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Diagnostic Medical Sonography FAQ's

Q: What is a diagnostic medical sonographer?

A: 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.

Q: How can I become a diagnostic medical sonographer?

A: 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.

Q: What kind of credentials are necessary to work as a diagnostic medical sonographer?

A: Students who successfully complete this associate degree program are prepared to take national registry examinations given by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. National certification enhances employment opportunities.

Q: Where do sonographers work?

A: Sonographers work in hospitals, private imaging facilities and physicians' offices. In addition to full-time positions, sonographers may hold part-time or on-call positions. Flexible hours are often available.

Q: What are sonographers' salaries like?

A: 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.

Q: What is the outlook for jobs in the future?

A: According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, job opportunities in the field will continue into the twenty-first century.

Q: What should an interested student do to prepare for entry into a sonography program?

A: Have a good background in math and science. Develop good reading and communication skills. Take placement exams in math and English as early as possible. Graduates of other educational programs may be able to transfer general education courses if appropriate.

Q: Is there a health hazard for those who work as a sonographer?

A: There is no documented health hazard for those working with medical sonography equipment.

Q: What is the typical cost of this program?

A: The typical cost of the program for a full-time student is the current CCRI tuition and fees, laboratory fees, books, uniforms and travel expenses to the clinical sites. Additional information can be found on the Bursar website at

Q: Whom may I contact for more information?

Contact The American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers for certification requirements:

Contact Michael Hynes, Enrollment Services, at the Warwick Campus for information about the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. The address is:

Michael Hynes
Office of Enrollment Services
Community College of Rhode Island
400 East Avenue
Warwick, RI 02886
(401) 825-2266
E-mail: [email protected]

If more specific information is needed, contact Paula Cardillo, Program Director, at (401) 333-7449 or e-mail [email protected].