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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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More California Veterinary Technician Schools

Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Total Enrollment
Walnut
Associates
29,960
Pomona
Doctorate
26,053
San Diego
Bachelors
23,532
Santa Rosa
Associates
20,671
Modesto
Bachelors
17,880
Woodland Hills
Associates
17,655
Los Altos Hills
Bachelors
15,697
Sacramento
Associates
14,120
Visalia
Associates
12,277
Salinas
Associates
12,072
Santa Maria
Associates
11,739
Marysville
Associates
5,529
Visalia
Bachelors
5,239
Sacramento
Associates
1,124
Chula Vista
Associates
883
San Jose
Associates
680
Alhambra
Bachelors
587
Ontario
Bachelors
527
Riverside
Bachelors
524
Stockton
Associates
458
Citrus Heights
Associates
385
Pleasant Hill
Associates
365
San Leandro
Associates
290
Anaheim
Bachelors
240
Pomona
Associates
229
Salinas
Associates
181
Carson
N/A
162
Chico
N/A
75

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Vet Techs

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for California. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

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.

2017 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; O*NET® 23.1 Database, O*NET OnLine, National Center for O*NET Development, Employment & Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, onetonline.org

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Bakersfield170 $29,940
Chico70 $36,420
Fresno110 $34,250
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade1190 $29,060
Salinas130 $38,110
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim2850 $40,630
Modesto190 $32,200
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-VenturaN/A $40,830
Redding90 $33,990
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario520 $46,600
San Diego-CarlsbadN/A $44,290
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward1180 $44,430
Stockton-Lodi190 $33,230
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara540 $43,560
Vallejo-Fairfield110 $37,430
Visalia-Porterville80 $28,170
Yuba CityN/A N/A
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande50 $38,260
Santa Cruz-Watsonville150 $46,740
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara110 $40,830
Santa Rosa290 $41,890

Sources:

  1. Veterinary Technology, Yuba College, http://vettech.yccd.edu/
  2. Veterinary Technology, Foothill College, http://www.foothill.fhda.edu/bio/programs/vettech/
  3. Veterinary Technology, San Joaquin Valley College, http://www.sjvc.edu/programs/medical-and-dental/veterinary-technology
  4. Veterinary Technology, Consumnes River College, http://crc.losrios.edu/areas/ct/vt
  5. Veterinary Technology, Carrington College, http://carrington.edu/degrees/veterinary-technician/

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