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A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is a term used specifically in California and is often referred to as a California RVT. A veterinary technician is a certified or licensed animal care professional that assists veterinarians with important daily tasks in an animal clinic or hospital. They provide direct care to animals as well as help with office and business functions. Registered veterinary technician schools can prepare students to be successful in this new career.
Recommended RVT Schools
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Registered Veterinary Technician Exam
In order to become a registered veterinary technician, you must pass the RVT licensing examination. To be eligible to take the RVT exam, a candidate must meet one of the following three qualifications:
- Complete Training. Graduate from, at minimum, a tw0-year training program provided by any of the accredited veterinary technician schools or complete a training program that has been deemed “equivalent” to a two year program.
- Licensed Out-of-State. Already licensed in another state (or Canada) and have taken an exam determined by the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to be equivalent to the California RVT examination and meet the clinical practice hours requirement.
- Education & Experience Combination. Complete a combination of at least 4416 hours of directed clinical practice in no less than 24 months under the direct supervision of a California-licensed veterinarian and 300 hours (or 20 semester or 30 quarter units) of specific education.
Other Licensure Requirements
In addition to meeting one of the qualifying paths above, candidates must also meet the following requirements before they can receive their RVT license:
- Must be at least 18 years old;
- Must have been fingerprinted (LiveScan) prior to licensure; and
- Have a clear criminal background.
Registered Veterinary Technician Salary
Unlike other health-related occupations, such as dental hygienist, veterinary technicians do not earn substantial income. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average registered veterinary technician salary in 2010 was $29,710 per year, or about $15 per hour. However, what the RVT occupation lacks in salary, makes up in job outlook. The BLS projects that the veterinary technician career field will explode between 2010 and 2020, growing by 52%. This could result in approximately 41,000 new jobs!