Sizing Up a Veterinary Technician College

Evaluate a veterinary technician college to meet your career goals, budget and lifestyle. With the rise in pet care technologies, choosing the right school has never been more important for developing the skills needed to enter this competitive field.

Review Curriculum and Accreditation

Review the course selection to see if it coincides with your career goals. The primary areas of focus are classroom-based topics and practical skills, but the tests and lab projects can vary from program to program. So if you want hands on experiences in a particular area, like large animal care, you might need to do a little more digging.

Check if your veterinary technician school is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). A handful of schools only have provisional accreditation. However, you’ll need to graduate from an accredited school to take the state certification exam (Veterinary Technician National Examination).

If you want to pursue a 4-year degree, make sure the school offers an extended care program, or that you can transfer your credits to an appropriate veterinary technician college. Many people choose to begin their studies at tech schools or Adult Ed programs to cut back on expenses. Then after two years, they move on to advanced institutions of learning.

Request Information

Request as much free information as possible about each school you’re considering. Go online and fill out a request form to get brochures and guides containing all the essential data regarding programs.

Consult a respected veterinarian or established vet tech about what schools they recommend. Then, visit a few colleges in person to get a feel for their environments. Spend some time in the veterinary labs, meet the professors and ask students questions. Locate the highly trafficked areas for new students such as the business office, registrar, and student union.

Application Process

Once you choose the right school, be clear about the application process. You want to avoid any complications or delays that might hamper your acceptance into a respected veterinary technician college. Guidelines for applying:

  • note the application deadline, but apply as early as possible
  • check if there is an application fee and what forms of payment are accepted
  • ask if they have rolling admissions policies so you can apply anytime
  • establish if you need a letter of recommendation
  • follow the rules and instructions for admittance essays

Distance Learning and Vet Tech

Due to the rapid growth of the field, a large number of individuals are studying veterinary technology for a more stable career. Veterinary technician programs offered online are ideal for those seeking secondary education, working moms and people with full-time jobs. Distance learning allows a more flexible approach for taking tests and completing course work.

Investigate if the online school has a multi-faceted approach including online work, print and in-class labs as well. Be certain the school offers classes for high level vet tech work. Various programs only offer diplomas and certificates designed for getting entry-level jobs in the animal care field.

Veterinary Technician College Expenses

Most institutions offer financial assistance to students in the form of loans, scholarships and grants. There are veterinary tech schools that will aid 100 percent of your tuition if you have a demonstrated need. The tuition for vet tech schools varies, but generally starts at around several hundred dollars. Additional expenses students may incur:

  • fees for state exam/application
  • text books, manuals
  • room and board
  • supplies/lab items
  • transportation expenses to field work or internships