Sonographers are medical imaging professionals who operate ultrasound devices to capture and interpret anatomical images. Sonographers can specialise in imaging certain parts of the body, such as abdomen and chest, breast, cardiac, musculoskeletal, obstetric and gynaecological, paediatric, small parts, and vascular.
If you are caring and committed, are dedicated to improving people’s health, and are an excellent communicator, a career in Sonography could be perfect for you.
- Caring and compassionate
- Can remain calm under pressure
- Good attention to detail
- Empathetic and gentle
- Reliable and trustworthy
- Great communicator
- Committed to lifelong learning
- Can work independently and as part of a team
- Operate a variety of ultrasound equipment
- Perform examinations on patients
- Select appropriate equipment for use
- Explain procedures to patients and answer questions
- Position patients and equipment to ensure images are clear
- Take referrals from other medical professionals, such as GPs
- Maintain patient comfort during procedures
- Select images to send back to other medical professionals
- Write reports and convey findings
Lifestyle Impact: Low
- Part Time opportunities: Average – 56% of Sonographers work full-time, meaning there is some opportunity for part-time roles (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Average hours for full-time workers: 41 hours a week, which is average (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
- Sonographers’ salary (average) $130,000* per year (Source: seek.com.au). *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
- Future career growth: Strong (Source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au).
Sonographers are most in demand in these locations:
This is a very small industry, with only around 4,800 workers in 2020 (source: labourmarketinsights.gov.au). There are opportunities available for sonographers across the country, especially in rural and regional areas where medical professionals are less common.
Performing examinations and procedures for patients will require you to work on-site, so opportunities to work from home are extremely limited.
How to become a Sonographer in Australia
You must complete a postgraduate qualification in medical sonography order to work as a Sonographer in Australia. You will also need to register with the Australasian Sonographer Accreditation Registry (ASAR).
Step 1 – Complete your high school certificate and take subjects such as English, Maths, Biology, and Chemistry.
Step 2 – Study a relevant Bachelor-level qualification at university. This will usually need be a health- or science-based qualification, such as:
- Bachelor of Nursing at CQUni
- Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours) at QUT
- Bachelor of Medical Radiation Science at Charles Sturt
- You could also consider taking a combined undergraduate and postgraduate course, such as CQUni’s Bachelor of Medical Sonography/Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography.
Step 3 – Once you have finished your undergraduate degree, you will need to then complete a postgraduate qualification to work as a Sonographer. You could take a course such as:
- Graduate Diploma in Medical Sonography (General) at UniSA
- Master of Medical Ultrasound at Monash
- Graduate Diploma in Medical Ultrasound at UC
Step 4 – You will need to register with ASAR before you can start working as a Sonographer. You will also need to participate in a recognised Continuing Professional Development (CPD) program throughout your career in order to retain your registration.
Step 5 – Consider upskilling or specialising in a particular area with a postgraduate degree, such as:
- Graduate Certificate in Breast Imaging at UniSA
- Graduate Diploma in Vascular Sonography at WSU
- Master of Medical Sonography (Cardiac) at UniSA
Find out more here –
Similar Careers to Sonographer
Medical Imaging Technologist
Find out more about alternative careers.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What do Sonographers do?
Sonographers operate ultrasound equipment to take images of patients to find potential problems.
Which industries employ Sonographers?
Sonographers are most commonly found in the Healthcare and Social Assistance industries.
Do I need to go to university to become a Sonographer?
Yes. You will need to complete a relevant undergraduate level qualification, and then a postgraduate qualification in order to work as a Sonographer.
Where do Sonographers work?
Many Sonographers work in private practice, but there are also roles available in public clinics and hospitals as well.
What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Sonographer?
If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Sonographer is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:
- See if you can get work experience in a health-related setting, such as in a hospital or local clinic. This can help you decide whether or not the career is right for you and can help you start building connections.
- Browse the postgraduate courses available and make sure you know the requirements for entry. Make sure the undergraduate course you’re looking at will let you gain entry into the postgraduate course.
- Try volunteering in your local community. This is a great way to build some essential skills such as communication, empathy, and independence, as well as looking great on your job and uni applications.