Ultrasound Technician Schools in California (Become a Sonographer)

California map

It is well known that according to the statistics, California employs the most diagnostic medical sonographers in the country.

Furthermore, there are many options in California to begin your education to become an ultrasound technician, and we believe that this is a perfect time to get on the way towards this stable and satisfying profession.

Accredited Ultrasound Technician Schools in California

CAAHEP Accredited Diagnostic Medical Sonography Programs are available in California, and the reason why we mention them is that the fact that accreditation of the program entails that the program has undergone rigorous review from a reputable outside agency which ensures that the quality of education meets identified standards and you will not regret your decision if you select any of the following educational institutions for your future education.

There are 12 Accredited Sonography Programs in California:

CBD College – the program at this college offers a flexible course of study which can be completed in 22 months, consisting of both day and evening classes, as well as some online courses. There are also a variety of externship opportunities and locations to participate in and the successful completion will make students eligible for the ARDMS SP&I exam.

Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno –  this is one of the state’s few hospital-based sonography programs. Both general and advanced cardiac sonography programs are accredited and there are some eighteen-month accelerated programs for individuals who already hold a bachelor’s degree or a two-year allied health degree with a license. They also offer an advanced cardiac sonography program, which costs $8,700. Future students can choose from four accredited tracts: General Sonography, Adult Cardiac Sonography, Pediatric Cardiac Sonography, and Vascular Sonography.

Cosumnes River College – This is the only community college in North East California offering an accredited Associate’s degree in diagnostic medical sonography which can be finished over a six-semester period. The eligible students are only those who have already completed at least an Associate’s degree at an accredited college and who have a minimum of eight hundred hours, paid or volunteer, inpatient care.

Cypress College – It offers a CAAHEP accredited sonography program on campus and in order to apply, you need to possess a high school diploma or GED, and be 18 by the start of the clinical training. Admittance is limited and selective, and all applications must be completed online during the month of February, with materials delivered in-person by March 15th of each year.

Foothill College –  the degree can be achieved in eighteen-months if your desire is to have a Certificate of Achievement in DMS program or an Associate’s degree program in DMS.  There are locations throughout the Sacramento and Central California area, and so as to enroll, future students must have a minimum of direct patient care experience. There are also a variety of course requirements that must be met prior to application.

Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences – This medical sonography program is a Bachelor of Science program in both general and cardiac concentrations which requires 18 months of full-time sequential study. To be enrolled, applicants must have already completed an Associate’s degree in any discipline, and have at least 8 hours of job shadow in a sonography or ultrasound department. Upon graduation, students are eligible to sit for the ARDMS Sonography Principles and Instrumentation exam.

Loma Linda University – it has held CAAHEP accreditation since 1985, and it offers numerous programs in medical imaging at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degree levels. The Bachelor’s in DMS is a full-time, 27-month program, and consists of both classroom and online learning, as well as clinical.

Merced College – This college offers the accredited program which prepares students for entry-level sonography positions in hospitals, clinical offices, and imaging centers. It is a five-semester Certificate of Achievement program in General Sonography and to be accepted, you must have an Associate’s in Science degree in a related field or a Bachelor’s degree with five hundred hours of patient care experience.

Mt. San Jacinto College – It is located in Menifee and it offers an Associate’s in Science degree in General DMS. The program will require 5 sequential semesters and full-time attendance and graduates will be prepared to sit for the ARDMS SPI exam, plus abdomen, small parts, and Ob/Gyn specialty examinations.

Orange Coast College –  The enrollees will get a chance to earn an Associate’s degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography after 5 semesters of full-time studies. The education costs approximately $5,200 and to be allowed to attend it, applicants must complete the Allied Health A010 course at OCC prior to applying to the program.

Santa Barbara City College –  You can enroll in an accredited General DMS program, and receive a Certificate of Achievement upon graduation. Prerequisites for the program are either a two-year Allied Health education program in a patient-care related field, a Bachelor’s degree in any field or an MD from outside the U.S.

University of California San Diego Medical Center – Here, you can enroll in a 12-month certificate program in General Sonography and limited Vascular Sonography that accepts only 6 students each year. Tuition is approximately $13,000 plus fees. Prerequisites include either the successful completion of a Radiologic Technology Program and passing the registry exam, or a Bachelor’s degree in any area with certain prerequisite courses.

Ultrasound Tech Certification Requirements in California

The state of California is another state that does not require that ultrasound technicians become licensed or certified.

Nevertheless, most employers will require or prefer it, so sonographers can get professional certification from the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS).

In order to be eligible to take the ARDMS exam, you must meet their prerequisites which include either graduating from a CAAHEP accredited school or 12 months of full-time clinical experience.

Ultrasound Techs Salary And Job Outlook In California

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, California is the 3rd highest paying state in the country.

Once you become a sonographer in California, you can expect to earn a mean annual salary of $86143.

How much you will earn depends on the location and facility where you will find a job, as general medical and surgical facilities pay the highest salaries.

Annual Salary Range:


Average Salary of Ultrasound Technicians in California

City NameSalary
Los Angeles$86,813
San Diego$82,917
San Jose$96,785
San Francisco$96,631
Long Beach$85,988
Santa Ana$86,065
* Salary information last updated 2024

Regional Salary in California

RegionEmployedAvg. Annual SalaryAvg. Hourly PayTop 10% Annual SalaryBottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA170$92,170$44.31$128,610$61,940
Chico, CA60$101,460$48.78$121,820$76,470
Fresno, CA250$101,340$48.72$138,770$67,290
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA2,890$107,890$51.87$138,720$79,160
Merced, CA30$111,660$53.68$137,410$97,300
Modesto, CA130$115,550$55.55$179,470$71,760
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA160$94,090$45.24$139,160$66,560
Redding, CA40$105,050$50.51$135,840$77,300
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA720$98,430$47.32$134,110$65,130
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA570$128,930$61.98$173,970$82,110
Salinas, CA60$105,350$50.65$132,690$81,520
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA620$114,640$55.11$139,320$79,960
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA920$140,910$67.75$180,270$92,970
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA470$139,090$66.87$176,440$98,480
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA40$109,140$52.47$137,230$64,250
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA50$124,180$59.7$183,940$77,680
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA130$110,810$53.27$132,510$81,330
Santa Rosa, CA80$127,710$61.4$174,030$69,050
Stockton-Lodi, CA130$115,340$55.45$172,590$71,450
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA100$144,870$69.65$178,580$83,870
Visalia-Porterville, CA70$91,090$43.79$128,200$70,180
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, OCC Code 29-2032, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Search Programs