To be eligible to take the examination to become a Registered Veterinary Technician in California, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age and meet any one of the following criteria:

  1. Graduate from, at minimum, a two-year curriculum in veterinary technology in a college or other post-secondary institution approved by the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB). (Generally an AVMA approved school) or complete a program or curriculum that has been deemed “equivalent” to a two-year approved program by the VMB (California approved school).
  2. Graduate from an unapproved RVT program. (eliminated as of July 2009)
  3. Possession of a 4-year degree in an animal-related science (eliminated as of July 2009)
  4. Be a graduate of a two-year curriculum in veterinary technology that is not accredited by the AVMA or approved by the Veterinary Medical Board with 18 months practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
  5. Have a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree in a field or major related to animal health technology and have 12 months of practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
  6. Complete a combination of practical experience and post-secondary education in compliance with the following criteria:
    1. The post-secondary instruction shall consist of a total of 20 semester, 30 quarter units, or 300 hours of instruction to be accumulated in the fundamentals and principals of all of the following subjects:
      1. Dental prophylaxis and extraction
      2. Anesthetic instrumentation, induction, and monitoring
      3. Surgical nursing and assisting, including instrumentation, suturing techniques, and application of splints and casts
      4. Radiography and radiation safety
      5. Diseases and nursing of animals, including zoonotic diseases and emergency veterinary care
    2. Mathematics, biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, and medical terminology, or these subjects may be obtained as separate courses.
    3. All the instruction in (a) and (b) shall have been completed within 5 years prior to the date of the examination.
    4. The practical experience shall consist of 24 months (4,416 hours) under the direct supervision of a California licensed veterinarian and shall have been completed within 5 years prior to the examination.
    5. The practical experience in (d) shall have provided the applicant with knowledge, skills and abilities in the areas of communication with clients, patient examinations, emergency procedures, laboratory procedures, diagnostic imaging, surgical assisting, animal nursing, nutrition, dentistry, animal behavior, and pharmacology. The supervising veterinarian(s) shall complete a check list attesting to proficiency in specific areas within the preceding categories.
  7. Licensed, certified, or registered RVT or VT in another state with 36 months practical experience under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian and have not been the subject of adverse civil or criminal judgments resulting from the practice of animal health care.

A current list of approved schools and an application to sit for the examination can be obtained by contacting the Veterinary Medical Board, Registered Veterinary Technician Examination Committee, 1420 Howe Avenue, Suite 6, Sacramento, CA 95825. (916) 263-2610.

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