The vet tech field is expected to grow by 30 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022, leading to a potential 25,000 new positions opening up during that time. Programs across the country train students for vet tech careers, and in California, where job growth is expected to be 31 percent in the vet tech occupation, many accredited programs are available from which to choose. The 7 Great Southern California Vet Tech Schools on our list are great simply because they all have accreditation through the American Veterinary Medical Association and prepare students to sit for the California exam to become a registered veterinary technician. Many of these provide hands-on experiences through externships, rotations or stations. Without further ado, here is our list of seven great southern California vet tech programs offering animal care training and education to students.
Mount San Antonio College, known as Mt. SAC and located in Walnut, Calif., features a 250-acre farm and an animal care facility with kennels to help students learn about vet tech care. Classroom space includes a complete surgery room and a registered vet tech lab. The college's vet tech program leads to an associate degree, introducing students to courses such as Animal Breeding, Clinical Pathology, Surgical Nursing and Veterinary Radiography within their vet tech coursework. Students can also select work experiences in fields such as aviculture, canine management, pet shop management and gain skills through 'stations' in Greyhound care and husbandry, emergency clinics and small animal vet hospitals. The school has had AVMA accreditation since 1977 and so is fully accredited.
San Joaquin Valley College, a private junior college founded in 1977, introduces students to animal nursing fundamentals, diagnostic imaging, laboratory procedures and veterinary office practices. Externship rotations help round out the students' experiences, occurring in animal care environments and giving them first-hand learning and insight into their chosen profession. Like many vet tech programs, the one at San Joaquin leads to an associate degree, but can be completed in as little as 16 months. The school is provisionally accredited through the AVMA, simply meaning that it is within the first five years of accreditation. It also prepares students to sit for California's registered vet tech exam. Prospective students can learn about the college by looking through its video gallery and reading about success stories on its blog.
Carrington College California-Pomona provides an associate degree in vet technology that uses a skills-based approach. Classroom theory, hands-on experience and practical instruction combine for the learning component. An externship in an animal care facility in or near Pomona adds to student learning. While students do take science classes that are focused in anatomy, biology and physiology as part of their coursework, they should understand they are not enrolled in a pre-veterinary program. The associate degree program has provisional accreditation through the AVMA, which simply means that it is within its first five years of accreditation. It does prepare students to take the registered veterinary technician exam in California upon completion.
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, a 1,500-acre campus, offers a bachelor's degree in animal health science that should allow students to pass both the California State Board Registered Veterinary Technician examination as well as the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), enabling them to work in the veterinary technology profession. In this program, students can emphasize business or science and gain hands-on skills working with small animals and farm animals. Four distinctive externships are required including two clinical externships and two animal health science externships. Open house events and alumni stories allow prospective students to learn more about the university's College of Agriculture.
Platt College-Alhambra provides an associate degree in veterinary technology, which is extensive in outlook. In their first year, students take classes such as Clinical Pathology, Veterinary Economics and Parasitology and follow these up with second-year courses such as Anesthesia, Animal Nutrition and Surgical Assistance. The program is completed with hands-on experience in a clinical externship. Because the vet tech program was recently launched, in 2011, it is in the provisional accreditation stage with the AVMA. This is still full accreditation, but just means that a school is within its first five years of accreditation. Platt College's Ontario, Calif. location, also in Southern California, is provisionally accredited through the AVMA.
Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista allows students to complete an associate degree in veterinary technology in as little as 18 months. The Chula Vista campus, open since 1997, promotes learning through experience and gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on skills in equine medicine, exotic animals, laboratory procedures, livestock animals and nursing. The program is comprehensive in nature with classes in dentistry, diagnostic imaging, lab animal science, pharmacology, and surgical nursing, and concludes with a final externship experience. When done, students should be prepared to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).
Los Angeles Pierce College is located on 427 acres of land in Woodland Hills, Calif., and maintains herds of cattle, sheep and swine. Its vet tech program leads to an associate degree, but students can seek more training in the field by transferring to Cal Poly Pomona to work on a bachelor's of science degree in animal science. Pierce College has offered its vet tech program since 1972 and utilizes an experience-oriented approach. When students have completed the program, they should be prepared to take the state board examination to become a registered veterinary technician (RVT). As another point of interest, Pierce College also offers an associate degree in pre-veterinary science.