Ultrasound Technician/Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Ultrasound Technicians (Medical Sonographers) operate ultrasound equipment to produce and record images of various parts of the body to aid physicians in monitoring pregnancies and in diagnosing cardiac, ophthalmic, vascular and other medical disorders. They are employed in clinics and hospitals. Medical sonographers who are supervisors or instructors are included in this unit group.

Essential Skills

(the number in brackets indicates the level of ES)


Program Locations in Alberta

  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)  –  Edmonton, AB
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) – Calgary, AB

Program Contact

  • Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)  –  http://www.nait.ca | Toll-Free: +1 (877) 333-6248 |Business: +1 (780) 471-6248 | Fax: + (780) 471-8490
  • Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT)   http://www.sait.ca |Toll-Free: +1 (877) 284-7248 | Business: +1 (403) 284-7248 | Fax: +1 (403) 284-7112

Program Description

  • The minimum educational requirement is a three year diploma program in diagnostic medical sonography. The Ultrasound, or Diagnostic Medical Sonography, is a technology involving the application of high-frequency sound waves toward patients to help physicians in medical diagnoses. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers work as members of patient care teams, assessing patients and providing information to physicians for diagnoses and monitoring patients’ health status. As a member of a health-care team, an Ultrasound Technologist (sonographer) uses a variety of hand-held scanning probes and imaging techniques in order to differentiate between technical artifacts and questionable clinical appearances from pathology. Comprehensive medical knowledge and extensive technical skills are required to adjust scanning procedures to accommodate the specific diagnostic needs of each patient’s condition. Both programs offered in Alberta are accredited diploma programs that prepare students to conduct ultrasound examinations, focusing on obstetrics and gynecology, abdomen and superficial structures, cardiac sonography and vascular sonographic studies. Students participate in clinical rotations in locations throughout Alberta and elsewhere. After successful completion of both the didactic and clinical components of the program, graduates are eligible to write the specific registration examinations set by Sonography Canada and/or the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) and become members of several professional diagnostic ultrasound associations. Grads are in high demand for careers in hospitals and community clinics. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers work in hospital and clinic settings.  Continuing Education is mandatory for this profession. Competence is maintained by taking a minimum number of continuing education credits every three years. Diagnostic Medical Sonography graduates are eligible for credit toward a Bachelor of Technology in Technology Management (BTech-TM), NAIT, or a Bachelor of Science in Human Sciences, Athabasca University. PLAR (Prior Learning Assessment)  and Transfer of Credit or Credential Recognition may also be available for applicants with a credit obtained overseas or in other Canadian provinces provided that they have completed the course or the program no more than 5 years ago with a minimum a mark of C.
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (NAIT)  – http://www.nait.ca/76676.htm
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SAIT) – http://www.sait.ca/programs-and-courses/full-time-studies/diplomas/diagnostic-medical-sonography 

Program Length & Cost

(as indicated on Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website)

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (NAIT) –  a 3-year diploma program – $4,334.00+ $ $3,225.00 Books & Supplies  + $958.00Mandatory Fees (Year One)
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SAIT) – a 3-year diploma program – $5,154.89 + $3,520.00 Books & Supplies  + $1,371.36 Mandatory Fees (Year One)

Occupation Outlook

  • Occupational outlook is currently unavailable. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions. Since ultrasound does not expose patients to known hazards (as does ionizing radiation or the injection of dyes), its use in medicine is growing rapidly. Ultrasound is used in Internal Medicine (abdomen), Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Neurology, Vascular Studies, Muscular Studies, Pediatrics. Most diagnostic medical sonographers work in hospitals or private clinics. In Alberta, 93% of people employed as medical sonographers work in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry. The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the  Health Care and Social Assistance industry), location in Alberta, employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions), occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before), size of the occupation. Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.


  • Average Salary: $ 79,827.00 | Average Wage: $45.65

Resources – ALIS profile, NOC, IAF