Images of a great future: Sonography a fast-growing field

General Sonography

Looking for a rewarding career in health care with a bright future? Think about general sonography!

Sonographers combine knowledge and skill as they use specialized equipment that transmits sound waves into a patient’s body and records the collected echoes to form an image. These ultrasound images are then used by physicians to make diagnoses. Enjoy the personal rewards of helping people while working in one of today’s in-demand fields!

While general sonographers are often associated with obstetric and gynecological ultrasound, they do scan other areas throughout the body as well, such as abdomen and breast. Other specialties include vascular sonography, focusing on all vessels except for the heart, and echocardiography or cardiac sonography, which focuses on the heart.

About the Program 

The College offers an associate degree in general sonography. This is a second admit program, meaning students must first take some basic studies courses then apply for admission to the sonography program. After completing the prerequisites, apply by Jan. 31 for the spring term. Students will learn concepts in the classroom and then practice skills and techniques in labs and clinical assignments.

Sonographers are in demand in today’s job market, with 19 percent job growth through 2026. Stephen Geiersbach, associate professor and program director for general sonography, tells students entering the program that jobs are available, but they will have to look further than the mid-Michigan area. Usually, within about six months of graduation, 80 percent or more of Jackson College sonography graduates have jobs. Starting wages average between $23 and $26 an hour.

Sonographers need to be well-versed in anatomy and have skills using the ultrasound device in scanning. However, being a good sonographer goes beyond knowledge and skill.

“We have to have a well-rounded student, one who is compassionate as well as bright,” Geiersbach said. “Sonographers really need to have a good bedside manner, to have compassion for human beings, because often, you will meet people on what is likely one of the worst days of their life. You have to be concerned about each person and their particular situation at that time. If a student can’t do this, they will not be hired.”