How to Become a Sonographer UK

8 February  •  Locum
How to Become a Sonographer UK

Sonography is a vital and important part of the medical diagnostic process and there is a huge need for experienced sonographers in the UK. Using a range of innovative techniques, ultrasound technology and specialist skills, sonographers can work in a variety of roles, departments and medical fields. Careers in sonography can be rewarding, challenging and there are plenty of opportunities to specialise or study further. If you're thinking about moving to the UK to become a sonographer, we take a look at what skills, experience and qualifications you need as well as how to become a sonographer UK based.

Sonography technician jobs in the UK

As a sonographer, you will be expected to take on a variety of different tasks, including setting up the ultrasound machine, preparing patients for procedures, analysing the images from the ultrasound and creating reports. You may also need to be able to discuss the results of the ultrasound with the patient or physician and make sure the patient feels as comfortable as possible. When you are looking for sonography jobs in the UK, you should also look for job titles including

  • Sonographer
  • Sonography Technician
  • Ultrasound Practitioner
  • Lead Sonographer
  • Clinical Ultrasound Specialist
  • Ultrasonographer

How to become a sonographer UK?

To know how to become a sonographer UK based, you will need to have studied the field in a higher education setting and have a postgraduate certificate in sonography. Most sonography jobs require at least an undergraduate degree in a relevant subject such as health science, radiography, nursing or midwifery. Some higher sonography roles may require a certain number of years of practical experience in the field or references from previous employers.

Postgraduate ultrasound qualifications

You will also need to hold a postgraduate certificate or diploma in clinical or medical ultrasound in order to practise sonography in the UK. You will need to take a course that has been approved by the Consortium for Accreditation of Sonographic Education (CASE) which can be viewed on their online course directory. In some cases there are apprenticeship opportunities to become a sonographer, combining practical and theoretical learning and they usually take around three years to complete.

Valuable skills for sonographers

As a sonographer, you will need to have a good understanding of medicine and the human body and have undertaken specialist training to use ultrasound equipment. Like with any medical role, as a sonographer you will truly making a difference in people's lives but there will also be a range of technical and administrative tasks too, such as creating reports and making sure the equipment is in good condition. You'll also need attention to detail, accuracy and patience for this role.

Working with patients and your team

There is a lot of patient contact in a sonographer role, so it's important to work on your people skills. You will also need to be kind, sensitive and empathetic, spending time with patients and sharing any results in an understanding and clear way so make sure your communication skills are excellent. Sonographers work with a number of different medical professionals in a multi-disciplinary team so it's important to be able to get on well with others and work collaboratively. You may be working with radiologists, cardiologists, midwives, obstetricians, oncologists and more so it is important to be able to communicate and collaborate.

How much do sonographers earn in the UK?

According to the National Careers Service, a sonographer's average salary ranges from £40,056 to £53, 218 a year. As you build up your experience and time in the NHS, there are a number of options for specialisation and salary increases. Locum sonographers can expect to earn up to £55 an hour, depending on experience.

Working in the UK medical sector

The UK is famous for its National Health Service, and medical professionals from around the world are keen to work in this dynamic and rewarding field. If you're planning to move to the UK for a sonographer job, you will need to make sure you are able to work and have the right documentation. You will also have to go through compliance checks before taking a sonography role, which could include an up to date DBS check. In some locum sonography jobs, you may need to register with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) who ensure that all professionals meet their standards to work in the UK healthcare sector.

Work visas for sonographers in the UK

If you are applying to work as a sonographer in the UK from abroad you will also need to apply for a Health and Care work visa. There is a relatively short waiting process due to the demand for sonographers in the UK and you will need to have a confirmed job offer from a UK healthcare provider before you apply for your visa. In order to meet the requirements, you must be a qualified health professional and work for a UK employer who will give you a certificate of sponsorship with details of your future role. Because sonographers need to be able to talk patients through complex medical information and explain the process, it's also important that you can communicate effectively. Because of this, you will need to prove that you are able to read, write, speak and understand English if you are applying for a Health and Care work visa.

Working in sonography during the Covid-19 pandemic

Sonography remains a vital tool for diagnostics and sonographers have continued doing their vital work throughout the pandemic, however, there is a backlog of cases that needs tackling. If you're working in a UK hospital, you will need to be aware of all the necessary infection control procedures and wear PPE when necessary. There has also been a huge backlog of patients in the NHS, who need ultrasounds as soon as possible so the need for sonographers in the UK has never been greater.

Browse sonographer jobs

If you have the skills and experience and want to learn more about how to become a sonographer UK based, there are countless opportunities available, from locum sonographer jobs to UK sonography jobs based in a specific area. Browse our UK sonography jobs today and find the perfect role for you.

Related Articles

Beat The Backlog
Locums Urgently Needed!