Veterinary Technician Training Programs

Learn what a veterinary technician does on a daily basis. Find out about training and employment opportunities as well as certification and licensure requirements. Schools offering Veterinary Technology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Training Program Should I Pursue?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you will need to complete a 2-year associate's degree program in veterinary technology to work as a veterinary technician ( These programs require you to complete math and science courses before taking classes in small and large animal health, comparative anatomy and physiology, diagnostic imaging techniques and animal nutrition. You'll also explore areas like animal husbandry, ophthalmology and dentistry.

Program TypesAssociate's program in veterinary technology
Online AvailabilityPrograms are available online, though previous employment in a veterinary office may be required
LicensureStates may require you to obtain licensure by completing an accredited program and passing the VTNE exam
Job ResponsibilitiesRecord vital songs, administer medication, provide surgical assistance, perform diagnostic procedures
Median Salary (2018)* $34,420 (for veterinary technologists and technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* 20% (for veterinary technologists and technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Can I Do My Training Online?

Veterinary technician associate's degree programs are available online. You will complete many of the same classes as in a campus-based program. However, employment in a veterinary office is often a prerequisite for admission. This will allow you to fulfill the program's lab requirements.

Completing coursework online requires self-discipline, motivation and proper time management. Technical requirements typically include a computer with an Internet connection and a Web browser capable of running course management software such as Blackboard.

What Happens After I Complete a Training Program?

Once you have your degree, most states will require you to be certified or licensed to work as a veterinary technician, according to the BLS. This may entail completing a veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Contact your state's veterinary medicine board to find out specific certification or licensure requirements.

If you desire a job in a research facility, you may be interested in additional, voluntary certification through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). The AALAS gives applicants who meet appropriate experience and educational requirements the option of becoming certified in the areas of facility administration and management or animal husbandry, health and welfare.

You may also choose to continue your education in a veterinary technology bachelor's degree program. These programs may qualify you to work with laboratory animals, livestock or wildlife as a veterinary technologist, according to the BLS.

What Are the Job Duties of a Veterinary Technician?

Veterinary technicians assist licensed veterinarians as they diagnose and treat sick animals. If you find a position in this field, you may help perform diagnostic procedures, record vital signs, provide surgical assistance or administer medication under the supervision of a veterinarian.

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:
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