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


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.

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