Masters Degree in Veterinary Technology: Program Overview
Veterinary technologists and technicians often get their training through Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology programs; there are no graduate-level programs. Read on to learn about curriculum, employment outlook, certification requirements and options for continuing education.
Veterinary technologists and technicians assist licensed veterinarians. Aspiring technologists and technicians can pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree in veterinary technology; these programs are widely available at colleges and universities across the country. Students should ideally enroll in programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
Students in these 4-year programs complete courses in veterinary medicine terminology, pharmacology and molecular biology. They get hands-on clinical experience working with large and small animals in a variety of situations. Graduates are typically qualified for state licensure or certification.
The most common educational prerequisite is a high school diploma or equivalent GED. Students should complete courses in biology, mathematics, writing and communication in high school.
Most 4-year veterinary technology degree programs require students to complete at least 120 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical courses. Students take general education courses in their first year. Some of these include:
- Molecular biology
- Medical terminology in veterinary medicine
- Pharmacology and veterinary technicians
- Nutrients and veterinary technicians
- Small animal nursing skills - small animals
- Large animal nursing skills - large animals
- Veterinary hospital procedures
- Preventive animal health care
- Clinical pathology for veterinarian technicians
- Veterinary radiology
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
There were approximately 80,200 veterinary technologists and technicians employed in the U.S. in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Nearly 91% of those individuals worked for veterinary offices, while the rest worked for places like animal shelters, zoos and kennels. Employment in the field is expected to grow 52% in the decade 2010-2020, which is much higher than the average predicted job growth rate. In 2012, veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $30,290.
Continuing Education Options
Each state has its own certification requirements and procedures for veterinary technologists and technicians. Most require applicants to pass a state examination proving that they have the clinical experience and educational background necessary to work competently in the field. While there are no master's degree programs in veterinary technology, graduates interested in further education may choose to enroll in a graduate program in veterinary science or veterinary medicine.
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