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Earn an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology

Majors Overview March 8, 2014

A prerequisite to becoming a licensed veterinarian is a doctoral degree in veterinary medicine. Those interested should enroll in associate’s degree programs in the field, such as an Associate of Science (A.S.) in veterinary technology.

A.S. Programs in Veterinary Technology

Students enrolled in a 2-year associate’s degree program in veterinary technology that carries accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) are trained to seek entry-level jobs as veterinary technicians. They are imparted comprehensive knowledge about clinical laboratory assisting techniques and animal biology. Students enrolled in many programs are also required to participate in an internship that involves working for about two months at a local veterinary facility.

The requirements from students also include performance of the practical tasks they would need to work as technicians in the field. They are taught about communicating with clients at veterinary clinics, dispensing pharmacological drugs, performing assessment procedures on animals, managing anesthetic procedures, handling lab specimens, and using diagnostic radiographic machines among other things.

Education Requirements

Four-year universities are among the schools that commonly offer degree programs in veterinary technology. Admission criteria typically require applicants to have accomplished a high school GPA of 2.5 or more. Incoming students are also expected to show proof of high grades in algebra, chemistry, lab science and biology.

Coursework

Associate’s degree programs in veterinary technology are usually spread across six semesters, with courses related to basic lab science featured in the first half and those related to clinical procedures and skills in the latter half. Coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Small animal care
•Clinical lab methods
•Hematology for veterinary procedures
•Animal nutrition
•Radiology
•Introductory veterinary technology
•Anatomy and physiology
•Pharmacology
•Large animal nursing

Job and Wage Outlook

Veterinary technicians can seek employment in diagnostic labs, research facilities or licensed veterinarians’ offices. In 2010, 84,800 veterinary technologists and technicians were employed in the United States (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these professionals took home a combined average annual wage of $30,290.

Continuing Education and Certification Choices

Passage of an exam administered by a licensing body is required in most states before veterinary technicians can gain certification in the field. However, in several states, the same National Veterinary Technician Exam is used by the State Board of Veterinary Examiners for certification purposes. Veterinary technicians who seek a career advancing in the field can earn a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology to rise to become veterinary technologists, a similar but advanced position.

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  • I am graduating from high school and am interested in pursuing a career in a business field, but I first need the skills experience.
  • I am interested in a Bachelor's, Master's or Doctoral degree in my specialized business area of focus.
  • I want flexible course offerings, such as the option of 100% online, evening or campus classes.
  • I need a university that provides quality educational offerings through academic excellence and real-world relevance. Does this sound like you? Apply today!
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1 Program(s) Found
  • Named a Best for Vets school by the Military Times in 2014.
  • Has specialized in student-centered technology, business, criminal justice, health science, and culinary education for over 45 years.
  • Makes it possible for students to earn a bachelor’s degree in 2.5 years or an associate’s in 1.5 years by providing a year-round schedule.
  • Offers externships and clinical experience that help students prepare for life after they graduate.
  • Has 10 campuses across the mid-Atlantic, plus online degree programs.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
4 Program(s) Found
  • Recognized as a Top 20 Best Online Bachelor’s Program by U.S. News & World Report in 2016.
  • Online, campus-based, and evening courses offered in 95 areas of study, including Business, Nursing, Psychology, & more.
  • Endorsed by G.I. Jobs and Military Advanced Education magazine as a Military Friendly School in 2015.
  • Features small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 23 to 1.
  • 88% of Regent University students receive financial aid, with $18 million awarded in institutional scholarships & aid each year.
  • Online Courses
5 Program(s) Found
  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.
Good for Working Adults
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • Designated a 2015 Military Friendly School by Victory Media for the 4th consecutive year.
  • Listed on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2013, for the sixth consecutive year
  • Links students to hundreds of training opportunities (beyond their traditional internships and practicum) at their many “partner agencies” in each of their local communities.
  • Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WUSCUC).
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid

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