Do you have a love for animals but don’t like the idea of spending eight years in college to become a veterinarian? The good news is that you can embark on a career as a veterinary technician and nurture the passion you have for furry friends without attending school for years.
Veterinarian tech training is offered in a wide variety of options. Online classes and various degree options are available. The most common degree in veterinary technician training is the associate’s degree path. The time it takes to complete this program varies between sixteen and twenty-four months, depending on which program is selected and the school attached.
Some schools, including online colleges, offer a four year degree program in veterinary technology that allows the student to graduate with a bachelor’s degree upon completion. The more advanced the degree program, the higher the salary upon graduation. Although the bachelor’s degree program takes four years to complete, it is looked at favorably by employers.
Vet Tech Required Courses
Depending on the degree path, a wide variety of courses may be required to complete a veterinary technician program. For the most part similar courses in anatomy, animal physiology and the basics of biology are required. Students must complete the curriculum that contains a number of science and some mathematics courses. Core requirements may include speech, English, and sociology.
In order to receive certification for completion of a vet tech program, the student must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam, or VTNE. The VTNE is a four-hour exam that offers approximately 200 multiple choice questions. The exam is offered at certain times of the year depending on the state. There are various areas covered throughout the exam and students are to be prepared in each subject prior to taking the exam.
Some of the areas covered on the state exam include anesthesia, animal nursing, pharmacology, laboratory procedures, radiography and ultrasound. There are practice exams available that can be purchased prior to taking the exam. Most school’s career center or veterinarian department offer practice exams to students registered in the program.
Vet Tech Internships
One of the most common degree requirements of the veterinary technician program is an internship or externship. Nearly all accredited institutions require some form of an internship where students are eligible to get hands-on experience as a key component of the program. Students are able to get practical and real-life experience working in the field which prepares them for a career in the field. Students rave on the amount they learn outside of the classroom and in a way that lectures are not equipped to deliver.
Internships in the program vary in length, from six months to one year. Some students opt to complete the internship component of the degree over the summer while others prefer completing it alongside traditional coursework. Online schools also require internship completion, as most schools earn their accreditation by doing so. Online students work in a veterinary office or hospital and the reporting doctor fills out a notice of completion for the school.