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If you’re considering pursuing a career as a sonographer in California, the first step is to research the career and find a program to attend in your area. We’ve done much of the work for you, and here we’ll provide you with job growth data and salary expectations, certification requirements,  and a comprehensive list of accredited sonography schools. In addition, we can help connect you with schools in your area offering programs in diagnostic medical sonography or one of the many other growing fields in allied health.

Begin a career as an ultrasound tech or one of the many related careers by requesting information from schools listed below.  Research the programs they offer, and ask questions to make sure it’s a good fit for your career goals.

5 Programs Found

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Explore a new career with Pima Medical Institute. We offer a number of certificate, associate, and bachelor's degree programs in the medical, allied health, dentistry, nursing, mortuary science, veterinary, and massage therapy fields.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
Locations: Chula Vista

Welcome to Carrington College - The Starting Point for Health Care Careers. With roots that date back more than 45 years, Carrington College has helped to shape the careers of tens of thousands of students as they prepare to enter health care professions.

Programs:

  • Vocational Nursing
  • Medical Assisting
  • Registered Nursing - California
San Joaquin Valley College is an accredited private junior college committed to the professional success of its students and graduates.
Founded in 1977, SJVC has campuses located throughout California-including an Online division and offers a variety of accelerated Certificate and Associate of Science degree programs in the business, medical and technical fields.

Students benefit from a balance of classroom instruction and real-world experience, learning the skills they need to go straight to work in today’s competitive job market.

Programs:

  • Medical Assistant
  • Dental Assistant
Locations: FresnoOntario
Successful careers begin at the Milan Institute. We offer quality hands-on training, experienced faculty and a staff committed to helping you realize your goals.

Programs:

  • Medical Assisting
  • Registered Dental Assistant
  • Administrative Medical Assistant
Locations: Palm DesertBakersfield
Study online or on campus with Santa Barbara Business College. We offer associate, bachelor, and master's degree programs in business, criminal justice, education, information technology, paralegal studies, pharmacy technology, health care, nursing, and more.

Programs:

  • Vocational Nursing
  • Associate of Science Medical Assisting
  • Associate of Science Medical Billing and Coding
  • And more...
Locations: Santa MariaVentura

sonographer with patient

Learning Options

A sonography degree prepares you for a variety of job functions from introducing future parents to a first look at their baby to identifying abnormalities, such as tumors, growing inside a patient’s organs.

Learning Options

What Level of Education Do I Need?

If you would like to become a diagnostic medical sonographer or ultrasound technician, ultimately your goal is to complete and pass the ARDMS exam. While not all states require such certification, the majority of clinics and hospitals prefer candidates to hold this professional credential.

Find School & Program Information

California Ultrasound Career Outlook

With some of the largest medical centers in the nation, including the many campuses of the University of California, California has many unique employment opportunities for those educated and trained in medical imaging or a related career. Also, as the population ages, an increased employment demand is placed on the industry, both to fill positions vacated by retirees, and to help fill the gap created by an increased demand for healthcare.

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals had the highest employment numbers, employing over 53.7% of ultrasound technicians. Overall job growth for diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to be 43% through 2022. Completion of a program from one of the ultrasound technician schools in California will help prepare you for a position in this growing, competitive field.

Career One Stop, http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=111111111&jobfam=29&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=292032&menuMode=&stfips=06&x=33&y=16

Benefits of an Ultrasound Degree

  • An associates degree will help prepare you for entry level sonography positions.
  • You can typically complete your program in two years.
  • Prerequisites are typically only a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • It provides a solid foundation from which to build your career.

Online Learning

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Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs:

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Health Sciences
  • MA Human Services: Health & Wellness
  • AA: Medical Office Assistance
  • And more...

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

Programs:

  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
The ITT Technical Institutes offer programs in some of today's hottest technical areas. With over 100 locations nationwide and several online programs available, the ITT Techs are one of the leading providers of technology education. Each ITT Tech offers convenient class schedules and Career Services are offered to help you find a job.

Programs:

  • BS - Nursing
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.

Programs:

  • Medical Transcriptionist
  • Medical Coding and Billing

Limited English Proficient (LEP) Individuals

According to the US Department of Education, limited English proficient (LEP) learners were the fastest growing population in the country. It is estimated that 50% of adults in Los Angeles cannot read or write English. The healthcare industry is concerned that Californians as a result may not be receiving optimal health care.

Bilingual or multilingual health care professionals are in increasing demand, and are therefore seeing higher employment opportunities.

Accredited Sonography Schools in California

The following programs have all been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP):

Charles R Drew University of Medicine & Science – Los Angeles, CA
Website: www.cdrewu.edu

Community Regional Medical Center – Fresno
Website: www.communitymedical.org

Cypress College – Cypress, CA
Website: www.cypresscollege.edu

Foothill College – Los Altos Hills, CA
Website: www.foothill.edu

Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences – Richmond, CA
Website: www.kpsahs.org

Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, CA
Website: www.llu.edu

Orange Coast College – Costa Mesa, CA
Website: www.orangecoastcollege.edu

Platt College Los Angeles, LLC – Alhambra, CA
Website: www.plattcollege.edu

Santa Barbara City College – Santa Barbara, CA
Website: www.sbcc.edu

University of California San Diego Medical Center – San Diego, CA
Website: www.ucsd.edu

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, California employs more Diagnostic Medical Sonographers than any other state.

 

Estimated Job Growth by County in California** (2012-2022)

Sacramento Metro Area 37.9%
East Bay Area 13.9%
San Joaquin 37.5%
San Diego County 25.5%
Sutter and Yuba Counties 33.3%

Certification Requirements in California

California does not require licensure to be an ultrasound technician. However, most employers require professional certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS). The only way to earn certification is by taking and passing their exam. There are many locations throughout California to take the exam, and you can find them on the ARDMS website at ardms.org, or by calling 1-877-258-9220.

The easiest way to qualify to sit for the exam is to graduate from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Otherwise, you’ll need 12 months of full time clinical experience. Request information from several ultrasound technician schools in California, and do the research to make sure that they meet the certification requirements you’re looking for.

California employs more ultrasound technicians than any other state in the nation. It is also the highest paying state in terms of annual wages for ultrasound techs, with an average annual salary of over $86,550 per year as of May, 2013.

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Balance your personal and professional commitments while earning a respected Ph.D., master's degree, or bachelor's degree online at Walden University. Programs offered in management, education, psychology and health and human services.

Programs:

  • B.S. in Health Studies - Health Management
  • B.S. in Health Studies - Health Communication
  • B.S. in Health Studies - Self-Designed
  • And more...

Pioneering distance education since 1985, Liberty University is now the nation’s seventh largest university. With more than 300 online and residential areas of study, Liberty offers programs from the certificate to doctoral level.

Programs:

  • Undergraduate Certificate in Health Sciences
  • MA Human Services: Health & Wellness
  • AA: Medical Office Assistance
  • And more...

Job/Salary Outlook

The mean annual wage in California for a diagnostic medical sonographer was $86,550.00, which is considerably higher than the national average of $65,900. In fact, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 9 of the top 10 highest paying metropolitan areas in the nation were all in California.

The following table shows the median annual salaries for ultrasound technicians by county in 2014.

Top Paying Counties+
San Benito/Santa Clara $113,464
Monterey County $91,570
Solano County $108,729
East Bay $112,553
Sonoma County $98,521
San Francisco Bay Area $114,526

Source: California Employment Development Department:  www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/ALLOESWage.aspx?Soccode=292032

California’s Economy

California has the largest economy in the US, the 7th largest economy in the world, and was the first state to ever reach a trillion dollar economy in gross state product. It boasts some of the largest and best medical facilities in the country. The University of California operates the nation’s largest health care training program with over 14,000 students annually enrolled, and U.S. News and World Report ranked the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center as the top hospital on the West Coast and the 5th best in the country.

As the nation’s largest state in terms of population, California offers many opportunities for those wishing to purse a career in medical sonography, medical assisting, medical billing and coding, or one the many other allied health professions. Ultrasound technician schools in California offer programs to get you started in one of these careers.

Ultrasound Technician Schools in San Diego

If you’re interested in attending ultrasound technician school in San Diego, you’ll find many accredited institutions from which to obtain your education. San Diego also has high employment opportunities in the medical imaging field. In 2010, there were 57 diagnostic medical imaging centers in San Diego County, employing 995 ultrasound technicians or medical sonographers. This is a 23% increase over the previous year. The average annual wage in 2014 was $87,008+.   In your spare time, you’ll have many world-class attractions to choose from, from the San Diego Zoo to the largest cultural complex west of the Mississippi, Balboa Park. There are an unlimited number of activities to pursue outdoors or in, all in the beautiful surroundings that San Diego County has to offer.

Statistics provided by the following:
*Salary and Job Growth Data: http://www.careerinfonet.org; http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292032.htm
**State of California’s Employment Development Department (EDD): http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/AllOccPrj.aspx?Soccode=292032
+EDD: http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/detail.aspx?Soccode=292032&Geography=0601000000

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