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

Majors Overview March 5, 2014

Receive information about an Associate of Science (A.S.) degree in veterinary technology and its admission requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and certification and continuing education choices.

A.S. Programs in Veterinary Technology

Students enrolled in an associate’s degree program in veterinary technology are prepared to seek entry-level work as technicians in various settings including veterinarians’ offices. Veterinary technicians performed work supervised by licensed professionals; their work includes the performance of medical tests, taking of blood samples and recording of their animal patients’ histories. Students enrolled in 2-year associate’s degree programs in veterinary technology are taught about performing these clinical tasks and providing further care for animals, including livestock, dogs and cats.

Admission Requirements

Admission criteria require incoming students to display evidence of medical insurance and to have specific immunizations such as rabies, tuberculosis and tetanus. Additionally, proof that they can lift 50 pounds of weight would help the applicants who must also have demonstrable ability to work closely with animals in a variety of sizes. Admission criteria typically require applicants to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework mainly focuses on veterinary-based science topics, such as nursing, anesthesia and radiology procedures. Coursework combines classroom lectures with externships and hands-on experiences wherein they work directly with animals at animal facilities, including shelters. Some schools may even require students to work with animals within their campus. Coursework may commonly include topic areas such as:

•Surgical assisting
•Diagnostic imaging
•Laboratory animal science

Job and Wage Outlook

A far-faster-than-average job growth rate of 30% has been projected for veterinary technicians during the decade from 2012 to 2022 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, veterinary technicians took home an average annual wage of $30,290.

Certification and Continuing Education Choices

Those who successfully complete these associate’s degree programs 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. Students enrolled in these 4-year programs are trained to seek leadership positions in the vet technician field, and are offered concentrations in areas such as clinical applications or veterinary hospital management by some schools.

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