Veterinary technicians are animal nurses that work in veterinary offices, animal clinics, emergency hospitals, rescues and shelters, and more. These individuals receive training and education at a vet tech school during a 2-year associate’s degree program which equips them to address basic and advanced animal health care issues. Here are a few of the primary things that veterinary technicians can expect to do on a daily basis once they get their first paying job.
Veterinary Technician Schools - Help Deciding
If you're thinking of becoming a veterinary technician you're probably wondering, "How much does a veterinary technician degree cost?" The fact is that veterinary technician school is very cheap, especially when you compare it to the cost of becoming a veterinarian. Of course, veterinary technicians do not make as much as veterinarians, but they can begin working within two years, and many of the classes could transfer to a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree if you choose to go on to become a veterinarian.
The cost of a veterinary technician degree will vary depending on which type of school you go to, where you live and whether you are paying out of state tuition fees. The tuition for a diploma, certificate or Associate of Science degree program at a community college or vocational school could start as low as $725 per semester, with additional costs for books and supplies. Some people opt for a four-year Bachelor of Science degree, which will cost more, but you may earn more as a veterinary technician, and you will be on track to continue the required education to become a veterinarian. Out of state fees can be three times as much; however, so it is preferable to study in the same state which you currently reside.
In addition to the completion of a certificate, degree or diploma, you will also need to pass a state regulatory exam to become certified. The details and costs of this exam will vary by state, but the fees should be pretty minimal. There may be oral, practical and/or written portions. You must provide proof of graduation from a training program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association to sit for this exam. All in all, this is a cost-friendly career education choice.
Veterinary Technicians - How to Find a Great Vet Tech Training Program
A career as a vet technician starts with proper training via a good vet technician program. An aspiring vet tech has to hurdle two obstacles on the road to accreditation; a two or four-year formal academic course, and a state-administered certification. Whether it's an associate's or a bachelor's degree, a reliable training program will prepare the aspiring veterinary technical for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and for placement in a clinic or laboratory. The certification process is overseen by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
Vet technician programs include internship and externship opportunities in their curriculum. A basic understanding of animal nursing is a requirement for all aspiring technicians. The student has to be knowledgeable in laboratory procedures, and must be willing to assist in all aspects of animal care, including surgical procedures.
A typical vet tech education curriculum includes the seven major areas of knowledge that have been identified by the AAVSB, namely: pharmacy and pharmacology, surgical preparation and assisting, dentistry procedures, laboratory procedures, animal nursing, radiology and ultrasound, and anesthesia. Additional knowledge in public health, physiology, and zoonotic diseases will further enhance a veterinary technician's performance.
Newly certified vet technicians work under the direct supervision of licensed technicians for proper on-the-job training and hands-on experience in working with animals. They also need to be totally familiar with all laboratory and medical equipment required in doing surgery and laboratory work.
In summary, there is no short cut to becoming a vet technician. Proper training and preparation are very important. From thereon, they can then steadily build up their careers and grow into the profession. Education, along with a positive work attitude, good interpersonal skills and teamwork, will help the veterinary tech move up the career ladder. Love and compassion for animals is not sufficient; being properly trained to respond to their needs is important.