Veterinary Technology: Essential Information
In addition to traditional coursework, 4-year veterinary technology bachelor's programs often include externships at local animal care facilities or zoos. Students can gain clinical skills in specialized areas, such as equine medicine or exotic animal care. Earning a 4-year bachelor's degree in this field can prepare students for licensure as veterinary technologists, which is required in many states.
Applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, but those who also have an associate's degree in veterinary technology have an advantage in admissions. Students without an associate's degree may be required to complete pre-veterinary technology courses and prerequisites. Some programs require applicants to have some veterinary office experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Technology
Coursework toward a bachelor of veterinary technology degree consists of basic, professional and clinical animal science and veterinary subjects. Typical classes in a vet tech bachelor's degree include:
- Veterinary biochemistry and clinical pathology
- Veterinary radiology
- Animal nursing and dentistry
- Veterinary pharmacology
- Animal anatomy and physiology
Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology
A BS in veterinary technology is a four-year degree that prepares students to work as a veterinary technician. Courses offered to veterinary students in BS program could include:
- Introduction to veterinary technology
- Veterinary pharmacology
- Veterinary anesthesia and surgery
- Veterinary hematology
Curriculum may also include core math and humanities courses, a choice of major-related electives, and an internship experience.
Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
In contrast to a BS, a BAS in Veterinary Technology typically only takes two years to complete, but may require applicants to already hold an associate's degree in the field. Classes taken for a BAS may include:
- Radiology and clinical imaging
- Veterinary microbiology
- Shelter medicine
- Veterinary forensics
- Companion animal dermatology
- Equine lameness and treatment modalities
Bachelors in Veterinary Technology: Online Options
Online degrees are also available for students pursuing a career in veterinary technology. Online degrees may or may not require an internship hours to be completed on location.
Career Outlook and Salary Info for Vet Techs
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts job growth of 16% for veterinary technicians and technologists from 2019 to 2029. These workers earned an annual median wage of $35,320 in May 2019. Graduates of veterinary technology programs have the knowledge to work in a variety of environments, such as veterinary hospitals, laboratories, wildlife centers, zoos and pharmaceutical companies. Many veterinary technicians decide to go on to veterinary school.
Licensure Information for Vet Techs
Most graduates of veterinary technology bachelor's degree programs are eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org). This credentialing exam demonstrates entry-level knowledge and skills in veterinary technology. Successful completion of the VTNE is required by some states for licensure.
A bachelor's programs in veterinary technology prepares students for licensure as veterinary technicians through animal science courses and hands-on training. The outlook for the veterinary technician field points to ample job opportunities. Graduates of these programs may also consider pursuing doctoral degrees in veterinary medicine.
How long does it take to get a bachelor's degree in veterinary technology?
A bachelor of science degree takes four years to earn, but a bachelor's of applied science typically only takes two. However, BAS degrees may require applicants to already hold an associate's degree.
What kinds of courses do vet tech students take?
Bachelor of applied science degrees typically focus on veterinary classes like microbiology and medicine, while a bachelor of science may require students to take core courses outside of their major, such as literature or math.
What are the career prospects for vet techs with a bachelor's degree?
The job market for vet techs with a degree is expected to grow 16% over the coming decade, which is much faster than average. The median pay for vet techs in 2019 was $35,320.