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Veterinary Technician Schools and Training Programs

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Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians (also referred to as vet techs) are trained and licensed individuals who provide support and assistance to veterinarians in the care and treatment of animals. The work a vet tech does for a veterinarian is similar to the work a nurse does in support of a doctor. Vet techs are distinguishable from veterinary assistants by the fact that it requires an advanced amount of education to become a vet tech and consequently vet techs are licensed by their state to perform specific procedures, whereas vet assistants are not.

Vet Techs picture    Vet Techs image

Veterinary Technician Schools

Vet techs are distinguishable from veterinary assistants by the fact that it requires an advanced amount of education to become a vet tech, usually an associate degree or sometimes a bachelor's degree is required. The following five schools offer associate degree programs for veterinary technicians:

  • Cedar Valley College: This community college located just outside Dallas, Texas offers a veterinary technology program that prepares students to take their state board examinations.
  • Northern Virginia Community College: The Associate of Applied Science in veterinary technology offered by this community college prepares students for vet tech careers in a variety of settings.
  • Penn Foster College: This online school offers an associate degree program for students wanting to train to become a vet tech in a flexible format.
  • Purdue University: This university in West Lafayette, Indiana offers on-campus and distance learning associate degree programs in veterinary technology.
  • St. Petersburg College: This college in Florida offers both online and on-campus associate degree programs that provide students with the skills to enter the workforce.

Veterinary Technician Education Requirements

Preparing for veterinary technician school should include a strong background in math and sciences, especially natural sciences. Biology, anatomy and courses that give you practical laboratory skills are a good way to prepare for the rigors of a veterinary technician degree program. Most of the programs lead to a two-year associate degree, while some might lead to a four-year bachelor's degree.

Programs should be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and should include both clinical and laboratory elements with the use of live animals. Graduation from an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program will pave the way for candidates to take a credentialing exam in any state in the nation. Schools offering accredited veterinary technology programs include junior colleges, community colleges, vocational schools, and distance learning facilities.

Clinical experience is required for all veterinary technicians. Those who choose distance learning can complete their clinical experience requirement by working under their local veterinarian while still taking all of the classes for their degree online.

Veterinary Technician Licensing

Requirements to become licensed vary by state; however, in addition to obtaining the necessary education, all states require candidates to take and pass some kind of certification exam regulated by the State Board of Veterinary Examiners or some other state agency. The exam will usually include a combination of oral, written, and practical sections. For most states, this exam is the National Veterinary Technician (NVT) test. States will generally accept transfer of passing scores from exams taken in a different state, provided the two states use the same exam.

In addition to state licensing, advanced credentials are always useful in this profession, and in some cases, necessary. Those seeking employment in a research facility should pursue an American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) certification. The AALAS certification focuses on three specific areas of expertise: animal health and welfare, animal husbandry, and facility administration and management. In order to earn an AALAS certification, individuals must satisfy a combination of education and experience requirements before taking the AALAS exam. Work experience must be in a laboratory animal facility and must be directly related to the maintenance, health, and well-being of laboratory animals. The AALAS exam consists of multiple-choice questions whose quantity and difficulty depends upon the level of certification being sought.

Resources for Veterinary Technicians

Sources:

  1. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm
  2. Cedar Valley College, http://www.cedarvalleycollege.edu/FutureStudents/DegreesandCertificatePrograms/TechnicalDisciplines/VeterinaryTechnology/default.aspx
  3. Northern Virginia Community College, http://www.nvcc.edu/catalog/cat2014/academics/programs/programdetail.aspx?prog_id=4400&subprog_id=0
  4. Penn Foster College, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/veterinary-studies/veterinary-technician-associate-degree
  5. Purdue University, http://www.vet.purdue.edu/vettech/
    St. Petersburg College, http://www.spcollege.edu/vt/

The Top Cities tab shows employment statistics for Veterinary Technicians by major metro area.

The Top Industries tab shows which industries have the most jobs for Veterinary Technicians, along with salary data by industry.

The Browse Schools tab lets you search for schools by field of study, degree level, and location.

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Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Veterinary Technicians

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Veterinary Technicians relative to the population of the city, as of 2008. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A Relative Popularity of 1.0 means that the city has an average number of the particular job, for its population, compared to the rest of the US. Higher numbers mean proportionally more jobs of that type.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Metro Area Jobs Salary
(2013)
Relative
Popularity

Alabama

     
Anniston 0 $29260 0
Oxford 0 $29260 0
Jacksonville 0 $29260 0
Auburn 80 $31140 2.15
Opelika 80 $31140 2.15
Huntsville 90 $23660 0.6
Daphne 0 $25570 0
Fairhope 0 $25570 0
Foley 0 $25570 0
Decatur 30 $29790 0.87
Birmingham 290 $31890 0.84
Hoover 290 $31890 0.84
Mobile 40 $31440 0.36
Montgomery 0 $34990 0

Alaska

     
Anchorage 120 $43520 0.94

Arizona

     
Flagstaff 60 $27160 1.49
Phoenix 1200 $31770 0.92
Mesa 1200 $31770 0.92
Scottsdale 1200 $31770 0.92
Prescott 100 $29950 2.49
Lake Havasu City 60 $30110 1.9
Kingman 60 $30110 1.9
Tucson 670 $23280 2.72

Arkansas

     
Little Rock 40 $29300 0.17
North Little Rock 40 $29300 0.17
Conway 40 $29300 0.17

California

     
Bakersfield 110 $29530 0.55
Fresno 0 $19980 0
Chico 60 $37420 1.29
Oxnard 310 $34290 1.49
Thousand Oaks 310 $34290 1.49
Ventura 310 $34290 1.49
Redding 80 $29980 1.86
Riverside 580 $35970 0.64
San Bernardino 580 $35970 0.64
Ontario 580 $35970 0.64
Sacramento 1170 $30150 1.93
Roseville 1170 $30150 1.93
Arden 1170 $30150 1.93
Arcade 1170 $30150 1.93
Salinas 90 $39570 0.82
San Diego 830 $44140 0.89
Carlsbad 830 $44140 0.89
Los Angeles 2520 $36720 0.64
Long Beach 2520 $36720 0.64
Anaheim 2520 $36720 0.64
Modesto 110 $31070 0.91
Santa Cruz 120 $37220 1.96
Watsonville 120 $37220 1.96
Santa Maria 90 $40590 0.71
Santa Barbara 90 $40590 0.71
Santa Rosa 0 $44840 0
San Francisco 1630 $41270 1.08
Oakland 1630 $41270 1.08
Hayward 1630 $41270 1.08
Stockton 210 $28280 1.38
Lodi 210 $28280 1.38
San Jose 330 $41830 0.47
Sunnyvale 330 $41830 0.47
Santa Clara 330 $41830 0.47
Vallejo 140 $34000 1.55
Fairfield 140 $34000 1.55
Visalia 50 $28730 0.47
Porterville 50 $28730 0.47
Yuba City 40 $37520 1.47
San Luis Obispo 0 $32710 0
Paso Robles 0 $32710 0
Arroyo Grande 0 $32710 0

Colorado

     
Fort Collins 390 $27190 3.89
Grand Junction 80 $25780 1.87
Greeley 60 $30870 0.87
Boulder 0 $27800 0
Colorado Springs 340 $30190 1.86
Denver 1640 $31630 1.72
Aurora 1640 $31630 1.72
Lakewood 1640 $31630 1.72
Pueblo 40 $20920 1

Connecticut

     
Hartford 610 $34700 1.53
West Hartford 610 $34700 1.53
East Hartford 610 $34700 1.53
New Haven 320 $35060 1.65
Waterbury 50 $39370 0.99
Bridgeport 320 $38690 1.1
Stamford 320 $38690 1.1
Norwalk 320 $38690 1.1
Danbury 130 $40850 2.32

Florida

     
Gainesville 320 $34470 3.7
Homosassa Springs 60 $27150 2.99
Jacksonville 670 $28940 1.54
Cape Coral 280 $32160 1.69
Fort Myers 280 $32160 1.69
Crestview 120 $29430 1.68
Fort Walton Beach 120 $29430 1.68
Destin 120 $29430 1.68
Deltona 230 $30870 1.8
Daytona Beach 230 $30870 1.8
Ormond Beach 230 $30870 1.8
Orlando 830 $28560 1.07
Kissimmee 830 $28560 1.07
Sanford 830 $28560 1.07
Palm Bay 200 $28310 1.46
Melbourne 200 $28310 1.46
Titusville 200 $28310 1.46
Panama City 60 $26050 1.07
Pensacola 180 $29640 1.63
Ferry Pass 180 $29640 1.63
Brent 180 $29640 1.63
Port St. Lucie 310 $31470 3.33
Punta Gorda 80 $29300 2.74
Lakeland 200 $27440 1.42
Winter Haven 200 $27440 1.42
Miami 2030 $33590 1.2
Fort Lauderdale 2030 $33590 1.2
West Palm Beach 2030 $33590 1.2
Naples 210 $35640 2.25
Immokalee 210 $35640 2.25
Marco Island 210 $35640 2.25
North Port 350 $31940 1.84
Sarasota 350 $31940 1.84
Bradenton 350 $31940 1.84
Ocala 210 $25130 3.16
Sebastian 80 $28740 2.54
Vero Beach 80 $28740 2.54
Tallahassee 350 $24240 3.13
Tampa 1360 $28250 1.61
St. Petersburg 1360 $28250 1.61
Clearwater 1360 $28250 1.61
The Villages 50 $33700 2.84

Georgia

     
Albany 40 $25630 1.07
Athens 140 $29220 2.57
Clarke County 140 $29220 2.57
Atlanta 1430 $28590 0.83
Sandy Springs 1430 $28590 0.83
Roswell 1430 $28590 0.83
Gainesville 80 $26500 1.52
Macon 30 $22420 0.45
Savannah 150 $28920 1.36
Warner Robins 30 $24300 0.65

Hawaii

     
Urban Honolulu 280 $30170 0.88

Idaho

     
Boise City 240 $29070 1.22
Idaho Falls 30 $25500 0.78
Coeur d'Alene 60 $27180 1.46

Illinois

     
Bloomington 0 $32240 0
Carbondale 40 $26230 1.06
Marion 40 $26230 1.06
Champaign 140 $37040 2.08
Urbana 140 $37040 2.08
Peoria 90 $33300 0.7
Rockford 70 $27830 0.69
Kankakee 0 $35650 0
Springfield 90 $27500 1.19

Indiana

     
Fort Wayne 80 $35140 0.58
Bloomington 50 $25970 1.04
Indianapolis 520 $29410 0.75
Carmel 520 $29410 0.75
Anderson 520 $29410 0.75
Lafayette 30 $28010 0.52
West Lafayette 30 $28010 0.52

Iowa

     
Ames 70 $44350 2.35
Iowa City 30 $36000 0.48
Cedar Rapids 80 $29370 0.77
Des Moines 120 $29920 0.48
West Des Moines 120 $29920 0.48
Dubuque 30 $28860 0.85
Waterloo 60 $28010 1.02
Cedar Falls 60 $28010 1.02

Kansas

     
Topeka 40 $23150 0.48
Wichita 0 $28720 0

Kentucky

     
Elizabethtown 30 $22430 0.89
Fort Knox 30 $22430 0.89
Lexington 370 $31480 2.05
Fayette 370 $31480 2.05

Louisiana

     
Alexandria 40 $24720 1.01
Baton Rouge 0 $22780 0
Lafayette 100 $23750 0.69
Lake Charles 100 $24420 1.48
New Orleans 720 $28710 1.86
Metairie 720 $28710 1.86
Shreveport 0 $25650 0
Bossier City 0 $25650 0

Maine

     
Lewiston 70 $35810 1.9
Auburn 70 $35810 1.9
Portland 290 $33950 2.13
South Portland 290 $33950 2.13
Bangor 80 $33020 1.89

Maryland

     
Baltimore 970 $31000 1.07
Columbia 970 $31000 1.07
Towson 970 $31000 1.07
California 0 $42300 0
Lexington Park 0 $42300 0

Massachusetts

     
Leominster 70 $38190 2.16
Gardner 70 $38190 2.16
New Bedford 40 $0 0.93
Barnstable Town 70 $41540 0.99

Michigan

     
Ann Arbor 160 $30920 1.1
Flint 60 $28930 0.6
Grand Rapids 240 $30140 0.67
Wyoming 240 $30140 0.67
Detroit 1600 $30800 1.21
Warren 1600 $30800 1.21
Dearborn 1600 $30800 1.21
Saginaw 0 $31610 0
Lansing 170 $36940 1.2
East Lansing 170 $36940 1.2
Kalamazoo 170 $24070 1.8
Portage 170 $24070 1.8
Muskegon 30 $27920 0.7
Niles 30 $31510 0.77
Benton Harbor 30 $31510 0.77

Minnesota

     
Rochester 110 $30520 1.36
St. Cloud 60 $30780 0.89
Mankato 50 $28500 1.34
North Mankato 50 $28500 1.34

Mississippi

     
Gulfport 50 $25000 0.52
Biloxi 50 $25000 0.52
Pascagoula 50 $25000 0.52
Hattiesburg 60 $24460 1.56
Jackson 130 $29100 0.73

Missouri

     
Columbia 100 $30640 1.6
Springfield 0 $27980 0

Montana

     
Great Falls 40 $27990 1.6
Billings 90 $34760 1.45
Missoula 60 $24790 1.42

Nebraska

     
Lincoln 100 $31590 0.87

Nevada

     
Reno 0 $31360 0
Las Vegas 430 $33770 0.68
Henderson 430 $33770 0.68
Paradise 430 $33770 0.68

New Hampshire

     
Manchester 150 $33270 1.95

New Jersey

     
Atlantic City 80 $28570 0.88
Hammonton 80 $28570 0.88
Trenton 70 $32600 0.45
Vineland 50 $29740 1.24
Bridgeton 50 $29740 1.24

New Mexico

     
Albuquerque 350 $33100 1.35
Las Cruces 30 $28320 0.7
Santa Fe 80 $37030 1.91

New York

     
Albany 340 $38820 1.12
Schenectady 340 $38820 1.12
Troy 340 $38820 1.12
Ithaca 200 $44290 5.68
Buffalo 280 $36100 0.74
Cheektowaga 280 $36100 0.74
Niagara Falls 280 $36100 0.74
Binghamton 40 $34080 0.53
Kingston 70 $35430 1.69
Rochester 0 $35210 0
Syracuse 200 $36550 0.98
Utica 90 $25120 1.08
Rome 90 $25120 1.08

North Carolina

     
Asheville 220 $30760 1.78
Fayetteville 80 $25760 0.91
Greensboro 260 $30670 1.04
High Point 260 $30670 1.04
Greenville 50 $27670 0.97
Hickory 0 $28320 0
Lenoir 0 $28320 0
Morganton 0 $28320 0
Durham 220 $27070 1.08
Chapel Hill 220 $27070 1.08
Raleigh 680 $32230 1.73
Rocky Mount 0 $23020 0
Wilmington 220 $26240 2.63
Winston 170 $28380 0.93
Salem 170 $28380 0.93

Ohio

     
Akron 110 $29970 0.48
Canton 0 $27500 0
Massillon 0 $27500 0
Cleveland 430 $30740 0.61
Elyria 430 $30740 0.61
Columbus 1120 $32190 1.6
Dayton 180 $30880 0.7
Springfield 40 $26490 1.11
Toledo 220 $30590 1.07

Oklahoma

     
Oklahoma City 330 $33920 0.77
Tulsa 260 $30540 0.87

Oregon

     
Bend 110 $34550 2.22
Redmond 110 $34550 2.22
Corvallis 90 $36900 3.87
Eugene 160 $33880 1.58
Salem 170 $34060 1.54
Medford 0 $34370 0

Pennsylvania

     
Gettysburg 30 $28350 1.55
Harrisburg 110 $32940 0.52
Carlisle 110 $32940 0.52
East Stroudsburg 100 $33970 2.52
Erie 80 $23360 0.86
Pittsburgh 1130 $30590 1.44
Reading 0 $34530 0
Lancaster 230 $34240 1.42
Lebanon 30 $29690 0.97
Scranton 170 $33360 0.97
Wilkes 170 $33360 0.97
Barre 170 $33360 0.97
Hazleton 170 $33360 0.97
State College 90 $30330 1.95
York 0 $33650 0
Hanover 0 $33650 0

Puerto Rico

     
San Juan 200 $30320 0.43
Carolina 200 $30320 0.43
Caguas 200 $30320 0.43

South Carolina

     
Greenville 420 $31100 1.57
Anderson 420 $31100 1.57
Mauldin 420 $31100 1.57
Hilton Head Island 60 $23950 1.23
Bluffton 60 $23950 1.23
Beaufort 60 $23950 1.23
Charleston 460 $32140 2.09
North Charleston 460 $32140 2.09
Columbia 0 $27660 0
Spartanburg 0 $27390 0

South Dakota

     
Rapid City 60 $27900 1.39
Sioux Falls 60 $32810 0.59

Tennessee

     
Johnson City 40 $24840 0.84
Knoxville 470 $32570 1.81
Nashville 0 $29570 0
Davidson 0 $29570 0
Murfreesboro 0 $29570 0
Franklin 0 $29570 0

Texas

     
Abilene 70 $27070 1.48
Amarillo 90 $25000 1.13
Austin 1030 $27660 1.6
Round Rock 1030 $27660 1.6
Houston 1860 $28650 0.91
The Woodlands 1860 $28650 0.91
Sugar Land 1860 $28650 0.91
Beaumont 120 $28220 1.03
Port Arthur 120 $28220 1.03
Brownsville 100 $24220 1.02
Harlingen 100 $24220 1.02
College Station 250 $30640 3.57
Bryan 250 $30640 3.57
Corpus Christi 170 $24380 1.26
Dallas 2710 $31200 1.18
Fort Worth 2710 $31200 1.18
Arlington 2710 $31200 1.18
El Paso 200 $23570 1.01
San Angelo 50 $22230 1.7
San Antonio 950 $28230 1.44
New Braunfels 950 $28230 1.44
Longview 0 $28300 0
Lubbock 80 $24680 0.81
McAllen 100 $29510 0.58
Edinburg 100 $29510 0.58
Mission 100 $29510 0.58
Killeen 130 $26390 1.39
Temple 130 $26390 1.39
Sherman 30 $28190 1.12
Denison 30 $28190 1.12
Tyler 70 $24520 1.07
Victoria 30 $33020 1.1
Waco 80 $25780 1.08

Utah

     
Provo 70 $26350 0.48
Orem 70 $26350 0.48
St. George 30 $28650 0.77
Salt Lake City 590 $25470 1.28
Ogden 160 $30790 0.98
Clearfield 160 $30790 0.98

Vermont

     
Burlington 180 $32610 2.1
South Burlington 180 $32610 2.1

Virginia

     
Blacksburg 60 $32380 1.33
Christiansburg 60 $32380 1.33
Radford 60 $32380 1.33
Harrisonburg 30 $34180 0.79
Charlottesville 90 $35270 1.29
Richmond 0 $33470 0
Roanoke 0 $33740 0
Lynchburg 30 $29010 0.5
Staunton 50 $30040 1.5
Waynesboro 50 $30040 1.5

Washington

     
Bremerton 80 $37480 1.38
Silverdale 80 $37480 1.38
Bellingham 50 $34410 0.88
Mount Vernon 30 $36670 1.06
Anacortes 30 $36670 1.06
Kennewick 40 $35410 0.62
Richland 40 $35410 0.62
Olympia 90 $32230 1.26
Tumwater 90 $32230 1.26
Seattle 1210 $35800 0.96
Tacoma 1210 $35800 0.96
Bellevue 1210 $35800 0.96
Spokane 60 $34650 0.41
Spokane Valley 60 $34650 0.41
Yakima 40 $34480 0.64

West Virginia

     
Charleston 0 $25460 0

Wisconsin

     
Appleton 0 $28230 0
Green Bay 0 $31490 0
Janesville 30 $28820 0.79
Beloit 30 $28820 0.79
Eau Claire 40 $25580 0.72
Oshkosh 50 $32970 0.79
Neenah 50 $32970 0.79
Racine 50 $28410 1.01
Madison 470 $31070 1.8
Milwaukee 390 $36980 0.67
Waukesha 390 $36980 0.67
West Allis 390 $36980 0.67
Sheboygan 30 $31790 0.84
Wausau 60 $25580 1.27

Wyoming

     
Cheyenne 30 $27900 1.06
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Career Stories (Job Profiles) for Veterinary Technicians

To find out more about building a career as Vet Techs, we spoke with professionals in the field across a variety of specialties. Learn about their experiences on the job, the steps they took to complete their education, and what it takes to excel in this industry. Click the link to see a story.

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Most Popular Industries (as of 2008) for:
Veterinary Technicians

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Industry Jobs Percent Salary
(2008)
Professional And Technical Services 73,610 93% $28,610
Education 2,130 2% $34,280
Government 1,050 1% $40,570
Non-profit 940 1% $26,580
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quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

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  • Programs: Veterinary Technology - Associates, Veterinary Technology, Veterinary Technology Alternate Route - Certificate
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  • Programs: Degree - Veterinary Technology
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Veterinary Technician Schools by State

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Veterinary Technicians.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.