Veterinary Technician School

The care that people lavish on their pets has never been so luxurious. They pamper pets with gourmet food, designer clothes, and the latest in medical treatments. Veterinary medicine is not only for the most pampered of animals. It plays an important role in the livestock industry, in laboratory research, and in such specialty venues as zoos, aquariums, and circuses. Veterinary technicians, also known as vet technicians, are professionals who assist veterinarians. Many animals require more than one person to restrain or handle them while they are being examined. Vet technicians also perform many treatment procedures, keep records, and handle ailing animals alone. They must learn their skills at veterinary technician schools.

A career as a vet technician has its benefits. The mean average wage for veterinary technicians is $31,030 per year, or $14.92 per hour, according to the latest findings released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The top paid workers in the industry are making well over $40,000. Working in certain fields, like regulating agriculture for state and federal governments, means an even higher wage. On top of that, earning a degree as a vet technician means that you will find employment relatively easy to obtain. There are not enough vet technicians graduating from accredited programs to fill all of the positions open in the industry. Demand is far outstripping supply. This includes those who have graduated from both two- and four-year programs. It also means that vet technician schools should be making it as easy as possible to apply and matriculate.

There are two basic types of vet technician schools. Some have two-year programs while others have four-year programs. Vet technician schools that qualify as technical schools and community colleges usually offer an associateís degree or a certificate to vet technicians. They require applicants to have a high school degree or its equivalent in order to matriculate. Colleges and universities have degree programs in veterinary science for vet technicians that confer a bachelorís degree. These typically take around four years to finish. Colleges and universities have more stringent requirements for matriculation. Many require standardized test and a grade point average that matches the cohort of incoming students. In addition, two-year degree programs often have a lower cost per credit than four-year degree programs. Lower costs mean fewer and less expensive loan payments. These are important career considerations.

Vet technician schools train their candidates in both general medicine and the special requirement of animal diagnosis and treatment. Both two-year and four-year degrees offer basic science classes that must be mastered to be a medical professional. These would include biology, organic chemistry, pharmacology, and, for vet technician schools, zoology. Candidates who have not shown an aptitude for science in high school will need to adapt, as these courses are mandatory. Many courses will deal with animal treatment under such titles as veterinary pathology, animal care and management, animal behavior, and animal pharmacology. Veterinary technicians, who are often given the responsibility of looking after animals when they are not sedated, must master the principles of normal animal behavior and control. There should also be coursework in professional communication, written expression, and veterinary procedures. These professional courses are essential because vet technicians work under the direction of a veterinarian and communication must be easy and clear. Finally, there are clinical courses performed in a lab or a clinic. These are the practical courses in animal treatment where vet technicians learn to perform the hands-on medical duties that make up the core of their work, including drawing blood to performing physical examinations on animals.

Last Updated: 05/22/2014