“I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and promoting public health.
I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession’s Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.”
— Veterinary Technician Oath
Want to be one of our wonderful veterinary technicians that we love so much?
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that prospective veterinary technicians have strengths lying in the math and sciences as well as good communication skills. To help build your communication skills and expand your comfort level start with this exercise. This can be done regardless of your age.
- Imagine you’re face to face with someone currently working as a vet tech. What are some questions you would ask this person?
- Make a list of questions
- Some examples to get you started:
- How did you decide to become a vet tech?
- What are some of your favorite moments as a vet tech or vet tech student?
- What were some of the challenges you faced in your education?
- If you could start over what are some things you’d do differently to make your journey easier in becoming a vet tech?
- Once you have your list it’s time to meet a vet tech. See if the local veterinary office can help you out. They are busy but someone might be able to spare a few moments, especially for someone who wants to become a vet tech.
- Have your “interview” and try to be as natural as you can. There’s no need to be nervous, vet techs are human, too! To acknowledge the time they are sparing to visit with you it could also be kind to bring treats as a “thank you.” Donuts, brownies, cookies, or another simple thank you is very thoughtful.
- Hand write a thank you note and mail it to the veterinary office after you have the interview. It’s a simple gesture but it makes you memorable. Although you may never work there it’s good to have friends within the business (networking is key).
For an example of a brief interview I had, visit yesterday’s post, Interview with a Vet Technician
You will need to decide on the program that’s right for you.
There are schools that offer 2 year degrees as well as 4 year degree programs, and you can choose to study traditionally on location. If studying on campus isn’t an option for you then you might consider the distance learning option. Since clinical is a major part of your education you will be required to complete this part of your program with a veterinarian.
Currently there are 221 accredited programs, 21 4-year programs, and 9 distance learning programs. You have quite a few options!
If student debt concerns you, you may be able to find scholarships by visiting the AVMA and NAVTA sites listed at the end of this article.
After finding a program you’ll want to work closely with your adviser to maintain direction and focus in your studies. Get your education and learn as much as you can, and you’ll be in great shape for the licensing exam. Each state in the United States has different requirements for credentialing so check your state here for what final steps you’ll need to fulfill.
Of course once you finally become a vet tech your learning is never done. You will need to earn continuing education credits to help keep you up to date with the latest pet-care research. You can find great continuing education options here.
You may also choose to take your education further by specializing in a particular area of study. As there are a number of directions you can take with your career, your options can be better summed up by the NAVTA Specialties Page.
The find the most up to date information, refer to: