Students who earn bachelor's degrees in veterinary science are prepared to become veterinary technologists and help veterinarians by performing tests to diagnose illnesses, providing dental care and administering treatments prescribed by the vet. Extra classes provide students with training in exotic animal care, disease research, nutrition and husbandry. These classes expand students' knowledge and enable them to find jobs in areas such as ranching, zoology, animal nutrition and research. Prerequisites include proof of medical insurance, physical and medical fitness, immunization shots, and regulation attire. Some programs require clinical experiences, one year of residency training or internships.
After earning a veterinary science degree, students may take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org.). Though licensing requirements vary by state, many states use the VTNE exam to license vet techs. The exam tests academic and practical knowledge through questions demanding written, oral and practical responses.
Bachelor's Degree Programs in Veterinary Science
In this course of study, students receive hands-on experience in addition to their regular book-centered and lecture-based classes. Many programs require clinical experience and offer apprenticeship-style internships with professionals in the field. Students need to be able to devote at least one year to resident training. Some typical classes students may take include:
- Care of laboratory animals
- Infectious diseases and common ailments
- Nutritional needs
- Clinical procedures and management
- Pre- and post-surgical nursing
- Research methods
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that jobs for veterinary technologists will grow about 19% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth rate is much faster than average. One reason for this is the growing number of pet owners and the increasing demand for veterinary care. Also expected to increase are venues for animal care such as shelters, kennels, animal control and humane societies.
According to the BLS, the median annual wage of vet techs was $31,800 in May 2015. Veterinary technologists and technicians who worked for the government, with employment services or in research tended to earn a higher salary than those who held other positions.
Bachelor of Veterinary Science programs help those interested in becoming veterinary assistants or technicians learn how to provide support in treating illnesses and providing care for ailing animals in a number of settings. This training is available in both a classroom setting and clinical environment. Students can take certification exams after earning this degree.