Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

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Updated December 1, 2022

The best veterinary technician schools and programs get you ready to jump into a rewarding career helping animals as soon as possible. Find the right vet school here.

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Radiologist operated x-ray.

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians with medical tests, surgeries, and other routine services. While veterinarians must complete a doctorate in veterinary medicine, technicians typically earn a two-year degree or certificate in veterinary technology.

The best veterinary technology degrees are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Programs include general coursework in the life sciences, animal husbandry, and veterinary pharmacology.

Veterinary technicians must meet the requirements for licensure in their state. Technicians also need to stay up to date with advancements in the field. The profession requires patience, since technicians engage directly with sick or injured animals. Jobs for veterinary technicians continue to grow much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The following article provides a general overview of the field and ranks the best veterinary technology degrees.

FAQ About Veterinary Tech Programs

How long does it take to complete a veterinary technology program?

Technicians can earn a degree in two years. Technologists generally need four years of study to qualify for licensure.

Do I need a license to be a veterinary technician?

Technicians in most states must meet AVMA's licensure requirements. This includes specific coursework and an exam.

Where do veterinary technicians work?

Technicians work in private veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, laboratories, and university research facilities.

What's the difference between a veterinarian and a veterinary technician?

Veterinarians must complete a doctorate in veterinary medicine. Veterinary technicians only need a two-year degree to qualify for most jobs.

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Career and Salary Outlook for Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians and technologists may follow many career paths. Many work in private veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. Others assist researchers in private laboratories or at university research facilities. Technicians and technologists conduct tests, prepare animals for surgical procedures, and administer medication. Some specialize in areas such as dentistry, anesthesia, or zoological medicine.

The BLS projects strong growth for vet techs from 2019-2029. Pay for veterinary technicians varies by location, experience, and specialty. Technicians who work in research positions earn more than those in clinical positions.

Career Top 10% Median Annual Salary Bottom 10%
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Less than $24,530 $35,320 More than $51,230

Source: BLS

Accreditation for Veterinary Technology Programs

Prospective vet tech students should make sure to attend an accredited school. Top schools hold regional accreditation. This designation comes from credible organizations such as the Higher Learning Commission.
The best veterinary technology programs also hold accreditation from AVMA. This organization makes sure veterinary professionals gain the proper skills. AVMA also ensures that technicians stay current in the field through continuing education.

The best veterinary technology programs hold accreditation from AVMA. This organization maintains standards for veterinary professions to ensure that technicians gain the proper skills. AVMA also ensures that technicians stay current in the field through continuing education.

Veterinary Technician Certification

Individual state regulations vary. Still, each state requires vet techs to gain licensure or certification. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards oversees this certification process. The association verifies that candidates complete AVMA-accredited programs. Certification establishes that a technician can practice their profession.

Most candidates also need to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) to qualify for a job in the field. This exam covers animal care and nursing, anesthesia, and laboratory procedures.

Courses in a Veterinary Technology Program

Most vet tech programs entail classes in anatomy, physiology, and chemistry. They also offer specialized courses. Specialized subjects include veterinary dentistry, pharmacology, and animal husbandry.

Learners study basic medical services, like administering anesthesia or conducting diagnostic testing. Classes teach students to apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to medical situations. Coursework teaches learners to use common veterinary technologies such as X-ray machines.

The courses below are a sample of those offered in veterinary technology programs.

  • Veterinary Pharmacology

    This course covers the development and use of various drugs in veterinary medicine. It prepares technicians to understand antibiotics, antiseptics, and other common veterinary drugs. This course is especially useful, since technicians must administer medications in clinical settings.
  • Introduction to Veterinary Technology

    Most veterinary technology programs offer an introductory course that surveys the field. The class focuses on key terminology in veterinary medicine. Learners study basic aspects of animal reproduction. They also explore animal husbandry and behavior and preventative care. The course also teaches students the history of the field.
  • Veterinary Anesthesiology

    Many of the best veterinary technology degrees include a course on anesthesiology. This class helps students understand how practitioners administer anesthesia to animals. The course also teaches students how to operate common anesthetic technologies.
  • Veterinary Dentistry

    In this course, students learn the key components of veterinary dental care. They study preventative strategies and learn how to identify common dental problems. The class also prepares technicians to assist veterinarians with dental surgeries. Dentistry courses often focus primarily on small and companion animals.
  • Veterinary Clinical Experience

    Veterinary technology programs must incorporate at least one clinical experience. This is necessary to meet AVMA's accreditation standards. To meet this requirement, students may work in a research laboratory . They may also intern at a private clinic. Learners may also work at an animal hospital. Clinical experiences prepare students to take on the various responsibilities of the profession. Many schools ask for more than one clinical experience.

Scholarships for Veterinary Technology Students

Veterinary technology students may qualify for several scholarships. Major organizations like the American Kennel Club sponsor these opportunities. Such scholarships provide support for students enrolled in AVMA-accredited programs. Students may seek additional scholarships from their school.

Doyle L. Shugart Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: The International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories sponsors this scholarship. Vet tech students in their second year of an AVMA-accredited program may apply. Applicants must submit a 250-300 word essay.
Amount: $1,000

AKC/Hartz Veterinary Technician Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The American Kennel Club and The Hartz Mountain Corporation co-sponsor this scholarship. It awards funds to students enrolled in AVMA-accredited programs. The organizations evaluate applicants based on academic achievement and extracurricular activity.
Amount: $1,000 or $2,000

Oxbow Veterinary Technology Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Oxbow Animal Health offers scholarships to veterinary technology students. Candidates must show a strong interest in small or exotic animals. Students submit a resume and one recommendation letter. They must study at an AVMA-accredited program.
Amount: $500

ASAHP Scholarship of Excellence

Who Can Apply: The Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions (ASAHP) offers this scholarship. This award serves students enrolled in various health professions, including veterinary medicine. Students enrolled at any ASAHP member school may apply. Students of any academic level may apply.
Amount: $1,000

Best Veterinary Tech Programs 2021

The following rankings highlight 5 of the best veterinary technology degrees.

#1 Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

Sinclair Community College

  • Dayton, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Sinclair Community College offers 118 associate programs from its Dayton, Ohio, campus, with many options available online. The college's associate degree in veterinary technology introduces students to the fundamentals of the field while also building general skills, such as critical thinking and communication. Candidates can more easily balance their studies with a full- or part-time job because of the program's flexibility.

Alumni of the associate degree program often qualify for entry-level veterinary technology jobs. Learners can add a bachelor's degree to their accomplishments with just two extra years of education. The school's articulation agreements with many of Ohio's four-year institutions allows associate graduates to easily transfer their credits into bachelor's programs.

Sinclair Community College at a Glance:

School Type: Public

Total Associate Programs: 118

Total Online Associate Programs: 14

Undergrad Tuition In State: $3,409

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,676

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $27,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,409
Out-of-state
$6,676
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
18,794
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

Central New Mexico Community College

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

An Albuquerque, New Mexico, school, Central New Mexico Community College offers 74 associate programs, including many virtual options. Students learn fundamentals of the field and build general skills, such as critical thinking and communication. The veterinary technology program's virtual format allows candidates to complete their coursework around a full- or part-time job.

Often, applicants qualify for many entry-level positions in veterinary technology by earning an associate degree. Some learners decide to advance their education by earning a bachelor's degree with just two more years of school. Articulation agreements with many of New Mexico's four-year schools make it easier for associate graduates to transfer their credits into a bachelor's program.

Central New Mexico Community College at a Glance:

School Type: Public

Total Associate Programs: 74

Total Online Associate Programs: 17

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,344

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,104

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $26,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,344
Out-of-state
$7,104
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
23,096
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

Miami Dade College

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Degree-seekers can pick from among 66 associate programs, many available online, at Miami Dade College in Florida. Students in the Vet Tech associate program learn the foundational concepts of the field and strengthen general skills like critical thinking and communication. Candidates can maintain full- or part-time positions while earning their associate degree because of the program's online format.

Entry-level jobs in the veterinary technology field often accept an associate degree as meeting the educational requirements of the position. Continuing their education by earning a bachelor's degree is possible for many learners with just two additional years of study. Articulation agreements with many of Florida's four-year schools make it easier for associate graduates to transfer their credits into a bachelor's program.

Miami Dade College at a Glance:

School Type: Public

Total Associate Programs: 66

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,987

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,947

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $28,800

Average Tuition
In-state
$1,987
Out-of-state
$7,947
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
51,679
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

Portland Community College

  • Portland, OR
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Portland Community College offers 57 associate programs, many of them online, from its campus in Portland, Oregon. Veterinary technology associate degree students get introduced to the core concepts of the field and work on strengthening general skills, such as critical thinking and communication. Candidates can maintain full- or part-time positions while earning their associate degree because of the program's online format.

Those who graduate from an associate program qualify to pursue entry-level veterinary technology positions. Some learners decide to keep going with the education, and they can earn a bachelor's degree after just two more years of school. Associate graduates can easily transfer their credits into a bachelor's program because of the articulation agreements with many four-year schools in Oregon.

Portland Community College at a Glance:

School Type: Public

Total Associate Programs: 57

Total Online Associate Programs: 6

Undergrad Tuition In State: $4,176

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,036

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $32,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,176
Out-of-state
$9,036
Retention Rate
65%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
27,650
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

#5 Best Veterinary Technology Degrees 2022

Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City

  • Kansas City, MO
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Kansas City, Missouri, is home to Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City, featuring 37 associate programs, with many available in an online format. The college's associate degree in veterinary technology introduces students to the fundamentals of the field while also building general skills, such as critical thinking and communication. The program's virtual classes make it easier for candidates to complete coursework while still working full or part time.

Often, applicants qualify for many entry-level positions in veterinary technology by holding an associate degree. Just two additional years of school allows learners to earn a bachelor's degree, as well. Because of articulation agreements with four-year schools throughout Missouri, graduates of the associate program can easily transfer their credits into a bachelor's program.

Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City at a Glance:

School Type: Public

Total Associate Programs: 37

Total Online Associate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $5,490

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,170

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $29,200

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,490
Out-of-state
$7,170
Retention Rate
62%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
15,770
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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