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 and may require an internship experience. Graduates of these programs are generally prepared to sit for certification exams, given by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Applicants to these programs need a high school diploma or GED and may need to complete specific biology, chemistry, algebra and computer programs prior to enrollment.
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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 19% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). The increase may be due to rising pet ownership numbers and a higher demand for veterinary services. In May 2015, the BLS reported that veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $31,800.
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.
An Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology trains students in animal care and veterinary procedures in preparation for careers as veterinary technologists and technicians. Graduates may pursue bachelor's degree and/or state licensure and certification.