Veterinary Technician Career Guide: 4 Vet Tech Schools and More

Published on Mar 14, 2024 12:00 AM
Veterinary Technician Career Guide: 4 Vet Tech Schools and More

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job opportunities for vet techs are expected to grow up to 21% by 2032. Surprisingly, this ratio is greater than the average growth rate of all professions and occupations in the USA. 

Starting a career as a veterinary technician is a lucrative option. As a vet tech, your main responsibilities will involve ensuring the overall well-being of animals and assisting professional veterinarian surgeons and experts in operating rooms and clinics. 

If you want to know everything about the vet tech profession, including how to become one, which vet tech school to join, and more, keep reading. 

Who is a Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech)?

A vet tech is a trained professional who assists licensed veterinarians and provides the necessary medical care to animals. 

They complete a few hours of courses, undergo special training, and get hands-on experience in animal behavior, animal diseases, animal pharmacology, etc. 

Vet techs work in private clinics, hospitals, zoos, and shelters to ensure the well-being of animals. 

Main Responsibilities of Vet Techs 

They are responsible for many tasks, such as: 

  • Taking X-rays: Vet techs are given special training to develop skills in operating X-ray machines, which play a critical role in diagnosing diseases. 
  • Performing diagnostic tests: They conduct multiple diagnostic tests, including blood work and urinalysis, helping expert veterinarians diagnose health issues. 
  • Administering medications: Under the supervision of licensed veterinarians, vet techs also prescribe doses of medicines. 
  • Vaccinate animals: Another main responsibility of vet techs involves vaccinating animals, such as injecting DAPP into puppies. 
  • Educating pet parents about animal health: Vet techs play an important role in educating pet owners about parasite prevention, nutritional guidelines, and more. 
  • Prepare invoices: Vet techs also perform administrative responsibilities that include preparing invoicing, keeping client records, etc.  
  • Provide nursing care: Vet techs prepare animals for surgeries and provide them with necessary care after the surgeries. 

Requirements for Becoming a Vet Tech 

To become a veterinary technician you’ve to complete a few hours of education and get certifications and special training. 

Here is the list of requirements for starting a career as a vet tech


Veterinary technicians are required to have an AAS (Associate of Applied Science) or AS (Associate of Science) degree in vet tech. These programs often include courses of around 60 to 90 credit hours, along with hands-on practical experience. 

The courses included in these programs are listed below: 

  • Anatomy 
  • Physiology 
  • Pharmacology 
  • Surgical Assistance
  • Radiology
  • Dentistry and more. 

Before you join a vet tech school for these programs, make sure the institute is accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) on CVTEA (Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities). 

This accreditation is important for getting a license in many states.


Getting a vet tech certification or license is important to improve your portfolio, gain experience, and level up your career. Veterinary technicians can get accredited certificates to enhance their skills. 

Here are the boards that offer accredited certificates for vet techs:  

  • American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB)
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

The certifications for vet techs usually involve completing an accredited veterinary technology program and passing a national exam. 

Besides this, veterinary technicians can get certificates in specialized fields like surgery, dentistry, or any other veterinary field. 


Veterinary technicians are required to get specialized hands-on training in injecting vaccinations, diagnosing pets, conducting X-rays, etc. The training prepares the vet techs to handle different situations effectively in veterinary settings. 

Some students usually receive this training during their enrolment in educational programs. On the other hand, students can also get specialized training sessions after completing the education or certification course. If you’re planning to pursue this career in a special field like dentistry or neurology, you can also get specialized training in that particular field. 

CE Credits 

To maintain the license, stay abreast of the latest trends, and level their skills, vet techs need to earn continuing credits (CE). 

These credits can be earned by attending seminars, webinars, and conferences. The topics of CE credits cover a diverse range of fields, including; 

  • Management of chronic pain.  
  • Treatment of canine and feline diabetes mellitus. 
  • Ocular emergencies in veterinary medicines. 
  • Effective use of acid suppressants. 

By attending these seminars, vet techs can enhance their skills, ensuring they can provide the highest quality of veterinary services. 

How Much Does a Vet Tech Make?

Veterinary technician salaries depend on the location, experience, and specialization. However, the vet techs can make around $40,414 a year. Specialization in anesthesia or neurology can lead to increased earning opportunities. 

Best Vet Tech Schools 

Numerous vet tech schools in the USA offer veterinary technician programs. Here is the list: 

Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) 

Purdue University’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of the reputable vet tech schools. They offer a veterinary technology program that allows the students to earn both a BS and an associate degree. 

Here is the highlight of their specific veterinary courses: 

  • Introduction to Vet Techs 
  • Veterinary Anesthesia
  • Microbiology for Veterinary Technicians
  • Clinical Pathology for Veterinary Technicians
  • Surgical Nursing and Operating Room Procedures
  • Anatomy and Physiology for Veterinary Technicians
  • Pharmacology for Veterinary Technicians
  • Microbiology for Veterinary Technicians
  • Parasitology for Veterinary Technicians

Their program is accredited by CVTEA (American Veterinary Medical Association on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities). 


You can expect to pay $290 per credit hour for their courses.

Los Angeles Pierce College (Woodland Hills, CA)

Los Angeles Pierce College offers an Associate of Science (AS) degree in Veterinary Technology that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Students have to complete 58 units for this degree. 

This vet tech school’s veterinary technician program is for 2 years. The curriculum includes both theoretical and hands-on practice. 

Here is an overview of their courses: 

  • Clinical Procedures in Animal Care 
  • Small Animal Nursing 
  • Veterinary Clinical Pathology (Laboratory) 
  • Clinical Experience for Veterinary Technicians
  • Animal Health and Disease Control

This will qualify you to attend the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) for licensure. 


The vet tech program at Los Angeles Pierce College costs $46 per unit. 

Pima Medical Institute 

Pima Medical Institute offers the accredited Veterinary Technician Associate degree program on its multiple campuses, including Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Washington.  

The program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and its length varies for morning and evening shifts. This program lasts 18 months for daytime and 21 months for evening shifts.

The course outline and the tuition fee of this institution depend on which campus you’re interested in. Pima Medical Institute offers affordable tuition fees compared to private vet tech schools.

Platt College

Platt College offers both on-campus and online vet tech programs. Their associate veterinary degree program is offered on multiple campuses including in California, Ontario, Alhambra, and Riverside. Platt College’s program is also accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). 

Their program length varies depending on the nature of the course. For example, the on-campus program lasts for 19 months, and the online schooling for vet tech lasts for 21 months. 

The course outline and fee structure of Plat College also depend on the campus you choose. 

How to Get Free CE Credits for Maintaining Your Vet Tech Certificate? 

To expand your expertise as a vet tech, you can attend free webinars or sessions to earn credit from a reputable vet tech online school. They offer free CE sessions on surgical procedures, animal diseases, nutritional guidelines, and more. 


Becoming a successful veterinarian technician starts with joining vet tech schools to earn accredited programs and CE credits. The journey is followed by rigorous training sessions and certification programs. Vet techs are responsible for improving the health of animals under the supervision of licensed veterinarians. The average base salary of this profession is $21.71 per hour. It’s an excellent field that offers huge professional benefits. 

At VetandTech, you can join many free CE webinars led by experts and access comprehensive guides on pet care and diseases. We offer multiple educational resources. 


How long are most vet tech programs?

Most vet tech educational programs usually last for 2 to 4 years. However, depending on the type of school and specific curriculum, you may find shorter programs focusing on core skills and longer programs for extended learning experiences.

What is the best major for a vet tech?

The best major for veterinary technicians is veterinary technology or veterinary nursing. These programs offer the necessary training and courses to become a certified vet tech. 

Where do veterinary technicians work?

Vet techs work in veterinary clinics, hospitals, and shelters. They assist certified and licensed veterinarians in providing medical care to animals. 

What jobs are similar to veterinary technicians?

Some jobs that are similar to vet techs include veterinary nurses, animal control offices, animal care, and technicians. Their roles involve providing basic medical care to animals and assisting veterinarians to ensure the well-being of animals.