Veterinary Technician College and Degree Programs

Veterinary technicians work with animals and provide day-to-day assistance to veterinarians. You will need an associate's or bachelor's degree in veterinary technology from an accredited college. Get information on obtaining professional credentials, and learn about job growth and salary projections for veterinary technicians. Schools offering Veterinary Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

In much of the same manner as a nurse would assist a doctor, a veterinary technician assists the work of a veterinarian. As a veterinary technician, you would conduct laboratory tests, prepare tissues samples, run diagnostic tests and assist with dental work. In addition to going into private practice, veterinary technicians also assist veterinarians and physicians in laboratories.

Degrees Associate's and bachelor's of science
Certification Professional credential from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards
Median Salary $33,400 per year

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2017)

Where Can You Earn a Degree in Veterinary Technology?

Aspiring veterinary technicians must earn at least an associate's degree in veterinary technology to begin working in this field. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers accreditation to over 200 veterinary technology programs in the U.S. All states but the District of Columbia have colleges offering AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs. Some colleges that offer degree programs in veterinary technology include:

  • Mesa Community College, AZ (associate's)
  • Stanbridge University, CA (associate's)
  • St. Petersburg College, FL (associate's and bachelor's)
  • Norwalk Community College, CT (associate's)
  • Fort Valley State University, GA (bachelor's)
  • Purdue University, IN (associate's and bachelor's)
  • Des Moines Area Community College, IA (associate's)
  • Morehead State University, KY (associate's and bachelor's)
  • University of Maine at Augusta, Bangor campus (bachelor's)
  • Texas A&M Univesrsity-Kingsville (bachelor's)

What Will I Study in an Associate's Degree Program?

As a veterinary technician, you will need to earn at least an associate's degree in veterinary technology from a two-year college. General courses include those in biology, microbiology, chemistry and mathematics. Required and elective courses address animal health care, animal diseases, veterinary anesthesia, surgical assisting, large and small animal nursing, animal dentistry and pharmacology. Most programs include clinical rotations that allows students to apply what they have learned in lab settings or veterinary offices.

Which Courses Will I Take in a Bachelor's Degree Program in Veterinary Technology?

Earning a Bachelor of Science in this subject will make you more valuable to employers when you look for a job. Just over 20 colleges and universities across the U.S. provide accredited 4-year degree programs in veterinary technology or animal science. In many courses, you will study advanced topics in areas covered in the associate's degree program. A clinical internship is typically a part of this type of program. Courses you can expect to take in a bachelor's degree program in veterinary technology include:

  • Veterinary parasitology
  • Veterinary clinical pathology
  • Animal behavior
  • Animal reproduction
  • Advanced veterinary hematology
  • Farm animal nursing

What Happens After I Graduate?

Depending on the state you live in, you may need to pass an examination to become a credentialed veterinary technician. For credentialing purposes, most states use the Veterinary Technician National Exam, which requires applicants to have a veterinary technology degree from an AVMA-accredited school.

Another way to boost your credentials as a veterinary technician is to obtain a professional certification from the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The AALAS offers three tiers of certification; these tiers include the Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), the Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) and the Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG). The more education you have, the less laboratory requirements you will need to achieve before becoming eligible for certification.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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