Medical Sonographers

Occupation:Medical Sonographers

About the job

Nature of work:

Medical sonographers operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to aid physicians in monitoring pregnancies and in diagnosing cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular and other medical disorders. They are employed in clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers may specialize in abdominal, cardiac, cerebral, obstetrical and gynaecological, ophthalmic, intraluminal or peripheral vascular sonography. They may also specialize in adult or pediatric echocardiography or neurosonology. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this unit group.


You should be interested in medicine and health. You must be able to deal with people in a mature, tactful, and professional way. You should also be comfortable working with instruments, apparatus, and technology. A background in science would be helpful.

Completion of a training program in a related field such as diagnostic radiography, nuclear medicine, or nursing and completion of a one-year college or hospital-based program in diagnostic medical sonography and supervised practical training are required to work in this occupation. Certification examinations by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers are usually required by employers. Employers may require registration with the Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Other considerations:

Although the majority of people in these occupations are employed full-time, part-time and casual work arrangements are common.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Good

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “good”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is above average. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia, with employment around 125, and so job opportunities may not be that frequent. However, competition for positions may be low due to few qualified jobseekers. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next five years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With only 0% of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are not expected to be a major contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Medical Sonographers are most commonly working full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are most typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 76% of individuals in this occupational group who worked full-time, year-round in 2010 was $65,678. The median income for the occupation overall was $64,751
(Source: 2011 National Household Survey)

Estimated employment in 2011Estimated change in employment between 2011 and 2016Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2011-2016Estimated rate of unemployment in 2014 Estimated hourly earnings in 2013
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Around Average
Percent employed full-time: 76.2 %
Percent self employed:0.0 %
Where will I likely work?
Area of Employment% Employed
Southern Region10.0
Northern Region10.0
Cape Breton45.0
Industry of Employment% Employed
Health Care and Social Assistance1.0
What are the workers like?
Age% Employed
Gender% Employed
Education% Employed
Less than high school graduation certificate0.0
High school graduation certificate or equivalent0.0
Trades certificate or diploma0.0
Non-university certificate or diploma44.4
University certificate or diploma below bachelor16.7
University bachelor's degree38.9
University post graduate degrees0.0
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

Medical Sonographer
Special Requirements:Standards exist for this profession in Nova Scotia. Certification or membership in a professional association may be required by employers. However, a certificate is not required to work in this occupation.
Regulating body:
Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
PO Box 1220
Kemptville, ON K0J 1J0
(888) 273-6746
(888) 743-2952
Useful contacts:
QEII/Dalhousie School of Health Sciences
6th Floor Bethune Building 1276 South Park Street
Halifax, NS B3H 2Y9
Tel: (902) 473-5510
Fax: (902) 473-5115
Canadian Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
PO Box 1220
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Tel: (888) 273-6746
Fax: (888) 743-2952
American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography
1401 Rockville Pike, Suite 600
Rockville, MD - USA 20850-1402
Tel: (800) 541-9754
Fax: (301) 738-0312
Canadian Association of Registered Diagnostic Ultrasound Professionals
PO Box 119
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Tel: (877) 488-0788
Fax: (888) 743-2952

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Diagnostic medical sonography/sonographer and ultrasound technician
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals, under the supervision of physicians, to utilize medical ultrasound techniques to gather sonographic data used to diagnose a variety of conditions and diseases. These programs include courses in obtaining, reviewing, and integrating patient histories and data; patient instruction and care; anatomic, physiologic and pathologic data recording; sonographic data processing; sonography equipment operation; and professional standards and ethics.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450