How to Become a Vet Tech
Students who aspire to be veterinary technologists can complete veterinary technology programs ranging from undergraduate certificates to bachelor's degrees, although associate's degrees are the most common route. Of the 204 programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association in 2019, only 22 offer four-year programs.
Vet Tech Schools
The following institutions offer veterinary technology degrees:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2018-2019)*|
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Associate's||$2,838 (in-state), $9,661 (out-of-state)|
|Hillsborough Community College||Tampa, FL||2-year, Public||Associate's||$2,506 (in-state), $9,111 (out-of-state)|
|Michigan State University||East Lansing, MI||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's||$14,460 (in-state), $39,766 (out-of-state)|
|Northern Virginia Community College||Annandale, VA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$5,610 (in-state), $11,618 (out-of-state)|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$9,992 (in-state), $28,794 (out-of-state)|
|Lone Star College System||The Woodlands, TX||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$1,600 (in-district), $3,880 (in-state), $5,200 (out-of-state)|
|Pima Community College||Tucson, AZ||2-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,142 (in-state), $7,458 (out-of-state)|
|Mt. San Antonio College||Walnut, CA||2-year, Public||Associate's||$1,350 (in-state), $9,414 (out-of-state)|
|St. Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, primarily associate's, Public||Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's||$2,682 (in-state), $9,286 (out-of-state)|
|Portland Community College||Portland, OR||2-year, Public||Associate's||$4,340 (in-state), $9,200 (out-of-state)|
School Selection Criteria
When determining which vet tech programs to consider, students should think through the following:
- A key component of education and training for veterinary technicians and technologists takes place in the lab and through clinical rotations.
- The quality, size, and reputation of a school's facilities are important considerations for many students.
- Smaller class size typically means more one-on-one attention and personalized feedback.
- In fields like veterinary technology, much of the learning process is focused on directly observing and working with instructors and licensed veterinarians.
The core coursework of veterinary technology programs includes topics in animal anatomy, animal nursing, medical terminology, and animal physiology. Additional courses may cover the administrative side of the job, such as office procedures. A significant amount of hands-on training will take place as well, primarily in the final year of the program.
A degree in veterinary technology can help to open up career opportunities for those with an overarching interest in veterinary medicine. One should consider choosing a school where they will be able to get one-on-one attention and log time in the lab.