How long does it take to become a vet tech? Most interested candidates often ask this question. Well, you must know the time commitment for this occupation.
Such knowledge will help you decide whether your career path is correct.
How Long To Become A Vet Tech
Do you want to help veterinarians treat sick or injured animals? Then, consider becoming a vet tech. These experts are in high demand, considering the industry’s rapid growth.
But before entering this profession, you’ll need some training on the job and a certification. This will aid you in learning the critical skills necessary to join the industry.
Who is a Veterinary Assistant?
This is a healthcare expert who helps care for animals under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
They handle several clinical and admin duties to help the industry run smoothly. One of their responsibilities includes cleaning and disinfecting areas of the facility.
They also collect blood and stool samples for testing and administer medications as the veterinarian prescribes.
Booking appointments and billing, calming stressed or upset animals, weighing animals during examinations, and preparing animals for surgery are additional duties of these experts.
You can receive training in this field at colleges and universities or enroll in online vet tech programs.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinary Technician?
Generally, it takes 2–3 years to finish a training program in this field and get certified. Most associate degrees in veterinary technology can be completed in two years of full-time study.
A bachelor’s degree will be appropriate for those qualifying for advanced roles. Such programs take around four years to finish on a full-time basis.
Meanwhile, you must know that the exact time you’ll commit to becoming a vet tech depends on a few factors—your choice of education, institution, and state requirements.
For instance, interested candidates can gain work experience without satisfying the academic essentials.
How long is the vet tech program?
It would be best to familiarize yourself with the academic credentials you need to join the vet tech field. That will help you decide which one suits your career needs.
There are three ways you can enter this field. These include a high school diploma, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree in vet tech.
High School Diploma
Obtaining this certificate will provide you with a solid background in science. You’ll offer biology, physics, chemistry, and other science-related courses.
These courses will equip you with foundational knowledge and prepare you for vet tech training. Gaining experience in animal science is essential for becoming an expert, not just a high school diploma.
Associate Degree in Health
An associate degree is also another way to enter the field. Once you’ve obtained your high school diploma, you can get such credentials at a certified college or university.
As stated earlier, it takes around two years to finish such programs. However, some accelerated vet tech programs can be completed in less time.
While completing your associate degree in this field, you’ll learn the foundations of animal pharmacology. Other areas include clinical practices, vet hospital management, animal disease, and animal behavior.
You can enroll for your bachelor’s degree or seek certification at the end of your studies.
Bachelor’s Degree in Vet Tech
A bachelor’s degree in vet tech is essential for those seeking advanced roles in the field.
You can obtain such credentials from tech schools, community colleges, universities, and specialty schools. The study duration is about four years under full-time study.
Entry conditions include having an associate degree or high school diploma, letters of recommendation, a passing academic transcript, meeting minimum entry conditions, etc.
However, you must ensure you obtain your bachelor’s degree in schools certified by AVMA, CVTEA, or other accreditation agencies.
After completing your academic requirements, you must obtain hands-on experience in vet tech specialty areas. You can receive such training at an animal hospital or related facility.
Most associate and bachelor’s degree programs include this part of their curriculum. It would be best if you were prepared to spend more hours outside your scheduled class time.
Clinical experience is immensely critical when becoming a vet tech. You’ll have the chance to work with various animals and experience several aspects of the animal clinic.
You can also assist with veterinary tasks such as washing animals, taking blood samples, preparing animals for surgery, and more. After gaining such experiences, you can further your education or earn certification.
Certification for Vet Tech
After meeting any of the academic requirements above, you can obtain a professional attestation.
Such credentials will showcase your skills and field knowledge to prospective employers. It will also increase your chances of getting hired and set you apart from other job seekers.
Some certifications you can obtain include AVA, ALAT, LAT, and LATG.
Two recognized agencies provide these credentials, which include NAVTA and AALS. Processing these qualifications will take around six months to one year.
Meanwhile, every state has unique criteria for receiving vet tech attestation. However, you’ll need to hold a certificate or associate degree in the field and gain hands-on experience during or after your studies.
You’ll also need to write; passing the professional exams is another essential requirement.
About the Certification Examination for Vet Tech
The certification test for experts in this field comprises 100–170 multiple-choice questions to be answered in under three hours. AAVSB administers it, and you can apply for the exams via the official web page.
This test aims to evaluate your knowledge in some critical fields.
These include animal care and nursing, anesthesia, pharmacology, dentistry, laboratory procedures, and more.
Some areas where exam questions will be asked include assisting with surgeries, handling animals, administering medications, and understanding animal nutrition.
Additional locations include maintaining patient records and information and working with vet techs and equipment.
Once you pass the test, you’ll be issued your desired certification. You can then launch your career in vet tech. But after some years, you’ll be required to update your qualifications.
While doing that, you’ll be asked to pay a renewal fee and complete some hours of continuing education, among other essentials.
Here, we have seen the average vet tech schooling length.
It pays to become a veterinary technician because the occupation is fast-growing. More and more people are joining the industry to tap into its job security and high remuneration.
Many candidates are curious about the duration required to become vet techs, typically 2-3 years.