Radiology Schools in California

Radiologic technologists and radiology technicians are healthcare professionals trained to produce medical images. The images are created using radiography modalities, such as X-ray, computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and sonography Some technologists are trained to assist radiologists in advanced procedures, such as nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and fluoroscopy Radiologic technologists and technicians undergo two to four years of education and training.  Depending on the degrees obtained, some technologists may apply for entry-level positions, such as X-ray technicians or sonographers. Meanwhile, technologists who complete continuing education programs may apply for more advanced jobs.  

Best Radiology Schools in California

Here are some of the best radiology schools approved by the California Department of Public Health and certified by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Some programs may also grant financial aid to students with the required GPA. Program effectiveness data is based on JRCERT’s latest report(1)*. 
School Degree  Program Length Application Requirements Program Effectiveness Location
Antelope Valley College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 97% Completion rate: 90% Job placement rate: 100% Lancaster
Bakersfield College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 90% Completion rate: 75%  Job placement rate: 100% Bakersfield
Cabrillo College Associate degree 20 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 98% Completion rate: 92%  Job placement rate: 93% Aptos
Cañada College Associate degree 25 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 98.5% Completion rate: 100%  Job placement rate: 96.9% Redwood City
Chaffey College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 100% Completion rate: 89%  Job placement rate: 97.4% Rancho Cucamonga
City College of San Francisco Associate degree 30 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 99% Completion rate: 78.6%  Job placement rate: 92% San Francisco
Cypress College Associate degree 21 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 95% Completion rate: 91%  Job placement rate: 97% Cypress
El Camino Community College Associate degree 26 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 100% Completion rate: 86.4% Job placement rate: 100% Torrance
Foothill College Associate degree 22 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 99% Completion rate: 82% Job placement rate: 100% Los Altos Hills
Fresno City College Associate degree 22 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 94% Completion rate: 84%  Job placement rate: 98% Fresno
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts-Sacramento Associate degree 22 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Data unavailable Sacramento
Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences Bachelor degree 24 months (day classes) 27 months (evening classes) High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 98.9% Completion rate: 81.6% Job placement rate: 93.4% Richmond
Loma Linda University Associate degree Bachelor degree 21 month High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 85.6% Completion rate: 96.9% Job placement rate: 93.5% Loma Linda
Long Beach City College  Associate degree 30 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Data unavailable Long Beach
Los Angeles City College Associate degree 27 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 88% Completion rate: 100% Job placement rate: 89% Los Angeles
Merced College Associate degree 29 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 96% Completion rate: 94% Job placement rate: 100% Merced
Merritt College  Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 95% Completion rate: 71% Job placement rate: 97.8% Oakland
Moorpark College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 96% Completion rate: 78% Job placement rate: 96% Moorpark
Mt. San Antonio College  Associate degree 26 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 85% Completion rate: 84% Job placement rate: 98% Walnut, California
National University – Costa Mesa Campus Bachelor degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 96.2% Completion rate: 94% Job placement rate: 100% Costa Mesa
Orange Coast College Associate degree 22 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 94% Completion rate: 79% Job placement rate: 87% Costa Mesa
Pasadena City College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 94% Completion rate: 75% Job placement rate: 91% Pasadena
Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 98% Completion rate: 87% Job placement rate: 92% Chula Vista
San Diego Mesa College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 98% Completion rate: 86% Job placement rate: 100% San Diego
Santa Barbara City College Associate degree 24 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 89% Completion rate: 79% Job placement rate: 95% Santa Barbara
Santa Rosa Junior College Associate degree 23 months High school GED Prerequisite courses Pass rate: 91% Completion rate: 95% Job placement rate: 94% Santa Rosa

*Data retrieved on August 26, 2020. Changes may occur when new information comes in.

Associate’s Degree

Antelope Valley College has an associate degree program that educates students in academic and clinical settings.  The two-year program requires students to commit 40 hours per week for sessions. Applicants must also complete prerequisite courses, such as anatomy, physiology, and English 101.  Bakersfield College offers a two-year program that leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree upon completion. For its clinical sessions, Bakersfield has several allied health centers and hospitals.  Cabrillo College offers radiography programs and certifications on specialized fields, such as fluoroscopy, mammography, sectional anatomy, venipuncture, and MRI/CT. The radiography program also hosts state licensing and permit examinations for fluoroscopy and certification examination for ARRT. Cañada College offers a 25-month radiologic technology program that teaches students radiography procedures and correct positioning.  Also, the program aims to develop students’ oral and written communication skills. Upon successful completion, students earn an Associate of Science degree Chaffey College offers a radiologic technology program that leads to an Associate of Science degree upon successful completion.  City College of San Francisco (CCSF) offers a 30-month radiologic technology program that leads to an Associate of Science degree upon completion. The Diagnostic Medical Imaging (DMI) program requires students to attend sessions full-time. Students enrolled in the DMI program may also expect to be assigned in clinical rotations at the school’s healthcare affiliates. Cypress College offers a 21-month program that provides students with quality training. The program includes courses on radiologic electronics, procedures, patient positioning, radiation laws and ethics, and radiobiology. El Camino Community College’s two-year radiography program consists of four semesters of academic and clinical training. Upon satisfactory completion, graduates may take national and state certification exams.  Foothill College teaches students the fundamentals and application of radiologic technology, image acquisition, patient care, and ethics. Some courses may not be GED compatible and require applicants to have a high school degree. Fresno City College offers a 22-month-long program that earns students an Associate of Science degree upon successful completion. The program’s student learning outcomes include producing accurate diagnostic images, positioning skills, proper knowledge on radiation protection, and communication skills.  Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts-Sacramento offers a 22-month radiography program that leads to an Associate of Science degree. The program includes classwork and clinical rotations that train students for entry-level radiologic technology positions.  Long Beach City College offers radiologic technology programs that can earn students an Associate in Science degree and certificate of accomplishment in CT or MRI. The Diagnostic Medical Imaging Program (DMI) consists of academic sessions and 1,900 clinical hours in allied health facilities.  Los Angeles City College (LACC) radiologic technology students can earn associate degrees upon completion. They can also opt to take additional skills certificates on fluoroscopy, patient care, and clinical education. Graduates may continue their studies in LACC’s affiliate, the California State University-Northridge (CSU).  Merced College offers radiography programs that let students earn a certificate of achievement and Associate of Science degree. The 29-month program consists of five semesters and two 11-week summer sessions. Students are trained in 11 allied health facilities. Merritt College students earn the Associate of Science in Radiologic Science upon completion of the 24-month program. Students may also take additional courses in physics, high mathematics, business communication, and medical terminology. The program trains and educates students through clinical rotations at East Bay hospital affiliates.  Moorpark College offers a 24-month curriculum that lets students earn an Associate of Science degree. Applicants must complete prerequisite courses, such as physiology, anatomy, higher math, algebra, chemistry, and healthcare ethics. Mt. San Antonio College (MSAC) offers programs that focus on radiologic technology, mammography, and computed tomography. Graduates who earn an associate degree may also continue their education at the college’s affiliate, Southern Illinois University.  Students may quickly transfer their coursework credits through the college’s affiliate university and earn a Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Management or Bachelor of Science in Radiological Science. Orange Coast College offers a 22-month radiography program that requires applicants to complete a prerequisite course in allied health.  Upon successful program completion, students earn the Associate in Science degree. Applicants are also required to complete all GED requirements. Pasadena City College aims to produce competent imaging practitioners who are committed to providing excellent patient care. Pasadena City College’s radiology program includes the Associate of Science degree and certificate of achievement for specialty courses. Applicants must complete prerequisite courses on physics, physiology, anatomy, chemistry, and algebra. Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista has a 24-month radiography program that leads to an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students develop accurate positioning in the program, administer examination and equipment protocols, and perform imaging techniques. San Diego Mesa College has a 24-month radiologic technology program that leads to Associate of Applied Science degree. The program’s laboratory training is conducted in 26 allied health facilities, including the University of California Santa Barbara City College aims to prepare students for entry-level positions in radiography.  The 24-month program requires applicants to complete prerequisite courses in math, English, healthcare, anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. Upon completion, students earn an Associate in Science degree Santa Rosa Junior College offers certificate programs and Associate of Science for Radiologic Technology. The programs are 23 months in length and educate students in image processing, patient care, radiologic physics, and advanced imaging modalities. The programs train students through clinical rotation in 18 allied health clinics and hospitals.

Bachelor’s Degree

Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences extends day and evening classes that educate and train students to become well-rounded radiographers. The program consists of academic and clinical training in allied medical facilities. Upon completion of the program, students earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Radiologic Technology Loma Linda University’s radiography program offers bachelor degrees, associate degrees, and certificates to prospective students.  Associate degree holders may pursue bachelor’s degrees in their selected fields, such as radiation science, nuclear medicine, cardiac electrophysiology technology, and cardiac and vascular imaging.  National University – Costa Mesa Campus offers radiography students the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Radiation Therapy. The curriculum includes classroom and clinical rotations that prepare graduates to become an integral part of the healthcare team.  The radiation therapy program educates students on how to assist radiologists and operate the equipment. 

How to Become a Radiologic Technologist

Prospects must first earn a high school degree or general education degree (GED). Grade point average (GPA) requirements may vary among programs. Radiologic technology programs are available in several community colleges and universities in California Applicants who pass the requirements may undergo physical examinations. Prospects must be able-bodied and can assist patients in the clinical site. Radiography programs teach the fundamentals, theory, patient positioning, radiography procedures, and radiation safety.  Depending on the school, coursework may also include basic math, physics, chemistry, and patient care. Upon completion, students earn the Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree or Associate of Science degree (AS).  Radiologic technology program length may vary. Most AAS and AS programs take two years to complete. AAS degree holders may apply for entry-level positions. Medical imaging machines operated by entry-level technologists and technicians are CT scans, x-ray, and ultrasound machines.  AAS degree holders may enroll in continuing education programs that can earn them a bachelor’s degree. Program length may take another two years to complete.  Bachelor’s degree programs allow students to study and train in more advanced modalities, such as radiation therapy, fluoroscopy, MRI, and interventional radiology procedures.  A prospect aiming for a high-paying technologist position may need to earn a bachelor’s degree, which takes four to five years. In California, radiologic technologists must complete educational programs accredited by the California Department of Public Health and the Radiologic Health Branch (RHB). Prospects must also pass a California State examination(2) A radiologic technologist is not to be mistaken as a radiologist. Radiologists are physicians who undergo 10 to 15 years of medical school, internship program, and residency.

Accreditation

The best radiologist schools in California are certified with the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).  JRCERTaccredited programs go through a process wherein the program director or a faculty member conducts a site visit.  The accreditation ensures that programs provide excellent and high-quality education to future radiologic technologists and technicians. Every year, JRCERT releases the program effectiveness data. JRCERT-accredited schools are rated according to their students’ pass rate, completion rate, and graduates’ job placement rate. The information assists prospective students in their school selection process.  A complete program effectiveness list can be found at JRCERT’s official website at www.jrcert.org.  Upon completing the program, students are tested by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).  ARRT is a certifying body for graduates to become professional radiographers or technicians. It administers the licensing and permit exams in the State of California.  

Career Opportunities and Salary

Radiologic technologists and technicians job opportunities are predicted to increase in the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) forecasted a 9% increase in the occupation’s job outlook due to the rising demand for diagnostic imaging(3) In California, technologists may earn a salary of $41.40 per hour or $86,120 per year. In metropolitan areas, technologists’ annual salary range is from $87,510 to $110,180(4).

Conclusion 

Career opportunities in radiologic technology are increasing due to rising demands for diagnostic imaging(5) Prospects may select from various JRCERT accredited programs in radiology technologist or technician schools in California. JRCERT’s program effectiveness data may help students in their school selection process(6). Students who can commit four years of academic and clinical training may opt for programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. Meanwhile, students who can commit only two years may apply for associate degree programs Whatever program is chosen, obtaining an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree requires commitment and dedication. 
  1. JRCERT program effectiveness data. Retrieved from www.jrcert.org/resources/program-effectiveness-data/
  2. State licensing requirements in California. Retrieved from https://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/OccGuides/Detail.aspx?Soccode=292037&Geography=0604000000#:~:text=They%20must%20complete%20an%20educational,associate’s%20degree%20in%20Radiologic%20Technology.
  3.  US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic technologist job outlook. Op cit.
  4. JRCERT program effectiveness data. Op cit.
  5.  US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic technologist job outlook. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#:~:text=Overall%20employment%20of%20radiologic%20and,a%20tool%20for%20making%20diagnoses   
  6. US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Radiologic technologist salary in California. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm 

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