dcsimg

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/

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for
Veterinary Technicians

Listed below are the 10 largest metro areas based on the total number of people employed in Veterinary Technicians jobs , as of 2016

     
Metro Area Total Employment Annual Mean Salary
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 2,780 $32,450
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 2,620 $40,710
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach 1,910 $34,500
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood 1,830 $33,560
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 1,770 $29,090
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell 1,720 $30,030
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn 1,570 $30,370
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson 1,380 $33,050
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater 1,370 $30,460
Austin-Round Rock 1,220 $27,470

Compare Total Employment & Salaries for Vet Techs

Use our handy tool to see what employment and salary numbers look like for two different metro areas

Select State
Select Metro Area 1
Select Metro Area 2
Employment
Salary

Total employment and salary for professions similar to vet techs

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.

All Types

Source : 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Most Popular Industries for
Veterinary Technicians

These industries represent at least 1% of the total number of people employed in this occupation.

Industry Total Employment Percent Annual Median Salary
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
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.
 
Results:  10
Matching School Ads
Programs
  • Master of Public Health
  • Earn your Master of Public Health Online from GW in 12 months.
  • GRE waivers available for qualified applicants.
  • Advance your career in a range of industries, including epidemiology, public health and biostatistics.
Programs
  • M.B.A.: Health Systems Management
  • Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
  • Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
  • College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
  • College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
  • College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
  • Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
Programs
  • Medical Assistant (10-Month Diploma Program)
  • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
  • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
  • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
  • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
  • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
  • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
camnpus icon
Gardena
Request Info
Programs
  • AA - Sports and Rehabilitation Therapy
Fremont College traces its roots to Platt College’s founding in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1879, and the Southern California branch campus was established in 1986. The most significant evolution of the College started when its third CEO, Dr. Sabrina Kay, assumed leadership in 2007. Fremont College became an innovative center adopting the framework of Work-Based Learning Leadership at the Wharton School and Dr. Kay’s thesis on improved learning through practice and collaboration.
camnpus icon
Cerritos
Request Info
Programs
  • Medical Administrative Specialist
  • A Los Angeles-based private college offering programs in medical sciences, legal studies, and graphic design since 1985.
  • Has weekend programs, including certified  veterinary technology, nurse assistant, and hemodialysis technician.
  • Showcases visual communication students’ artwork and design through campus magazine.
  • 3 campuses in Southern California.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
camnpus icon
Riverside
Request Info
Programs
  • A.S. - Healthcare Management

  • Career Training Online: Ultimate Medical Academy is committed to helping you succeed in a healthcare career. That’s why we offer assistance from the very beginning, throughout training, and even after you graduate.
  • Get personalized attention with UMA: One-on-one tutoring, pre-interview coaching, job search assistance, alumni services—they’re all included in Ultimate Medical Academy’s competitively priced tuition.
  • Engaging Online Learning: You’ll get individual feedback from your instructors, watch educational videos, participate in discussion boards and have access to live study group sessions.
  • Career Services: UMA has a relationship with more than 100,000 employer locations across the country and we use that network to search for job opportunities and schedule interviews for our graduates.
  • Let’s Talk: As a nationally accredited school, we provide quality career training online and at our Clearwater, Florida campus. Let’s talk about your needs, your career goals and how UMA can help you succeed.
Programs
  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • Online Bachelor's programs include BBA, Criminal Justice, Psychology, IT, Healthcare Management & Public Health
  • Over 115 years of delivering quality education and personalized attention to students
  • Provide a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services
  • Give students and alumni access to career assistants who help with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Programs
  • Master of Business Aministration - Healthcare Administration
  • Ranked among the top 20 Regional Universities in the West in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Listed as one of America’s Best Colleges by Forbes Magazine in 2014.
  • More than 97% of tenure-track faculty holds a terminal degree in their field.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 15:1, and 47.5% of classes have fewer than 20 students.
  • Accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Programs
  • Masters in Health Care Administration
  • UC is committed to liberal education integrated with professional study
  • Accredited by the MSCHE with a beautiful campus located in Utica, New York
  • 21 graduate programs, 38 undergraduate majors & study abroad opportunities
  • More than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students (full- and part-time)
  • Offers financial aid options to students who qualify for tuition assistance
Programs
  • Public Health (MPH)
  • Designated as a 2015 Military Friendly® School by Victory Media, publishers of G.I. Jobs®.
  • Each program is designed to instill the knowledge, ethical values, and interpersonal skills of professional practice and to foster values of social responsibility.
  • Offers several flexible learning options, including a blended format that combines campus and online learning.
  • Several scholarship opportunities are available for students who qualify.
  • Features a competency-based MBA program that allows students to test out of subjects based on prior professional experience.

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.

Back to Top