A vet tech provides care for animals recovering from injuries and illnesses. They work with a licensed veterinarian. Their salary depends on their level of experience and schooling. A high school diploma is required.
The Associates Degree
The most common way to become a vet tech is by earning an Associate degree. This degree is offered by numerous vet tech schools, and the courses take two-years to complete. The school must be accredited by the AVMA, or the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The Associate’s degree is achieved upon graduation. On the job training is only acceptable in Wisconsin, California, and Alaska. There are approximately 160 schools offering the required courses for a vet tech.
The Bachelor’s Degree
Some candidates choose to earn their Bachelor’s degree instead of an Associates degree. This enables the vet tech to earn a larger salary, and perform more duties during their career.
This program must also be accredited. The degree earned is in veterinary technology. This degree takes four-years of attending school and is offered by 23 universities.
This is an excellent choice for students interested in veterinary research or wanting to pursue veterinary medicine.
Veterinary Tech Credentials
Most states require all vet techs to be licensed as an LVT, certified as a CVT, or registered as an RVT. A training program approved by the state must be passed along with an exam.
Most states will waive their exams if the student has achieved a pass in the Veterinary Technician National Exam.
The Advanced Courses
Many vet tech schools offer advanced courses in veterinary medicine. This enables the student to attend school to earn advanced certification. Once this is achieved, the vet tech can choose a specialty, or work in a supervisory capacity.
The schools teach additional skills and techniques requiring advanced certification in the field. Many veterinarians will hire these students first for a more advanced team. Some students begin working, then return to school to complete these certifications later.
Numerous vet techs eventually return to school to become veterinarians. These programs are more advanced. The vet techs work experience and certification provide advantages since the admissions process for veterinary school is very competitive.
The Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology
This two-year degree earns the student either an AAS or an AS in veterinary technology. Most graduates of this program begin working in a private clinic. This accredited program is offered by 160 different schools in the United States.
The courses are offered by career schools and universities for four-years. Nine of these schools offer rural students distance options.
The American Veterinary Medical Association
It is important the school chosen is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association to ensure the student can receive a license. Credits from an accredited school can also be transferred if higher education or a Bachelor’s degree is pursued later.
There are many non-accredited courses available. Most correspondence courses have a low-quality control. When the student graduates, they will be unable to acquire a license from the state.
The Associate Level Programs
The schools provide coursework in imaging and laboratory procedures, animal behavior and science, and specialty areas. Specialties often include critical care and anesthesiology.
Students must learn physiology, anatomy, nutrition and animal handling to be successful in their careers. Students receive practice under supervision in shelters, specialty hospitals, and clinics.
The Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technology
During this four-year course, students will earn either a BAS or a BS in veterinary technology. The job responsibilities are essentially the same throughout the states.
A Bachelor’s degree is important for students interested in counseling, laboratory work, teaching, management, wildlife rehabilitation and working in a zoo.
This degree covers the same subjects as an Associates degree, but additional courses are provided in management and leadership. This degree enables a vet tech to choose an area of specialization including large or small animals, management or zoo animals.
The additional coursework includes clinical pathology, parasitology, hospital and clinic management and applied animal behavior. The students are rotated through a large variety of different clinical settings to gain valuable experience.
There are 23 programs in the United States with accredited courses from the American Veterinary Medical Association. All of them will result in a Bachelor’s degree and are available through four-year universities.
There are courses offered with distance options for candidates located in rural areas. For students who have already earned an AAS, there are options available for a shorter length of time.
All the schools provide the necessary education, training, experience, and testing required for a license and certification as a vet tech. The candidates are usually required to have a license, document their hours of experience, submit their case logs, submit proof of their current level of education, and pass an examination.
There are additional courses available for a licensed vet tech to earn their credentials in different subspecialties.
Everything you need to know about vet techs: http://vetbehaviour.info/vet-tech/