How do I get Vet Tech Certification?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In order to get vet tech certification, one must successfully complete a course covering a number of topics about the veterinary field and the medical technology that is used in the field. Also, vet tech certification must be completed at an accredited institution so that graduates of the program can use their credentials in the veterinary field. There are a number of schools in the United States that offer vet tech certification. There are also accredited programs that offer online courses that can be used towards successful completion of the program. One of the best ways to choose between schools is to research the school's course offerings, ask for statistics about job placement for students who complete the certification, and ask the advice of vet techs and veterinarians at local animal hospitals.

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

Many people choose to work in the field of veterinary medicine for a while before completing their vet tech certification. For example, a person looking to get a sense of the field may work as a receptionist at a veterinary office or animal hospital. In so doing, the person can learn about the daily tasks of veterinarians and vet techs and get some advice on the best ways to go about completing vet tech certification. Having experience in the field is also very useful after the certification is complete as it is likely to impress potential employers.

Horse-related sports facilities, such as horse racing and steeplechase courses, often hire vet techs and veterinarians to be on staff in case of injuries.
Horse-related sports facilities, such as horse racing and steeplechase courses, often hire vet techs and veterinarians to be on staff in case of injuries.

Every vet tech certification program is run slightly differently, but they all usually cover the same basic topics and include hands-on experience with animals. Vet tech certification often includes instruction on how to properly interact with veterinarians, other vet techs, and the owners of the animals who are being treated. There is also a great deal of discussion and training about how to best interact with and handle animal patients. This instruction often covers a wide variety of types of animals. Vet techs also learn how to handle and use equipment such as x-ray machines.

Depending on one's career goals, it is also possible for vet techs to specialize in a certain kind of veterinary medicine. For example, a vet tech may decide that she wants to work specifically in equine medicine, which is veterinary medicine that is specific to horses or she may choose emergency care, which is veterinary medicine specific to acute illnesses or sudden injuries. On the other hand, veterinary technicians can decide to complete their certification without specializing in one area, focusing instead on general practice.

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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