How to Become a Veterinary Technician in California

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How to Become a Veterinary Technician in California

The veterinary technicians are people who risk their health to help our pets and they should be respected.

If you want to become a veterinary technician, what you need to possess is your love for animals and a diploma from a finished certificate program.

Through this kind of education, you will gain the skills and knowledge you need.

The job is too demanding, but the wish to help the animal in need might overrun all the difficulties and obstacles.

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Veterinary Technician Job Description

Veterinary technicians can be employed in a variety of animal care environments such as veterinary clinics, animal shelters, pet stores, and wildlife facilities.

The job requirements cannot be the same when working with small animals and pets, and when you have to deal with wild animals and reptiles which should be considered when choosing the clinic or hospital to work for.

As veterinary medicine develops more and more and people who are concerned about animal well-being and focused on helping the animals in need are increasing.

The personal characteristics that they need to possess are great communication skills as they will be constantly cooperating with veterinarians and other veterinary clinic staff, and they need to be good listeners and to sympathize with stressed pet owners.

Becoming a Veterinary Technician in California

A high school diploma or GED equivalency is obligatory to enroll in any of the veterinary technology programs and become a veterinary technician in California.

You will need to pay an application fee of up to $100.

Taking an entrance exam and having an interview with a counselor is required by some of the programs.

Furthermore, some programs require a written essay, a letter of recommendation, taking of a specialized test called the Wonderlic, to be eligible to enroll in the veterinary technician program.

If you want to get acquainted with the tasks and duties of a veterinary technician, there are certificate programs widely available through post-secondary schools or online courses which might provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills and California has 18 veterinary technology programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

The curriculum includes classwork, the laboratory work at off-campus settings to even rural farm-like settings.

There is an alternate route to become a licensed veterinary technician in California.

It requires at least 4,416 hours of practical experience achieved in less than two years and 20 hours of classwork.

The practical experience is accepted instead of the classwork and there is a list of skills determined by the California Veterinary Medical Board that candidates must be successful in.

The veterinarians where you work must provide evidence of the successful performance of all the skills.

Educational Requirements for Veterinary Technicians in California

The prerequisite for these programs is introductory courses like math, communications, biology, chemistry, humanities, or physical science.

You are obliged to fulfill all those requirements before you can apply for the program.

Once you have finished those general courses, you can start your veterinary education.

The courses at the veterinary technician schools focus on:

  • Veterinary math
  • Chemistry
  • Terminology
  • Surgical nursing
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Restraint
  • Animal behavior
  • Nutrition
  • Nursing
  • Veterinary economics
  • Anesthesia
  • Parasitology
  • Animal psychology
  • Radiology
  • Office practice
  • Animal management

The veterinary technology programs accredited by the AVMA in California are:

Veterinary Technology Examination

A California veterinary technician who has finished the required education must pass both the Veterinary Technician National Examination and the California Veterinary Technician Examination.

The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) lasts three hours and you are supposed to give correct answers to 150 questions.

The fee for this exam is $300.

Another exam is organized by The California Veterinary Medical Board.

It is done on a computer at testing centers throughout the state, as well as at some of out of state sites.

Once the license is achieved, you will need to renew it by finishing an additional twenty hours of education annually.

Sixteen hours should be taken at approved CE providers while four of them can be finished through self-study.

Job Prospects in California

As you have become a licensed veterinary technician, your chances of getting a satisfying job are great.

California offers jobs for everyone ready to work with animals.

Because there is a greater number of young people interested in becoming veterinary technologists, many believe that there would not be enough job opportunities for all of them, but that is not the fact.

Job prospects are equally increasing in California.

Potential veterinary technician employers and employment resources in California are:

Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in California

The salary will depend on the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that the technician meets daily.

California has a high average veterinary technician salary, but there is a significant variation in the field among the major cities.

It ranges from $ 28 754 in Coachella up to $ 45 993 in Daly City.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Anaheim,CA $40,792
Antioch,CA $41,783
Apple Valley,CA $38,723
Bakersfield,CA $39,204
Berkeley,CA $43,256
Burbank,CA $41,284
Carlsbad,CA $39,027
Carson,CA $40,700
Chico,CA $37,255
Chula Vista,CA $39,246
Coachella,CA $28,754
Concord,CA $41,014
Corona,CA $39,000
Costa Mesa,CA $40,700
Daly City,CA $45,993
Downey,CA $40,891
El Cajon,CA $39,130
El Monte,CA $41,240
Elk Grove,CA $29,693
Escondido,CA $39,027
Fairfield,CA $40,985
Fontana,CA $39,059
Fremont,CA $44,446
Fresno,CA $36,576
Fullerton,CA $40,792
Garden Grove,CA $40,792
Glendale,CA $41,284
Hayward,CA $37,036
Huntington Beach,CA $40,700
Inglewood,CA $41,284
Irvine,CA $40,700
Lancaster,CA $41,065
Lompoc,CA $38,072
Long Beach,CA $40,700
Los Angeles,CA $41,284
Modesto,CA $38,766
Monterey,CA $40,531
Moreno Valley,CA $39,030
Murrieta,CA $39,813
Newhall,CA $40,767
Norwalk,CA $40,739
Oakland,CA $43,256
Oceanside,CA $39,333
Ontario,CA $39,000
Orange,CA $40,700
Oxnard,CA $39,138
Palmdale,CA $41,010
Pasadena,CA $41,284
Petaluma,CA $41,065
Pomona,CA $40,704
Rancho Cucamonga,CA $38,864
Rialto,CA $38,888
Richmond,CA $43,421
Riverside,CA $39,059
Roseville,CA $39,649
Sacramento,CA $39,751
Salinas,CA $40,443
San Bernardino,CA $38,888
San Diego,CA $39,246
San Francisco,CA $45,993
San Jose,CA $44,533
Santa Ana,CA $40,737
Santa Barbara,CA $39,450
Santa Clara,CA $44,533
Santa Clarita,CA $40,689
Santa Cruz,CA $40,627
Santa Maria,CA $38,740
Santa Rosa,CA $39,861
Simi Valley,CA $40,030
Stockton,CA $39,131
Sunnyvale,CA $44,533
Temecula,CA $39,266
Thousand Oaks,CA $39,728
Torrance,CA $40,700
Vallejo,CA $41,102
Ventura,CA $39,138
Victorville,CA $38,739
Visalia,CA $36,357
West Covina,CA $40,704

Regional Salary in California

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bakersfield, CA140$45,430$21.84$59,530$36,340
Chico, CA80$46,340$22.28$62,070$36,100
Fresno, CA150$42,310$20.34$55,160$33,280
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA2,900$48,560$23.34$63,130$35,570
Merced, CA30$42,580$20.47$49,030$36,690
Modesto, CA160$47,330$22.76$60,900$37,090
Napa, CA40$46,150$22.19$58,150$38,930
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA380$48,470$23.31$62,140$37,560
Redding, CA60$43,890$21.1$56,080$35,790
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA760$45,910$22.07$58,330$36,730
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA880$50,080$24.08$63,790$38,450
Salinas, CA130$48,560$23.35$63,200$38,330
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA1,190$48,980$23.55$62,880$38,200
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA1,420$57,730$27.76$75,930$44,600
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA460$61,110$29.38$76,630$45,080
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA120$44,670$21.48$56,930$37,230
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA140$51,940$24.97$69,580$38,360
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA150$46,270$22.25$57,760$37,570
Santa Rosa, CA280$50,960$24.5$68,470$39,640
Stockton-Lodi, CA120$45,240$21.75$58,570$36,600
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA120$48,400$23.27$60,320$39,040
Visalia-Porterville, CA60$42,480$20.42$55,080$30,680
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2056, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Veterinary Technician’s Duties

Veterinary technicians need to possess knowledge related to the veterinary field, compassion, and dedication to their careers to fulfill their demanding and responsible role.

As a connection between the animal and veterinarian, their duties include record-keeping, handling, and restraint of animals, assisting in surgery, emergency care, treatments, and administer anesthesia.

Some veterinary technicians decide to specialize in:

  • Dental Technician
  • Anesthetist
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Equine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Pathology

USA Veterinary Technicians by State

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