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
- Diagnostic Medical Sonography
- Medical Assisting
- Healthcare Management
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California Healthcare Career Resources
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.
By The Numbers
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.
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.
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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.
Additional Certification Information
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.
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 Diego County||25.5%|
|Sutter and Yuba Counties||33.3%|
Ultrasound Technician Schools in San Diego
If you’re interested in attending sonography 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 for sonographers in San Diego 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.
- AS - Medical Assisting and Administration
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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
Community Regional Medical Center – Fresno
Cypress College – Cypress, CA
Foothill College – Los Altos Hills, CA
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences – Richmond, CA
Loma Linda University – Loma Linda, CA
Orange Coast College – Costa Mesa, CA
Platt College Los Angeles, LLC – Alhambra, CA
Santa Barbara City College – Santa Barbara, CA
University of California San Diego Medical Center – San Diego, CA
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.
Ultrasound Technician Schools in Los Angeles
With Hollywood studios and the Walk of Fame, over 800 museums and galleries and countless stage performance groups, it is no surprise Los Angeles is known as the “Entertainment Capital of the World.” But did you know L.A. is also home to a plethora of hospitals and medical facilities?
Ultrasonographers are an important member of the healthcare team, and Los Angeles County has one of the highest employment levels for sonographers or ultrasound technicians in the country. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2013 there were 1,130 diagnostic medical sonographers working in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale metropolitan area earning an average of $82,530 per year. And as reported by the State of California Employment Development Department, employment for sonographers in Los Angeles County is projected to increase by 33.9% between 2012 and 2022.
There are several ultrasound technician schools in the Los Angeles area, and a number are accredited by the CAAHEP. Completing a sonography program in this California locale allows you the opportunity to complete clinical externship hours at one of the many facilities in and around Los Angeles. At least 19 of the hospitals and centers in L.A. are even accredited by the American College of Radiology for ultrasound or breast ultrasound modalities.
- AS - Medical Assisting and Administration
- AS - Nursing
What Can I Expect to Earn as a Sonographer in California?
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.
Here’s What You Can Expect to Earn
The following table shows the median annual salaries for ultrasound technicians by county in 2014.
|San Benito/Santa Clara||$113,464|
|San Francisco Bay Area||$114,526|
Source: California Employment Development Department: www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/ALLOESWage.aspx?Soccode=292032
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.
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
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