that might interest you:

Radiologic Technologist

Radiologic technologists use special machines, like x-ray machines, to take pictures a patient's anatomy. They get patients ready for the exam, position them carefully, and prevent both the patient and themselves from overexposure to radiation. Most radiologic technologists have an associate's degree and are licensed or certified, depending on the state. Jobs are predicted to increase 9% from 2014-2024, per the BLS. The BLS also reported that the median salary of radiologic technologists was $56,670 in 2015.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

A diagnostic medical sonographer uses diagnostic tools that create sound waves to form a picture of inside a patient's body. They make the patient comfortable, administer the exam, and keep accurate records of exams performed. Education requirements can vary from a certificate to an associate's degree program; professional certification is also usually required, and some states require licensing. The median pay for this job was $68,970 in 2015, per the BLS; the agency also reported that jobs in this field are expected to grow 26% from 2014-2024.

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MS in Nursing
    • Bachelors of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • MBA: Health Systems Management
    • MS in Health Care Administration
    • BS in Health Sciences: Professional Development & Advanced Patient Care
    • Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Health Science
    • BS in Health Care Administration

    What is your highest level of education?

    • Limited Medical Radiologic Technologist-Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • BS Health Science w/Con Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Radiography
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physical Therapy
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science - Pre-Physician Assistant
    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science with a Concentration in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
    • AS Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
    • Associate of Science in Radiography
    • AS Radiography
    • Associate of Science in Health Science
    • Associate of Science in Health Science - Pre-Nursing
    • Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    • CERT Computed Tomography

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Radiologic Technology
    • Surgical Technology
    • Sterile Processing Technician

    Year of High School Graduation or GED completion:

  • What year did you graduate high school?

  • What is your age?

    • MBA - Healthcare Administration
    • Master of Science in Management - Healthcare Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?