How do I Choose the Best Vet Tech Program?

N. Madison
N. Madison

A veterinarian technician, also called a vet tech, is a person trained to work with animals, assisting with their care and feeding and helping to monitor their behavior or health. Some vet techs work in research laboratories and similar facilities while others work in veterinary offices and clinics, helping a veterinarian with diagnosing and treating his animal patients. To prepare for this career, a person usually completes a vetch tech education program, and choosing the right one can help him to have a better chance for success. To choose the best vet tech program, a person should look for programs that are accredited, offer the type of degree he wants, and meet his needs and preferences for clinical practice.

A vet tech helping a vet treat a dog.
A vet tech helping a vet treat a dog.

One of the most important things to look for when attempting to choose the best vet tech program is accreditation. In the United States and the Canadian provinces, vet techs must pass a standardized exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards in order to become vet techs. To be eligible for this exam, a person has to complete a vet tech program that has accreditation from either the American Veterinary Medical Association or the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Other countries may have regulations that are similar, so a person may do well to learn the requirements in his jurisdiction before choosing a vet tech program.

Vet techs assist licensed veterinarians in examining and treating animals.
Vet techs assist licensed veterinarians in examining and treating animals.

When trying to choose the best vet tech program, a person may also consider the types of degrees the school offers. An individual may work toward an associate's degree or bachelor's degree in preparation for this career, so an aspiring vet tech will have to choose a school that offers the degree he prefers. He may also consider whether the program offers alternative options, such as part-time study or online courses that may make it easier for him to fit his education into his current lifestyle.

Hands-on learning is a very important part of preparing to become a vet tech, and accredited programs typically have to include opportunities for gaining clinical experience. This may be offered in the form of internships or externships, though sometimes they are given other names. This type of training is intended to give students practical experience they can use when they begin work as vet techs, and it also helps them to prepare for vet tech exams. An individual may compare the types of clinical practice opportunities that are offered at the schools he's considering and select a program that offers the most varied, intensive, or interesting options.

N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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