10 Best Vet Tech Programs

Become Team
Become Team
December 7, 2021

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The average pay for a vet tech is $37,860 a year. To be a veterinary technologist or technician, you'll need a bachelor's or associate degree, respectively. However, many trade schools and community colleges also offer veterinary technology programs to help you become a veterinary assistant.

Read on to learn all about the best vet tech programs, or find one of the top vet tech schools near you.

How to Choose the Right Vet Tech School

Finding the best veterinary technology schools can take a little bit of research. First, make sure your program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This ensures you're receiving industry-standard instruction.

Also, to make sure you arrive at the best vet tech school, make sure it:

How to Become a Vet Tech

Becoming a vet tech requires students to either pursue a veterinary technologist degree or a veterinary technician associate degree. Technologist degrees require a 4-year education at a college or university. Technician degrees require a 2-year education at a community college.

After obtaining either a bachelor's or associate degree, you must take your state's licensing exam to work as a technologist or technician. Most states use the American Association of Veterinary State Boards' national exam. The exam costs $230.

Before working in the field, many vet techs choose to do paid internships or externships. Under an experienced veterinary technician or technologist's guidance, students learn the ins and outs of the profession and helpful insights into unusual species.

You can also get your start in the field as a veterinary assistant, which typically involves a less time-intensive trade school education.

Other Ways to Become a Vet Tech

All future vet techs must attend an accredited school and pass the licensing exam before working as either a technician or technologist. It's not possible to bypass schooling and take the exam.

Many vet techs choose to go back to school to become veterinarians. You can put many of your classes and credits towards a veterinary degree. However, to become a veterinarian requires a bachelor's degree and a vet school degree, which is another 4-year degree. Once finished, you will be a doctor of veterinary medicine.

Financial Aid for Your Vet Tech Program

Vet Tech Scholarships

Walkin' Pets Veterinarian & Rehab/Vet Tech Scholarships

Oxbow Animal Health Veterinary Technology Scholarship

FAQs on Veterinary Technician Programs

Do you have to go to school to become a vet tech?

Yes, you have to go to school to become a vet tech. This is true for both technicians and technologists.

What do you learn in vet tech school?

Students in vet tech school study animal physiology, pathology, parasitology, animal dentistry, and medical calculations, just to name a few. The best vet tech schools also provide internship and externship opportunities.

How long is vet technologist school?

An associate degree requires two years of study. A bachelor's degree requires four years of study. Internships and externships may require additional time. If you're going to school to become a veterinary assistant, expect to spend less than a year studying.

How much is vet tech school?

Prices vary from school to school and program to program. To find the best vet tech programs, determine which degree you want — a veterinary technician or a veterinary technologist degree. Once you know, determine the cost per credit hour at schools you are considering. As you shop around, you will notice big price differences.

The schools on our list of the best 10 vet tech programs don't exceed $15,000 net price. They average just $10,123.

The cost of a bachelor's degree is a bit different. Living on campus versus off-campus, private versus public, etc. All of these variables alter the final price tag by a significant margin. Nevertheless, the average American family pays around $28,123 per year for a four-year degree, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. After four years, that's a total of $112,492.

10 Best Vet Tech Programs

The best vet tech programs prepare students for careers as veterinary technicians, technologists, or assistants. Each program on our list is accredited by the industry-standard American Veterinary Medical Association to offer the correct education.

The 10 best vet tech programs also:

Here are 10 of the best vet tech programs in alphabetical order:

Butte County Regional Occupation Program Chico, CA

School type: Public
Net price: up to $2,990
Graduation rate: 87%

Butte County Regional Occupational Program offers a Veterinary Technology program for you to become a Certified Veterinary Assistant. It takes 24 weeks to complete and includes on-the-job training at a veterinary practice. The program also counts for six credits towards a Veterinary Technician program at Yuba College.

Carver Career Center Charleston, WV

School type: Public
Net price: $11,593
Graduation rate: 84%

Carver Career Center offers an associate degree program in Veterinary Technology. You can complete the program in two years, and you'll learn everything you need to know about working in a veterinary practice as a technician.

Colby Community College Colby, KS

School type: Public
Net price: $9,655
Graduation rate: 54%

Colby Community College offers three veterinary technology programs:

  • The Veterinary Nursing associate degree
  • The Vet Nurse Office Assistant technical certificate
  • The Veterinary Office Assistant certificate of completion

Check out their website to determine the best option for you (they also offer each program online).

Fox College Bedford Park, IL

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $13,195
Graduation rate: 78%

Fox College has a Veterinary Technology program to help you become a veterinary technician. You can complete the program in 18 months, and Fox College has an on-site kennel for you to practice animal care.

Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI

School type: Public
Net price: $10,804
Graduation rate: 55%

Fox Valley Technical College has a Veterinary Technician associate degree program with a low student-to-faculty ratio. They only accept 26 students each fall, so you'll have the one-on-one time you need with your instructor.

International Business College-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $14,672
Graduation rate: 69%

International Business College in Indianapolis offers a Veterinary Technology program to train to become a veterinary technician.

Lancaster County Career and Technology Center Willow Street, PA

School type: Public
Net price: $7,324
Graduation rate: 72%

Lancaster County Career and Technology Center's Veterinary Technology program includes an eight to 10-week externship.

Northeast Community College Norfolk, NE

School type: Public
Net price: $8,813
Graduation rate: 53%

Northeast Community College offers a Veterinary Technology program for future veterinary technicians. Northeast has a new veterinary technology facility where students can work hands-on with animals.

Vet Tech Institute Pittsburgh, PA

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $14,683
Graduation rate: 72%

Vet Tech Institute in Pittsburgh offers an 18-month veterinary technology program to help you become a veterinary technician. They have on-site kennels where you can work with animals hands-on.

Vet Tech Institute of Houston Houston, TX

School type: Private for-profit
Net price: $14,513
Graduation rate: 60%

Vet Tech Institute of Houston has the same amenities as the Pittsburgh campus for future veterinary technicians: Kennels, surgical suites, clinical labs, radiography rooms, etc.

Become Team
Become Team
Contributing Writer

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