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What Is the Difference Between an Ultrasound Tech & a Medical Sonographer?

Diagnostic medical sonographers 2022 U.S. Salary and Gender Pay Difference State Heatmap

A sonographer is a trained professional who operates an ultrasound machine and can identify normal anatomy and pathology. A sonographer is sometimes called an ultrasound tech or technologist, an ultrasonographer, or a diagnostic medical sonographer. These are all names for the same job function.

Ultrasound Technologist

An ultrasound technologist, or sonographer, utilizes sound waves to create images of internal organs. The sonographer must understand human anatomy, and usually has an extensive knowledge of physics.

Vascular Ultrasound Technologist

A vascular ultrasound technologist specializes in the cardiovascular system. The technologist has expertise in anatomy and pathology of the arterial and venous systems.

Cardiovascular Ultrasound Technologist

This sonographer solely images the heart and diagnoses heart valve defects, irregular blood flow patterns, and birth abnormalities.

Obstetric Sonographer

An obstetric sonographer works in a high-risk fetal assessment center, and works with pregnant patients who may have a complicated pregnancy. The sonographer checks on maternal and fetal well-being.


A neurosonographer uses sound waves to image the brain. This technologist may even frequent the operating room to assist in the removal of brain tumors when ultrasound is used as guidance.