A sonographer is a radiographer who performs ultrasound examinations.
To become a sonographer, it is necessary to gain a bachelors degree or postgraduate qualification in diagnostic radiography. Entry to radiography degree courses is usually with at least two A levels, one of which must be in a science subject. Universities usually expect applicants to have spent time observing radiographers in a hospital setting. Entry to postgraduate radiography degree courses is usually with a bachelors degree in a health-related subject. Following completing basic training in radiography, it is necessary for prospective sonographers to specialise in sonography through studying for a postgraduate certificate or diploma in sonography. Before entering into employment, sonographers must register with the Health Professions Council (HPC). Once in employment, they must agree to update their skills by engaging in regular training sessions.
Sonographers are employed by the NHS and private hospitals and clinics. The majority of sonographers in the NHS work 35 hours a week. Part-time work is possible. Jobs for qualified sonographers may be advertised through healthcare recruitment agencies. There is currently a shortage of trained sonographers in the UK, particularly in south-east England.
Sonographers working in the NHS may earn between £30,000 and £40,000 a year. Sonographers may progress to senior sonographer or consultant sonographer posts.