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Degree Overview: Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree in Veterinary Technology

Majors Overview June 27, 2014

Students in veterinary technology programs will be provided with the skills necessary for working as assistant veterinarians. Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree programs in Veterinary Technology feature classroom instruction and hands-on experience in order to assist students in finding entry-level jobs.

Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) Degree Programs in Veterinary Technology

The associate’s degree program in veterinary technology teaches enrolled students about caring for animals in a veterinary office setting, providing ethical treatment of animals in research laboratories, and assisting veterinarians during surgical operations. The majority of A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology programs are offered at community colleges and technical schools. Veterinary technology programs across the United States are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Education Requirements

Students enrolled in some A.A.S. programs are expected to complete specific computer coursework and classes in algebra, chemistry, and biology before they are allowed to begin core coursework. Admission criteria require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Apart from general education coursework, program coursework may include classes in animal science and veterinary medicine. Students will become adept at x-raying and anesthetizing animals, analyzing blood samples, and caring for distressed animal patients. Coursework may include the following subject areas:

•Animal nutrition
•Veterinary nursing procedures

Job and Wage Outlook

A higher-than-average job growth rate of 36% has been predicted for veterinary technologists and technicians during the decade of 2008 to 2018 (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS)). The optimistic projection is based on the assumption that pet ownership numbers will continually rise, resulting in a greater demand for veterinary services. In May 2012, veterinary technologists and technicians took home an average annual wage of $30,290 (BLS).

Certification and Continuing Education Outlook

Those that successfully complete the program can seek to join the workforce immediately on completion of the program or pursue continued education by earning a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Coursework in these four-year programs may include pre-clinical training apart from additional classes in animal science. Licensure, certification, or registration may typically be required by veterinary technicians and technologists before they are allowed to practice in their state. The Veterinary Technician National Examination is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. State certification tests can be taken by associate’s degree graduates.

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