How to become a Vet Tech

How to become a vet tech

Choosing a career as a veterinary technician (Vet Tech) involves taking care of all sorts of animals, from candies to core platypuses.

By combining your personal love of animals with what you do for a living, not only do you have a positive impact on the lives of animals, but you also enrich the quality of your own life.

Depending on the work environment you choose, the daily routine as a veterinary technician can vary a lot. Vet technicians working in research laboratories may be responsible for the care and feeding of animals and document their behavior.

Veterinary technicians work under veterinary supervision and may also provide more extensive treatment, such as dental care and specialized nursing.

They usually work in private clinical practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Technicians may perform laboratory tests, such as urinalysis, and help veterinarians perform a variety of other diagnostic tests. Although some of their work is performed in a laboratory environment, several technicians are still talking to animal owners. For example, they illustrate a pet’s state or how to administer medicine administered by a veterinarian.

Veterinary technicians work under veterinary supervision and can also provide more comprehensive treatment, such as dental care and advanced nursing.

Most vet tech work with small animals, including:

  • Dogs
  • Rats
  • Cats
  • vet-tech-cow
  • Mice
  • Birds

In certain cases, veterinary technicians prefer to have larger livestock, such as goats, pigs, and sheep.

In the case of veterinary technicians in supervisory positions, taking care of animals is not the only job. They are responsible for managing staff schedules and supporting other vet technicians to do their job well.

Like other allied health occupations, hospitals and labs must be staffed around the clock. This means that veterinary technicians also have a flexible schedule and work nights, weekends, and holidays.

How to become a vet tech

What is a vet tech?

A veterinary technician is a trained specialist whose job is to help all kinds of animals live safe and happy lives. Vet techs use medical experience and clinical expertise to provide regular and emergency nursing care under veterinarian supervision. Whether it is facilitating well-tested examinations, administering laboratory tests, or assisting in surgery, veterinary technicians support veterinarians in meeting the diagnostic and care needs of sick and healthy animals.

Do you want to learn more about being a veterinary technician so that you can affect animal welfare? Keep reading through to find out more about the education and experience you need to get started in this area.

What Does a Vet Tech Do?

A vet tech conducts a wide range of animal nursing duties under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Since states control the types of tasks that vet techs may perform, your duties’ extent can vary depending on the venue. Generally, a vet technician is allowed to conduct all duties assigned to him by a licensed veterinarian, with the exception of diagnosing medical problems, prescribing medicines, and performing surgery.

Many of the most common vet tech roles are identical to those performed by registered nurses for human patients. Some of the traditional vet tech duties include:

  • Performing diagnostic and x-ray tests
  • Animal preparation and tools for surgery
  • Administering drugs, vaccines, and treatments
  • Emergency first aid or general nursing care
  • Observation and reporting of the behavior and condition of animals
  • Restricting animals for examination or treatment
  • Administering anesthesia and assisting in medical procedures
  • Collecting and recording the case history of animals
  • Educating home care owners of animals
  • Assisting veterinarians and biomedical researchers

Working as a veterinary technician (vet tech) is a very high stable starting point for a veterinary science career and has strong growth potential. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment opportunities are expected to increase by 20% by 2026 as vet tech performs more and more nursing and laboratory tasks.

Vet technician vs. vet assistant

Vet technicians and vet assistants always work together to support veterinarians’ work, but their functions differ based on the type of work they are each allowed to do. Because being a vet technician requires formal education and professional qualifications, vet technicians are typically approved to perform more clinical tasks.

Vet assistants, on the other hand, require little or no formal instruction. Some vet assistants will enter the profession with a vet assistance degree, while others will learn on-the-job skills. Their roles typically entail activities relating to clerical duties and the maintenance of the working environment. A vet assistant allows vet technicians and veterinarians to arrange appointments, feed and exercise animals, and to keep equipment ready for use.

Although most states control the credentialing of veterinary technicians, there is no credentialing process for vet assistants. However, most states define the types of procedures that both positions are required to perform.

Vet technician vs. vet technologist

Vet technicians also work closely in most cases with vet technologists to fulfill their day-to-day duties. The most important difference between a vet technician and a technician is the level of education required. Vet technicians usually have a 2-year associate degree, whereas vet technologists have a 4-year bachelor’s degree.

In most countries, the certification process is the same for vet technicians and technologists. In fact, most states do not offer a particular certification for veterinary technologists, but those with that title are accredited as veterinary technicians. Any additional duties of vet technicians shall be decided by their employers, although their responsibilities shall be limited to those lawfully performed by vet technicians in their country.

What accreditation is there for my program?

The American Veterinary Medicine Association (AVMA) is the most prominent veterinary accrediting body. The AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technicians Education and Practices sets out the criteria for vet tech school accreditation and reviews their curriculum. Accredited schools’ attendance is very significant for vet tech because it opens the doors to federal financial assistance programs and guarantees that prospective employers have obtained education from a nationally recognized organization.

Vet Tech Requirements

Depending on the state in which you intend to practice, you will need to be trained, licensed, or registered as a veterinary technician. Each jurisdiction uses a different designation, but you will need some form of authorization to operate in your state. In order to qualify as a licensed vet tech, you would have to meet the general education, experience, and inspection standards, along with any other state-specific qualifications.


How long does it take to become a vet tech?

A 2-year associate degree is the most common educational course for veterinary technicians, although some students chose to receive their 4-year bachelor’s degree. You can find vet tech education programs in vocational schools, community colleges, and 4-year universities. There are also online education options, but it is likely that you will also need to engage in some hands-on clinical training. The vet technology curriculum provides training in all animal nursing and handling facets, including laboratory and surgical procedures.

It is important to look for one that is accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) while evaluating vet technology programs. Graduates of CVTEA-accredited programs are eligible for compulsory certification in most countries. You should expect these services to include at least 60 credit hours and 240 on-site practice hours.

As a prospective student, choosing an approved vet tech program will help:

  • Ensure that you receive an extensive education that meets the highest expectations of quality
  • Earn credits that can be passed to other approved schools;
  • Establish confidence of your employer in your educational qualifications
  • Provide access to U.S. government financial assistance

Suppose you intend to use your associate’s degree as the basis for a 4-year bachelor’s degree. In that situation, it is necessary to ensure that your school also holds institutional accreditation from an organization approved by the United States. The Ministry of Education. This will increase the likelihood that another college will recognize your associate’s degree credits if you want to pass them to an advanced degree.


Although each state sets its own vet technology regulation standards, most entry-level applicants must take a credentialing test. The most common test used is the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) prepared by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). This 3-hour computer-based test consists of over 170 multiple-choice questions, of which 150 are scored. The remaining 20 questions are used to build future exams.

The VTNE is divided into the following nine major subject areas:

  • Laboratory procedures
  • Animal care and nursing
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Pain management/analgesia
  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Surgical nursing
  • Dentistry
  • Anesthesia
  • In emergency medicine/critical care

You can download sample questions and review materials from the VTNE website to prepare for the exam. You can also buy online practice tests from AAVSB to boost your test preparation. After taking the exam, you can automatically receive a score report at the test center, but this is only for personal use. Your official scores will be forwarded within a couple of weeks to your state veterinary board and, if you move through, you will complete any additional steps required for credentialing.

After you have received your vet tech certification, most states require you to complete a certain number of continuing education (CE) credits to upgrade your certificate, license, or registration. Requirements vary, so be sure to consult with the State Veterinary Commission.

Veterinary Technician Personality Traits and Skills

Veterinary technicians are nurses in the veterinary world — they have the same kind of treatment for animal patients that nurses do for humans. Veterinary technicians are often required to interact with the owners of animals.

A career as a vet tech brings a lot of benefits, such as the joy of helping to cure a sick animal, but it can also be frustrating as animals don’t always cooperate. The love of math and science also makes the job easier.

If you’re interested in a career in vet technology, check out some of the essential qualities:

You are

  • Able to stay calm
  • Detail-oriented
  • Results-driven
  • Patient
  • Communicative
  • Able to handle stress

You should have…

  • A love for animals
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A level head under duress
  • High ethical standards
  • Strong organizational skills
  • An ability to find creative solutions

Job Outlook

Clinics and animal hospitals have expanded their use of vet technology to provide general treatment and laboratory work. This demand has led to much faster than the average job growth estimated by 2026. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that veterinarians hire veterinary technologists and technicians instead of veterinary assistants because of their higher competence level. The BLS expects employment growth to be especially high in rural areas of the country.


Educational Requirement of Vet Tech

How are you expected to go about choosing a vet tech school? Find out what kind of stuff you need to consider when it comes to your career, how to make out the best and the most of your school experience, and how to make sure you qualify for a vet tech credential.

The first step is to consider how the education standards for veterinary technologists vary from technicians.

Technologists typically require a 4-year bachelor’s degree, whereas veterinary technicians usually have a 2-year degree. Making an associate’s degree can be a successful first move in the industry. It helps you to join the workforce easily and quickly to learn the duties of entry-level jobs. If you plan to seek further education, you will find that your vet technician’s duties will be more advanced.

As more schools continue to deliver veterinary programs, more options will be made for prospective students. Before applying to any school, please ensure that the American Veterinary Medical Association accredits it. According to the United States of America. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nine schools offer distance learning veterinary technology courses.

Take the first step into your future by learning what vet tech schooling is all about.

Veterinary Technician Certification

Most states require all veterinary technicians to pass the National Veterinary Technician Examination (VTNE) conducted by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Each state regulates veterinary technicians differently, but most applicants are expected to take a credentialing test. In most countries, the National Veterinary Technician Exam (VTNE) examination is used. Vet technicians must be trained, qualified, or registered to practice, depending on the state.

The VTNE is a 4-hour, 200-hour, multiple-choice question qualification test. The VTNE shall be prepared exclusively by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). You can take a veterinary certification test at certain times of the year in your


The test tests entry-level competence and includes subjects such as pharmacology, dentistry, animal nursing, and laboratory procedures, among others. The test is four hours long, and there are 200 multiple-choice questions. You can access the AAVSB practice exams on site.

The review covers seven major areas of expertise in which an entrance-level candidate with a veterinary education should be qualified:

  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Surgical preparation and assisting
  • Dentistry procedures
  • Radiography, ultrasound, etc.
  • Anesthesia

Animal nursing

Laboratory procedures

  • Practice exams may also be purchased on the AAVSB website.

Since the licensing and qualification regulations differ by state, you should be sure to contact the state health board for precise criteria.

Veterinary Technician Specialties

Suppose you want to deal with animals who need emergency services, work in a zoo, or work specifically with a certain animal type or size. In that case, there are opportunities to specialize in your profession as a veterinary technician.

below are some of your options:

  • Exotic animals
  • Avian


  • Biomedical research

Veterinary Technician Work Environment

According to the BLS, veterinary technicians’ most common work environments are animal hospitals and private veterinary clinics. Other employers include laboratories,  humane societies, zoos, and colleges and universities.

You should expect to perform a wide variety of veterinary duties when you work with livestock, pet owners, and other veterinary personnel. Since several veterinary clinics are open for evenings, weekends, and holidays, it is possible that your work schedule will include non-traditional hours. And, in most medical fields, working hours might not be an option if an emergency occurs outside the normal time.

The working environment for a vet technician can also be demanding in other respects. Your responsibilities can include standing for a long time while assisting in examinations and medical procedures. Restricting animals that may be injured or frightened may put you at risk of injury from scratches or bites. And working as a veterinary technician can also take an emotional toll when you’re working on cases involving sickness, violence, or euthanasia.

However, if you are an animal lover, you will likely find pleasure in using your experience and expertise to help the animals lead their best possible lives. You’re going to take pride in seeing animals grow from babies to healthy adults, and you’re going to have the compassion you need to tend to animals whose time is minimal.

Vet Tech Work Schedule

Employment is normally full-time, and the hours depend on the nature of the profession, clinic, or laboratory where a veterinary technician is working. Practices that have weekend or evening hours would usually be expected by technicians to do certain evening and weekend shifts. Other procedures or labs can only be open during normal business hours.

Vet Tech Injuries and Illnesses

Veterinary technologists and technicians risk injury on the job. They may be bitten, scratched, or kicked while working with scared or aggressive animals. Injuries may happen while the technologist or technician is holding, cleaning, or restraining an animal.

Vet Tech Salary

How much do veth techs makes?

Veterinary technicians in the United States have an average wage of $33,203 a year or $15.96 per hour. People on the lower end of the continuum, the bottom 10 percent to be precise, make around $23,000 a year, while the top 10 percent makes $47,000. A place can be crucial as most things go.  New York,  Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts have the highest wages for veterinary technicians.

Average veterinary technician’s salary by location

Although veterinary technicians can receive an average salary of $33,203 a year or $15,96 per hour, there are many other great opportunities for veterinary technicians to do more. For e.g., in New York, NY, you might make $42,989 a year.

Vet tech salary Texas; The average salary for a veterinary technician is $14.54 per hour in Texas.

Vet tech salary in California; The average salary for a veterinary technician is $18.79 per hour in California.

Vet tech salary New York; The average salary for a veterinary technician is $21.74 per hour in New York, NY.

Vet tech salary Florida; The average salary for a veterinary technician is $14.31 per hour in Florida.

Vet tech salary Ohio; The average salary for a veterinary technician is $15.83 per hour in Ohio.

Veterinary Technician Skills & Competencies

In addition to formal training, personal qualities and soft skills will help veterinary technicians succeed in the field.

  • Active Listening:
  • Veterinary technicians got to be ready to follow the instructions of supervising veterinarians and sometimes pet owners if handling them directly.
  • Verbal Communication: Technicians also must be ready to convey instructions to clients and veterinary assistants.
  • Organizational Skills: Veterinary technicians had to keep track of lab specimens and multi-animal drugs.
  • Teamwork: Working with veterinarians and veterinary assistants requires the ability to coordinate acts with their own.
  • Stamina: Veterinary technicians are always on their feet most of the day, and often they have to assist with restraining animals during care or while taking blood.
  • Compassion: Veterinary technicians often deal with animals that are sick, wounded, or even dying, and their owners are sometimes disturbed.

How To Get The Vet Tech Job

Experience; Until seeking a career with animals, volunteer, or work part-time at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic to make sure that this is the correct direction to take.

School; An associate’s degree in a veterinary technology program is necessary.

Certification; Check state licensing requirements and take the appropriate test.


Veterinary technicians support veterinarians in ways that are close to what laboratory technicians and nurses do for physicians. Veterinary technicians aid in the care of animals by taking medical backgrounds from their owners and helping to administer treatment or medication. They will also test blood and other samples as needed.

Specific duties can vary depending on where a veterinary technician is working. For example, those working in small private practices serving family pets are likely to spend more time supporting veterinarians with care and working with pet owners. However, those working in research laboratories may spend more of their time in laboratory settings conducting tests.

How to become a Vet Tech

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