What Does It Take to Become a Vet Tech?

So, you want to be a vet tech? Here’s what it takes: hard work, dedication, and a passion for helping animals.

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vet techs are an important part of the veterinary team, providing valuable support to veterinarians and animal owners. Though the job may seem fairly straightforward, becoming a vet tech requires completing a rigorous education and training program. This guide provides an overview of what it takes to become a vet tech, from exploring common vet tech job duties to choosing the right education program and considering professional certification.

The Role of a Vet Tech

vet techs are a vital part of the veterinary team. They work closely with veterinarians, providing quality medical care for animals.

Vet techs have a wide range of responsibilities, from keeping medical records and scheduling appointments to preparing animals for surgery and providing post-operative care. They may also assist in the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, administer vaccinations and perform laboratory tests.

In order to become a vet tech, individuals must complete a accredited veterinary technology program. Upon successful completion of the program, they must pass a state-administered exam to earn their license.

Educational Requirements

Vet techs must have at least an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, although some employers prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree.

There are more than 200 accredited programs in veterinary technology throughout the united states and most take two to four years to complete. These programs include coursework in animal sciences, chemistry, biology, microbiology and nutrition, as well as liberal arts courses. Many programs also include internships or externships so that students can gain hands-on experience working with animals.


Veterinary technicians must have excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, to interact with clients, other staff members and veterinarians. They must be able to clearly explain procedures andlay out treatment options in a way that clients can understand. They also have to be able to handle animals in a way that is safe for both the technician and the animal.

Most states require certification for veterinary technicians, although the specific requirements vary from state to state. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) offers a voluntary credential, the Associate Certified Veterinary Technician (AVMA). To qualify for this credential, candidates must graduate from an accredited veterinary technology program and pass a two-part national exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Candidates who completed a NAVTA-approved program but did not pass the AVMA credentialing exam may be eligible for state certification through portfolio assessment.

The Importance of Staying Up-to-Date

Caring for animals is a rewarding career, but it comes with great responsibility. As a veterinary technician, you will be relied on to provide high-quality care for sick and injured animals. To do this, you must be able to stay up-to-date on the latest advances in veterinary medicine.

This means that you will need to take continuing education courses throughout your career. Most states require veterinary technicians to take at least 2-3 hours of continuing education per year, but some states require more. You should also plan on taking courses to keep your skills sharp and to learn new techniques.

In addition to taking courses, you should also read veterinary journals and attend seminars and conferences when possible. By staying up-to-date on the latest developments in veterinary medicine, you can be sure that you are providing the best possible care for your patients.

Salary and Job Outlook

In terms of salary and job outlook vet techs are in good shape. The median annual salary for vet techs was $32,490 in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And the job outlook for the next decade is strong, with a projected growth rate of 20%. That means there should be plenty of opportunities for those interested in becoming vet techs.

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