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The Top Online Veterinary Technician Programs

Veterinary Technician
The Top Online Veterinary Technician Programs
Rank School Location
1 Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, Indiana
2 San Juan College Farmington, New Mexico
3 St Petersburg College Clearwater, Florida
4 Tarleton State University Stephenville, Texas
5 Northern Virginia Community College Annandale, Virginia
6 Jefferson State Community College Birmingham, Alabama
7 Colby Community College Colby, Kansas
8 Cedar Valley College Lancaster, Texas
9 Blue Ridge Community College Weyers Cave, Virginia
10 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida

We have ranked the top online vet tech schools in the U.S.

Being a Veterinary Technician is a rewarding career. From grateful pet owners to the love shown by an animal, those in the veterinary field with a passion for their job are given more than just a salary.

Veterinary Technicians typically need a two year Associate’s degree. Registered Veterinary Technicians will need to take a credentialing examination in order to practice.

Veterinary technician education curriculum generally covers topics such as:

  • animal anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • nutrition
  • medical laboratory procedures

Aspiring vet techs also typically complete hands-on training in a clinical setting, where they assist licensed veterinarians with tasks such as:

  • taking vital signs
  • administering medication
  • performing laboratory tests

After completing their education and their clinical hours, veterinary technicians must pass a national examination to become certified and eligible to work in the field such as at a veterinary hospital. Some states also require veterinary technicians to be licensed, which may involve additional requirements such as passing a state-specific exam or completing continuing education courses.

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is a professional who has completed a veterinary technology program and passed a national examination.

Once employed, the duties of vet tech jobs are similar including:

  • assisting with diagnostic imaging and testing
  • performing well-visit
  • administering shots
  • educating pet owners

Students of veterinary technology programs should be aware of their state’s requirements for practicing as a Vet Tech before enrolling in an online program.

Veterinary state boards are government regulatory bodies that are responsible for licensing and regulating veterinarians within a specific state or territory. They are usually overseen by a board of directors, which is typically made up of veterinarians and laypeople. The main responsibilities of veterinary state boards include:

  • issuing and renewing licenses for veterinarians
  • enforcing laws and regulations related to the practice of veterinary medicine
  • investigating complaints against veterinarians

State boards also play a role in enforcing continuing education requirements and in disciplining veterinarians who have violated laws or regulations. Additionally, they are responsible for the regulation of veterinary technicians and other veterinary professionals within the state.

Veterinary Assistants

A veterinary assistant is a professional who works alongside veterinarians and veterinary technicians to provide care for animals. They typically work in veterinary clinics, veterinary hospitals, or research facilities. Their duties may include:

  • Assisting in the examination and treatment of animals
  • Preparing and administering medication
  • Taking and recording vital signs
  • Restraining animals during procedures
  • Maintaining equipment and facilities
  • Educating clients about animal care

Some states have regulatory guidelines for veterinary assistants, but many do not require specific education or certification. Some states allow on-the-job training, some have certification programs or apprenticeship programs, while others have no specific requirements. It is best to check with the state or local jurisdiction to determine the requirements for working as a veterinary assistant in your area.

What are common courses for veterinary technician education?

  • Small animal surgical nursing
  • Animal anatomy
  • Large animal medicine
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Small animal husbandry

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians | Salary Information

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians earn a median salary of $36,850 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The growth rate is projected to be 20%, which is much higher than the national average for all other occupations, adding 24,100 more positions in the next ten years. This is a large growth rate.

They may work in a veterinary clinic, animal hospitals, animal shelters or wildlife facilities for example.

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The Top Online Veterinary Technician Programs

1.

Purdue University-Main Campus

West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Global

One of the best vet tech schools is Purdue University. Though Purdue offers both a Bachelors and Associates degree in veterinary nursing. It is only the Association of Applied Science (A.A.S) track which is available completely online. It is the best of the online vet tech programs.

Applicants to the vet tech program typically already have some work experience with a veterinarian.

SAT or ACT scores are also usually required for acceptance to this online vet tech program but may be waived if the applicant is 23 or older or has accumulated 24 graded college hours.

Purdue requires students in this accredited vet tech program to complete 27 courses and 18 clinical mentorships.

Course topics for this associate degree program may include:

  • Pharmacy Procedures
  • Public and Occupational Health
  • Dentistry for Vet Techs, Parasitology
  • Understanding Animal Disease

Students may complete this vet tech degree in as little as three years and up to five years if needed.

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2.

San Juan College

Farmington, New Mexico

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technician at San Juan College requires a minimum of 76 course credits, 16 of which will be applied towards general education.

The program specific courses run 12 weeks in length, while the general education courses run 16 weeks in length. Classes for this veterinary technician associate degree may include:

  • Vet Nursing Care
  • Vet Clinical Pathology
  • Small Animal Disease and Medical Care
  • Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology
  • Emergency and Critical Care Medicine

Students will typically take one to four classes per semester with every class being available each semester. Find financial aid information here.

Upon competition of the program students will be prepared to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam.

A 32 credit online Veterinary Certification is also available but does not fully prepare students for the national exam.

San Juan is certified through AVMA-CVTEA.

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3.

St Petersburg College

Clearwater, Florida

In applying to the Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree in Science at St. Petersburg College students must already have completed a minimum of 18 general education credits and have supervised work or volunteer experience of at least 40 hours.

While enrolled in the distance learning program, students must continue to complete a minimum of 20 hours work per week each semester at a veterinary practice where more than 200 relevant tasks and skills may be taught. A total of 73 credits should be completed for graduation.

Courses, to be taken in a specific sequence, may include:

  • Animal Nursing
  • Veterinary Med Terminology
  • Small Animal Breeds and Behavior
  • Avian and Exotic Pet Medicine
  • Large Animal Diseases
  • Animal Emergency Medicine

St. Petersburg also offers a Veterinary Practice Management Certificate and a B.A.S. in Veterinary Technology; however, these programs are only available on campus.

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4.

Tarleton State University

College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Stephenville, Texas

Tarleton State University

Tarleton State’s Department of Animal Science and Veterinary Technology offers a Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.

This 120 credit hour program typically takes two years or more to complete. Admission to the online program requires students to complete a Texas Success Initiative assessment and have a minimum of 30 transferable credits.

Once admitted, students may choose from three clinical tracks:

  • Equine
  • Companion Animal
  • Veterinary Business Management

Classes may include:

  • Human-Animal Interaction and Bonding
  • Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine
  • Companion Animal Disease
  • Laboratory Animal Medicine
  • Veterinary Microbiology

Tarleton State is also working with McLennan Community College for students who wish to earn a veterinary technician associate degree while working toward a Bachelor’s.

Admission requirements include scores from SAT I or ACT.

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5.

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, Virginia

The part-time Veterinary Technician program at Northern Virginia Community College may be completed in approximately three years. Classes at this vet tech school must be taken in sequence for eight semesters with summer semesters required.

Though all classes are offered online, students should expect to have to visit the Loudoun campus an average of three times per semester.

Classes for this online veterinary technician program may include topic such as:

  • the Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals
  • Animal Breeds and Behavior
  • Animal Dentistry
  • Animal Hospital Management and Client Relations

There are five full-time professors who teach all of the classes for the Veterinary Technology Program.

Students must also maintain employment status at an approved NOVA veterinary practice during their studies, completing a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

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6.

Jefferson State Community College

Birmingham, Alabama

Jefferson State Community Colleges

Although Jefferson State Community College does offer distance learning classes for the Veterinary Tech program, students are obligated to gain hands-on experience at a veterinary facility in the state of Alabama. They should expect to travel to fulfill the requirements for the large animal laboratory clinic for the clinical experience hours.

With more than 800 veterinary clinics in the state, students should be able to easily gain the required 20 hours of supervised clinical experience per week throughout the program. They will work with a licensed veterinarian at the veterinary clinic.

All applicants to the veterinary technician program should have already completed 360 hours of practical experience in addition to the necessary prerequisite classes.

Specialty classes for the online vet tech program may include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Mammals
  • Vet Tech Emergency and First Aid
  • Clinical Procedures and Pathology
  • Animal Diseases and Immunology
  • Vet Microbiology and Parasitology
  • Animal Nutrition and Laboratory Animals

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7.

Colby Community College

Colby, Kansas

The distance learning Vet Tech program at Colby Community College accepts applicants year round. There are three start dates for classes in January, June, and August, with both part-time and full-time options, and there is no enrollment limit.

A total of 22 to 26 prerequisite credit hours and a minimum of 30 hours volunteer or work experience will make a strong applicant. However, much of the course work and hands-on experience may be completed upon enrollment.

The online Vet Tech program requires an additional 60 credit hours of specialized courses, for a total of 82 credits before graduation.

Course topics for this veterinary nursing program may include:

  • Medical Records and Veterinary Office Skills
  • Breeds of Domestic Animals
  • Animal Facility Management and Sanitation
  • Veterinary Hematology
  • Veterinary Imaging
  • Common Animal Disease

On-campus mentoring is available, but not required.

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8.

Cedar Valley College

Lancaster, Texas

Cedar Valley College

As part of the Dallas County Community College District, Cedar Valley College offers an online Associate degree in Veterinary Technology. Admission to the program is limited.

Students who are applying to the veterinary technician associate degree should have the necessary prerequisite courses complete and meet the Texas Success Initiative standards.

Requiring a minimum of 60 credit hours for graduation, all courses for vet techs provided are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Classes may include:

  • Veterinary Pharmacology
  • Anesthesia and Surgical Assistance
  • Veterinary Radiology
  • Large Animal Assisting Techniques

The vet tech program does not include surgical or prescriptive skills. Upon completion of the degree, students will be prepared to sit for the Texas Veterinary Medical Association Examination.

A Small Animal Assisting Certificate is also available online through Cedar Valley College, but does not prepare students to sit for the Veterinary Medical Association Examination.

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9.

Blue Ridge Community College

Weyers Cave, Virginia

Blue Ridge Community College

Blue Ridge Community College offers students the opportunity to complete an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology through three distance sites, with classes delivered in real time video two days per week.

Restricted to Virginia residents, students may stream classes at Tidewater Community College, Virginia Western Community College, or John Tyler Community College.

Applicants to the online vet tech programs should have 35 hours experience already complete and be able to continue working a minimum of 20 hours per week throughout the degree.

Courses for the vet tech programs may include:

  • Companion Animal Behavior
  • Introduction to Laboratory
  • Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
  • Applied Veterinary Surgical Nursing
  • Animal Pharmacology

Provided adequate enrollment, the program restarts every three years. Graduates are prepared to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination.

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10.

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

The University of Florida offers a unique online graduate certification in Veterinary Forensic Medicine.

Though not specifically a Veterinary Technician degree, students may transfer credits towards a master’s degree for those who wish to pursue further education.

Students who are interested in applying should already have a bachelor’s degree in a natural science.

Those entering this program should be prepared to learn how to recognize animal abuse, how to process an animal crime scene, and how to handle forensic evidence.

Currently, the five required courses of the program are:

  • Animal Crime Scene Processing
  • Scientific and Legal Principles of Forensic Evidence
  • Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal Violence
  • Veterinary Forensic Medicine
  • Forensic Entomology

Courses are weighted at three credits each.

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American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

The American Veterinary Medical Association is the body that provides these accredited vet tech programs with their accreditation. To find the accredited vet tech programs consult with the Association or check with the school.

Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)

The Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) is a non-profit organization that accredits distance education programs and institutions. DEAC is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation as a reliable authority on the quality of distance education programs.

Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE)

The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a standardized test used to evaluate the competency of veterinary technician students and graduates. The exam is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) and is required for licensure in most states in the United States. The VTNE covers a wide range of topics related to veterinary medicine, including:

  • pharmacology
  • surgical nursing
  • animal behavior
  • diagnostic imaging

The exam is offered several times per year at various locations throughout the United States and Canada.

Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)

The Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) is an organization that accredits veterinary technician education programs in the United States. The CVTEA is a program of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the accrediting body for veterinary technician education programs.

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