Online Veterinary Technician Certification Information

If you love animals and have a desire to help and care for small or large animals, an online study program in veterinary technology will meet your course requirements to begin an entry level career. Certification for this field is handled differently by each state, so interested individual will need to research their own state's requirements; the courses and the degree which is needed in order to be eligible for certification can be completed largely online.

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Career Overview

Veterinary technicians may take samples from an animal, assist with other diagnostic or medical procedures, do lab work, keep records and educate owners, but everything they do is under the supervision of a full-fledged veterinarian. In order to pursue certification as a veterinary technician, individuals must first complete an accredited degree such as an associate's degree or bachelor's of applied science degree.

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technology

Online veterinary technology programs allow students flexibility with their busy schedules to complete associate degree programs in 2-5 years. Students may even begin working in veterinarian offices as pet nurses or assistants while studying in this program. Licensing may be required by some states before graduates can accept jobs as veterinary technologists.

Veterinary Technology Coursework

Online coursework is taught through multimedia web-based programs as well as textbooks. Some programs may require a practicum toward the end of the program which is not offered online. Some course work topics may include:

  • Animal anatomy
  • Small and large animal nursing skills
  • Animal pharmacology
  • Animal diseases
  • Animal anesthesiology
  • Lab work
  • Diagnostic imaging skills
  • Veterinary math

Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistices (BLS) states that 4-year veterinary technology programs more commonly lead to the title of technologist rather than technician. The responsibilities of a technologist are very much like that of a technician, but a technologist may have more opportunities with a wider range of employers, including facilities that conduct research. This degree could also prepare the way if the student later chooses to work toward a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine. Like the associate degree listed above, graduates of a bachelor's degree will be required to be fully licensed by their state.

Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology Coursework

This program offers interactive online learning with textbooks or in-class learning to best meet the needs of the student. Whether presented online or in the classroom, coursework will follow the same requirements for completion of this degree. Courses may include:

  • Animal anatomy
  • Veterinary terminology
  • Veterinary procedures
  • Clinical practices
  • Animals nursing
  • Animal diseases
  • Exotic pets
  • Laboratory skills


According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), most states have a veterinary medical examiner or a department which administers an exam to graduates of an accredited veterinary technology associate or bachelor's degree. The Veterinary Technician National Examination, called the VTNE, is used by many states. A satisfactory score on the exam will result in the license or certification necessary to practice in that state. Like many credentials, veterinary technicians who wish to maintain a valid license will need to complete continuing education throughout their career.

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