As we know that young people enrolling in any kind of education spend hours searching the web for the most suitable program, we are here to help you.
We offer you all the necessary information related to accredited online vet tech programs which we are sure you will find useful and will save your time and effort.
So as to meet the standards of modern education, schools across the U.S. continue to offer students the flexibility of online learning with hands-on training which is an integral part of these studies as it is needed to work with animals.
Table of Contents
- 1 Earning Your Vet Tech Degree Online
- 2 Online Vet Tech Degree Options
- 3 Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees Programs
- 4 Online Classes & On-Site Clinicals
- 5 How Much Does Online Vet Tech School Cost?
- 6 Getting Your Professional Vet Tech Certification
- 7 Job & Salary Outlook: What Can I Do with a Vet Tech Degree?
- 8 How Much Do Vet Techs Earn?
- 9 What Career Paths are Available for Vet Techs?
- 10 Veterinary Technician Student Resources
Earning Your Vet Tech Degree Online
If you are wondering which of these schools and programs are the best to begin your vet tech journey with confidence, we have listed the 2-year and 4-year schools with the best combinations of affordability, student support, online learning, and academic excellence that are worth your consideration.
San Juan College’s Veterinary Technology Distance Learning Program (VTDL) offers an online Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree.
Besides getting the basic knowledge and skills needed to become a veterinary technician, this program qualifies graduates to sit for the National Veterinary Technology Examination as it has the AVMA accreditation.
So as to graduate, you will need to complete 76-80 credit hours of general education and major-specific coursework that can be completed in two years if you enroll full-time.
A part-time study is also an option.
The program consists of online coursework, as well as labs and other hands-on experiences which must be finished at an approved veterinary practice site, normally in the student’s local area.
Cedar Valley College in Lancaster, TX offers an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degree at the price of $3,540.
The program is available from Cedar Valley Community college and it prepares graduates to perform a range of technical duties after the completion of 60 credit hours of coursework.
The education consists of general education courses as well as major-specific veterinary classes and labs.
Some parts of the program are available online, but students are required to complete in-person, clinical/work experiences in a veterinary setting or under the supervision of a clinical professional.
It takes less than two years to finish the studies if you are a full-time student.
AAS degree-earners are eligible to sit for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Exam leading to becoming a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).
Online Vet Tech Degree Options
Due to the fact that veterinary technicians have hands-on jobs, many people wonder how it is possible to finish the courses online.
They must know how to safely restrain animals, administer medications, and perform basic laboratory tests and all these skills certainly cannot be achieved online.
What you need to know is that all accredited online vet tech programs include some in-person requirements and the kind of requirements depends on the school’s curriculum. The difference between online and on-campus programs is the flexibility offered by distance education degrees, considering the fact that online programs offer more control over how and when students gain clinical experience.
Students must work or volunteer in an approved veterinary clinic for a minimum number of hours, but it is up to them to determine what schedule is convenient for them.
With academic courses completed entirely online, students can work at a full-time job during the day and study on the nights and weekends.
This means that online degrees can fall into one of two categories.
Mostly online – Those are vet tech programs which offer the maximum flexibility. They can be offered in an accelerated format or students can choose to reach their education on a part-time basis.
The education is provided through a combination of online textbooks, discussion boards, and multi-media presentations, allowing students to collaborate with one another and with faculty members using digital resources.
You need to have in mind that most online programs still have clinical requirements, which can be completed at an off-campus veterinary clinic.
The best thing is that the schedule depends on the student’s own choosing.
On-campus laboratory work may be limited to just a few times per semester.
Partially online- these are programs that often allow students to complete academic classes and general education requirements through distance education courses, but they have the obligation of traveling to campus to finish clinical requirements, making them less flexible than most online programs.
These programs do not require students to volunteer or work at a veterinary clinic while earning their degree.
Partially online programs are designed for those individuals who have limited hours to be on campus each week, so they can focus on clinical classes when they are on campus.
Al the other program requirements can be completed on a schedule that is convenient for them online.
Associate and Bachelor’s Degrees Programs
When starting education, everybody is interested in how long this process lasts.
Now, you are probably wondering how long it takes to become a vet tech, and we have to tell you that it depends on the type of degree program you pursue.
In vet tech schools you can choose between two degree options: associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees.
An associate degree can be successfully completed in two years while a bachelor’s degree is a four-year program.
However, you need to bear in mind that the timeframe is not the only thing that makes a difference between an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree.
Associate degree – Most accredited schools in veterinary technology offer an associate degree which is designed to cover all the basics needed to work in private clinical practice.
The curriculums will cover small and large animal care, surgical procedures, pharmacology, and dentistry among other topics related to vet technician careers.
The only way of being admitted to an online vet tech associate degree program is by completing some general education classes.
Students may do that by first enrolling in their selected school in a non-major program, complete their prerequisite classes ad apply for admission to the vet tech program.
An associate degree is designed and considered an ideal solution for people who know they want a hands-on career with animals and would like to enter the workforce quickly.
Bachelor’s degree – this kind of degree is often chosen by individuals who want to be veterinary technologists or who would like to become veterinarians, that is, who are determined to continue their education.
Online bachelor’s degrees may require students to possess an associate degree in veterinary technology so that they can be admitted to the program.
This is a four-year degree program that will provide more advanced education in the care of animals, meaning that the enrollees will not achieve skills needed to work in private clinical practices, but they will also be prepared to work with laboratory animals in research facilities.
A bachelor’s degree program graduates may become veterinary clinic administrators, pharmaceutical sales representatives, or instructors in associate degree programs.
Online Classes & On-Site Clinicals
Even though individual classes can vary, the majority of online vet tech schools cover the same basic topics as all of them are there to equip students with knowledge and skills to provide both routine care as well as work in high-stress, emergency situations.
Classes are broken down into online, academic courses, and on-site clinical work.
Vet tech online classes are usually offered so as to provide a basic knowledge that students will be able to put to work in a clinical setting later on.
They will learn the following:
Animal Anatomy: One of the first classes a vet tech student will take as it teaches enrollees about body systems, such as skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and urinary and students become able to identify tissues and organs and understand how systems are interrelated.
Animal Diseases: Students learn about common animal diseases and their immune response and by the end of this course, they will not only be able to identify diseases but also give treatments and preventive measures.
Pharmacology and Toxicology: Veterinary care heavily relies on pharmaceuticals to fight against illness and maintain good health, so vet tech students must get familiar with proper administration and potential side effects of veterinary drugs, they must be able to calculate proper dosages, recognize various drug classifications, and understand the potential danger.
Animal Behavior: As vet techs will be working with all kinds of animals, they need to understand how animals behave and proper handling techniques, especially the animal responses to stressful situations. Courses on animal behavior may not only focus on cats and dogs but on other species as well.
Veterinary Office Procedures: The main job of veterinary technicians is in the exam room, so they need to be equipped with skills related to taking notes, inputting patient records, and responding to client concerns. Courses in office procedures cover the proper way to do these obligations while at the same time maintaining patient confidentiality and complying with any government requirements.
When it comes to clinical requirements, the main goal of these courses is to ensure students are able to put the achieved knowledge into practice.
Here are three lab classes you may take as part of a vet tech program:
Anatomy Lab: An online class in anatomy has to be followed by an anatomy lab. This hands-on class may include dissection and necropsy procedures and it is one of the few on-campus requirements of online degree programs.
Emergency and First Aid: This is necessary so that the students can learn how to respond to a number of emergency situations. It will cover topics such as cardiac arrest, shock, poisonings, and trauma. Future vet techs will know what to do with the animals in an emergency situation and administer appropriate first aid treatments. This clinical requirement can often be met at a local veterinary clinic where a student is working or volunteering.
Clinical Procedures: During this clinical requirement, students will be taught the basic lab techniques and diagnostic methods and some of the classes are hematology, organ function tests, and post mortem examinations. Also, requirements may be done at an approved veterinary clinic.
How Much Does Online Vet Tech School Cost?
When enrolling in any kind of educational institution, each student’s main concern is how to pay for education.
The great thing to mention is that many online vet tech programs are offered by community colleges whose tuition rates are lower than at four-year schools.
Tuition and fees for in-state students at community colleges average $3,660 per year while out-of-state students pay an average of $8,660.
Average tuition rates at four-year colleges and universities range from $10,230 to $35,830.
The price highly depends on your residency status and whether a school is public or private.
It is true that vet tech programs are expensive, but there are numerous financial aid options to pay for higher education if you qualify for them.
Getting Your Professional Vet Tech Certification
In case you decided that earning a vet tech degree is what you want, you should bear in mind that this is only one step in beginning your career.
After finishing school, you need to be licensed to work in your state and what the requirements are for professional credentialing depends on the state you live in.
Almost all jurisdictions use the Veterinary Technician National Exam as a prerequisite to licensing and only those who graduate from an accredited vet tech program are eligible to take the VTNE.
The exam is computer-based and it is offered during three windows each year.
It approximately takes three hours to complete and includes 170 multiple-choice questions.
150 questions are scored and 20 are pilot questions that may be used on future exams.
The exam is offered in both English and French.
The application for the exam requires the submission of a copy of the official final transcript and payment of a $325 fee.
If your application is accepted, you can schedule your exam time at a local testing center.
An official score will be provided immediately at the conclusion of the exam.
Even though the VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards this is not the organization that will provide certification to you.
Future licenses vet techs need to send the official score reports to their state veterinary licensing board whose job is to approve vet technicians to work within their borders.
Each board has its own licensing criteria, but there are some common requirements across jurisdictions.
First, licensing is allowed only to those who have graduated from an accredited vet tech program and passed the VTNE.
Many states have a separate state licensing exam that is not focused on clinical skills but rather an applicant’s knowledge of state laws.
Licensure applicants are supposed to pay an additional fee, pass a background check, submit a letter of recommendation, or meet other criteria.
Our suggestion is to check with your state veterinary licensing board for the specific requirements in your area.
Job & Salary Outlook: What Can I Do with a Vet Tech Degree?
You could not find a better period to start your education towards becoming a vet tech, as job prospects look bright for veterinary technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The government agency believes that this occupation will experience 20 percent growth and taking into consideration that only those who earn the appropriate education and certification will be eligible for the newly open jobs, employment opportunities should be good in the coming years.
Vet techs can be employed by private clinics, animal hospitals, and laboratories, as well as colleges or social advocacy groups such as humane societies.
When it comes to their shifts, depending on where they work, they might have night, weekend, or holiday hours, especially those working in 24-hour clinics.
How Much Do Vet Techs Earn?
The average salary for veterinary technicians and technologists is $33,400, according to the BLS.
This cannot be exactly stated, being that the salaries can vary significantly depending on numerous factors.
The salary will be higher for those who have years of experience or work night shifts.
Generally speaking, the lowest salary of a vet tech is estimated to be $22,880 while the top 10 percent vet tech made more than $49,350.
We need to mention that choosing the place to work will affect your future salary, as those vet techs who work in research facilities may earn more than technicians employed by private practices.
Also, those vet techs working in higher education as college instructors tend to have higher salaries.
What Career Paths are Available for Vet Techs?
It is good to know that by earning a vet tech degree you will possess all the skills needed to work in one of the following specialized fields, thus gaining a higher salary.
Critical Care – Critical care technicians are employed at emergency clinics and their main job is to assist in treating seriously injured or ill animals.
Dentistry – Dental vet technicians can look for a job in both private veterinary clinics and specialists and their duty will be to assist with routine cleanings and other oral care.
Anesthesia – Some vet techs specialize in caring for animals before, during, and after receiving anesthesia.
Zoological – Some vet techs decide to take positions at zoos and wildlife parks where they care for exotic species.
Veterinary Technician Student Resources
These resources provide more information for both students, already established vet technicians, and others interested in this career path.