California Veterinary Technician Requirements


California has some of the stricter regulations for becoming a registered veterinary technician. There are several ways to go about becoming an RVT in the state of California. I will highlight the ways to become registered and also provide helpful links for the state of California. To become an RVT in California you MUST pass the National RVT exam.

Eligibility Categories

The following eligibility categories are numbered and consistent with numbered categories listed on the application. Below
each examination eligibility category are the documents that must be submitted with the application in order to determine
eligibility. Failure to submit all required documentation will result in your application being deemed incomplete.

Category 1 – Approved RVT Schools – BPC section 4841.5

Graduate of an AVMA or California approved RVT program
The following documents must be submitted:
-Certified transcripts showing degree conferred; or
-Copy of diploma
-DOJ and FBI fingerprint clearance

Category 4 – Alternate Route – CCR section 2068.5

Alternate Route – Completion of a combination of postsecondary education and at least 4,416 hours of practical
experience in no less than 24 months under the direct supervision of a California-licensed veterinarian.
The following documents must be submitted:
– Task List (proof of experience in all areas) completed and signed by a California-licensed veterinarian
– Transcripts for all courses of postsecondary education to be used to fulfill application requirements.
– Copies of official college catalog course descriptions and course outlines for all postsecondary education being used.
– Copies of official Certificates of Completion along with course descriptions or course outlines, and breakdown in hours
for postsecondary education being used.
– Completed Postsecondary Academic Checklist Form – must show all educational areas have been completed.
– DOJ and FBI fingerprint clearance

Education Requirements

The education shall consist of a total of 20 semester units, 30 quarter units, or 300 hours of instruction; shall be provided
by a postsecondary academic institution or a qualified instructor as defined by Section 2068.5; shall be accumulated in the
fundamentals and principles of all of the following subjects; and shall be completed in the five (5) years preceding
application to the Board for the RVT Examination:
(1) Dental prophylaxis and extraction
(2) Anesthetic instrumentation, induction and monitoring
(3) Surgical nursing and assisting, including instrumentation, suturing techniques, and application of casts and
splints
(4) Radiography and radiation safety
(5) Diseases and nursing of animals, including zoonotic diseases and emergency veterinary care
(6) IV Catheter placement
In addition, the following education is also required and may be covered in the RVT specific subjects, obtained
as separate courses, or as a part of a degree program:
(7) Chemistry
(8) Mathematics
(9) Biology
(10) Microbiology
(11) Anatomy
(12) Physiology
(13) Medical terminology

The candidate shall submit with the application a syllabus or an outline for each course in an organized format. If the person
reviewing the application is unable to determine which categories are related to what education the application will be returned.
The candidate shall provide documentation of attendance for each course in the form of one of the following:
(1) Certificate of attendance; or
(2) Official transcript, or
(3) Letter on official stationary signed by the course instructor documenting that the candidate attended a particular
course and noting how the instructor meets the minimum requirement.

Alternate Route Course Instructor Qualifications

In order for education to be approved, the instructor must meet at least two of the following minimum requirements:
(1) A license, registration, or certificate in an area related to the subject matter of the course. The license,
registration, or certificate shall be current, valid, and free from restrictions due to disciplinary action by this board
or any other health care regulatory agency;
(2) A master’s or higher degree from an educational institution in an area related to the subject matter of the course;
(3) Training, certification, or experience in teaching the subject matter of the course; or
(4) At least two years’ experience in an area related to the subject matter of the course.
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code Section 2068.5, the instructor shall provide each participant with a course
syllabus or detailed outline which includes a description of the material covered.
Practical Experience
Practical experience shall consist of at least 4,416 hours of practical experience in no less than 24 months under the
direct supervision of a California-licensed veterinarian who shall attest to the completion of that experience at the time the
application is made to the board for the RVT Examination. The applicant shall have completed this experience within five
(5) years prior to the date of the examination for registration as a registered veterinary technician.
The required practical experience 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
Anesthesia
Animal nursing
Nutrition
Dentistry
Animal behavior
Pharmacology
The supervising veterinarian(s) must complete a checklist attesting to proficiency in specific skill areas within the preceding
categories.
APPLICATIONS FOR CATEGORY 4, ALTERNATE ROUTE, MUST BE SUBMITTED IN AN ORGANIZED AND
ITEMIZED FORMAT. CLASSES SHOULD BE EASY TO IDENTIFY AND WHEN POSSIBLE, COMPLETION
CERTIFICATES SHOULD BE MATCHED UP WITH COURSE OUTLINES OR DESCRIPTIONS.
DISORGANIZED APPLICATIONS WILL BE RETURNED AS INCOMPLETE
The California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) provides an Alternate Route Workbook, a guide to planning a
course of study under this category, qualifying to sit for the exam, and assisting in exam preparation, which can be
obtained by calling the CVMA at (916) 649-0599.

Category 5 – Out of State RVTs – CCR section 2068.6

Out of State – RVT’s with at least 4,416 hours of practical experience in no less than 24 months under the direct
supervision of a veterinarian licensed in the United States, Canada or U.S. territory.
The following documents must be submitted:
– Task List (Proof of Experience) – Proof at least 4,416 hours of practical experience in no less than 24 months under
the direct supervision of a veterinarian licensed in the United States, Canada or U.S. territory.
– Letter of good standing issued from each State Board for all states in which you are registered or certified, whether
inactive or currently practicing.
– Verification from a state board that a written practical state board exam has been passed (written law & jurisprudence
exam is not acceptable) in the state from which applicant is applying, OR verification from a state board that passing
the Veterinary Technician National Exam was required for registration/certification.
– DOJ and FBI fingerprint clearance

Relevant Links

Registered Veterinary Technician Application

Registered Veterinary Technician Task List – Proof of Experience

Post-secondary Academic Course Requirements Checklist

Certificate of Attendance

Registered Veterinary Technician Job Task Regulations

Candidate Information Bulletin for National Exam

Registered Veterinary Technician Initial License Application