Overview of Vet Tech Certification & License Procedures

If you’ve dreamed of a career with animals and haven’t been sure where to begin, why not get your RVT license? A registered veterinary technician works in animal hospitals and clinics, assisting veterinarians with surgeries, giving vaccinations and assisting with examinations. It’s a great career field full of promise and its outlook is higher than average.

What’s the Difference between LVT, RVT, CVT?
It’s easy to get confused by all of the initials when looking into RVT programs. You may see LVT, RVT or even CVT. So what’s the difference? The various initials are simply a matter of licensing or certification which is dependent upon the state in which you want to work. Different states have different naming conventions. An RVT is a registered veterinary technician, an LVT is a licensed veterinary technician and a CVT is a certified veterinary technician. They are all the same thing.

What’s the difference between Veterinary Assistants and Veterinary Technicians?
Many states allow you to work as a veterinary assistant with no certification or licensing, though as an assistant, you are limited as to the scope of your duties and as a result may warrant a lower salary.

VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination)
To begin a career as a veterinary technician, you must attend an accredited vet tech school and successfully complete your education and training. Once you have passed the course, you will sit for your VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination). You will need to apply to take the exam during one of the three times per year it is offered. Once your application has been approved, you will sit for the proctored exam at your assigned location.

State Level Certification
Prior to enrolling in school and eventually sitting for your VTNE, it is important that you research the requirements of the state in which you wish to work. Once you pass the test, you should be ready to register with your state to receive your official credentials. You can find more information at AAVSB.org. Different states have different requirements with regards to schooling and testing. Each state has its own veterinary certification boards who can give you information regarding the requirements and deadlines. This is the final step in attaining your RVT, LVT, or CVT credentials (each state uses slightly different certification titles).

Veterinary Technician Specialists (VTS)
After you gain experience working as a RVT, LVT, or CVT, you may wish you further your career prospects by getting specialized certification in areas like emergency & critical care, anesthesiology, dentistry, or surgery. Veterinary Technician Specialists are denoted by the letters “VTS” with their specializations noted in their titles.

A veterinary technician program can be tough, as can the VTNE, but with determination and perseverance you can soon be working in a rewarding career field. Whether you spend your day assisting in surgery, vaccinating pets or educating pet owners, all the hard work you put in to your schooling will be well worth it.

Penn Foster College
A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology
Penn Foster College - Distance Learning Program
Become a vet tech in as little as 1 year. The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician associate degree program is fully accredited by the AVMA.
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  • Lisa Hayes

    How much salary does a veterinary dentist make?

  • Vet Tech

    Potentially $78,000 DOE

    • Lisa

      Are you sure it’s that high?

      • SHYLA

        No way its more like $45,000. Even some human dentists dont make $78,000

  • lisa

    If you specialize in Dentistry as a Veterinarian you have to opportunity to make that much.

  • Jamyiarichards

    I sure will go to school for veterinary technician they make alot of money

  • Meggy_pooh13

    Can you do everything? Vet. Tech. emergency & critical care, anesthesiology, dentistry, and surgery.

    • Vet tech

      You can specialize in as many areas that you want. There are a whole lot more specializations than just those four options too.

  • Kevin Thompson

    I went back to school at 56. I earned a AAS.degree, and passed the VTNE on April 14th 2015.I work with small animals, exotics and wildlife. I make 20 $ an hour. If this is the life you want, don’t wait, go for it.

  • Jess

    It depends where you are and what type of practice you are in what you will get for a salary. I’ve worked as an LVT for 10 years in different states and different types of practices. Making anywhere from $9.00 an hour at a clinic run out of a vet’s house to $23 an hour at an emergency clinic. We don’t do this for the money. The work is stressful and the rewards are few. A nurse does one job and gets paid triple. We are radiologists, anesthesticians, dentists, phlebotomists, surgical assistants, pharmacists, office managers, kennel assistants, cleaning crew. It’s a career to love and hate and know that once your body starts to go it will be painful.