Veterinary Technician Training for Associate and Bachelor Programs

Any veterinary technician training school offers Associate or Bachelor degree programs. Higher wages are attainable to those who attend a four-year school, but this does mean larger school loans. Think about how much you can afford and carefully weigh your options. It is always possible to receive an Associate degree and then work to pay off debt while taking online courses for a Bachelor degree.

Veterinary technician career schools suit recent high school graduates and those looking for a career change. Providing you love animals and enjoy working with people, working in a veterinary office offers many rewards.

Veterinary Technician Job Duties

A veterinary technician handles basic medical tasks such as checking in animals by getting their weight and case history. Other important job duties include:

  • Assisting with surgeries and complicated medical procedures
  • Collecting blood, urine or stool samples
  • Developing X-rays
  • Handling dental cleanings
  • Office management
  • Preparing animals and equipment for surgery
  • Processing lab tests

A veterinary technician career requires a minimum of an associate’s degree from a school approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Completing a four-year bachelor’s degree widens one's opportunities for higher wages and more rewarding job duties.

Online Veterinary Technician Programs

Many colleges offer veterinary technician training programs through distance learning. You can complete your course of studies from the comfort of your home, making it possible to work part-time and complete your studies at night.

The following schools provide AVMA-accredited online veterinary technician training programs:

  • Blue Ridge Community College - Weyers Cave, Virginia
  • Cedar Valley College - Lancaster, Texas
  • Jefferson State Community College - Birmingham, Alabama
  • Moraine Park Technical College - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
  • Northern Virginia Community College - Sterling, Virginia
  • Penn Foster College - Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Purdue University - West Lafayette, Indiana
  • St. Petersburg College - St. Petersburg, Florida
  • San Juan College - Farmington, New Mexico

This is a great option for single parents and others who need to earn a steady paycheck but want to enter a new career. To complete an online program, an area veterinarian must agree to take you as an apprentice. This ensures you are receiving hands-on training in conjunction with the online studies.

Courses Required for Associate’s Veterinary Technician Training Programs

Your college requirements depend on the school you choose. However, most colleges and universities require the following veterinary technician training classes.

  • Anatomy for Veterinary Work
  • Animal Agriculture
  • Animal Health Management
  • Animal Physiology
  • Clinical Pathology
  • English Composition for two semesters
  • Imaging/X-rays
  • Introduction to Veterinary Technology
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing Skills on Large Animals
  • Nursing Skills on Small Animals
  • Office Management for Veterinary Technicians
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology
  • Principles of Anesthesia
  • Public and Occupational Health
  • Surgical Nursing Instruction

These courses take place over the course of two years. Students must also participate in clinic work with a veterinarian.

Courses Required for Bachelor’s Veterinary Technician Training Programs

Veterinary technician programs for bachelor degrees require successful completion of core courses. They include:

  • Algebra
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Humanities
  • Trigonometry

The courses found in an associate’s program are required, but there are also additional requirements.

  • Animal Welfare
  • Business/Technical Writing
  • Diagnostic Instrumentation
  • Group communications
  • Toxicology

Internships take place for three years. In the final year, the student takes the role of a veterinary technician at an area animal hospital or veterinary practice. This includes managing staff, assisting the veterinarian and dealing with pet owners.

Cost of an Associate or Bachelor’s Veterinary Technician Program

Every state in the nation offers AVMA accredited associate’s programs. School tuition varies, but Purdue University’s current tuition rate (as of May 2009) is $7,750 to $23,224 per semester.

The is a great resource for finding schools in your area that offer veterinary technician career programs.