How Much Does It Cost to Become a Veterinary Technician?

I recently learned about the differences between a Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Assistant.

Some schools charge just as much tuition to become a Vet Tech as they do a Vet Assistant, so you might as well train for the Vet Tech position.

The Veterinary Technician Training should prepare you for the following tasks:

  • To take the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) exam
  • To sit for and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)
  • Potential entry into a four-year undergraduate Veterinarian program
  • Pursuance of a specialization (ex: emergency care or internal medicine)
  • Diagnose animals and assist with treatments
  • Identify and report animal conditions
  • Bathe and groom pets
  • Trim nails of people’s beloved “fur babies”
  • Collect testing samples and take X-rays
  • Administer vaccines and anesthesia

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can make about $10,000 more working as a Vet Tech than as an assistant.

Also, keep in mind that the time it takes to study to become an assistant or a technician only differs by about six to 12 months.

So What Exactly Is The Veterinarian Technician School Cost Breakdown?

The information I am reporting includes what you would pay for tuition, fees, or both for one semester.

It reflects what you may pay for attending school full-time from sometime in 2022 to the end of 2023.

These figures do not account for the costs of books, scrubs for your clinicals, or any other supplies you must pay for.

For Four-Year Training

I recommend attending a four-year bachelor’s degree training program if you want to become a licensed veterinarian someday.

Keep in mind, however, if you want to earn a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (DVM), that will take you up to eight years.

These four-year universities have lower costs than some of the other schools, but that doesn’t mean low quality.

Some states just don’t charge as much for a well-rounded education as others do.

I found this information directly on school websites published from 2022-2023:

  • North Carolina State University – This Raleigh, NC school’s non-resident yearly tuition and fees estimate is a bit steep at $30,869 (about $15,434 per semester). However, you’re in good hands if you’re from NC, having to only pay about $9,128 for the year ($4,564 per semester).
  • Purdue University – In LaFayette, Indiana, Purdue University offers in-state tuition of $4,996 for a semester including activity and fitness fees. Out-of-state tuition, not including fees, is about $14,397. International students would have to pay about $15,552 per term.
  • University of Georgia – This Athens, GA university charges about $4,895 per semester for state residents. Non-residents must pay around $14,515. This doesn’t include the required fees usually assigned by most schools along with tuition.

For Two-Year Training

You will find a vast range of costs for two-year veterinary Technician training.

For instance, Cedar Valley College offers a two-year Veterinary Technology program for $1,999/semester.

They sometimes even offer deals that make about $400 less than this.

The total cost of this Cedar Valley two-year program sponsored by Penn Foster is $4,600-$6,800.

The average cost for this training is only $133 per credit hour.

I assume it’s legit because Penn Foster dominates online school search engine results quite a bit.

Still, check if it will help you meet your career goals.

The program description does say it prepares you to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

This particular credential is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, by the way.

It’s one important step toward state licensing.

Your Penn Foster/Cedar Valley two-year training also prepares you for daily vet work.

It even includes pharmacology information.

For Earning a Certificate

Certificate training usually applies to becoming a Veterinary Assistant, not a Veterinary Technician.

However, it’s a fast way to start earning a living while you gain experience caring for animals under the supervision of a licensed animal doctor.

Certificate training, such as what Animal Behavior College or Penn Foster provides, ranges from $799-$1089.

Some training courses designed to prepare you to become a Vet Assistant may also count towards a Veterinary Technology or DVM degree.

What Are Some Additional Veterinarian Technician Costs?

Licensing costs for Veterinary Technicians typically range from about $100-$300 for the exam fees.

License fees that also require state board examination separate from NAVTA testing may total around $200, but some states may charge less or more.

Employers typically cover the cost of any sterilization supplies you need for work as a Vet Tech.

However, you may have to at least pay for your scrubs or lab coats at least while in training.

I estimate the total cost for books and supplies to total $1,500-$3,600, according to Cost Helper.

Paid uniforms may be one of the benefits that some veterinarian practices offer to their workers though.

That’s one primary consideration in addition to your salary, which could range from about $28K-$48K per year.