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Career and Education Opportunities for Sonographers in Irvine, California

There are many career and education opportunities for sonographers in the Irvine, California area. There are currently 3,300 jobs for sonographers in California and this is projected to grow 18% to 3,900 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for sonographers are expected to grow by about 18.3%. In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

The income of a sonographer is about $34 per hour or $72,690 yearly on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $29 per hour or $61,980 per year on average. Earnings for sonographers are better than earnings in the general category of Healthcare Technical in California and better than general Healthcare Technical category earnings nationally. Sonographers work in a variety of jobs, including: sonography technician, ultrasound technician, and ultrasound tester.

There are 112 schools of higher education in the Irvine area, including ten within twenty-five miles of Irvine where you can get a degree to start your career as a sonographer. Sonographers usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so you can expect to spend about two years studying to be a sonographer if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Sonographer

Sonographer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, sonographers produce ultrasonic recordings of internal organs for use by physicians.

Sonographers decide on appropriate apparatus settings and adjust patient positions to obtain the best sites and angles. They also observe and care for patients throughout examinations to insure their safety and comfort. Equally important, sonographers have to ready patient for exam by explaining procedure, transferring them to ultrasound table, scrubbing skin and applying gel, and positioning them properly. They are often called upon to furnish sonograms and oral or written summaries of technical findings to physicians for use in medical diagnoses. They are expected to decide which images to include, looking for differences between healthy and pathological areas. Finally, sonographers furnish sonograms and oral or written summaries of technical findings to physicians for use in medical diagnoses.

Every day, sonographers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for sonographers to observe screen during scan to insure that image produced is satisfactory for diagnostic purposes, making adjustments to apparatus as required. They are often called upon to operate ultrasound apparatus to produce and record images of the motion, shape and composition of blood, organs, tissues and bodily masses such as fluid accumulations. They also process and code film from procedures and complete appropriate documentation. They are sometimes expected to perform medical procedures such as administering oxygen, inserting and removing airways, taking vital signs, and giving emergency treatment, such as first aid or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Somewhat less frequently, sonographers are also expected to maintain records that include patient data, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records such as pathology or post-operative reports.

Sonographers sometimes are asked to clean, check and maintain sonographic apparatus, submitting maintenance requests or performing minor repairs as needed. They also have to be able to decide whether the scope of exams should be extended, on the basis of findings and direct work with physicians and other health care team members, including providing assistance during invasive procedures. And finally, they sometimes have to maintain records that include patient data, sonographs and interpretations, files of correspondence, publications and regulations, or quality assurance records such as pathology or post-operative reports.

Like many other jobs, sonographers must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Irvine include:

  • Cardiac Technician. Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary-functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
  • Health Information Systems Technician. Compile, process, and maintain medical records of hospital and clinic patients in a manner consistent with medical, administrative, and regulatory requirements of the health care system. Process, maintain, and report patient information for health requirements and standards.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician. Perform routine medical laboratory tests for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May work under the supervision of a medical technologist.
  • Medical Laboratory Technologist. Perform complex medical laboratory tests for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. May train or supervise staff.
  • Respiratory Therapy Technician. Provide specific, well defined respiratory care procedures under the direction of respiratory therapists and physicians.
  • Surgical Technician. Assist in operations, under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses, or other surgical personnel. May help set up operating room, prepare and transport patients for surgery, adjust lights and equipment, pass instruments and other supplies to surgeons and surgeon's assistants, hold retractors, and help count sponges, needles, and instruments.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Sonographer Training

ATI College - Norwalk, CA

ATI College, 12440 Firestone Blvd Ste 2001, Norwalk, CA 90650. ATI College is a small college located in Norwalk, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 162 students. ATI College has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated sixty-one students in 2008.

Modern Technology School - Fountain Valley, CA

Modern Technology School, 16560 Harbor Blvd., Units K-Q, Fountain Valley, CA 92708-9821. Modern Technology School is a small school located in Fountain Valley, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 214 students and an admission rate of 37%. Modern Technology School has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated ninety-four students in 2008.

Cypress College - Cypress, CA

Cypress College, 9200 Valley View, Cypress, CA 90630-5897. Cypress College is a large college located in Cypress, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,990 students. Cypress College has less than one year, associate's degree, and two to four year programs in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated eleven, three, and zero students respectively in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has 2 areas of study related to Sonographer. They are:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated twenty-one and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Allied Health Diagnostic, Intervention, & Treatment Professions, Other Specialties, associate's degree and two to four year which graduated two and zero students respectively in 2008.

Newbridge College-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

Newbridge College-Long Beach, 3799 E. Burnett St., Long Beach, CA 90815. Newbridge College-Long Beach is a small college located in Long Beach, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 420 students and an admission rate of 76%. Newbridge College-Long Beach has a two to four year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.

Newbridge College - Santa Ana, CA

Newbridge College, 1840 E 17th St Ste 140, Santa Ana, CA 92705. Newbridge College is a small college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 390 students and an admission rate of 74%. Newbridge College has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated 176 students in 2008.

ATI College-SantaAna - Santa Ana, CA

ATI College-SantaAna, 1125 East 17th Street, suite N251, Santa Ana, CA 92701. ATI College-SantaAna is a small college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 54 students. ATI College-SantaAna has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated seven students in 2008.

Career Colleges of America - South Gate, CA

Career Colleges of America, 5612 E Imperial Hwy, South Gate, CA 90280. Career Colleges of America is a small college located in South Gate, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,087 students. Career Colleges of America has a one to two year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician.

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science - Los Angeles, CA

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 E 120th St, Los Angeles, CA 90059. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is a small university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 249 students. Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science has a one to two year and a bachelor's degree program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician which graduated nine and zero students respectively in 2008.

PCI College - Cerritos, CA

PCI College, 17215 Studebaker Rd #310, Cerritos, CA 90703. PCI College is a small college located in Cerritos, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 155 students. PCI College has a less than one year program in Diagnostic Medical Sonography/Sonographer & Ultrasound Technician.

CERTIFICATIONS

Registered Technologist - Sonography: The purpose of the ARRT Examination in Sonography is to assess the knowledge and cognitive skills underlying the intelligent performance of the tasks typically required of staff sonographers at entry into the profession.

For more information, see the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists website.

Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist: Registered Ophthalmic Ultrasound Biometrist (ROUB) includes: Keratometry, Physics, Biometry Instrumentation, Instrument Settings for Biometry, Examination Techniques for Biometry, Sources of Error in Biometry, and Intraocular Lens Power Calculations.

For more information, see the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Irvine, California

Irvine, California
Irvine, California photo by SoCal L.A.

Irvine is situated in Orange County, California. It has a population of over 207,500, which has grown by 45.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Irvine, 136, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Irvine are valued at $283,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-five new homes were built in Irvine, down from two hundred twenty-nine the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Irvine are educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, educational services, and computer and electronic products. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 58.4% of Irvine residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Irvine is 7.3%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Irvine residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 44.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Irvine is home to the International Raceway and the Heritage Park Library as well as Heritage Park and Alderwood Park. Shopping centers in the area include Heritage Plaza Shopping Center, Alton Square Shopping Center and Arbor Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Irvine can choose from Atrium Hotel At Orange County Airport and Amerilodge Electronics for temporary stays in the area.