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How to Prepare for a Career as a Veterinary Technician

Considering a degree as a veterinary technician?   Wondering how to prepare for this career?  Many people are in the same position and want to know the steps they need to take to make the transition.    Here are five points to help you on your journey.  

This article was inspired by reading the article How To Become A Veterinary Technician.

1. Future veterinary technicians must be detail oriented, sympathetic, compassionate, gentle individuals who work well in groups. Students who aspire to become veterinary technicians may prepare while in high school by taking courses in: biology, chemistry, health, psychology, mathematics, English, physical education, and business courses when available.

2. An associates degree prepares a student for a career in veterinary technology. Traditional and online two year degree programs accredited by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) allow students an educational foundation to base future educational and career goals upon. Students study courses like: biology, animal nutrition, animal disease, anatomy and physiology of domestic animals, companion animal behavior, chemistry, laboratory techniques and procedures, animal parasitology, handling and care of exotic animals, microbiology, and veterinary practice management.

3. An internship, externship, or clinical experience program allows graduates from an associates degree program to test their professional capabilities. Students work closely under the supervision of veterinarians within a variety of settings to gain work experience and training necessary for certification and licensing processes as well for completion of college level training programs. Individuals in veterinary technician training programs may complete their clinical experience at research facilities, zoos, wildlife facilities, or private veterinary practices.

4. Completing class room training and clinical experience allows students in veterinary technician programs to sit for certification and/or licensing exams. Most states and organizations of employment require graduates to complete American Veterinary Medical Association certification tests administered by the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. The certification and licensing exams compose of oral, written, and practical tests designed to allow students to demonstrate skills acquired through training and clinical programs.

5. Students who successfully complete an associates degree program, clinical experience, and certification exams may advance studies to higher degree programs. Individuals may further studies into traditional or online bachelor degree programs geared toward veterinary technician training. Candidates within bachelor degree programs may work as veterinary technicians while expanding educational skills in courses like: veterinary biochemistry, veterinary clinical pathology, veterinary radiology, parasitology, animal nursing, veterinary dentistry, animal husbandry, veterinary pharmacology, ethics and jurisprudence in veterinary medicine, veterinary office management, necropsy techniques, surgical assisting, hematology, radiography, and principles of veterinary anatomy and physiology. After completing a specialized clinical experience and certification process as determined by state and facility regulations, students can gain employment or advance studies to graduate or doctoral degrees within the field of veterinary medicine.

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