How to Become a Vet Tech in 8 Steps

Learn how to become a vet tech in 8 steps by following these best practices.

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In order to become a vet tech, you will need to follow a few key steps. Below, we have outlined the main 8 steps that you will need to take in order to pursue this career.

1)Complete a Veterinary Technician Program
The first step to becoming a vet tech is to complete an accredited veterinary technician program. These programs typically last 2-4 years, and they offer both classroom instruction and clinical experience.

2)Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)
After you have completed your veterinary technician program, you will need to pass the VTNE in order to become credentialed. The VTNE is a national exam that covers all aspects of veterinary medicine.

3)Gain Employment at a Veterinary Clinic or Hospital
Once you have passed the VTNE, you can begin working as a vet tech at a veterinary clinic or hospital. In this role, you will be responsible for assisting the veterinarian with medical procedures, preparing animals for surgery, and providing care to sick and injured animals.

4)Complete Annual Continuing Education Requirements
In order to maintain your credential as a vet tech, you will need to complete annual continuing education requirements. These requirements vary by state, but they typically include taking courses or attending seminars on new developments in veterinary medicine.

5)Pursue Specialty Certification (Optional)
While it is not required, many vet techs choose to pursue specialty certification in an area of interest. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) offers several specialty certifications, including: animal behavior, dentistry, nutrition, and laboratory animal care.

6) Advance Your Career (Optional)
After gaining experience as a vet tech, you may choose to advance your career by becoming a supervisor or manager at a veterinary clinic or hospital. You may also choose to pursue a career in teaching or research.

Education and Training

Becoming a vet tech usually takes about two years, although some programs may take up to four years to complete. The first step is to complete a high school education or equivalent. You will then need to complete an accredited veterinary technology program.

Associate’s Degree

Step 1: Enroll in an associate’s degree program at a community college or technical school.

Step 2: Complete required coursework, which typically takes two years. General education classes, such as English and mathematics, are typically required in addition to coursework specific to vet techs. Classes might include animal anatomy, physiology and pharmacology.

Step 3: Participate in an externship program at a local animal hospital or clinic. These programs provide students with hands-on experience working with animals under the supervision of licensed veterinarians and vet techs.

Step 4: Become certified through a professional organization such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). While certification is not required for all states, it may be required for employment or advancement opportunities.

Step 5: Consider specializing in a particular area of veterinary technology, such as dentistry or surgery. Many community colleges and technical schools offer programs in these areas.

Step 6: Consider becoming credentialed through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Credentialed veterinary technicians have additional responsibilities and must pass a credentialing exam.

Step 7: Stay up-to-date on new developments in veterinary medicine by taking continuing education courses offered by professional organizations or community colleges.

Step 8: Consider advancing your career by becoming a licensed veterinarian.


The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is the final step in the certification process and is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The VTNE is a multiple-choice exam that measures your knowledge and skills in all areas of veterinary medicine. To be eligible to take the VTNE, you must first complete an accredited veterinary technology program.

After passing the VTNE, you will be credentialed as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), which allows you to practice veterinary technology in any of the united states or Canada. In some states, you may also be required to complete a state-specific exam in order to obtain your license.

Work Experience

Although you don’t need a degree to become a veterinary technician, you will need to complete a veterinary technology program at an accredited school and pass a state-administered exam, usually the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you’re credentialed, you’ll need to stay current on your education to maintain your license.

Veterinary Assistant

A veterinary assistant helps the veterinarian in delivering medical care to animals. They are responsible for restraining animals during examinations and procedures, collecting samples for testing, preparing animals and instruments for surgery, and providing postoperative care. Many veterinary assistants also perform basic office duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, and handling incoming calls.

Most veterinary assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent and receive on-the-job training from a licensed veterinarian or experienced veterinary assistant. Some states have certification programs for veterinary assistants, but certification is not required to work in the profession. However, certification may be beneficial in terms of job opportunities and advancement potential.

Customer Service

If you have a passion for helping animals and want to work in the veterinary field, you might be wondering how to become a vet tech. Veterinary technicians play an important role in animal healthcare, performing many of the same duties as nurses do for humans. They work alongside veterinarians to provide quality care for animals, and they often serve as the main point of contact between clients and the clinic.

Becoming a veterinary technician requires completing an accredited veterinary technology program, which typically takes two years. Upon graduation, you must pass a state-specific exam to earn your license. Once licensed, you can begin working in veterinary clinics, shelters, zoos, and other animal care facilities.

Here is an overview of the steps you need to take to become a vet tech:

1. Complete a pre-veterinary medicine program at your local community college or university.
2. Enroll in an accredited veterinary technology program.
3. Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to earn your professional credential.
4. Become licensed in your state by passing the state board exam
5 Find a job at a veterinary clinic, animal hospital, or another type of animal care facility. Alternatively, you can start your own mobile vet tech business!
6 Consider pursuing specialized training in area such as dental technology or emergency care through an onlinevet tech program or post-secondary certificate program.
7 Stay current on new developments and trends by joining a professional organization such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
8 Continue your education throughout your career by taking advantage of online courses and webinars offered by NAVTA and other organizations


Being a vet tech is a very rewarding career. You get to work with animals and help them to recover from their injuries and ailments. You will need to have some specific skills to be a vet tech. Below are 8 steps that will help you to become a vet tech.

Animal Handling

Most people love animals, but not everyone is cut out to work with them. A career as a veterinary technician requires patience, compassion, and a dedication to animal care.

If you’re thinking of becoming a vet tech, the first step is to make sure you have the right personality and skillset for the job. Here are eight skills you’ll need to succeed in this rewarding career:

-Empathy: As a vet tech, you’ll be working with sick and injured animals on a daily basis. It’s important that you have empathy for these creatures and their owners, as your work can be both emotionally and physically demanding.

-Communication: Good communication skills are essential for vet techs, as you’ll be relay information between vets, owners, and other members of the veterinary team. You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively with animals, as they can’t tell us what’s wrong!

-Physical Strength: Working with animals can be physically demanding, so it’s important that you’re physically strong enough to handle the job. You’ll need to be able to lift heavy animals, restrain them during exams and procedures, and clean up after them.

-Dexterity: As a vet tech, you’ll be using your hands a lot — from administering injections to performing CPR. It’s important that you have good hand-eye coordination and dexterity in order to carry out these tasks effectively.

-Attention to Detail: Veterinary medicine is an exact science, so it’s important that vet techs have a keen eye for detail. You’ll need to be able to follow instructions carefully and pay attention to the smallest of details in order to provide the best possible care for your patients.

-Stress Management: Working in a veterinary clinic can be stressful — there will be days when the clinic is full of sick animals (and their worried owners) and not enough staff to go around. It’s important that you’re able manage your stress levels effectively in order to maintain your own well-being as well as provide high-quality care for your patients.


Good communication is important for a vet tech because they need to be able to explain medical procedures and diagnoses to pet owners, some of whom may be upset. They also need to be able to take instructions from veterinarians and perform tasks as directed.

Personality Traits

Becoming a vet tech is a big responsibility. You will be working with animals and their owners to make sure that the animals are healthy and well-cared for. You need to have certain personality traits to be successful in this career. Let’s take a look at some of the personality traits that you need to have to become a vet tech.


In order to be a successful vet tech, you need to have a deep compassion for animals. You will be working closely with them on a daily basis and will be their advocate when they are sick or injured. This is not a job for someone who is squeamish or who does not have the patience to deal with animals in distress.


Organized individuals are able to keep track of many different tasks at one time. This is important for vet techs because they often have to care for multiple patients at a time. Being organized can help vet techs keep track of each animal’s needs and make sure that all tasks are completed in a timely manner.

Salary and Job Outlook

As a vet tech, you can expect to earn a median annual salary of $32,490, or $15.62 per hour, according to the BLS. Job growth for vet techs is expected to be much faster than average at 19% from 2018-2028.


If you have a passion for helping animals and want to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, becoming a vet tech may be the perfect fit for you. As a vet tech, you’ll play an important role in providing care for sick and injured animals.

The road to becoming a vet tech can be completed in as little as two years, making it a great option if you’re looking for a new career opportunity. Plus, as the demand for qualified veterinary technicians continues to grow, there are plenty of job opportunities available.

If you’re ready to start your journey to becoming a vet tech, follow these eight steps:

1. Research Veterinary Technician Programs
2. Complete an accredited Veterinary Technician Program
3. Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)
4. Become Licensed or Registered in Your State
5. Find a Job as a Vet Tech
6. Pursue Continuing Education Opportunities
7. Consider Specialty Certification
8. Advance Your Career

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