Choosing a Hands-on Vet Tech Learning Experience

Anyone who enjoys working with animals – any kind of animals, large or small, should carefully examine a Veterinary Technician program making sure it has its own on-site animal health clinic. This is an important aspect about receiving your education as a veterinary technician since no other form of learning can replace “doing.” Additionally, always inquire about student-to-teacher ratios, especially in a clinical setting. You do not want to be stuck in the back of a crowd of other students hard-pressed to see and hear the training.

Don’t Get Lost in a Crowd
A good student-to-teacher ratio should never exceed 10:1. It is also a great idea, depending on your chosen course of study, to inquire about internship opportunities at outside veterinary practices while studying for your degree. Often, for example, when studying large animal medicine, student vet techs may arrange for internships, even part time jobs, at venues such as farms, ranches, race tracks and even zoos and aquariums where real-time situations go a long way toward enhancing your learning opportunity. Many institutions have cooperative partnership arrangements providing students with pre-set time placements that present an opportunity to gain valuable experience – on the job – and get paid for it as well! Many of these placements can be as varied as working with the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) or locally operated farms and ranches where you’ll gain real-life experience and personal satisfaction helping real animals.

Help Me Get a Job
Always investigate the job placement track record graduates from the institution you’re looking to attend. Inquire what kind of employment placement assistance the school offers. Look at the list of businesses where graduates land a job checking to see if these venues are places where you may wish to be employed. There exists a variety of opportunity for work in your chosen field including animal hospitals, clinics, animal shelters, zoos, aquariums, racetracks, grooming facilities, farms, ranches, and some non-traditional areas such as livestock management, food animal inspection , research laboratories and even animal pharmaceutical sales. A good school helps graduates gain the foothold entry with a first employment opportunity.

Specialty Skills Increase Employment Opportunities

Although vet tech employment research clearly reveals nearly 85 percent employment is found in small and mixed-animal private practices, opportunities do exist for graduates acquiring specific skills. If, for example, your desire has always been to work with horses, make sure the institution you select has a great concentration on equine medicine studies preparing you with specialized skills. Obviously, selecting specifically-focused vet tech areas of practice will also dictate courses of study along with future geographic employment locations. It is extremely hard to practice large animal veterinary medicine in highly populated urban areas. Therefore, selecting your choice for a school may have a great deal of geography consideration.

Make a Plan
Although interests do change through the course of a person’s life, it is a good idea to make sure you have as broad an education as possible when becoming a vet tech – at least in the initial stages. Your interests may change if, for example, you land that first job at a wildlife preserve only to soon realize you weren’t cut out for this kind of work. Having a broad enough education that prepares you for across-the-board employment may be the best path to pursue initially. Many vet techs opt to pursue a two-year course of study. This prepares graduates to successfully pas the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Exam) and obtain the necessary licensing to work in the industry. Continuing education will allow practicing vet techs the opportunity to advance careers through acquiring knowledge about up-to-date techniques as well as possibly decide once working a while to concentrate on a specialized area like veterinary dentistry or equine medicine.

A little time spent researching educational opportunities for vet tech training online is the best way to start your career and put your love of animals to a chosen way of life.

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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