In addition to traditional coursework, 4-year veterinary technology bachelor's programs often include externships at local animal care facilities or zoos. Students can gain clinical skills in specialized areas, such as equine medicine or exotic animal care. Earning a 4-year bachelor's degree in this field can prepare students for licensure as veterinary technologists, which is required in many states.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, but those who also have an associate's degree in veterinary technology have an advantage in admissions. Students without an associate's degree may be required to complete pre-veterinary technology courses and prerequisites. Some programs require applicants to have some veterinary office experience.
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Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Technology
Veterinary technology coursework consists of basic, professional and clinical animal science and veterinary subjects. Typical classes include:
- Veterinary biochemistry and clinical pathology
- Veterinary radiology
- Animal nursing and dentistry
- Veterinary pharmacology
- Animal anatomy and physiology
Career Outlook and Salary Info
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 19% for veterinary technicians and technologists from 2014 to 2024. These workers earned an annual median wage of $31,800 in May 2015. Graduates of veterinary technology programs have the knowledge to work in a variety of environments, such as veterinary hospitals, laboratories, wildlife centers, zoos and pharmaceutical companies. Many veterinary technicians decide to go on to veterinary school.
Most graduates of veterinary technology bachelor's degree programs are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org). This credentialing exam demonstrates entry-level knowledge and skills in veterinary technology. Successful completion of the VTNE is required by some states for licensure.
A bachelor's programs in veterinary technology prepares students for licensure as veterinary technicians through animal science courses and hands-on training. The outlook for the veterinary technician field points to ample job opportunities. Graduates of these programs may also consider pursuing doctoral degrees in veterinary medicine.