California Sonography Tech Careers and Degrees

Found programs from 33 schools

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.

Featured Online Schools:

Online programs may not be available in all areas

Traditional On Campus Programs:


American Career College (Long Beach, CA / Los Angeles, CA / Lynwood, CA / Ontario, CA / Orange County, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assisting
Medical Assistant
Medical Billing and Coding
Optical Technician
Vocational Nursing
Vocational Nursing

Ashford University Online (San Diego, CA)
Programs Offered:
BA Complementary and Alternative Health
BA Gerontology
BA Health and Human Services
BA Health and Wellness
BA Health Care Administration
BA Health Education
BS Health Information Management

ATI College (Norwalk, CA / Santa Ana, CA)
Programs Offered:
Completion Certificate in Ultrasound Technology
Brightwood College (North Hollywood, CA / Palm Springs, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assistant - Diploma
Diagnostic Cardiac Sonography - Associate (North Hollywood)
Diagnostic Medical Sonography - Diploma (North Hollywood)
Diagnostic Vascular Sonography - Certificate (North Hollywood)
Medical Assistant - Diploma
Radiologic Technology - Diploma (North Hollywood)
X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant Back Office Diploma Program

California College-San Diego (National City - Satellite of CCSD, CA)
Programs Offered:
Respiratory Therapy (AS) - National City Campus
Respiratory Therapy (BS) - National City Campus

Casa Loma College (Van Nuys, CA)
Programs Offered:
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate
Central California School (San Luis Obispo, CA)
Programs Offered:
Accredited Diagnostic Medical Ultrasound Program
Accredited Diagnostic Medical Vascular Ultrasound Program
Accredited Diagnostic Radiologic Technology Program
Accredited X-Ray Technician Program
Accredited X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant Program

Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science (Los Angeles, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Radiography
Cypress College (Cypress, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Applied Science in Radiologic Technology
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Certificate

Everest College (Reseda, CA)
Programs Offered:
Surgical Technologist
Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology
Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate of Achievement in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

(San Jose, CA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate in MRI Technology
Ultrasound Technologist Program

Laurus College (Atascadero, CA / Oxnard, CA / San Luis Obispo, CA / Santa Maria, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Medical Billing and Coding
Loma Linda University (Loma Linda, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Medical Radiography
Certificate in Computed Tomography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate in Imaging Informatics
Certificate in Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Master of Science in Radiologist Assistant

Merced College (Merced, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Radiologic Technology
Certificate of Completion in Diagnostic Radiologic Technology

Modern Technology School (Fountain Valley, CA)
Programs Offered:
Accredited Program in X-Ray Technician/Medical Assistant
Ultrasound/Vascular Technician Program

Mount San Jacinto College (San Jacinto, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Newbridge College (Long Beach, CA / Santa Ana, CA)
Programs Offered:
Ultrasound (Diagnostic Medical Sonography) Diploma Program
Orange Coast College (Costa Mesa, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Associate in Science in Radiologic Technology (Diagnostic)

PCI College (Cerritos, CA)
Programs Offered:
Abdominal Sonography Program
Obstetrical and Gynecologic Sonography Program
Sonographic Physics and Instrumentation Program

San Joaquin Valley College (Bakersfield, CA / Delano, CA / Fresno, CA / Hanford, CA / Hesperia, CA / Lancaster, CA / Madera, CA / Modesto, CA / Ontario, CA / Porterville, CA / Temecula, CA / Visalia, CA)
Programs Offered:
Certificate - Dental Assistant
Certificate - Medical Assistant
Certificate - Medical Assistant
Certificate - Medical Office
Certificate - Medical Office
Certificate - Pharmacy Technology
Degree - Diagnostic Medical Sonography
Degree - Medical Assistant
Degree - Medical Office
Degree - Pharmacy Technology
Degree - Respiratory Therapy

San Joaquin Valley College - Online (Visalia, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associates - Information Technology
Santa Barbara City College (Santa Barbara, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate in Science in Radiography
Certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography

UEI College (Anaheim, CA / Bakersfield, CA / Chula Vista, CA / Encino, CA / Fresno, CA / Gardena, CA / Huntington Park, CA / Morrow, CA / Ontario, CA / Riverside, CA / San Marcos, CA / Stockton, CA / West Covina, CA)
Programs Offered:
Dental Assistant
Medical Billing & Insurance Coding
Medical Office Specialist
Pharmacy Technician

Unitek College (South San Francisco, CA)
Programs Offered:
Associate of Science in Nursing
West Coast Ultrasound Institute (Beverly Hills, CA / Ontario, CA)
Programs Offered:
Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Associate Degree
Diagnostic Cardiovascular Sonography Bachelors Degree
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Associate Degree
Diagnostic Medical Sonography Bachelors Degree
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

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