Education Portal is now! We still offer the same great content and features, with more added every day, just under a new name. Learn more x

Veterinary Tech Majors and Undergraduate Degree Programs

Get information on undergraduate degree programs for veterinary technologists and technicians. Read on to find out about course requirements, clinical experiences, licensing and continuing education opportunities.

View 6 Popular Schools »

Essential Information

Veterinary technicians and technologists assist veterinarians in routine, critical and emergency animal care. Students who complete an associate's degree program can pursue a career as a veterinary technician, while those who finish bachelor's degree programs can work as veterinary technologists. Licensure or certification is required for either position in every state, and applicants usually need to complete an accredited program and pass an exam in order to qualify.

Students in associate's and bachelor's programs receive training in animal nursing, pathology, radiology, anesthesiology, clinical laboratory procedures, surgery assistance and many other areas of veterinary medicine. There are extensive clinical requirements during which students gain hands-on experience in a variety of procedures with many types of animals.

Applicants to associate's programs may need to take prerequisite courses in math and the sciences; observation hours at a vet hospital may be required prior to admission as well. Admission to a bachelor's program in veterinary technology usually requires past experience in a veterinary facility and completion of pre-vet technology coursework.

Associate's Degree in Veterinary Technology

Associate's degree programs in veterinary technology prepare students for careers as veterinary technicians. The 2-year curriculum covers the basics of veterinary science and the technical aspects of animal care and surgery. Veterinary tech students gain hands-on experience with large and small domestic animals through a practicum, which is completed in the summer following the first year of the program.

Educational Prerequisites

A high school diploma or GED is required for admission into the veterinary tech program. Students may have to meet certain prerequisites, such as the minimum required classes in algebra and biology, observation at a veterinary hospital or CPR certification. A campus interview and letters of recommendation may also be required. Standard admission requirements include a completed application and transcripts from high school and previously attended postsecondary schools.

Program Coursework

Students studying veterinary technology gain a solid animal science background. Typical coursework includes:

  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Veterinary laboratory techniques
  • Veterinary medical terminology
  • Small animal behavior
  • Animal diseases
  • Veterinary pharmacology

Career Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ( projects an almost 52% increase in job opportunities for veterinary technicians and technologists between 2010 and 2020. The median annual wage in 2012 for these workers was $30,290. Veterinary technicians can work in a variety of environments, such as veterinary offices, animal hospitals, research or diagnostic laboratories, zoos and wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Continuing Education

Many associate's degree programs in veterinary technology transition easily into bachelor's degree programs in animal science, veterinary technology or related majors. Certificate programs in specific animal care disciplines, such as equine dentistry, are available to vet tech graduates once they are licensed.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Veterinary Technology

Classes in Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology programs are taught by experienced veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians and other experts in the field. The coursework provides a broad science base, in addition to specialized and professional veterinary science courses. Veterinary tech majors get extensive clinical experience through externships that are offered at local animal hospitals, zoos and veterinary offices. Graduates of 4-year programs become veterinary technologists.

Educational Prerequisites

Many veterinary technology programs accept only currently enrolled students, unless the applicant already has an associate's degree in veterinary technology. Prospective vet tech majors take pre-veterinary technology courses and other prerequisites before applying to the program. Many programs require students to have previous experience with a veterinary facility. Submission materials may include an evaluation from a veterinarian or licensed technician, a personal essay and references.

Program Coursework

Veterinary tech majors take many of the same courses that are offered in the associate's degree program, if they do not already have an associate's degree. The following courses are common in 4-year veterinary tech curricula.

  • Veterinary hematology and immunology
  • Veterinary biochemistry
  • Clinical pathology
  • Veterinary radiography
  • Veterinary surgical nursing
  • Parasitology

Popular Career Options

Many B.S. in Veterinary Technology graduates decide to continue on to veterinary school. Veterinary tech graduates are qualified for careers in the following fields.

  • Animal nutrition
  • Equine medicine
  • Marine animal medicine
  • Exotic animal medicine
  • Animal behavior
  • Biomedical research
  • Pharmaceutical marketing and sales

Licensure Information

Vet techs must gain licensure (or certification or registration depending on the state) in order to practice. Requirements are dependent on the state. A state may use a state exam, the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) or both. The VTNE is a credentialing exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards ( VTNE evaluates the skills and knowledge of an entry-level vet tech.

Show me popular schools

Related to Veterinarian's Tech Undergraduate

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
Be a Certified Veterinary Tech: Education and Licensure Information

Learn how to become a certified veterinary tech. Research the job description and the education and licensing requirements, and...

Veterinary Tech Diploma Programs

Learn about the curricula and requirements of veterinary technology programs, which are more often available in a degree format...

Online Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech) Degree Information

A veterinary technician (or vet tech) is trained to assist a licensed veterinarian in medical, surgical and laboratory...

Pre-Veterinary Major: Information and Requirements

Learn about the undergraduate majors recommended for aspiring veterinarians. Find out about program requirements and courses,...

Veterinary Undergraduate Programs and Majors

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have complet
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Science - Healthcare Management With a Dental Hygiene Emphasis

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Submit high school and possibly college transcript(s)
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • B.S. in Health Sciences

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • North Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at North Dakota State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Assisting
        • Veterinary Technician
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Nursing Professions
      • Nutrition Services
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics