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How Many Years Of College For Vet Tech

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Find Vet Tech Info For Your State


A veterinary technician must complete college-level coursework that is spread out over a two-year period and that results in the awarding of an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. This two-year path limits the amount of debt incurred and can also fast-track vet techs into the veterinary profession. Most students do not exceed $20,000 in debt when they are finished attending a veterinary technician program. Distance learning is another option that is available online. Veterinary technician prerequisite courses can be taken at the high school level as that prepares students to get a fast start in this line of work.

When choosing a veterinary technician education program, consider selecting one that has been accredited by the AVMA Council on Education and Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities . Graduation from an institute accredited by AVMA-COE or CVTEA is required in most states in order to become licensed or certified for professional practice in most states.

There are 209 AVMA accredited veterinary technology programs for veterinary technicians/technologists across the country. There are even programs available online for distance education. To find a school with an accredited program, click here. . Attending an accredited program can take care of the first step of the licensing process.

Education For Technicians Vs Technologists

Veterinary technicians usually hold a 2-year associates degree.

Veterinary technologists typically need a 4-year bachelors degree.

Earning an associates degree can be a good first step into the field. It allows you to enter the workforce sooner and quickly learn entry-level job duties. If you decide to pursue more education, youll find your responsibilities as a veterinary technologist will be more advanced.

As more schools begin to offer veterinary technician programs, aspiring students will have more choices. Before you apply to any school, ensure its accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nine schools that offer veterinary technology courses through distance learning.

Take the first step toward your career by learning what vet tech schooling is all about.

Benefits Of Being A Vet Assistant

If you want to work with animals, a vet assistant position typically requires less training time than whats required of roles like veterinary technologist and technician or veterinarian.

Veterinarian school typically takes 4 years to complete after a 4-year undergraduate degree, while a 4-year bachelors degree is typically required for veterinary technologists. Veterinary technicians typically need a 2-year associate degree. Through the Veterinary Assistant program, you can earn vet assistant certification in as few as 9 months.12

Since a vet assistant position is an entry-level role in animal care, its a role that enables professionals to determine whether they want to further their education and career in the field.

The demand for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers is bright.3

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Typical Vet School Timeline

Vet school requires an additional four years of education. As with medical school, vet school becomes increasingly more difficult as you advance through the years. Unlike medical school, vet school teaches its students about varying animal species so you can determine what field of veterinary medicine you want to specialize in.

Below youâll find a complete breakdown of your four years of vet school so you get an idea of what is expected of you.

What Is A Veterinary Technician Degree And Requirements

How to Become a Vet Tech and More About This Career

If you have a passion for animals, you might consider a career as a veterinary technician or vet tech. Veterinary technicians play an essential role in the overall care of animals. Veterinary technicians graduate from accredited colleges and then work under licensed veterinarians in an animal hospital, veterinary clinic or another service to provide medical care for animals. In this article, we explore the difference between a veterinarian technician and a technologist and how to become a veterinarian technician.

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Vet Tech Assistants Do Not Exist

Comparing a vet tech salary with that of a veterinary assistant requires an understanding that these are two different careers require very different levels of education. There is roughly a 10K difference in salaries, and vet tech training necessitates a formal degree that takes 2 to 4 years to complete. Getting certified to be a veterinary assistant, however, only takes about a year. A lot of confusion exists around the two terms veterinary technician and veterinary assistant, and the misnomer vet tech assistants is often applied interchangeably.

There is no such thing as a vet tech assistant. Graduates of veterinary technician schools are the only individuals who may use the title vet tech. The vet tech salary is higher than that of a vet assistant because vet assistants, while they may be certified, do not require a degree.

A veterinary technician must complete 2-4 years of school at an American Veterinary Medical Association approved school. These Veterinary technician schools offer Associates or Bachelors degrees, which allow the graduate to take the National Veterinary Technician Examination.

Upon completion of the exam, the graduate is awarded the title Registered Veterinary Technician, Certified Veterinary Technician or Licensed Veterinary Technician .

How To Know If Being A Veterinary Technician Is For Me

Becoming a veterinary technician is a long and a somewhat difficult process, as it requires long hours of school work and hundreds of hours spent at externship locations learning the more difficult aspects of working at a veterinary hospital. Before branching into the world of veterinary medicine, you need to first determine if you have the mental fortitude to work in this industry. While many hospitals staff get to enjoy spending time with puppies and kittens and checking in on the basic well-being of a patient, there are also the negative experiences staff must account for. A veterinary technician must be able to assist with a patients end of life plan, assist with animal abuse cases and in emergency situations with dire outcomes.

In order to determine if this is the field for you, potential students should first attempt to volunteer at a veterinary location to see if this endeavor is a possibility. If you feel that you will be able to work in a somewhat stressful, but rewarding environment, you may then want to take the next step to completing the basic school requirements to enter into a veterinary technician program.

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Assistants Vs Techs Vs Veterinarians

Veterinary Assistant
High school diploma or equivalency

May earn a to remain competitive

Credentialing and licensing by state

4 year bachelors degree

Credentialing and licensing by state

Doctoral or professional degree

Credentialing and licensing by state


Assisting veterinarian or technician with animal restraint

Veterinarian assistive duties

Where Do Veterinary Technicians Work

How long does it take to become a Veterinarian and Board Certified?

Veterinary technologists and technicians typically work in private clinics, laboratories, and animal hospitals. They may also work in boarding kennels, animal shelters, rescue leagues, and zoos.

Animals exist in a lot of places, subsequently veterinary technicians do too.

Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Because veterinarians perform specialized tasks, clinics and animal hospitals are increasingly using veterinary technologists and technicians to provide more general care and perform more laboratory work.

Veterinarians will continue to prefer higher skilled veterinary technologists and technicians over veterinary assistants for more complex work. There will also be demand for veterinary technicians in areas such as public health, food and animal safety, national disease control, and biomedical research on human health problems.

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Requirements For Admission Consideration Into Veterinary Technology Program

The following items must be included/completed as part of your Application Packet. Missing Items will invalidate your application.

Submit all required application documents together to the Pierce College Admissions Office on or before 3pm on Friday, April 15, 2022. It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit the completed application packet. No postmarks accepted.

  • Pierce College Admissions. If you are not currently taking classes at Pierce College, you are required to submit an admissions form online for Fall 2022.
  • Discussion Topics
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses
  • Sealed Official Transcripts from ALL SCHOOLS where prerequisite course work was completed through Winter Term 2022. If you have taken your exact prerequisites at Pierce College, complete a written transcript request form from the Forms page and submit it with your application packet.
  • All applications must submit official transcripts. Failure to do so will make the application invalid.
  • Approved Course Exception Form, if applicable: If you do not take the exact Pierce College courses listed , you will need to submit a Course Exception Form to determine which courses will be accepted by the Veterinary Technology Program Director.

Do I Need To Be Certified To Be A Vet Tech

Most states vary when it comes to their credentialing requirements, however, in general, one must pass theVeterinary Technician National Examination administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards to become a registered veterinary technician. The board doesnt send a vet tech license or vet tech certification directly so individuals should work with their state authorities to obtain a physical license.

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Vet Tech License And Certification

Veterinary technician requirements for licensing or certification vary by state. For example, the New York Office of the Professions requires veterinary technicians to be licensed. Licensure requirements include being of good moral character, completing the prescribed education program and passing the VTNE.

Candidates in Ohio must hold an Ohio Registered Veterinary Technician Certificate. Requirements for certification include a criminal background check, graduation from an accredited school of animal technology and a passing score on the VTNE.

What Can I Do With A Veterinary Technology Degree

What Math Courses Are Needed in College to Be a Veterinarian ...

Vet techs work in laboratories, animal hospitals and private clinics. Of the 114,400 veterinarian technician and technologist jobs in 2020, 91% work in veterinary services.

If you are involved with a research job, you could be working with scientists to make sure animals are being treated humanely and that all experiments are done with animal safety in mind.

Veterinary technicians can target disciplines like dentistry, emergency care and anesthesia. You could even open up your own practice and work independently, choosing your clients and building your own business as a veterinarian technician.

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Veterinary Jobs And Salaries

Positions in this industry are available in many types of organizations, from veterinary practices and research facilities to animal hospitals, zoos, grooming businesses and more. Graduates will be prepared to work with small and large animals as veterinary assistants, technicians and technologists.

Although salaries will vary by position and experience, the average starting salary for vet technicians and vet assistants is between $26,000 and $30,000 per year. Average salaries for those with experience are around $35,000 per year, and go up as high as $45,000.

Start Becoming A Vet Tech Today

There are thousands of humans like A.J. who run with their career choice until they meet their professional goals. Entering the veterinary technician job market can be an exceptional career choice, and the steps taken are accessible to those just starting out as well as those whove advanced their education with one of many online vet tech programs. When you are a vet tech, you are also a nurse, laboratory and radiography technician, client educator, and right hand to a veterinarian. To begin this fulfilling career, youve already taken the first step in reading a GetEducated article. Click the link below to search for compatible degree options and start becoming a vet tech today!

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Educational Requirements For Veterinary Technicians

The minimum education requirement to become a veterinary technician is a two-year associate’s degree in veterinary technology, animal sciences or a related field. Some colleges may require aspiring vet techs to have completed up to 20 hours of observation at a veterinary hospital in addition to having received a high school diploma before allowing them to enroll in an associate’s degree program. Topics covered in a veterinary technology associate’s degree program include animal behavior, animal pharmacology and veterinary hospital management.

Read more: Learn About Being a Veterinary Technician

Requirements To Become A Veterinarian: Optional Board Certification

What’s the Virginia-Maryland DVM program like?

After undergoing residency training, veterinarians wishing to work in a specialty typically apply for board certification. Board certification signifies that a veterinarian has undergone advanced, specialized training and has passed an exam that demonstrates advanced mastery in their specialty. Each specialty has its own organization that administers the exam, so check the website for your specialtys organization for information on exam dates and processes.

Now that you know the answer to the question: How long does it take to become a veterinarian? You can take a more educated step towards a fulfilling career that involves caring for animals.

At Ross Vet, we offer a range of opportunities and experiences to help you find a career path in veterinary medicine that matches your individual talents and interests. Want to learn more about Ross Vets DVM program? Start here!

Related resources:

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Top Benefits Of Being A Vet Tech

The benefits of being a vet tech are many. Animal lovers everywhere will envy their interaction with such a wide range of species. Far from the typical office environment, vet techs enjoy hands-on exchanges with their patients every day, feeding, petting, grooming, and more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , employment among veterinary technicians is projected to increase by 15 percent over the next ten years. Thats a much faster rate of growth than applied to other professions. Each year, we can expect to see over 10,000 new jobs for vet techs hit the market.

Working at a clinic or animal hospital also offers immense opportunities for growth. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America recognizes 11 specialty certification areas, and these credentials put technicians in a great position regarding promotions and pay raises.

Working in such close proximity with veterinarians can also lead to opportunities to attend a veterinary school to become a doctor of veterinary medicine at the same clinic they started with.

Why Become A Veterinary Technician

If the above duties didnt spark your interest, consider these other perks associated with a degree as a veterinary tech:

  • Vet Technicians are popular: Your job will be in high demand. The field of pet medicine is growing, and vets are going to need all the help they can get. Theyre going to need YOU.
  • Every day will vary: Youll likely have few boring days. Your responsibilities and duties will range throughout each day as new challenges or situations present themselves.
  • You get to work with animals: If this isnt the biggest pull to get this degree, were not sure what is.
  • It doesnt take long to earn a veterinary technician degree: Other medical degrees require double the amount of time itll take you to earn this degree.
  • You get to help people: What more can you want out of life?

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Vet Tech Vs Vet Assistant

Vet assistants can enter the animal field more quickly than vet techs and get to work helping animals and assisting veterinarians.

Vet tech roles are more advanced. In particular, only vet techs can induce anesthesia, suture existing skin wounds, extract teeth, or make a port hole to place a catheter.

Because vet tech roles involve more direct animal care for injuries and illnesses, beyond the routine care vet assistants provide, vet techs typically need at least a 2-year associate degree to qualify for a position.

All of these positions vet assistant, veterinary technician and veterinary technologist work under the supervision of a veterinarian in similar veterinary clinic work environments. What position you choose to pursue depends on what kind of animal care you want to provide and what kind of education youre willing to complete.

Obtain An Associate’s Degree

What are Some Different Careers in Veterinary Medicine?

As mentioned earlier, aspiring vet techs are required to have a minimum of a two-year associate’s degree in veterinary technology. You can check with the veterinary state board of your particular state to see which programs are accredited in your area. Completing a program that is accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities is the best way to ensure that the degree you pursue is valid a career as a vet tech. Most accredited veterinary technology programs will consist of 240 hours of on-site practicum and a minimum of 60 credit hours.

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Test Of Essential Academic Skills

The Test of Essential Academic Skills evaluates an applicants knowledge in the subject areas of reading, comprehension, mathematics, science, and English language usage.

The TEAS V can be taken at the Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Testing Center or any other official testing site prior to April 15, 2022 by appointment. Call Pierce College Testing Center at 253-964-6521 or email to schedule an appointment. There is an administration fee of $65 for the TEAS V. Request official sealed test scores from the Testing Center then submit official TEAS V test scores in the application packet.

TEAS study guides and practice tests are available online. The following websites contain TEAS study guide and practice test information:

How Long Is Vet School

So exactly how long does it take to be a veterinarian? Most veterinary schools take four years to complete the coursework and clinical training required to earn a DVM, though students who enroll in Ross Vets DVM degree program can complete their degree in 3.25 years.

Once youve completed your clinical training, youll need to take the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination® to complete your DVM. The exam is typically given in November through December and April. Once youve graduated and passed the NAVLE, youll need to meet the requirement of the jurisdiction where you wish to be licensed. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards provides these details and serves to support veterinary licensing boards across the U.S., Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

There is a distinct difference between how long does it take to become a vet versus a medical doctor. Unlike medical doctors who work with people, veterinarians can start practicing as soon as they obtain their license. However, if you wish to pursue work in a specialized area, youll need to receive additional training.

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