How Much Schooling Does a Vet Tech Need?

How much schooling does a vet tech need? The answer may surprise you! vet techs need to complete a rigorous educational program and obtain a professional license. Keep reading to learn more about the schooling requirements for vet techs

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The different types of Programs

There are many educational options available to become a Veterinary Technician. You can go to a Veterinary Technician school, or a community college that offers a Veterinary Technician program. You can even take online courses to become a Veterinary Technician.

Two-year Associate’s Degree

At minimum, a vet tech must complete a two-year Associate’s degree from an accredited institution, although many jobs will require a four-year Bachelor’s degree. Associate’s degree programs typically take two years to finish, although some schools offer part-time and accelerated programs that may take longer. During their time in school, vet tech students take classes in animal science, medical terminology, animal anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and general chemistry. Students also complete clinical rotations at local veterinary clinics or animal hospitals, where they gain hands-on experience working with animals.

Four-year Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university is the most common type of schooling for new vet techs. This degree program will prepare students for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), as well as state board exams. The coursework for a Bachelor’s degree in vet tech will cover topics such as animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and pharmacology. Students will also gain hands-on experience through clinical rotations at veterinary hospitals and clinics.

What You’ll Study

A Veterinary Technician is a professional who works closely with licensed veterinarians. They provide technical assistance in animal care and work with clients to provide the best possible care for their animal. The field of veterinary technology is ever-changing and evolving, so it’s important for vet techs to have a solid foundation in the latest technologies and practices.

Classroom Instruction

You’ll spend a lot of time in classrooms, lecture halls and labs at a vet tech school learning about animal anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, animal diseases, zoonotic diseases, widlife and exotic animal care, clinical pathology, anesthesia, imaging techniques, nutrition and the business side of veterinary medicine.

Clinical Training

After you complete the academic portion of your vet tech program, you will enter a clinical phase. This will consist of on-the-job training under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and/or a registered veterinary technician. You’ll get hands-on experience in areas such as animal nursing, anesthesia, diagnostic imaging, laboratory procedures, pharmaceuticals, surgical nursing and dentistry.

The Pros and Cons of Each

There are many schools that offer a Veterinary Technician program. The duration of the programs can range from 18 months to 2 years. There are many benefits to each type of program. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each type of program so you can make the best decision for you.

Two-year Associate’s Degree

The least amount of schooling a vet tech can have and still be credentialed is a two-year associate’s degree from an accredited community college or vocational school. After completing a two-year program, vet techs must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Once they’ve passed the VTNE, they are credentialed as Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs). In order to maintain their credentials, RVTs must complete continuing education courses on a regular basis.

One of the main advantages of becoming a vet tech with only a two-year degree is that it’s less expensive and time-consuming than going through a four-year bachelor’s degree program. Two-year programs typically cost between $5,000 and $10,000, whereas four-year programs can cost upwards of $20,000. And because two-year programs are shorter, vet techs can get started in their careers sooner.

However, there are some disadvantages to having only a two-year degree. For one, RVTs generally earn less money than those with four-year degrees. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for an RVT is $32,490, whereas the median annual salary for those with four-year degrees is $35,540. Additionally, those with only two years of schooling may have more difficulty finding jobs than those with four-year degrees. And finally, because their education is more limited, RVTs may not be able to advance as far in their careers as those with four-year degrees.

Four-year Bachelor’s Degree

A four-year Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology is the most common type of schooling for vet techs. This type of degree allows you to take more advanced coursework in areas like animal anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and nutrition. You’ll also get more experience in clinical settings, which can be beneficial when you’re looking for a job after graduation.

However, a four-year degree can be expensive, and it may take longer to complete than other types of schooling. If you’re not sure that you want to commit to a four-year degree, you may want to consider another option.

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