Students enrolled in an associate's degree program in veterinary technology can learn how to care for animals within a veterinary office, provide ethical treatment of animals in research labs and assist veterinarians during surgeries. These programs are typically available at technical schools and community colleges. Graduates of these programs are generally prepared to sit for certification exams, given by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
- Program Levels in Veterinary Technology: Associate's degree
- Prerequisites: Completion of specific biology, chemistry, algebra, and computer programs prior to enrollment, high school diploma or GED
- Other Requirements:Internship
Associate of Applied Science Degree in Veterinary Technology
In addition to general education requirements, students typically complete courses in veterinary medicine and animal science. Students learn how to x-ray and anesthetize animals, analyze blood samples and care for distressed animal patients. Classroom instruction is often supported by hands-on experiences through internships at veterinary hospitals and private practices. Examples of courses offered include:
- Animal nutrition
- Veterinary nursing procedures
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), employment for veterinary technologists and technicians is expected to increase by 30% from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). The increase may be due to rising pet ownership numbers and a higher demand for veterinary services. In May 2014, the BLS reported that veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $31,070.
Continuing Education and Certification Information
Graduates can seek immediate employment or pursue bachelor's degree programs in veterinary technology. Students enrolled in these 4-year programs take additional courses in animal science and receive pre-clinical training.
Veterinary technicians and technologists must typically be licensed, certified or registered within the state where they want to practice. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards administers the Veterinary Technician National Examination. Associate's degree holders can sit for state certification tests.