Veterinary Schools in California

Americans love their pets, and providing those pets with the necessary medical care has become a lucrative industry for veterinarians and their assistants. With over 5,100 veterinarians and 9,300 veterinary technologists and technicians in the state of California in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this is a popular set of careers that you can train for at California veterinary schools.

Higher Education at California Veterinary Schools

Working as a veterinarian in The Golden State requires a doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM or VMD) degree from an accredited college of veterinary medicine plus a California license. Some veterinary schools require a bachelor's degree for entrance, which can mean about training requires eight years of full-time study overall.

Working as a veterinary technologist typically requires a four-year bachelor's degree, while training to become a veterinary technician can be completed via a two-year associate's degree program. The two careers are similar, but most technicians end up working in clinical practice while technologists may have the option to work in advanced research-related careers.


Depending on the job duties and employer, veterinary assistants and other animal caretakers may work with only on-the-job training. However, in competitive hiring environments, formal training in the form of a certificate or associate's degree may be recommended.

Careers for Graduates of Veterinary Schools in California

While no veterinary schools in California can guarantee a particular career or salary, hiring managers are often looking for formal education and training. Take a look at mean annual wages earned in popular veterinary careers in California in 2009, according to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). For comparison, national mean annual wages are in parentheses:

  • Veterinarians: $99,940 ($90,110)
  • Veterinary Technologists and Technicians: $35,720 ($30,580)
  • Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers: $29,130 ($23,400)

As you can see, veterinary workers in California earn higher wages than the national average. However, these high wages are partially offset by the high cost of living in California. In 2010, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center reported that California had the 4th highest cost of the in U.S. (out of 50 states plus Washington D.C.).

The BLS projects 33 percent job growth for veterinarians nationwide between 2008 and 2018, so graduates of veterinary schools in California should face strong job prospects. Most jobs should be found in animal hospitals or clinics working with small pets.

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Featured Veterinary Schools in California

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University of California-Davis Davis 29796

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