Your Vet Tech School Needs to be Accredited

The last thing you want to do is throw money at a training program becoming a vet tech that won’t help you net a job. When you surf the net looking for a vet tech program to gain the necessary knowledge and skills needed for this career path, you need to find a vet tech school that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (see: What is the AVMA?). This should be your first priority seeking a training program since it is this association that sets the standards for the industry benchmark.

How’d You Make This Decision
It is great news you’ve decide on a career as a veterinary technician. More than likely your love for animals has led you to this decision. You face a great opportunity to work in an exciting field that is fun-filled while both personally and professionally rewarding. It is also an industry where education is highly valued and put to the use each and every day. There’s a lot to learn and choosing the right school where you can learn is extremely important. Keep in mind, there is a huge difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant. The former requires a specific course of formal education that cannot be taken online. A veterinary assistant can be a person who is simply hired by a veterinarian to perform daily tasks that do not necessarily require anything more than on-the-job training. Many of the searches you make for online veterinary technician programs will lead to those for an assistant, a position requiring far less training with a much lower salary than a vet tech gets. If you do find courses online for veterinary technicians, you should beware. Certified vet techs must receive formal classroom training. There may be some elements to the training offered online, but never an entire vet tech training program. Also, you may find the need to relocate to enroll in an AVMA accredited school, especially if you live in a rural area.

Factors Weighing In
Although the school you ultimately choose needs to be accredited, there are other factors that should weigh in on your decision-making process. Since one of your goals is to ultimately secure a good position as a vet tech, the best training you receive will put you in the best position to gain employment. Therefore, when examining different programs, make sure to discover how much hands-on training you will receive. A minimum program is typically two-years in duration. However, if the greater emphasis is upon classroom learning, this may put you at a disadvantage when after graduation prospective employers are looking at your practical experience. Schools operating a small animal hospital or practice where students gain this practical experience are far better choices than one’s that leave it up to students to find part time or summer time employment in the veterinary medical field. Consider schools with working veterinarians who act as faculty as good choices as well.

Pre-Admission Help
When comparing vet tech schools, it is important to consider the amount and type of pre-admission help you receive. This is especially true since the cost for any education continues to rise while you are reading this. Additionally, if you need to relocate to the school’s location, information and help concerning room and board have to weigh in when making a decision. Plus, you must make sure that although the school is properly accredited, graduation must prepare and lead you to successfully obtaining whatever local and state licenses that are necessary. Plus, inquire about after graduation job placement and what typical salaries can be had considering you will be making a fairly sizable investment in your education.

Preparing Ahead of Time
Anyone hoping to enter the world of veterinary medicine as a tech may make a wise choice preparing ahead of time while still a high school student. Take as many science and math classes as possible, especially if any are offered in zoology or animal husbandry. Participation in animal-based youth programs such as 4-H or FFA (Future Farmers of America) will also help create a strong learning foundation that will prepare you well for whatever vet tech schools you select whether a two-year or four-year program.