Veterinary Technician Schools in California

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Eureka! For animal-lovers living in the Golden State or looking to relocate to the west coast, there’s an abundance of accredited veterinary technician programs to prepare people for this high-growth career.

In addition to abundant sunshine and diverse ecosystems, California is also the home to plenty of animals who may find themselves in need of veterinary care. A livestock-producing powerhouse, California is home to 16.9 million cows, goats, sheep, hogs, and turkeys. A state that would be the 59th largest country on earth in terms of landmass, is also home to 12 zoos, nine aquariums, and four wildlife preserves with abundant large, exotic, and aquatic creatures.

With a human population of 39.6 million, there are also hundreds of animal rescue facilities, humane societies, and ASPCAs that serve the millions of cats, dogs, and other domesticated animals in California.

As nurses of the animal world, veterinary technicians are an essential part of the web of caretakers that keep these animals healthy and thriving. The high-quality and accredited veterinary technician schools in California are as diverse and abundant as the animal population there. Vet tech schools in California that are accredited by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)—the arm of the American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) responsible for quality in vet tech education—will ensure that emerging vet techs have all the skills they need to become an integral part of a vet med team.

Veterinary technician schools in California prepare vet techs to perform all the veterinarian-assisting work that is needed in clinical, laboratory, agricultural, and/or zoological settings. Accredited vet tech schools ensure that graduates leave their training with the capacity to assist veterinarians with common diagnostic, surgical, and dental procedures. California vet tech schools also prepare vet techs to maintain clinical cleanliness, work with anesthesia, take inventory, provide basic hands-on care, skillfully operate diagnostic equipment, take and analyze lab samples, educate animal owners, manage offices, and more.

In addition to stellar training opportunities to help the abundant animal population, vet techs in California will also find professional support. The California Registered Veterinary Technician’s Association (CaRVTA) provides vet techs in California with useful career help like networking, conference discounts, industry news, academic articles, industry and product discounts, and information regarding how the vet tech role is progressing in both industry and public awareness.

Aspiring vet techs living – or hoping to live – in the Golden State can keep reading to learn how to become a veterinary technician in California, what to expect from veterinary technician schools in California, and the job outlook and salaries for vet techs in the state.

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
California State Polytechnic University-Pomona 3801 West Temple Avenue, Pomona, California, 91768NoYes
Carrington College California-Citrus Heights 7301 Greenback Lane, Suite A, Citrus Heights, California, 95621NoYes
Carrington College California-Pleasant Hill 380 Civic Dr., Ste. 300, Pleasant Hill, California, 94523NoYes
Carrington College California-San Jose 5883 Rue Ferrari, Suite 125, San Jose, California, 95138NoYes
Carrington College California-San Leandro 170 Bayfair Mall, San Leandro, California, 94578NoYes
Carrington College California-Stockton 1313 W. Robinhood Drive, Suite B, Stockton, California, 95207NoYes
Carrington College-Sacramento 8909 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, California, 95826NoYes
Central Coast College 480 South Main Street, Salinas, California, 93901NoYes
Cosumnes River College 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, California, 95823NoYes
Foothill College 12345 El Monte Rd, Los Altos Hills, California, 94022NoYes
Los Angeles Pierce College 6201 Winnetka Ave, Woodland Hills, California, 91371NoYes
Modesto Junior College 435 College Ave, Modesto, California, 95350NoNo
Mt. San Antonio College 1100 N Grand Ave, Walnut, California, 91789NoYes
Pima Medical Institute - San Marcos 111 Campus Way, Suite 100 San Marcos, California, 92078NoYes
Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista 780 Bay Blvd Suite101, Chula Vista, California, 91910NoYes
Platt College-Alhambra 1000 S Fremont Ave, Bldg A10, Alhambra, California, 91764NoYes
Platt College-Anaheim 1551 Douglass Road, Anaheim, California, 92806NoYes
Platt College-Ontario 3700 Inland Empire Blvd, Suite 400, Ontario, California, 91764NoYes
Platt College-Riverside 6465 Sycamore Canyon Blvd, Riverside, California, 92507NoYes
San Diego Mesa College 7250 Mesa College Dr, San Diego, California, 92111NoYes
San Joaquin Valley College 295 East Sierra Ave, Fresno, California, 93710NoYes
San Joaquin Valley College-Ontario 4580 Ontario Mills Pkwy, Ontario, California, 91764NoYes
Santa Rosa Junior College 1501 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, California, 95401NoNo
Stanbridge University 2041 Business Center Drive, Suite 107, Irvine, California, 92612NoYes
Yuba College 2088 N Beale Rd, Marysville, California, 95901NoYes

How to Become a Vet Tech in California

Before enrolling in veterinary technician school in California, aspiring vet techs should ensure that their school is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Here is one common path to becoming a registered veterinary technician (RVT) in California:

  • Step 1: Graduate from an AVMA-accredited veterinary technician program. There are currently 23 fully accredited programs in the Golden State. These can range from two to four years. The four-year degree may qualify a candidate to become a veterinary technologist (as opposed to a technician), which involves more advanced training, increased responsibilities, and possibly higher pay.
  • Step 2: Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). This computer-based exam is offered during three one-month testing windows annually.
  • Step 3: Pass the California Registered Veterinary Technician Exam. According to the California Veterinary Medical Board (CAVMB), this must be passed within 60 months of passing the VTNE and is offered three times per year.
  • Step 4: Apply for licensure as an RVT and renew every two years with 20 hours of continued education (CE) credits.

 

Strong Outlook for Vet Tech Jobs in California

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022), there will be approximately 24,100 new jobs for veterinary technicians across the country between 2021 and 2031. This predicted growth rate clocks in at 20 percent, which is quadruple the anticipated growth rate for all occupations during that time period (5 percent).

According to CareerOneStop (2022)—a US Department of Labor data site—the vet tech role is anticipated to be the 7th fastest growing occupation for professionals with an associate degree in California in that same period. At 22 percent, CareerOneStop also predicts that the occupational growth rate (2020 to 2030) for vet techs in California will be faster than the national average.

In addition to a promising job outlook, there are a number of resources and organizations for these professionals within the state as well. The California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association (CaRVTA) offers an online career center, a mentor program, continued education opportunities, and informative articles. They also host a job board with opportunities at places like Monterey Peninsula Veterinary Emergency & Specialty Center, THRIVE Affordable Vet Care, Pet Emergency & Specialty Center East County, and Guide Dogs for the Blind.

The CaRVTA also holds a number of conferences and events, including an annual seminar for veterinary techs and assistants every summer. This three-day event includes programs from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. There are also smaller, regional meetings—including those in Southern California and Silicon Valley—that can provide localized professional networking as well. Membership in CaRVTA plus graduation from an accredited veterinary technician school in California can open many doors to a successful career in the field.

 

Vet Tech Salaries California

The 118,670 vet techs working across the United States in 2021 made, on average, $38,250 per year. According to the BLS (May 2021), here is how California vet tech salaries compare to vet tech salaries across the United States:

United States California
Number of vet techs employed 118,670 9,350
Average annual salary $38,250 $45,140
10th percentile $28,370 $31,220
25th percentile $29,810 $36,820
50th percentile (median) $36,850 $45,540
75th percentile $45,750 $47,810
90th percentile $48,100 $59,360


With vet tech salaries in California clocking in at much higher than the national average, aspiring vet techs may also want to consider the cost of living. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2022), California is the fourth most expensive region in the United States. Everything in California is more expensive than most other places in the nation, with particularly high costs of housing.


VETERINARY CAREER CALIFORNIA JOBS SALARY DATA (BLS May 2021)
LOW SALARY (10TH PERCENTILE) MEDIAN SALARY (50TH PERCENTILE) HIGH SALARY (90TH PERCENTILE)
VET TECH 9,350 $31,220 $45,540 $59,360
VET ASSISTANT 12,600 $29,520 $36,310 $45,460

AVMA-Accredited Vet Tech Schools in California

Fortunately for aspiring vet techs, there are 25 veterinary technician programs offered in California schools. 23 of those programs are CVTEA-accredited. Following is a breakdown of the CVTEA-accredited vet tech programs that prepare students for the national and state exams. Note that certain institutions offer programs at multiple campuses, therefore some programs will be grouped together below.

California State Polytechnic University – Pomona

California State Polytechnic University – Pomona, located in Los Angeles County, offers a four-year bachelor of science (BS) program for aspiring vet techs through the Don B. Huntley College of Agriculture. A bachelor’s in animal science can offer graduates ample knowledge and experience in the field, which can lead to a better-paying job and more responsibilities as a veterinary technologist. One of the outstanding features of this program is the number of real-world empirical experiences offered to its students.

The program comprises 120 credits. Courses for this program include parasitology and animal diseases; clinical pharmacology; veterinary office procedures; clinical anatomy and physiology; veterinary economics and hospital management; parasitology and animal diseases; surgical recovery, nursing, and critical care; and more. The three-year pass rate for first-time VTNE test-takers was 90 percent between 2017 and 2020.

  • Location: Pomona, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 48 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,665 per credit

Carrington College California

Carrington College California offers an associate of science (AS) in veterinary technology degree that can be completed in two years. This program is 63.5 semester-credit-hours and is offered at the following campuses in CA: Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, and Stockton. As of June 2022, the Citrus Heights campus is not currently enrolling new students.

Through work with live animals in clinical externships as well as animal patient simulations, this program gives students a solid foundation for careers in animal healthcare. Courses include an introduction to the veterinary hospital; basic anatomy and physiology; veterinary applied sciences; companion animal diseases; surgical assisting; anesthesia for veterinary technicians; large animal medicine; veterinary technology specialties; and more. General education courses are offered online.

First-time pass rates on the VTNE for Carrington College graduates between 2018 and 2021 are as follows: Citrus Heights (70 percent), Pleasant Hill (59), Sacramento (59), San Jose (81), San Leandro (64), Stockton (38).

  • Location: Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, and Stockton, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 19 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $36,918.50

Central Coast College

Central Coast College located in Salinas, CA, offers an associate of applied sciences (AAS) degree in veterinary technology that can be completed within two years. Courses include anatomy and physiology; veterinary management, medical records, ethics, and jurisprudence; anesthesiology and surgery; veterinary dentistry; veterinary pathology and parasitology; and more. The program consists of 96.8 credits.

Program objectives include preparing students to become employees who hold a high standard of integrity, work ethic, and personal responsibility, preparing students to take the VTNE certification exam and preparing them for successful employment in their community. From 2018 to 2021, Central Coast College had a 39.13 percent first-time pass rate.

  • Location: Salinas, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Council for Continuing Education & Training (ACCET)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 84 weeks
  • Estimated Tuition: $34,590

Cosumnes River College

Cosumnes River College, located in Sacramento, CA, offers a two-year associate of science (AS) veterinary technology degree. CRC also offers a one-year certificate of achievement in veterinary technology for students with three years of full-time experience working as an unregistered veterinary assistant. This is a daytime program and students may begin in the fall only.

Courses include pharmacology and anesthesiology for the veterinary technician; advanced veterinary technology; large animal nursing; introduction to diagnostic imaging; large animal disease: pathology; and more. Thirty-seven to 40 credits are required to complete the program, and most courses include two to six hours per week caring for animals.

Shifts may be scheduled during weekends, holidays, and semester breaks. Students must complete a minimum of 300 hours of internship or work experience. Cosumnes River College boasts a three-year, first-time pass rate among its graduates on the VTNE of 92.6 percent between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: Sacramento, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Associate degree (24 months); certificate (12 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: California residents ($46 per unit); non-residents ($395 per unit)

Foothill College

Foothill College in Los Altos of the San Francisco Bay Area provides a rigorous, two-year veterinary technology program. It consists of 90 units, including courses such as veterinary medical terminology; comparative veterinary anatomy & physiology for the veterinary technician; small animal nursing; medical calculations for veterinary nurses; introduction to large animal nursing; pathophysiology of animal disease; and more.

Core values of the program include creating compassionate vet techs who are able to provide excellent care to veterinary patients, as well as carry on compassionate relationships with owners, co-workers, and the community, and who are dedicated to lifelong learning.

The three-year, first-time pass rate among Foothill graduates on the VTNE is an impressive 95 percent between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: Los Altos Hills, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $5,500 total

Los Angeles Pierce College

Los Angeles Pierce College in Woodland Hills, CA, offers an associate of science (AS) degree in veterinary technology. This flexible program has multiple entry points throughout the year and provides many of its more popular general education classes at night or during the summer.

Courses include anatomy and physiology of animals; microbiology; animal health and disease control; principles of animal science; small animal nursing; large animal nursing; lab animal care; and more. The three-year, first-time pass rate among its graduates on the VTNE is above average at 84.81 percent between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: Woodland Hills, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $46 per unit

Mt. San Antonio College

Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, offers an associate of science (AS) degree in registered veterinary technology. This rigorous program combines lectures with active labs that take place in the 26,000-sq.-ft. agriculture building that includes an animal hospital, as well as on the college’s 150-acre working farm.

The program can be completed in two years and coursework transfers to Cal Poly universities and other four-year universities. Courses include medical nursing and animal care; surgical nursing; clinical pathology; animal sanitation and disease control; animal nutrition; veterinary radiography; and more. The degree consists of 81.5 units and the college had an 88 percent first-time pass rate for the VTNE between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: Walnut, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state students ($46 per unit); out-of-state/non-resident students ($334 per unit)

Pima Medical Institute

Pima Medical Institute at Chula Vista and San Marcos offers an associate of applied science degree (AAS). The first set of courses is taught using a hybrid learning system that combines both online and on-campus coursework. Courses include food and fiber animals; laboratory procedures for veterinary technicians; diagnostic imaging for veterinary technicians; small animal nursing for veterinary technicians; laboratory animal science; anatomy and physiology for veterinary technicians; dentistry techniques; and more.

The program consists of 78.5 credits and includes one externship. The degree takes 18 months to complete and includes 1,775 hours. The VTNE first-time pass rate between 2018 to 2021 for the Chula Vista campus was 67.8 percent. Newly accredited, the VTNE first-time pass rate for the San Marco campus between 2019 and 2021 was 50 percent.

  • Location: Chula Vista and San Marcos, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 18 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $21,688 total

Platt College

Platt College has four campuses offering an associate degree in veterinary technology. Currently, the AVMA recognizes programs at Platt College campuses in Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, and Riverside. In addition, they offer an online program, which will be outlined below.

Courses include veterinary nursing procedures; parasitology; client communications and customer service; veterinary anatomy and physiology; anesthesia; surgical assistance; diagnostic imaging; and more. Students must also participate in a clinical externship. VTNE pass rates follow from 2018 to 2021: Alhambra (62.11 percent); Anaheim (70.90 percent); Ontario (64.5 percent); Riverside (82.14 percent).

  • Location: Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, and Riverside, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 19 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $36,979.50 total

San Diego Mesa College

San Diego Mesa College’s associate of science degree in veterinary technology prepares students for employment in the veterinary medical arena. Graduates of this program will be able to take up roles in a variety of settings such as private veterinary facilities, regulatory agencies, biomedical research institutions, zoological parks, the animal nutrition industry, and pharmaceutical companies.

The curriculum explores topics such as animal care and management; veterinary office procedures; veterinary clinical pathology; veterinary pharmacology; veterinary microbiology and immunology; veterinary anatomy and physiology; fundamentals of veterinary technology; diseases of domestic animals; and veterinary radiography.

The three-year, first-time pass rate among its graduates on the VTNE is above average at 86 percent between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $6,000 to $7,000

San Joaquin Valley College

San Joaquin Valley College, located in Fresno and Ontario, CA, offers a veterinary technology program. Students in this program receive hands-on training under the direct supervision of registered veterinary technicians or doctors of veterinary medicine. The program also includes externship rotations with various animal care environments providing students with real-world experience.

The Fresno campus veterinary technology program is made up of 77 credits, while the Ontario campus program consists of 63.5 credits. As part of the program, students will delve into topics such as animal nursing; veterinary anatomy & physiology; veterinary pharmacology; veterinary radiology; veterinary surgical assisting; veterinary laboratory procedures; exotic and large animals skills; and more.

The three-year first-time VTNE pass rate for graduates of SJVC’s program in Fresno was 30 percent between 2018 and 2021. Ontario’s three-year first-time VTNE pass rate was 63 percent.

  • Location: Fresno and Ontario, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Fresno (76 weeks); Ontario (80 weeks)
  • Estimated Tuition: Fresno ($37,876); Ontario ($39,859)

Stanbridge University

Stanbridge University located in Irvine, CA, offers an associate of science (AS) degree in veterinary technology. Students work directly with animals in hands-on training, as well as with state-of-the-art surgical simulators. The program consists of 115 quarter-credit hours and the time to completion ranges from 23 to 24 months. Courses in this program are delivered via online, on-ground, and blended (on-ground and online) learning environments.

Courses include small animal handling and husbandry; anatomy and physiology of animals; veterinary anesthesia & analgesia; diagnostic imaging; small animal medicine; large animal and equine procedures and public health; veterinary pharmacology; and more. Students also complete a preceptorship. The first-time VTNE pass rate between 2018 and 2021 for Stanbridge graduates was 84.35 percent.

  • Location: Irvine, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 23 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $321.52 per quarter-credit

Yuba College

Yuba College located in Marysville, CA, offers a two-year associate of science degree in veterinary technology. The Yuba College AS degree offers students a range of program options including business management, dental, large animal, public health, shelter medicine, exotic animal/wildlife, small animal emergency and critical care, laboratory animal, and laboratory diagnostics options.

Students begin their experience with a half-day orientation experience to explore the requirements of becoming a veterinary technician, and what they can expect throughout the program. Courses include an introduction to veterinary technology; veterinary clinical laboratory techniques; current topics in veterinary technology; veterinary medical terminology; small animal medical nursing; veterinary anatomy laboratory; veterinary pharmacology; large animal medicine and nursing; veterinary surgical nursing and anesthesia; and more.

In addition, students complete three off-campus internship experiences in veterinary facilities supervised by licensed veterinarians or veterinary technicians. Yuba College boasts a 69.44 percent VTNE first-time pass rate between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: Marysville, CA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $5,543

Other Vet Tech Schools in California

In order to become a registered veterinary technician in CA without attending an AVMA-accredited program, students must complete “20 semester units, or 30 quarter units or 300 hours of specific education and 4,416 hours of directed clinical practice experience” within specific time frames (California Veterinary Medical Association).

The following programs including clinical practice experience qualify students to take the registered veterinary technician (RVT) exam:

Modesto Junior College

Modesto Junior College located in Modesto, CA, offers a veterinary technician program as an AS degree or certificate. The associate degree consists of 30 units and students can choose from a small animal science or large animal science option.

Courses include an introduction to plant science; veterinary laboratory procedures; veterinary anatomy, physiology, and terminology; preparation for veterinary surgical and dental assistance; and more. Program outcomes include the demonstration of common surgical, dental, and restraint techniques; the ability to identify the role of a veterinary technician in the field; and the knowledge of proper sanitation and disease prevention techniques, among others. The MJC catalog provides more detailed information about the veterinary technology AS degree.

  • Location: Modesto, CA
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: 12 to 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $46 per unit

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa Junior College, located in Santa Rosa, CA, offers a two-year veterinary technician program that can lead to students becoming registered veterinary technicians in the state of California. The program is offered through SRJC’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department. Most classes are scheduled in the evenings to facilitate those who work and need to meet the demands of a family.

Courses cover veterinary anatomy and terminology; small animal disease recognition and transmission control; complementary and alternative veterinary medicine; small animal veterinary assistance and nursing; veterinary surgical and dental assistance; small animal veterinary emergencies; small animal veterinary anesthesia; veterinary pharmacology and medical calculations; veterinary laboratory and imaging procedures; and more. Students who complete this program and the required number of practical experience hours can take the RVT board exam.

  • Location: Santa Rosa, CA
  • Accreditation: Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Expected Time to Completion: Four semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: $46 per unit

Online Vet Tech Programs for California Students

Fortunately for California students and others who are not able to attend campus regularly, Platt College offers a distance-based associate degree in veterinary technology. Students can earn this degree in as little as 18 months. Students should check with Platt College to make sure the online program is also accredited by the AVMA since this program is not listed as a distance-based program on the AVMA site.

Courses include an introduction to veterinary technology; veterinary medical terminology; clinical pathology; parasitology; veterinary economics; anesthesia; animal nutrition; exotic animal care; and more. There are no VTNE first-time pass rates for the online program at this time.

For other distance-based education programs for vet techs, visit our online veterinary technician schools page.

Accreditation and Licensing for Vet Techs in California

As with other states, the main accreditation agency for vet tech schools in California is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This organization weighs a variety of factors, including the quality of the coursework, faculty, facilities, and program outcomes in order to ensure program quality.

Prior to practicing as a veterinary technician in the Golden State, a person must become a registered veterinary technician (RVT) with the California Veterinary Medical Board (CAVMB). The application requirements include:

  • Passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
  • Passing the California Veterinary Technician Examination (CVTE)
  • Submitting a live scan of one’s fingerprints and a copy of one’s diploma

Alternatively, according to the California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association, prospective vet techs in California can qualify for licensure by either:

  • Being a licensed, certified, or registered veterinary technician in another state (or Canada) and passing an exam qualified by the CaVMB, in addition to garnering at least 4,416 hours of clinical practice over no less than 24 months under a licensed veterinarian, or
  • Completing at least 4,416 hours of supervised clinical practice over no less than 24 months and 300 hours of approved educational credits

Please note that California RVT licenses are valid for two years and require 20 hours of continued education (CE) for renewal. The complete application instructions are available through the CaVMB.

Overall, the state of California presents a wealth of opportunities—both educational and professional—for aspiring veterinary technicians.

Jocelyn Blore (Chief Content Strategist)

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as an English teacher and freelance writer. After stints in England, Japan, and Brazil, she settled in San Francisco and worked as a managing editor for a tech company. When not writing about veterinary technology, nursing, engineering, and other career fields, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor.