What Degree Do I Need to Become a Vet Tech?

Considering a career in veterinary technology? Here’s what you need to know about the education and training required to become a vet tech.

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General Requirements

First and foremost, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent to begin your journey toward becoming a veterinary technician. But that’s not all! You also need to complete a postsecondary veterinary technology program that’s been accredited by the AVMA’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

Must be at least 18 years of age

In order to become a veterinary technician, you must meet the following requirements:

-You must be at least 18 years of age
-You must have a high school diploma or equivalent
-You must complete an accredited veterinary technology program
-You must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)
-You must obtain a state license

Must have a high school diploma or equivalent

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to complete a two-year accredited veterinarian technician program, which will prepare you for the state licensing exam.

Coursework Requirements

Although state certification requirements for veterinary technicians vary, most veterinary technician programs include coursework in animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, and veterinary medical records management. Many programs also include coursework in clinical laboratory procedures, animal nursing and anesthesia, and emergency and critical care.

Must complete an accredited veterinary technology program

You must complete an accredited veterinary technology program and earn an associate degree or certificate to become a licensed veterinary technician. Most programs take 2-4 years to complete, but some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months. While in school, you will take classes in animal anatomy, physiology, and pharmacology, as well as general education courses. You will also participate in clinical rotations, working under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or veterinary technician in a variety of settings including private practices, zoos, and research facilities.

Certification

There are many paths you can take to become a certified Veterinary Technician. The most common way is to earn an Associate’s degree from an accredited community college or technical school. Some programs may also offer certification, but it is not required in all states. Alternatively, you can become a Veterinary Technician by completing a 4-year Bachelor’s degree program.

Must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)

After completing an accredited veterinary technology program, you must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to be credentialed as a veterinary technician. The VTNE is a computer-based exam administered at Pearson VUE testing centers nationwide.

You must apply to take the VTNE through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Once your application is approved, you will be registered with Pearson VUE and will be able to schedule your exam at a Pearson VUE testing center near you.

License

In order to become a Vet Tech, you need to have a minimum of an Associate’s degree from an accredited institution. You will also need to pass a state exam and obtain a license from your state’s Board of Veterinary Examiners.

Must be licensed in the state in which they intend to practice

All states require that veterinary technicians be licensed in order to practice. The requirements for licensure are similar from state to state, but do vary slightly. Typically, candidates for licensure must have graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program and pass both a written and a practical examination. Candidates must also often complete a certain amount of continuing education credits in order to renew their license.

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