Have you considered a career as a veterinary technician or vet tech? Employment for professionals in the industry is projected to grow 19% from 2021 to 2031.1 Since the pandemic, the need for animal medical care has increased. Twenty-three million pet owners have adopted a new pet in the first year of the pandemic.
Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the additional health needs of their furry friends. This demand for veterinary medicine and clinical care has put tremendous strain on the veterinary community and the need for veterinary technicians. The veterinarian industry is becoming one of the fastest-growing industries for young professionals to dive into. This article will discuss online vet tech programs and career paths within the veterinary industry.
Career Outlook: Can you survive as a vet tech?
Helping and administering care to animals can be an enriching career, but it can also produce stress, anxiety, and long working hours. Across all medical fields, there has been an increase in worker burnout and exhaustion. You can read more about healthcare and business insights for veterinarians here. Many young professionals wonder if they can survive as a vet tech and have what it takes to make it their career.
Veterinary technicians are often the first point of contact before a veterinarian and handle many daily medical and clinical procedures. Some of these job duties include performing medical and surgical procedures, laboratory testing, anesthesia induction, recovery maintenance, and monitoring.
What state has the highest-paid vet techs?
Every state will have different compensation levels for veterinary technicians. According to U.S News and Zipppia.com, Alaska and California are two of the highest paying states for vet techs.2 This difference in compensation could be due to a higher standard of living and overall expenses in these states.
In states with lower income levels and living costs, the average salary for a vet tech is considerably less, and the market is less competitive. States with the lowest paid vet techs include Louisiana, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. 3
What are accredited online vet tech programs?
To ensure your training and veterinary education are recognized by future employers, it’s best only to attend schools with official and legal accreditation. For a school or online program to be accredited, it must be recognized and approved by the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). 4
To verify if an online vet tech program is accredited, you can usually check their website for a link to their certification. You can also search the Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation’s website for accreditation.
Online vet tech programs in Texas
Dallas College 5
Dallas College is located in Dallas, Texas, and offers a customizable program for veterinarian technicians who need more flexibility. They offer classes three times a year, and required classes are available every block. This flexibility makes it simple for students who want to take some time off but also reenroll in the courses they need when they return.
Online Vet tech programs in Indiana
Purdue University 6
Purdue University is located in West Lafayette, Indiana, and offers online veterinary education for veterinary technicians called “distance learning.” Their programs are customizable and can be structured for three years, six years, or a specific timeline for graduation.
Online Vet tech programs in Georgia
Ashworth College 7
Ashworth College is located in Norcross, Georgia, and offers an affordable online veterinary technician program that lets students complete work at their own pace. The curriculum can be tailored to a student’s unique financial situation and can even be paid for monthly.
Online Vet tech programs in Canada
Thomas Rivers University 8
No matter where you go, there will always be a need for veteran professionals. One option for students already working in a veterinary clinical setting to further their skills is the Veterinary Technology Diploma from Thomas Rivers University. Thomas Rivers University offers this program during the winter, spring, and fall semesters.
Free Vet Tech Online Courses
Luckily there are many free courses to find more information and materials on veterinary technician education and certifications. Although most programs will require hands-on and in-person training, many introductory veterinary technician courses can be completed remotely.
Pursuing training from accredited schools and officially recognized vet tech programs is wise to protect yourself when finding future employment. This strategy will also ensure you receive the best training and education to help your veterinary career. However, there are some free tools to provide additional veterinary education:
Vet Med Team 9
Vet Med Team offers courses that work with veterinary companies. These organizations aim to provide additional education so that veterinary professionals can deliver the best animal care possible. The classes are free to enroll in, and you can join anytime.
What courses do vet tech students typically study?
To receive your associate degree in this field, you will start with general education courses such as an introduction to math, English, and applied science. Many programs will require some electives that don’t highlight your specialized field but are good courses to develop other skills and try new things.
As your degree progresses, your classes will become more specific to your area of concentration. These specialized courses might include primary animal nursing care, biochemistry, animal diseases, pharmaceutical, and anesthesia training. Since the best way to learn these skills is to practice hands-on, most veterinary programs require students to complete an internship or externship as part of the required curriculum.
Before receiving your certification and degree, you must also pass a national Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is an examination designed to evaluate entry-level veterinary technicians’ competency to practice and to become credentialed. Successful completion of the VTNE is required for licensure in most states and Canadian provinces.
What career paths do students in vet tech programs typically take?
One thing to remember is the difference between a vet technician and a vet technologist. Earning a degree as a veterinary technician requires a minimum two-year degree through an accredited college, and you must pass the VTNE. A vet technologist requires a minimum four-year degree and has additional certifications and exams in addition to passing the VTNE and earning an associate degree.
The most common route for students who want a career as a veterinarian technician is to receive a two-year degree from a community college or university. This path will allow you to become a vet tech more quickly and begin working in the field as soon as possible.
Beginning your path as a vet tech is an exciting decision and can lead to an enriching and fulfilling career. If you are unsure where to start, you can browse more topics on veterinary practices here and view what job outlook vet professionals have in 2022.
If you’re a veterinary professional looking to create a better experience for your team members or a more powerful vet practice, check out what Weave offers. You can also browse Weave’s Podcast, The Happy Practice Playbook, for more ideas about how to keep your team members happy and create a better patient experience.
What are the best Vet Tech Programs in the US?
San Juan College 10
San Juan College offers an attractive online vet tech program and advertises a higher graduation rate than the national average. Their program provides a valuable education that can be tailored to fit your schedule. San Juan is one of ten nationally accredited online vet tech programs in the US. 11
What is the difference between a vet tech and a vet assistant?
While there are considerable differences between these two roles, the main difference comes down to training and daily responsibilities. A vet tech works with a licensed veterinarian and must pass a certification exam to become a vet tech.
A veterinary assistant does not have to pass an exam and does not work closely with a licensed veterinarian. You can think of it as a stepping stone; someone will likely start as a veterinary assistant and, with additional certifications, can advance to a vet tech.
What is the difference between a vet technician and a vet technologist?
There are a few main differences between the two roles. Becoming certified as a veterinary technician requires a two-year degree, whereas a vet technologist requires a four-year degree. Veterinary technologists must also have more hands-on training and certifications than vet technicians.
Both positions work closely with a veterinarian and provide care to animal patients. However, a vet technologist works closer to a certified veterinarian and is responsible for diagnosing illnesses and injuries.