Veterinary Technician Training
There are primarily two levels of education and training for entry into this occupation: a 4-year program for veterinary technologists and a 2-year program for veterinary technicians. Typically, both technologists and technicians must take a credentialing exam and must become registered, licensed, or certified, depending on the state.
Veterinary technologists and technicians must complete a postsecondary program in veterinary technology. In 2011, there were 191 veterinary technology programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Most of these programs offer a 2-year associateís degree for veterinary technicians. Twenty-one colleges offer a 4-year bachelorís degree in veterinary technology. Nine schools offer distance learning.
People interested in becoming a veterinary technologist or technician should take high school classes in biology, other sciences, and math.
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Although each state regulates veterinary technologists and technicians differently, most candidates must take a credentialing exam. Most states require the Veterinary Technician National Examination. Depending on the state, candidates must become certified, licensed, or registered to practice.
For technologists seeking work in a research facility, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) offers three levels of certification: assistant laboratory animal technician (ALAT), laboratory animal technician (LAT), and laboratory animal technologist (LATG). Although certification is not mandatory, workers at each level can show competency in animal husbandry, health and welfare, and facility administration and management to prospective employers. To become certified, candidates must have work experience in a laboratory animal facility and pass the AALAS examination.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition
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