If you are planning to join one of the many vet technician programs available today, it is best to know what you will be getting into. Do not just sign up for one because everybody else is. There are a lot of veterinary technician programs out there so choosing the right one can be quite arduous, but if you know what you want then at least half of the job is done.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) which is responsible for accrediting programs related to veterinary technicians. If you want to become a vet tech, you must first get into a program duly accredited by the AVMA-CVTEA. Their website, www.avma.org, provides a list of accredited programs by state so no matter where you live in the United States, there is an accredited program in your area or at least in an area near you.
Veterinary technicians are required to possess skills and knowledge in all aspects of animal care. That is why vet technician programs should be able to provide a wide range of knowledge to the individual studying to become a certified veterinary technician in the future. Some of the things included in the program are the following:
- Veterinary Health Care
- Veterinary Pharmacology
- Veterinary Radiographic Imaging
- Veterinary Nursing Techniques
- Animal Husbandry
- Surgical Techniques/Surgical Preparation
- Administration of Drugs
- Laboratory Techniques
Some universities offering Vet Tech programs require potential students to have college-level subject area experience in science classes such as microbiology, biology and chemistry. If the program that you have looked into has this as a part of their requirement, you can enroll at your local community college to take these courses. Other classes which could greatly help you become a vet tech are those dealing with math, anatomy and the like.
There are various degree options available for you, should you decide to enroll in a school offering a veterinary technician program. Some vet techs enter the profession armed with an associate’s degree in veterinary technology which takes about 16 to 24 months to complete. There are those who opt to obtain a bachelor’s degree program for 4 years. Naturally, a higher degree would equate to a higher salary and if you want higher compensation compared to your other vet tech counterparts, further education is one path you will want to take.
Some universities offer distance learning options for the vet tech students but while the theory part of the course can be taken from the comforts of home, hands-on experience is still required. In fact, it is a very vital part of a vet tech’s education program.
Dozens of universities and schools located all over the United States offer vet technician programs. The difficult task is in choosing from among the many options available. Education is an investment and understandably, you would want to make sure that your investment is worth your time, money and effort. So how do you choose from the many schools offering vet tech programs? Here are some questions you may want to ask yourself:
- Will the program thoroughly prepare me for the licensing or certification exam?
- Is the school duly accredited to offer the Vet Tech program?
- Is an externship, internship, practicum or preceptorship program offered by the school?
An internship or externship program is very important as this allows the student to have suitable hands-on experience in being a veterinary technician. Accredited schools are required to include hands-on training for their vet tech students.
Vet Tech education is your first step toward becoming a full-fledged veterinary technician so do not take this for granted. The theories that you will learn and the skills that you will develop will become important tools to your success. An excellent vet tech is not only knowledgeable theory-wise, but he or she must also possess the appropriate skill set to fully succeed in the field. So the best piece of advice that you can get is this: choose a school with duly-accredited vet technician programs which provide excellent education and a worthwhile learning experience to its students. If you keep this in mind, you’ll never go wrong.