Sonographer Job Search Tips

If you're interested in a sonographer job, the future looks positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of sonographer jobs should increase faster than average, an increase of 20 percent or more, between 2008 and 2018. This doesn't mean, however, that your job search will be effortless.

Getting the Proper Education for a Sonographer Job

A diagnostic medical sonographer, or simply a sonographer or ultrasonographer, can either learn on the job or complete an accredited education program. Employers often prefer to hire registered sonographers, so the first step is usually to complete the required education. Though no states currently require licenses for medical sonographers, you will be competing with other workers that have completed the required education and who are registered.

According to College Navigator, over 200 programs exist for diagnostic medical sonography in the United States. Approximately 30 of these programs are 4-year programs, and the remaining ones require 2 years or less. The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs provides a searchable database of accredited programs; here you can search by state and find information about online programs. You should consider an accredited program first, since many employers will consider the completion of an accredited program as the minimum eligibility requirement for an entry-level position.

It is possible to train on the job for this position, by working at a hospital or a clinic, or through training while in the military; however, advancement and additional certification and specialization may require that you have completed an accredited program.

Consulting Your College Career Center

The school you attend is also the first place to look for a sonographer job. Many schools offer career services, such as career counseling, help writing resumes and career fairs. Career fairs on campuses usually occur early in the school term, either September or October. While this schedule may seem early, it gives the graduating class time to start looking for work, research their options, prepare to move and find internships during the school year.

Before attending a career fair, make sure the list of attendees is posted, so you can determine if the right representatives are attending the fair. For example, if you want a sonographer job in California, the career fair is not valuable to you if all of the employers are from the East Coast.

Searching the Internet for a Sonographer Job

Career fairs are the best choice to meet the human resources staff that have the authority to hire new employees, but the Internet can be a valuable tool, especially if you plan to relocate. Vertical search engines, such as Indeed or Career Jet, scrape job postings from the major job boards and use the job feeds from employers to produce a job-postings-only database. Other sites, such as SimplyHired, also have mapping tools, connect with Facebook and LinkedIn, and provide some salary data.

Niche job boards, boards that are specific to an industry or sector, are a good source of relevant job postings. A niche job board, such as Hospital Jobs Online, will allow you to limit your sonographer job search to specific regions and to sign up for alerts for when relevant sonographer job postings appear in their database. The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) also provides a career center on their website, which includes recommendations for places to search on the Internet for work and other work search advice.