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Masters Degree in Veterinary Technology: Program Overview

A veterinary technology degree program is the most common type of education available for aspiring veterinary technologists and technicians. While there are no graduate (i.e. master's) programs available in the subject, students can enroll in a Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology.

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Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology

Veterinary technologists and technicians work with licensed veterinarians in the same way that nurses and medical assistants work with licensed doctors. They provide supplemental care to animals in need of medical attention.

A bachelor's degree in veterinary technology should be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Such a program should also provide students with the pre-clinical training and clinical clerkship necessary to gain certification as veterinary technologists.

Education Prerequisites

The most common educational prerequisite is a high school diploma or equivalent GED. Students should complete courses in biology, mathematics, writing and communication in high school.

Program Coursework

Most 4-year veterinary technology degree programs require students to complete at least 120 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical courses. Students take general education courses in their first year. Some of these include:

  • Molecular biology
  • Medical terminology in veterinary medicine
  • Pharmacology and veterinary technicians
  • Nutrients and veterinary technicians
  • Small animal nursing skills - small animals
  • Large animal nursing skills - large animals
  • Veterinary hospital procedures
  • Preventive animal health care
  • Clinical pathology for veterinarian technicians
  • Veterinary radiology

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

There were approximately 80,200 veterinary technologists and technicians employed in the U.S. in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Nearly 91% of those individuals worked for veterinary offices, while the rest worked for places like animal shelters, zoos and kennels. Employment in the field is expected to grow 52% in the decade 2010-2020, which is much higher than the average predicted job growth rate. In 2012, veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual salary of $30,290.

Continuing Education Options

Each state has its own certification requirements and procedures for veterinary technologists and technicians. Most require applicants to pass a state examination proving that they have the clinical experience and educational background necessary to work competently in the field. While there are no master's degree programs in veterinary technology, graduates interested in further education may choose to enroll in a graduate program in veterinary science or veterinary medicine.

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