Once Diagnostic Medical Sonographers earn ultrasound degrees and ARDMS registration, they can search for employment in most areas of the U.S. Only four states require sonographer licensing (check sonographer license requirements) – North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Oregon. Many people have specific places in mind where they would like to work but do not know how to enter an unfamiliar job market (Check sonographer salary by state). There are three excellent approaches, including using ultrasound staffing agencies, consulting with academic facilities and networking.
Use an Ultrasound Staffing Agency
It is not unusual for an ultrasound technician to have her or his heart set on working in a particular city or state. Some people are just starting a new career as a sonographer (Read the detailed ultrasound job description), while others have work experience. The question is: What is the best way to enter a new job market?
It is not a major lifestyle change when the targeted location is only 100 or 200 miles away, but what if the job market is tight in the new location? Even more challenging is when a sonographer wants to move a long distance like from Maryland to Colorado or New York to California. Finding employment thousands of miles away in an area where the job market is tight requires a strategy.
One of the solutions is to sign up with an ultrasound staffing agency. There are numerous ultrasound technologist staffing agencies meeting employer staffing needs in healthcare facilities and clinics. The types of work arrangements include:
- Temp-to-perm – accept a temporary job that leads to a permanent position | See Job Openings
- Contracted position – accept a job with a defined start and end date | See Job Openings
- Direct hire – candidates accept a full-time position | See Job Openings
- Per diem position – accept a traveling sonographer position that offers work in the desired location | See Job Openings
The temp-to-perm, contracted position and per diem positions are excellent routes for getting connected with the ultrasound technology professionals and facilities in the desired location. There are many businesses dedicated to supplying qualified sonographers to facilities on an as-needed basis. The temporary staffing agencies have a large network of customers and contacts, and are very likely to have work available in the desired location for general sonographers or one or more sonography specialties. Simply Google “ultrasound staffing agency” or “ultrasound agency” to find numerous options.
Contact Academic Institutions and Associations
The CAAHEP accredited ultrasound technician programs are very familiar with the job market and employer requirements. A sonographer interested in working in a particular area can contact sonography program staff at a school in the area to get information on the type of jobs graduating students are getting, the area facilities most likely to be hiring now or in the near future and potential contacts.
The professional associations are also good sources of information. They include the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), the American Society of Echocardiography (ASECHO) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), to name a few.
However, do not overlook healthcare associations like the American Health Care Association (AHCA) which has a free available job listing in its Long Term Care Career Center. Another route into a job market is to get a non-sonography position in healthcare and use the time to continue searching for a sonography position or to network.
Networking is a Working Strategy
Anyone who wants to move to a particular area should network. Networking simply means getting to know different people who then know people. One of the main reasons for joining a sonography association is to network with the staff and members. It is easy to let members know there is an interest in finding a sonographer in a city or area, and they in turn will share connects and make suggestions.
Many sonography jobs are not advertised. They are quickly filled through an employer’s network of contacts. Networking is one of the best ways to tap into a job market. Begin by talking to coworkers, family and friends because there may be someone who has family or friends working in the area or who came from that area. Other people include personal physician, local university sonography program staff, fellow club members and people in organizations holding seminars and workshops on relevant healthcare topics like fetal care. Even the Chamber of Commerce is a good organization to visit because local groups are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce which covers all fifty states. Diverse sonographers can also make contact with organizations like the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC).
It is important to make as many contacts as possible through an ultrasound staffing agency, universities and colleges, professional associations, family, friends, coworkers and so on. Most people have more resources than they realize. Before networking, write down career goals and make a list of potential contacts. Then get busy calling, emailing and visiting the contacts to get on the new career path.