A cardiac sonographer's job (AKA echocardiologist, echo tech) is to take detailed images of the heart with an ultrasound machine to aid a cardiologist. In many minds, the word 'ultrasound' is tied directly to pregnancy, but the technology is very useful when directed at a patient's heart as well.
The process/test itself is called an echocardiogram (or just echo for short) and is normally conducted within a hospital setting or can be part of a private cardiology company's facilities. The average echo takes about 30 minutes to complete and is completely noninvasive, so it is, in the patient’s mind, one of the easier and less stressful of the medical tests their doctors might order.
Rarely is the cardiologist him or herself in the room when the echo is being performed so it is essential that a great deal of trust exists between the cardiac sonographer and the doctors they work for so truly rewarding working relationships are often formed.
For those people who love working with other people, being a cardiac sonographer is personally rewarding. Not only do you get to work directly with the cardiologist but you are also identifying and investigating possible issues related to the heart that could save a patient's life or fix an ongoing problem.
What type of schooling is necessary to become a Cardiac Sonographer?
Two years of education from an accredited college (online or otherwise) is all that is necessary. It is extremely important to verify that the institution you attend is accredited as you will otherwise be unable to register for the National Registry Exam that all hiring medical facilities require.
What kind of salary can I expect to earn as a Cardiac Sonographer?
While wages vary from location to location, the median salary in the U.S. for an echocardiologist is at around the $70,000/year mark. Cardiac sonographers are among the best-paid medical technicians in the healthcare industry.