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Ultrasound Technician Schools in California

If you’re been considering pursuing a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer, we are here to help you learn about the career and connect with a program near you.  Below you will find all 12 of the sonography schools in California that have been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), which is the most widely recognized accrediting body of schools and programs.

Golden Gate Bridge

If you’re considering attending one of the ultrasound technician schools in California, the first step is to do your research and learn as much as you can about the field to determine if it’s right for you.  We’ve done much of the work for you and below we will discuss what you can expect to do in the job, what the job growth data is, how much money you might earn, and what the certification requirements are.

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.

Connect with Educational Programs near You

CAAHEP Accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs

For a school or program to be “accredited” means that they have undergone rigorous review from a reputable outside agency.  The purpose of the accreditation is to ensure that the quality of education meets identified standards, and is a very important factor to consider when deciding which program to apply for.

For the field of sonography and medical imaging, the primary and most widely recognized accreditation agency is the Commisison on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).

Accredited Sonography Programs in California for 2019

The following programs in CA have all been accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP), as of July, 2019:

“The advice I would give to aspiring medical imaging students is that you have to have excellent communication skills to work in the health field.” -Lynn Mitts, the Director for both the Radiologic Technology and Diagnostic Medical Sonography programs at Cypress College
Institution Name Location Program Director Initial Accreditation Date
CBD College 3699 Wilshire Blvd
4th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90010
Alexander Gelfand MS, RDMS, RVT 11/20/2015
Community Regional Medical Center 2823 Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93721
Joy Guthrie PhD, ACS, RDMS, RDCS, RVT 3/16/2012
Consumnes River College 8401 Center Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95823
Mohammad Yazdanmehr MD, RDMS, RVT 7/13/2017
Cypress College 9200 Valley View Street
Cypress, CA 90630
Lynn Mitts MA, RDMS, RT 1/23/2004
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Road
Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
Kathleen Austin BS, RDMS 10/20/2000
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences 938 Marina Way South
Richmond, CA 94804
Susan Heppell BS, RDMS 7/25/2003
Loma Linda University 11234 Anderson St
Room 2455
Loma Linda, CA 92354
Marie DeLange BS, RDMS, RDCS, FAIUM, FSDMS 10/24/1985
Merced College 3600 M Street
Mailstop 37
Merced, CA 95348
Cheryl Zelinksky MM, RT(R), RDMS 9/15/2006
Mt. San Jacinto College 28237 La Piedra Road
Menifee, CA 92584
Tracy Francis BA, RDMS, RVT 7/16/2015
Orange Coast College 2701 Fairview Road
Costa Mesa, CA 92628
Cynthia Reber-Bonhall MA, RDMS, RVT 10/9/1992
Santa Barbara City College 721 Cliff Dr.
Santa Barbara, CA 93109-2394
Debra Von Bernuth BA, RDMS, RVT 9/17/2010
University of California San Diego 200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103
Nannette Forsythe BA, RDMS, RVT 10/19/2001

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

California has the highest employment level in the country for sonographers, and most of them work in general medical and surgical hospitals.

Overall job growth for diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to be 26% through 2026. 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 Resources

Sonographer overview

Other jobs in healthcare

Is a job in healthcare the right one for you?

Certification Requirements in California

California State FlagTo become certified in a field means that a pre-defined level of education and expertise has been shown to an independent evaluating agency.

For sonographers, that certification comes primarily from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS) (though there are others, depending on specialty and other factors).  The state of California does not require licensure to be an ultrasound technician. However, most employers require professional certification by the 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

Certification overview
About the ARDMS

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.

Will There be Jobs Available for Sonographers?

The state of California employs more sonographers than any other state in the nation. Below we break down that growth by county, from 2016 to 2026. Further information can be found by visiting the website for California’s Labor Market.

County Estimated Percent Job Growth
Sacramento Metro Area 29.5%
East Bay Area 42.9%
Shasta County 33.3%
San Diego County 20.8%
Ventura County 28.6%

City Spotlight: San Diego
San Diego

Ultrasound Technician Schools in San Diego

If you’re interested in attending a Sonography school in San Diego, you’ll find many accredited institutions from which to obtain your education, including UC San Diego. San Diego also has high employment opportunities in the medical imaging field, as well as median salaries that significantly outpace the state and national average.

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.

California employs more ultrasound technicians than any other state in the nation. It is also the 3rd highest paying state in terms of annual wages for ultrasound techs, with a median annual salary of over $92,00 per year as of May, 2018.

City Spotlight: Los Angeles
Los Angeles Downtown

Ultrasound Technician Schools in Los Angeles

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.

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 2018 there were 2,210 diagnostic medical sonographers working in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan area earning a median of $88,320 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 25% between 2016 and 2026.

How Much do Sonographers in California Earn?

Ultrasound techs in California generally earn a higher salary than those working elsewhere in the country. The median annual wage for a diagnostic medical sonographer in California was $92,660, which is considerably higher than the national average of $72,510 (BLS, 2018). 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.

Salaries by County in California

The following table shows the median annual salaries for ultrasound technicians by county in 2019.

County 2018 Median Salary
Los Angeles $88,384
San Diego $97,244
San Francisco Bay Area $120,721
Sacramento $109,189
Sonoma County $96,481
Fresno $89,675

Source: California Employment Development Department

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an ultrasound technician do?

An ultrasound technician uses special equipment to obtain images of internal organs, muscles, tissues, and fetuses.  Visit our career overview section to learn more at: ultrasoundchoolsinfo.com/ultrasound-technician. Get a complete job description, as well as first-hand accounts of what it’s like to be a sonographer.

How do I get started?

We’ll walk you through all of the steps, starting when you’re still in high school or before you’ve started any formal post-education program, all the way through finding a job and advancing in your career. Get Started Now.

How long do I have to go to school?

Most sonographers have a two-year associates degree. Depending on what you’d like to specialize in, or if you have an interest in management or teaching, bachelor’s degrees in sonography are also available, as are one-year certificates to those who have previous education or experience.  Learn more by visiting our degree center.

How do I know if it’s right for me?

In order to be successful in the field, you’ll need more than just technical knowledge. Personal skills, such as having a good “bedside manner” are equally important.  Here’s how you’ll know if you’ve got what it takes.

What other jobs can I get in healthcare?

There are many careers available within the healthcare industry, and we’ll introduce you to many of them here.

p class=”source”>Statistics provided by the following:
*Salary and Job Growth Data: http://www.careerinfonet.org; https://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

Additional statistical information provided by: