Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in a variety of animal care facilities. Their job responsibilities typically include assistance with dental care, examinations, surgical procedures, and the administration of anesthesia. Vet techs may also need to interact with pet owners, and perform laboratory or administrative functions.

California Veterinary Technician Schools

Several schools in California offer veterinary technician training programs for students interested in pursuing a degree in the field. Here are five schools with vet tech programs:

  • Yuba College: The two-year vet tech program at Yuba College culminates in an Associate in Science (AS) degree. The program is designed to prepare students to successfully complete both the California state RVT exam and the AVMA's National Veterinary Technician exam.

  • Foothill College: The Foothill College vet tech program is the only AVMA-accredited program in the Bay Area. It grants graduates an AS degree and prepares them for state and national licensing exams.

  • San Joaquin Valley College: The SJVC program in Fresno helps prepare students to sit for state certification exams. The SJVC vet tech program in Bakersfield requires that students complete a program of supervised field practice to be eligible for certification. Both programs culminate in AS degrees.

  • Consumnes River College: The CRC program in veterinary technology is AVMA-accredited and prepares students to sit for the state and national certification exams.

  • Carrington College: The Carrington College vet tech programs in Citrus Heights, Pleasant Hill, Pomona, Sacramento, San Jose, San Leandro, and Stockton are accredited and make graduates eligible to take state and national certification exams.

What to Expect from California Veterinary Technician Programs

The goal of most veterinary technician programs is to prepare students to work in veterinary practices, hospitals, clinics, zoos, farms, biomedical research facilities, or university laboratories. The programs typically provide students with training in laboratory techniques, surgical procedures, and general animal care. They may also offer opportunities for hands-on field experience through externships or clinical work in veterinary clinics or hospitals.

While enrolled in a vet tech program, students can expect to learn about:

  • Animal anatomy
  • Surgical procedures
  • Examination procedures
  • Medication requirements
  • Client interaction
  • Administrative procedures

Veterinary technician programs usually require two years of class work and field experience. To prepare for a vet tech program, students typically need to have taken introductory college-level courses in biology and chemistry.

California Veterinary Technician Licensing and Certification

To work as a veterinary technician in California, techs must be certified as a Registered Veterinary Technician by the state. A tech can be RVT certified by completing an accredited vet tech program and taking a board-approved state vet tech exam. Alternatively, techs may be certified in California if they hold an approved certification from another state.

Graduates of AVMA-accredited veterinary technician programs can choose to become certified by taking and passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

Resources for Veterinary Technicians in California

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Vet Techs

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Vet Techs relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Metro Area
Annual Median Salary
ChicoN/A $35,980
FresnoN/A $34,080
Modesto170 $36,040
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura250 $41,980
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade790 $34,500
Salinas110 $40,130
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward1130 $45,500
Vallejo-FairfieldN/A $40,050
MercedN/A $37,390
Stockton-Lodi160 $37,320
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande110 $39,820
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara100 $40,830
Santa Rosa360 $42,690
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim2690 $45,110
Bakersfield120 $33,040
Redding80 $35,600
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario660 $38,030
San Diego-Carlsbad1070 $43,120
Santa Cruz-Watsonville130 $49,450
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara470 $46,170
Visalia-Porterville80 $29,770
Napa40 $37,090


  1. Veterinary Technology, Yuba College,
  2. Veterinary Technology, Foothill College,
  3. Veterinary Technology, San Joaquin Valley College,
  4. Veterinary Technology, Consumnes River College,
  5. Veterinary Technology, Carrington College,

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