How Long Does It Take to Become a Vet Tech?

How long does it take to become a vet tech? The answer may surprise you. Get the scoop on education requirements, certification, and job outlook to help you make the best decision for your career.

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Introduction

In order to become a registered veterinary technician (RVT), you must complete an accredited veterinary technology program and pass a state-administered credentialing exam. The length of time it takes to become an RVT varies depending on the type of program you choose.

There are two types of veterinary technology programs: associate’s degree programs and bachelor’s degree programs. Associate’s degree programs typically take two years to complete, while bachelor’s degree programs take four years to complete. However, some schools offer accelerated Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology (BSVetTec) programs that can be completed in as little as three years.

Once you have completed a veterinary technology program, you must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become credentialed as an RVT. The VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and is composed of 300 multiple-choice questions covering nine content areas: anesthesia, dentistry, dermatology, euthanasia, general care and management, diagnostic imaging, nutrition, pharmacology, and surgery.

You must receive a passing score on the VTNE in order to obtain your RVT license. Each state has different passing score requirements for the VTNE; however, the passing score is generally between 70% and 80%. Once you have passed the VTNE, you will need to apply for licensure with your state’s veterinary board.

The length of time it takes to become an RVT can vary depending on the type of program you choose and your state’s licensure requirements; however, most people can expect the process to take between two and four years.

How long does it take to become a vet tech?

The road to becoming a vet tech may seem long, but it is worth it! The average person takes about four years to complete the necessary education and training. This includes two to four years of undergraduate coursework and one to two years of veterinary technician training.

Associate’s degree

The minimum educational requirement for becoming a vet tech is an Associate’s degree from an accredited community college or technical school. The degree usually takes two years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months. In addition to coursework, most programs include a clinical component that gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with animals.

Bachelor’s degree

The most common educational path to becoming a vet tech is to earn a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. While it is possible to find programs that offer an associate’s degree, most employers prefer to hire candidates with a bachelor’s degree. The typical program takes four years to complete, although some schools offer accelerated programs that can be completed in as little as two years.

Master’s degree

In order to become a vet tech, you will need to complete a minimum of a two-year Associate’s degree from an accredited veterinary technology program. However, many vet techs choose to further their education by completing a four-year Bachelor’s degree or even a Master’s degree in veterinary technology.

What are the requirements to become a vet tech?

In order to become a certified veterinary technician, you must complete a two-year accredited veterinary technology program and pass a state-administered examination. Some states may require additional examinations or have different requirements for certification.

Education

The minimum educational requirement to become a vet tech is an associate’s degree from an accredited institution, although many practitioners elect to pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Some programs combine classroom study with clinical experience, while others may offer internships or externships to supplement the coursework. In addition to academic coursework, aspiring vet techs must also complete a state-approved licensure exam and earn their credential from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Certification

There are many ways to become a certified veterinary technician. The most common way is to complete a two-year associate’s degree from an accredited community college or vocational school and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Some states also require certification by the state veterinary medical board.

Licensure

All 50 states require licensure for veterinary technicians. The requirements for licensure vary by state, but all states require passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), completing a veterinary technology program, and passing a state exam.

The VTNE is a multiple-choice exam that covers all aspects of veterinary medicine. The exam is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). To be eligible to take the VTNE, candidates must first graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program.

After passing the VTNE, candidates must apply for licensure in the state where they intend to practice. Each state has different requirements for licensure, but all states require passing a state exam. Some states may also require candidates to complete a certain amount of clinical hours before they can be licensed.

Generally, it takes about two years to become a licensed veterinary technician. Candidates who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field may be able to complete a veterinary technology program in as little as one year.

What are the duties of a vet tech?

Vet techs typically do the following:

Clean and perform general maintenance on animal cages and bedding
Collect blood, urine, and tissue samples from animals
Monitor vital signs, such as heart rate and temperature
Help veterinarians treat animals by providing medications and other therapies
Take X-rays and run other diagnostic tests
Prepare animals, equipment, and supplies for surgery
Assist during surgery by handing instruments to the veterinarian
Provide postoperative care for animals

What are the job prospects for vet techs?

Vet techs are in high demand and the job outlook is very positive. The median pay for vet techs is $33,000 per year, and the number of jobs is projected to grow by 20% by 2026. If you’re thinking about becoming a vet tech, you’re likely wondering how long it will take to complete the training.

Employment

Vet techs are in high demand, with the profession expected to grow 19% from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations.1Most states require certification or licensure to work as a vet tech. Employers prefer hiring candidates with formal training and/or experience, although some will provide on-the-job training for the right person. Large animal hospitals and clinics, zoos, research laboratories, animal shelters, and pharmaceutical companies are among the many places that employ vet techs.

Salary

Vet techs typically earn a salary of $30,000-$40,000 per year. The exact amount depends on factors such as experience, location, and employer.

Job outlook

The number of jobs for vet techs is growing much faster than the average for all occupations. The job outlook is excellent for those who complete an accredited program and obtain certification. The median pay in 2018 was $33,610 per year, or $16.15 per hour.

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