Veterinary Technician Programs Surveyed

Veterinary technician programs have been on the rise and offer great job opportunities.

Veterinary Technicians at a Glance

Typically, veterinary technicians practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian at a clinic or research facility, where they perform laboratory tests on blood samples and specimens, provided nursing care for animals, record patient history, perform and develop x-rays, and prepare and assist animal surgeries.

However, large animal veterinary technicians may work in environments such as aquariums, zoos, farms, stables and ranches. Other possible jobs include biomedical facilities, wildlife facilities, humane societies, animal control facilities and food or drug manufacturing companies.

Education and Training

Usually, the education required to become a veterinary technician includes obtaining a high school diploma, a bachelor's or associate's degree and on-the-job training. However, few clinics hire those with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, but it is preferable by employers to hire those who have an associates or bachelor's degree in animal care studies and have passed the certification exam. Ideally, veterinary technicians have a 2-4 year associate or bachelor's degree in an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-accredited college program.

Those planning to go into animal medicine should take courses in science in high school and undergraduate studies as this will prepare them for future lab work as an assistant veterinarian. Most programs have on-the-job training and trainees work beneath licensed veterinarians, and courses include Anatomy, Pharmacology and other medical-related courses.


Graduating from an accredited program allows students to take the National Veterinary Technician Exam (NVTE) used by most states to become registered, certified or licensed in the field. Most students are tested by examination that includes an oral, written, situational test regulated by the particular state's Board of Veterinary Examiners or other state agency.A student who passes this exam demonstrates that the technician has a wealth of knowledge in the field and is able to competently work in an animal clinic.

Those looking to work in a research facility are recommended to be certified by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) which focuses on animal husbandry, animal health and welfare and facility management.

Other Ideal Skills in Becoming a Veterinary Technician

Animal medical knowledge is a must, along with patience when dealing with difficult animals and emotional owners. It is also a good skill to be able to remain calm and quick-witted in emergencies.

7 Recommended Schools for Veterinary Technician Training

  • Fox College
  • Sanford-Brown College
  • Harrison College
  • Vatterott College
  • Globe College
  • Western School of Health and Business
  • Bradford School