Radiology Technologist Schools and Careers in California
There are over 30 schools with radiologic technology programs in California. This page provides information on radiologic technologist and technician schools and careers in the state, including specialty imaging modalities such as sonography, and detailed information on the available radiologic technology programs, including a table of rad tech programs and school profiles. You’ll also find state-specific certification and career information. You may also want to read about the difference between radiology technologists and radiology technicians before evaluating programs.
- There are 34 not-for-profit colleges and universities with radiologic technology degree programs in California.1
- 21 schools offer a certificate program in radiologic science.1
- 29 schools offer an associate’s degree in radiologic science.1
- 4 schools offer a bachelor’s degree in radiologic science.1
- 3 schools offer a master’s or advanced degree in radiologic science.1
- 25 schools have medical imaging programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).2
- 8 schools have medical imaging programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP).3
- 1 school has medical imaging programs accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT).4
Table of Contents
- California Medical Imaging Schools Comparison
- Select Schools in California with RT Programs
- How to Become an RT in California
- California RT Salary and Job Outlook
- California RT Career Interviews
- Student Reviews
California Medical Imaging Schools Comparison
We have designed the following table to allow you to easily compare the not-for-profit radiologic technology and medical imaging programs in California on a variety of factors. You should check with the Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to ensure that the program you are considering will meet licensure requirements.
|School Name||Associate’s Imaging Program||Bachelor’s Imaging Program||Graduate Imaging Program||Program Accreditation||Completion Rate2||ARRT Exam Pass Rate2||Job Placement Rate2||Net Price1|
|Antelope Valley Community College District||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||100%||96%||100%||$3,917|
|California Baptist University||—||Yes||—||JRCERT||100%||—||—||$27,304|
|California State University-Dominguez Hills||—||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||$5,068|
|California State University-Northridge||—||Yes||—||JRCERT||92%||97%||94%||$8,936|
|Casa Loma College-Los Angeles||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$14,985|
|Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||97%||85%||100%||$27,637|
|City College of San Francisco||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||87%||99%||98%||$8,569|
|Cosumnes River College||Yes||—||—||CAAHEP||—||—||—||$6,249|
|Crafton Hills College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$15,676|
|Cypress College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||100%||96%||100%||$7,421|
|El Camino Community College District||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||95%||100%||100%||$6,090|
|Foothill College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||86%||100%||100%||$11,013|
|Fresno City College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||92%||96%||100%||$5,041|
|Loma Linda University||Yes||Yes||Yes||JRCERT, CAAHEP, JRCNMT||100%||90%||98%||N.Av.|
|Long Beach City College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$6,084|
|Los Angeles City College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||99%||91%||97%||$10,423|
|Merced College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||100%||97%||100%||$6,934|
|Mt San Antonio College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||93%||81%||100%||$5,528|
|Mt San Jacinto College-Menifee||Yes||—||—||CAAHEP||—||—||—||$7,125|
|Orange Coast College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT, CAAHEP||94%||96%||89%||$6,744|
|Pasadena City College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||89%||96%||100%||$4,420|
|San Diego Mesa College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||81%||79%||100%||$8,506|
|San Diego State University||—||—||Yes||—||—||—||—||$13,017|
|San Joaquin Delta College||Yes||—||—||—||—||—||—||$3,621|
|Santa Barbara City College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||93%||88%||96%||$14,180|
|Santa Rosa Junior College||Yes||—||—||JRCERT||85%||92%||96%||$10,261|
- — indicates none.
- N.Av. indicates no data available.
Select Schools in California with Radiology Technologist Degree Programs
Cabrillo College’s two-year radiologic technology program results in an Associate of Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology and prepares graduates to work in hospitals, private medical practices, and clinics. The program, which combines both classroom and clinical work, gives students the skills necessary to properly position patients and effectively protect patients from radiation. Courses cover fluoroscopy, diagnostic imaging, medical imaging pathology, and mammography. Successful applicants enter the program in the fall semester. Due to the popularity of the radiologic technology program, the school does not have a waitlist, though students who don’t secure placement may apply again for the following year.
California State University at Northridge (CSUN) allows students to earn a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Radiologic Technology. Students in the program will become proficient in such areas as MRI, computed tomography, mammography, cardiovascular imaging, and interventional radiology. The four-year undergraduate program requires students in the final two years of study to complete at least 2,500 hours of clinical rotations at one of the university’s affiliates, such as West Los Angeles VA Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The program boasts a high historical pass rate on the American Registry of Radiological Technologists (ARRT) certification exam.
Cañada College offers an Associate in Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology that provides students with the foundational skills necessary to succeed as radiologic technologists. The 25-month program includes three summer intersessions and includes courses such as Radiographic Positioning, Radiation Physics, Rad Protection & Biology, and Advanced Imaging. In addition to academic study, students benefit from clinical education throughout the curriculum, which takes place in affiliated clinical sites such as Kaiser Permanente, Lucile Salter Packard Children’s Hospital, and Sequoia Health Services. Cañada College’s radiologic technology program is accredited by the Radiation Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health and the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT).
Chaffey College offers an intensive two-year radiologic technology program leading to an Associate of Science (AS) degree that combines traditional classroom education with clinical work at local hospitals. The summer between the first and second years of the program requires students to spend one day in the classroom and four days devoted to a clinical assignment to develop hands-on experience in positioning patients per week, learning how to use imaging equipment and processing and exposing images. Graduates will be prepared to sit for the ARRT exam and the California Radiologic Technologist Fluoroscopy Permit exam. Formal admission to the RT program requires a minimum GPA of 2.8 in all degree-applicable coursework, with specific science courses passed within eight years of the application. Prerequisite advising is strongly recommended for those who intend to apply.
Students in Foothill College’s Radiologic Technician program earn an Associate of Science (AS) in Radiologic Technology upon completing an intense 22-month program. The full-time program, which requires students to be on campus or at a local hospital five days a week, consists of classroom lectures, lab work, and clinical simulations on campus, with real-world experience completed under the supervision of a medical professional at one of nearly a dozen local hospitals. Students complete general education courses prior to focusing on radiologic coursework due to the intensity of the major. Graduates of the program will have worked in several hospital settings, gaining experience in both traditional film imaging and cutting-edge digital technology.
How to Become a Radiology Technologist in California
Prospective Certified Radiologic Technologists (CRTs) in California can apply for four core certificates or permits from the California Department of Public Health-Radiologic Health Branch (CDPH-RHB): the Diagnostic Radiologic Technologist Certificate, the Mammographic Radiologic Technologist Certificate, the Radiologic Technologist Fluoroscopy Permit, and the Therapeutic Radiologic Technologist Certificate. While the process to become a radiologic technologist varies by specialty, prospective CRTs and XTs in California can expect to follow this general process:
- Get a diploma, certificate, or degree in radiography, radiation therapy, or your chosen modality. Ensure that the program you select meets CDPH-RHB requirements.
- Submit an application. Send the completed CRT application, along with any application fees, to the CDPH-RHB. Once the CDPH-RHB determines eligibility, a one-year state eligibility period begins during which the exam must be passed.
- Take the ARRT certification exam. After the CDPH-RHB has determined your eligibility for examination, you must pay the exam fee to the ARRT. Once that has been processed, you will receive a Candidate Status Report (CSR) from the ARRT and be able to schedule and take the exam within a 90-day window assigned to you. All applicants must take the Fluoroscopy section in addition to the primary certification exam.
- Receive a California RT certificate or a permit. After passing the exam, you will receive your certificate or permit and be able to practice as a CRT in the state.
- Become ARRT certified, if desired. In addition to becoming licensed as a CRT in California, some RTs may wish to pursue national credentialing in radiologic technology by the ARRT. You can read more about voluntary ARRT credentialing options on our schools page.
- Keep your RT certificate current. The CDPH-RHB requires RT certificates to be renewed every two years; RTs are required to complete 24 continuing education (CE) credits, including a certain number in their specialty, and to pay all application and certification fees to the CDPH-RHB prior to renewal.
California also offers an X-Ray Technician (XT) Limited Permit (LP), with specific permits in the categories of chest radiography, dental laboratory radiography, radiation protection (core) radiography, dermatology x-ray therapy, extremities radiography, limited podiatric radiography, skull radiography, torso-skeletal radiography, and x-ray bone densitometry. Prospective XTs must complete an x-ray technician program that includes the award of a diploma or certificate that has been approved by the CDPH-RHB and then apply to the department. Approved applicants will proceed to the next step, which is taking the ARRT Limited Scope of Practice in Radiography exam. Candidates who pass the exam should be eligible to receive their XT permit.
California Radiology Tech Salary and Job Outlook
Projected Job Growth
Radiology Techs in California from 2020-20305
Radiologic technologists and technicians in California will have an estimated job growth rate of 11% between 2020 and 2030, which is higher than the projected national average of 8.6% during the same time period.5 In fact, the field is one of the faster-growing in the United States, particularly with the emergence of new facilities such as imaging centers and doctors’ offices offering radiology services. The average annual salary for radiology technologists and technicians in California is $99,680, with a mean hourly wage of $47.92.7 The state of California employs the second-highest number of radiologic technologists in the nation, with 17,990 such professionals reported employed in the state as of May 2022.7 Although the BLS does not provide employment data for limited-scope x-ray technicians, technicians typically earn less than radiologic technologists due to the lower educational requirements and scope of responsibility. Radiology technologists and technicians typically find employment in hospitals, physicians’ offices, and imaging centers. Major hospitals and companies that hire radiologic technologists in California include Kaiser Permanente, the Department of Veterans Affairs, Concentra, University of California (UC Health), Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Dignity Health, and Saint Francis Medical Center.
California Radiologic Technologist Salary by Metro Area
|City||Number Employed8||Average Annual Salary8|
|Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim||6,400||$89,000|
|San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara||930||$119,920|
California Radiologic Technologist Career Interviews
- Diane Garcia, Past Vice President, California Society of Radiologic Technologists
- David Poon, Past President, California Society of Radiologic Technologists
1801 Panorama Dr
Bakersfield, CA 93305
Student Review: “This program is very highly regarded in the state of California and has a history of great success rates. It is a 6-semester program (Summer-Fall-Spring-Summer-Fall-Spring) and has students working in clinical settings from the start. The clinical and didactic instruction are concurrent, and I think that this was an excellent way to learn. Total immersion. You tend to bond with your classmates, as you are with them 5 days a week for several hours a day. The teachers are excellent, as are the clinical instructors. the clinical sites are varied and have a lot to offer in terms of experience. After spending two years in outpatient clinics, regional and trauma center hospitals, surgery centers, and doctor’s offices, you’ll feel like you can take on any real-world (paid) job upon graduation. Additionally, there is adequate exposure to special modalities such as CT, MRI, Cath Lab, and Nuclear Medicine. The classwork can get difficult by the second year, with radiation physics and radiation protection being particularly challenging. But as I said before, the teachers are top-notch.” -Student at Bakersfield College
California State Dominguez Hills
1000 E Victoria St
Carson, CA 90747
Student Review: “I was in the Rad Tech Program for approximately two years. It was extremely competitive as it demanded some very rigorous coursework. I disliked how chemistry seemed to be an integral part of this career path. Learning chemistry was the most difficult component. The department forces you to seek out your own internships, which is incredibly difficult without any experience. I think the department should make more effort to help lead the students into internship opportunities.” -Student at Cal State Dominguez Hills
1. National Center for Education Statistics College Navigator: https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/
2. Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology Program Effectiveness Data: https://www.jrcert.org/program-effectiveness-data/
3. Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs: https://www.caahep.org/students/find-an-accredited-program
4. Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology: https://www.jrcnmt.org/programs/
5. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm
6. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Radiologic and MRI Technologists: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm
7. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Radiologic Technologists: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292034.htm
8. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm