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Veterinary Technician Training FAQ

Got questions about veterinary technician training? Following veterinary technician FAQ would help you get answers to your vet tech questions.

What kind of degree can I earn from veterinary technician school?
Most veterinary technician schools offer two-year training programs, resulting in a certificate, diploma, or Associate of Science degree. Some institutions also offer four-year Bachelor of Science degrees. Today, the United States has more than 100 vet tech programs that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Of these programs, 15 offer Bachelor of Science degrees.

Are there online veterinary technician training programs?
Yes. Ashworth University offers one popular online veterinary technician program. Ashworth University provides programs for veterinary technicians and more junior veterinary assistants. Graduates of the veterinary technician program earn a certificate or Associate of Science degree.

Is financing available for vet tech school? Are scholarships offered?
Yes, most veterinary tech schools offer financial assistance to qualifying students. Financial aid is usually offered in the form of loans, grants, or scholarships.

How long do different veterinary tech programs may take to complete?

Full-time veterinary technician students, pursuing a certificate, diploma, or associate's degree, may typically complete their veterinary technician training in two years.


What courses are veterinary technician students required to take?
Prerequisites include veterinary technology, biology, microbiology, and chemistry, as well as humanities courses. Advanced courses include: hematology, radiography, surgical principles, anesthesia, comparative anatomy and physiology, animal medical techniques, and animal husbandry and diseases. Students also train in clinical and laboratory settings with live animals.

How should students prepare for their veterinary technician training?
Veterinary technician students should complete as many high school science, biology, and math classes as possible. These classes can be taken at both traditional and online high schools.

What state credentials do veterinary technicians have to earn?
All states require veterinary technicians to pass a state regulatory examination (often the National Veterinary Technician exam), which credentials individuals to work as a veterinary technician in their state. Some exams have oral, written, and practical portions. To sit for the exam (in most states), candidates must provide proof of graduation from a veterinary technician training program, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Depending on the state, vet techs are credentialed as licensed veterinary technicians (LVTs), certified veterinary technicians (CVTs), or registered veterinary technicians (RVTs).

Why should veterinary technicians become credentialed?
It's the law in every state. Additionally, state licensing, certification, or registration via the NVT exam often prepares vet techs for employment in other states.

What kinds of careers will my vet tech degree prepare me for?
Most vet tech college graduates are employed in private veterinary offices, assisting veterinarians directly or performing technical tasks, such as applying anesthesia, taking tissue and blood samples, giving injections, exposing and developing x-rays, recording patient histories, and consulting with pet owners. (Vet techs do not prescribe, diagnose, or perform surgery.) In vet offices, many vet techs assume supervisory roles with experience.

Vet techs also work in animal shelters (be prepared to euthanize pets), livestock health management, biomedical research, zoo/wildlife medicine, pharmaceutical sales, military services, and more. Demand for qualified vet techs continues to grow. A 1999 survey done by the AMVA concluded that there are eight job openings available for every vet tech graduate.

Who should consider a career as a veterinary technician?
Aspiring veterinarians, who can use their vet tech experience as a stepping-stone toward a veterinarian career (after the completion of additional education, often available via traditional and online grad schools); people who love animals but do not want to become veterinarians; people looking for a second career; and mothers returning to the workforce (hours are often flexible).

 
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