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The Different Types of Ultrasound Technician Specialties, Explained

Being an ultrasound technician is an in-demand job. The field is expected to grow 10 percent by 2031.

But what does an ultrasound technician do? And what are the different ultrasound technician types?

We’ve got the 411. Let’s go through the different types of ultrasound technicians.

General or Vascular Sonographers

These technicians perform a wide range of ultrasound examinations on various body parts. Common places include the abdomen, pelvis, and blood vessels.

General sonographers assist in finding gallstones, kidney stones, liver issues, and tumors.

Obstetric and Gynecologic Sonographers

Obstetric and gynecologic sonographers focus on imaging the female reproductive system.

OB/GYN sonographers often conduct pelvic ultrasounds to look for different conditions. Some conditions they look at include endometriosis, PID, and pelvic pain.

They also look at developing fetuses during pregnancy. They track the fetus’s health and growth.

These professionals take images of the fetus. They’ll get shots of the head, limbs, heart, and internal organs. These images help in identifying any birth defects that could need treatment.

In some cases, transvaginal ultrasounds may be required. That way, professionals can get more detailed images of the uterus and ovaries.

Emergency Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

What does a diagnostic medical sonographer do in an emergency room? They train to quickly perform exams to help with the diagnosis of acute conditions. These include things like trauma or abdominal pain.

To work in this field, you need specific training. If you’re interested, look at different diagnostic medical sonography programs in your area.

Cardiac Sonographers (Echocardiographers)

Cardiac sonographers assess the heart’s anatomy. That includes the size and shape of the chambers and the thickness of the heart walls.

It also includes heart valve function. That helps find things like heart valve disease, cardiomyopathy, and congenital defects.

Some cardiac sonographers perform stress echocardiograms. Patients are either exercised on a treadmill or given medication to simulate exercise. This helps assess how the heart responds to stress. It can also aid in diagnosing coronary artery disease.

Ophthalmic Sonographers

Ophthalmic sonographers perform ultrasound examinations of the eyes and the surrounding tissue. They use sound waves to create images of the eye’s internal structures. Sonographers examine things like the cornea, lens, vitreous humor, retina, and optic nerve.

These professionals look for abnormalities, tumors, foreign bodies, retinal detachments, and other conditions.

Some ophthalmic sonographers may further specialize. They could focus on things like oncology, glaucoma evaluation, or pediatric ophthalmic ultrasound. Specializations may require extra training.


Neurosonographers perform ultrasound examinations of the brain and nervous system.

They look at the brain’s structures, including the ventricles and cortex. Sonographers can catch conditions like hydrocephalus, hemorrhages, cysts, tumors, and congenital brain anomalies.

In younger patients, neurosonographers use the fontanelles as access points for imaging. Transcranial Doppler ultrasound is a common technique used to examine brain blood flow.

Ultrasound Technicians: Now You Know

Hopefully, you now understand what is an ultrasound technician and all the different types out there. There are a lot of options for your future career!

Do you want to start a career as an ultrasound technician? Get started with Healthcare Career College today.