Welcome to the most complete directory on the Web of Sonography Technician programs. It contains all the nationally accredited programs, from 37 schools across the country. You can scroll down to see the school listings.
Receiving Your Sonogram Technician Training in California
After obtaining a high school diploma, the first step in becoming a sonogram technician is to obtain an Associate's Degree from an accredited sonography program (unaccredited programs will not guarantee proper clinical experience or hours to qualify you for certification, and they are not worth your time or money). These diagnostic medical sonography programs will be 12 months or longer, and combine classroom education in subjects such as anatomy, pathology, ultrasound equipment, and patient care, with clinical experience in medical centers. Upon completion, you will be eligible to sit for certification examinations by the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).
California has ten programs in diagnostic medical sonography. Some of these sonography programs will accept applicants with a high school diploma or GED; others have college course prerequisites, so be sure to check each program for its specifics. Completion from one of these sonography schools, as opposed to an unaccredited program with a much shorter duration, will prepare you much more fully for a career as a diagnostic medical sonographer, provide you with clinical experience before your job search, and ensure that you can sit for your examination straight out of the program rather than struggle to obtain more clinical hours.
If you have already completed a Bachelor's Degree or higher, you still need to complete 12 months of clinical experience before you can become certified. This can be accomplished through completing a sonography program, or possibly by finding a job that will allow minimal experience if you have a related degree.
Sonography Technician Licensing in California
To become a sonogram technician, California requires credentials from an organization such as The American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography. A few states have passed sonography licensure laws; California is not one of them, but may pass a licensure law in the future. Documented completion of a sonography program, usually in the form of a transcript or certificate, and a government-issued ID are required to take the examination for certification.
If you have completed an accredited sonography program, you need to pass the ARDMS examination to become certified. You may also sit for the examination if you have a qualifying combination of education and clinical experience (in nearly all cases, 12 months of experience is required). Regardless, once you have become certified, you can begin your job search as a highly qualified and desirable sonogram technician.
Career Outlook for Sonogram Technicians in California
Ultrasound imaging technology is being used more and more as patients choose it over procedures that are invasive or involve radiation exposure. Further, the aging baby boomer generation's increasing need for diagnosed medical conditions and healthcare shift towards outpatient care ensures that your occupation will remain in high demand for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sonographer technician employment is expected to increase by 39 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is far higher than the average increase for jobs.
Nearly two-thirds of medical sonographers work in hospitals (state, local, and private), but others work in physician's offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, and a small percentage work in outpatient care centers. Sonographer technicians usually work full-time, and much like most healthcare occupations, you can expect to occasionally work on evenings, weekends, or overnight.
Finally, the nature of ultrasound imaging grants give you many options for specialization: obstetrics and gynecology, breast, cardiac, or ophthalmologic are just a few possibilities. With experience and additional sonography credentials, sonogram technicians may also grow to become chief technologists, supervisors, consultants, or program; similarly, the addition of a bachelor's or master's degree would also grant you the ability to become an educator. Diagnostic medical sonography is a thriving occupation with plenty of opportunity for growth, and if you want to work directly with patients in the healthcare sector, this could be the right job for you.