Veterinary technicians, or vet techs, provide many of the same services for animals that nurses would provide for human patients. Veterinary technicians work under the direct supervision of a veterinarian doing things like providing first aid, performing diagnostic testing, taking blood and urine samples, preparing animals for surgery etc. If you are an animal lover who also has an interest in science, working as a veterinary technician could be a great career choice. But what does it take to become a veterinary technician? That is exactly what we are going to discuss.
Educational Requirements for Becoming a Veterinary Technician
To become a veterinary technician you will need to earn either an Associates degree or a bachelors degree from a school that offers courses accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. There are many schools across the country that have been accredited by the AVMA and you can see all of the accredited schools by visiting their website at www.avma.org.
If you choose to begin your career as a vet tech with an Associates degree, you will be able to get the necessary training in two years at a community college, a vocational school, or even through online training. Your training will include courses in things like pathology, pharmacology, veterinary radiology, anaesthesia and surgery. During your final semester, you may be required to complete an internship in a veterinary clinic.
If you choose to pursue a bachelors degree it will take you a total of four years to get your degree. But with the additional training, you will likely be able to earn significantly more money once you start working as a veterinary technician. In addition to the courses mentioned above for the Associate’s degree, you will also need to take courses in veterinary anatomy, physiology, surgical nursing, medical terminology, clinical methods, and veterinary management among others.
Certification and On The Job Training
After completing your education, you will need to become licensed, registered, or certified in order to work as a veterinary technician. Requirements will vary from one state to another but you will likely be required to pass written and oral examinations in order to earn your license or certification.
Once you have completed all of your educational courses and you find a job, you will start in an entry-level position and you will continue to get additional training as you work. It is likely that you will be training under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or other vet techs with advanced education or more experience on the job. On the job training will likely include learning details specific to your place of employment as well as getting more experience with the various equipment and diagnostic devices that will be used in your clinic.