What is Required to Be a Vet Tech?

Considering a career as a vet tech? Find out what education and skills you’ll need, as well as the various tasks you’ll be responsible for as a vet tech

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In order to become a Veterinary Technician, one must complete a two-year veterinary technology program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is a credentialing exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

The Prerequisites

If you are thinking about becoming a veterinary technician, there are a few things you should know. First, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You will also need to complete a veterinary technician program, which typically takes two years. Once you have completed your education, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to become certified.


In order to become a vet tech you will need to complete a two-year Associate’s degree in veterinary technology from an accredited institution. Alternatively, you can complete a four-year Bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, although this is not as common. In order to be eligible to sit for the national credentialing exam, you must graduate from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited vet tech program. There are currently only about 200 AVMA-accredited vet tech programs in the united states


There are a few different ways that you can become a certified Veterinary Technician. The first way is by completing a 2-4 year program at an accredited institution and then passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The second way is by completing a 1-2 year program at an accredited institution, passing the VTNE, and then completing a clinical practice program. The third way to become certified is by passing the VTNE without any formal education. However, most employers will require at least some formal education, so this third option is not recommended.

The Responsibilities

vet techs are responsible for the care and treatment of animals in veterinary clinics and hospitals. They often work with animals that are sick, injured, or in pain. vet techs must be able to properly handle and care for these animals. They must also be able to communicate with the animal’s owner and be able to calm them down if they are upset.

Animal Care

As a vet tech, you will be constantly interacting with animals. This will include everything from cleaning cages to blood draws to preparing them for surgery. While some of these tasks may seem routine, it is important to remember that each animal is an individual with his or her own unique needs. You will need to be patient and compassionate in order to provide the best possible care for your furry (and sometimes scaly) patients.

Laboratory Work

Lab work is a big part of a vet tech’s day. Many times, a tech will be the one to collect the samples that will be sent to an outside lab. But, more and more veterinarians are keeping diagnostic equipment in-house, and that’s where a tech’s expertise is really put to use.

From blood tests to urinalysis, vet techs are trained to perform all kinds of laboratory procedures. Collecting and preparing samples correctly is crucial – a mistake can lead to an incorrect diagnosis. Once the samples are collected, it’s up to the tech to run the tests and interpret the results. This can be done using automated machines or through manual procedures, depending on the type of test being performed.

Administrative Work

Vet techs are responsible for a variety of administrative tasks in the vet clinic. This can include answering phones, scheduling appointments, checking clients in and out, and handling billing and payments. Vet techs may also be responsible for ordering supplies and stocking exam rooms. Good customer service skills are essential in this role, as vet techs are often the first point of contact for clients.

The Work Schedule

Vet techs typically work 40 hours a week but may be required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays on occasion. They work in a variety of settings, including animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, kennels, clinics, and private practices. Some travel to farms to provide care for livestock.

The Salary

The median annual salary for vet techs was $32,350 in May 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top 10% in the profession earned more than $47,480 while the bottom 10% made less than $21,290. Median means that half in the profession earned more while half earned less. Your actual salary will depend on factors such as your geographic location, education and training, experience, and employer.

The Job Outlook

The job outlook for vet techs is very positive. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation is expected to grow by 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is largely due to an increased focus on preventive care for pets and a growing interest in animal health.


In order to become a vet tech, you will need to complete a two-year Associate’s degree in veterinary technology from an accredited institution. Once you have graduated, you will then need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to earn your credential as a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).

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