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Veterinary Tech Diploma Programs

To become a veterinary tech, you'll need to complete an associate's degree program in veterinary technology, rather than a diploma program. After graduation, you're prepared to work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

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Essential Information

While diploma programs in veterinary technology are rarely offered anymore, programs that lead to an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Veterinary Technology are widely available. These two-year programs are most commonly found at community colleges, and some programs can be completed partly online.

Generally, a high school diploma is required for admission to a community college. Veterinary technology programs may also require students to complete general education coursework and have a minimum number of hours of experience at a veterinary hospital before being admitted. After graduation, students in some states will need to earn certification to work as veterinary technicians.


Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Veterinary Technology

Along with a high school diploma or GED, students who apply to an AAS in Veterinary Technology program may have to provide proof that they have up to date immunizations and medical insurance. They may also have to be physically able to lift a minimum amount of weight. Veterinary technicians typically study concepts that can prepare them to deal with a wide variety of animals in a variety of medical situations. Coursework could include subjects like:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of disease
  • Animal physiology and pharmacology
  • Veterinary nursing
  • Veterinary dentistry
  • Animal care

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

A veterinary technician must have an associate's degree, while a veterinary technologist must have a bachelor's degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of individuals working as veterinary technicians or technologists is expected to increase by 19% from 2018-2028, which is considerably faster than average. In May of 2018, the median annual salary for veterinary technicians and technologists was $34,420, as estimated by the BLS.

Continuing Education and Certification Information

A graduate with an associate's degree in veterinary technology may go on to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology. These degree programs require four total years of study, and some are offered as 2+2 programs, which allows for easy transfer opportunities for associate's degree holders. A Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology often includes a professional practicum, where students gain hands-on experience in a veterinary office.

Veterinary technicians may be required to obtain professional certification through a state certification or licensing board. This can be accomplished by passing the National Veterinary Technician exam, according to the BLS.

Prospective students looking for the training to become a veterinary tech can consider an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology program. During two years of study, students learn animal physiology and pharmacology, as well as veterinary dentistry and nursing, as they prepare them for a career as a veterinary tech.

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