Veterinary Technican Associate's Degree

Associate's degree programs in veterinary technology prepare you for performing medical exams and making diagnoses of animals as an assistant to a licensed veterinarian. Learn about what classes you may take in this program along with admissions requirements, job responsibilities and career outlook. Schools offering Animal Care degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From an Associate's Degree Program in Veterinary Technology?

An associate's degree program in veterinary technology is a 2-year program that provides basic training in biology, anatomy and veterinary medicine. You could learn about surgical nursing, veterinary office administration, diagnostic procedures, animal pharmacology and human-animal interaction. Some degrees require you to complete laboratory components or internships before graduating. Because these programs often require hands-on training with animals, they can be difficult to find online.

Online Availability Not typically available online due to hands-on training, lab activities and/or internships
Common Courses Veterinary anatomy, physiological chemistry, animal management, animal pharmaceuticals, office management
Prerequisites High school diploma or GED, ACT or SAT test results, and high school transcript
Job Duties Taking X-rays, collecting tissue samples, drawing blood
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 19% growth* (for veterinary technicians and technologists)

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Classes you could take include the following:

  • Veterinary anatomy
  • Veterinary technology
  • Physiological chemistry
  • Parasitology for animals
  • Animal management
  • Pharmaceuticals for animals
  • Clinical techniques
  • Office management

What Are the Admission Requirements?

The minimum requirement for admission into associate's degree programs in veterinary technology is typically a high school diploma or its equivalent. You should also expect to submit ACT or SAT scores, high school transcripts and letters of recommendation. Taking classes like anatomy, biology, chemistry and statistics could improve your chances of success.

What Is the Job Like?

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians by performing clinical and administrative tasks. This may include conducing diagnostic tests, performing basic medical procedures, assisting veterinarians during surgery or preparing reports. It may also be your job to consult with pet owners before and after exams and brief veterinarians on an animal's condition. Specifically, your job duties could include the following:

  • Taking an animal's temperature
  • Drawing blood
  • Cleaning teeth
  • Collecting tissue samples
  • Taking X-rays
  • Talking to pet owners about pet care
  • Administering medication
  • Recording weight and height

What Is the Job Outlook and Pay?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment rates for veterinary technicians and technologists are expected to increase 19% from 2014-2024, which is significantly faster than average ( This growth will likely be due to the changing demographics of pet owners, who are becoming more affluent and more interested in paying for advanced medical care, according to the BLS. The BLS reported a median annual salary of $31,070 for veterinary technicians and technologists in May 2014.

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