Do you have a passion for animals? Are you looking for a career that will allow you to work with animals on a daily basis?
If so, then becoming a vet tech is a perfect choice. We’ll cover the steps you need to take in order to become a certified vet tech.
What is a Vet Tech?
A veterinary technician is a key member of the veterinary team who works with licensed veterinarians to provide medical care and assistance to animals.
They are trained in medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, animal handling, and nursing care.
They perform routine tests, administer medications and vaccinations, take vital signs, monitor anesthesia and assist in surgery.
Vet techs also educate clients on animal health and nutrition. This career requires a combination of knowledge and compassion as vet techs must have the skills to treat animals while caring for their wellbeing.
Requirements for Vet Tech
Becoming a vet tech requires dedication and hard work. Applicants must obtain 26 points or better for the net ELR2B2 aggregate score (i.e. English). Future vet techs need either a high school diploma or GED certificate.
After that, they must complete an associate degree in veterinary technology and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam.
To remain in good standing, members of professional organizations must take continuing education courses and stay up-to-date on new technology. Vet techs should also be prepared to work evenings, weekends and holidays, as well as stay informed about new job opportunities.
10 Steps become a vet tech
Becoming a vet tech is a rewarding and satisfying career. To be an effective vet tech, one must meet the requirements and successfully complete the steps to become one. The first step is to obtain a high school diploma or GED.
After that, one must earn an associate degree in veterinary technology. Once this is completed, the individual must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam.
Following that, they can become a member of professional organizations such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
They must also gain hands-on experience in a veterinary clinic. This is followed by getting certified, taking continuing education courses and staying up to date on new technology. Vet techs must also be prepared to work evenings, weekends, and holidays.
Finally, it is important for them to stay informed about new job opportunities.
Following these steps will ensure that vet techs have the skills and knowledge necessary to provide top-notch care for their patients.
Step 1: Graduate From High School or Earn a GED
Are you looking to begin a career in veterinary technology? It is an exciting and rewarding field, and there are certain steps to follow in order to become a vet tech. The first step is to graduate from high school or earn a GED.
In addition, you should take courses in science, biology, and computer basics, as these are often useful for vet techs. Once the high school diploma or GED is obtained, it’s time to start thinking about earning an associate degree in veterinary technology.
There are several accredited programs available, and they provide the necessary foundation for a career as a vet tech.
Step 2: Earn an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology
After graduating from high school or earning a GED, the next step to becoming a vet tech is to earn an associate degree in veterinary technology.
Earning an associate’s degree is a great way to get started in the field and provides students with the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to become successful vet techs.
During their associate degree program, students take courses such as biology, anatomy, physiology, and medical terminology. They also learn about animal behavior, medical procedures and treatments, nutrition, pharmacology, and laboratory techniques.
Once they have completed their studies, they will be prepared to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).
Step 3: Pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam
Once you have completed your associate degree in veterinary technology, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
This exam is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and tests your knowledge and competency in the field of veterinary technology.
The exam is comprised of 170 multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as animal nursing, pharmacology, medical math, and laboratory procedures.
To pass the exam, you must earn a minimum score of 450 out of 800. After passing the VTNE, you can apply for state licensing (if required) to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician.
Step 4: Become a Member of Professional Organizations
Once you’ve completed your education and passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam, the next step in becoming a vet tech is to join professional organizations such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA).
Becoming a member of these organizations is beneficial for several reasons. Not only will you gain access to exclusive networking opportunities and job postings, but you will also be part of an organization that works to ensure the highest standards of animal care.
Furthermore, many employers look favorably upon potential hires that are members of professional organizations.
Step 5: Get Hands-On Experience in a Veterinary Clinic
After graduating from an accredited veterinary technology program and passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination, the next step in becoming a veterinary technician is to gain hands-on experience.
Fortunately, many veterinary technology programs offer clinical training on-campus, allowing students to gain valuable practice in a real-world environment.
This type of experience is invaluable for those wishing to pursue a career as a vet tech, as it provides a solid foundation for the practical skills needed to excel in the profession.
In addition, getting hands-on experience in a veterinary clinic can also help you to better understand the day-to-day operations of the clinic, making it easier to transition into your role as a vet tech when you eventually join the team.
Step 6: Consider Pursuing Certification
Once you have completed your program and passed the VTNE, you may choose to pursue certification.
Certification shows employers that you have a higher level of expertise and makes you more marketable. Certification is available through several professional organizations, such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and the Academy of Internal Medicine Technicians (AIMVT).
In order to become certified, you must meet certain educational and training requirements and pass an exam in your chosen area of specialty.
Step 7: Take Continuing Education Courses
Once you’ve completed your associate degree in veterinary technology and passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam, you can start thinking about taking continuing education (CE) courses.
CE courses are offered through professional organizations, such as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These courses are designed to help vet techs stay up-to-date on new technology and techniques, as well as stay informed about new job opportunities in the field.
CE courses can also help vet techs meet their state licensing requirements. From self-guided courses to on-demand webinars, Clinician’s Brief offers the practical veterinary CE you need. With a wide range of CE topics from dentistry to nutrition to emergency medicine, you’re sure to find something that fits your interests and needs.
Get access to more than 50 hours of non-sponsored RACE-approved technical CE for veterinarians and technicians, plus more than 200 courses in other subjects. CE hours are valid in jurisdictions that accept RACE approved CE credits.
Step 8: Stay Up-to-Date on New Technology
As a vet tech, it is important to stay up-to-date on new technology and the advancements in veterinary care.
This will help you to provide the best care for your patients and will also help you to stay ahead of the curve in the job market.
Technology is constantly changing, so it is important to stay informed of the latest developments. This can include attending conferences, taking online courses and reading industry publications.
Additionally, keeping up with new trends in the veterinary field is also beneficial, as it can help you make informed decisions when it comes to patient care.
Step 9: Work Evenings, Weekends and Holidays
In addition to the educational requirements for becoming a vet tech, it’s important to be aware of the potential work schedule.
Vet techs often have to work evenings, weekends, and holidays in order to provide care for animals in need, so it’s important to be prepared for this type of commitment.
The good news is that the hours can vary depending on the clinic or hospital you work in, so you may be able to find a role that fits your lifestyle.
However, it’s important to understand that the job will require flexibility and dedication.
Step 10: Stay Informed About New Job Opportunities
Having a successful career as a vet tech is all about staying informed. Staying up-to-date on new job opportunities can help you stay ahead of the competition and ensure that you don’t miss out on any new opportunities.
Make sure to regularly check job postings for vet tech positions, both online and in newspapers, and keep a lookout for any new openings that may arise.
You should also connect with other vet techs in your area to keep abreast of any job leads.
Additionally, consider joining professional organizations to stay connected with the latest industry news. With the right approach and commitment, you can find the perfect job opportunity to help you reach your career goals.
Tips for Succeeding as a Vet Tech
To succeed as a Vet Tech, it is important to obtain the Veterinary Technician Specialist Certification and understand the importance of taking care of oneself while on the job.
Additionally, vet techs should be well-versed in both clinical and soft skills such as customer service and critical thinking.
With additional education and experience, vet techs can advance to higher-level roles. On the job, vet techs should have a good attitude and approach animals with caution.
Vet techs should also ask other colleagues who have passed the VTNE about their experience and prioritize time management skills while attending classes and taking exams.
Becoming a veterinary technician is a rewarding experience that requires dedication and hard work. It is important to stay informed about the qualifications, certifications, and continuing education courses required to remain a successful vet tech.
With the right combination of skills and experience, along with the right attitude, vet techs can make a significant impact in the lives of animals and their owners.