Veterinary Tech Certification and Requirements

Veterinary technicians and technologists are playing an increasingly important role in the emergency care of animals. More and more, veterinarians are looking for highly-skilled workers to assist them, which has led to the expansion of job opportunities for these professionals. And because these jobs require specialized knowledge, the bar is somewhat high to enter the field.

Although it may vary from state to state, many states require veterinary technologists and technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination, or VTNE, which is a credentialing examination administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. This examination is three hours long and includes 150 operational questions and 20 questions based on test specifications -- although the latter is not computed into candidates' scores. In order to be eligible to take the exam, prospective veterinary techs must provide a transcript from an accredited veterinary tech program.

There are also voluntary certifications that workers can earn in order to demonstrate their competency in the field, and knowledge of specific areas like animal husbandry, animal facility administration, and health and welfare. Some of these certifications, which are offered by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, include the Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG), the Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), and the Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT). In order to earn these credentials, veterinary techs must pass an examination and prove that they have experience working in an animal laboratory.

In addition, those who move up the ranks into management careers can pursue a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager (CVPM) certification, which is granted by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association. In order to obtain this certification, candidates must hold a management position in the veterinary field and take management-related courses, including continuing education seminars.

Vet tech educational requirements

Those who are interested in becoming a veterinary technician or technologist are required to complete a high school diploma or equivalent. During their high school years, students are encouraged to take science classes like biology, as well as math courses. In addition, it is helpful to volunteer for places that will put them in regular contact with animals that need medical care, such as a veterinary clinic, a zoo, or an animal shelter.

After completing high school, these professionals are usually required to receive education in the field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), veterinary technicians are typically required to complete a two-year degree, while veterinary technologists may be required to earn a four-year degree.

Benefits of veterinary technician certification

While credentialing examinations are required in most states, whether or not a veterinary technician or technologist needs to complete an additional certification depends on their individual goals, as well as the requirements of specific employers. Certifications may go a long way toward helping these professionals deepen their knowledge of the field and sharpen their skills, which can be helpful when they want to land certain jobs and advance in their careers.


Advanced Certifications for Veterinary Technicians, VeterinaryTeamBrief, Accessed July 23, 2014, http://www.veterinaryteambrief.com/article/advanced-certifications-veterinary-technicians

Become a Technician!, The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), Accessed July 23, 2014, https://www.navta.net/careers/become-a-technician

Career: Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, The College Board, Accessed August 23, 2014, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/careers/health-technology-veterinary-technologists-technicians

CVPM Certification, Veterinary Hospital Managers Association, Accessed July 23, 2014, http://vhma.site-ym.com/?page=CVPMCertificationv2

How to Become a Vet Technician, Foothill College, Accessed July 23, 2014, http://www.foothill.edu/career/documents/VetTech.pdf

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed August 23, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292056.htm

Programs accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), American Veterinary Medical Association, Accessed July 23, 2014, https://www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Accreditation/Programs/Pages/vettech-programs.aspx

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, August 23, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm

Veterinary technicians: Nursing animals to health, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed August 23, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2003/fall/art03.pdf

VTNE, American Association of Veterinary State Boards, Accessed July 23, 2014, http://www.aavsb.org/VTNE/

Veterinary Technician Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All


    See More



    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Certificate - Veterinary Assistant
            • Offers a program that translates work and military experience into college credit, transfers in credit from other college programs, and offers the flexibility of day, evening and online coursework.
            • Provides in-person tutoring, IT support, access to library resources, and job placement assistant for graduates.
            • Features a new blended-learning curriculum, which involves a mix of campus and online courses.
            • Has 11 campuses across Southern California, Washington, and Alaska, and online courses with campus support. 
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Looking for an Online Healthcare Degree Program That May Improve Your Career Options?
            • EarnMyDegree.com Can Help You Match Your Educational Goals With Your Desired Career.
            • Whether You Are Looking to Earn a Degree Online, or Study at a Nearby Campus, This Is The Place to Connect With a College That May Be Ideal for You.
            • Browse Through Our List Of Online Colleges and Traditional Schools to Determine Potential Places to Earn a Degree NOW!
            • Online Courses
            UEI College , Anaheim
            Good for Working Adults
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid

            Why Brightwood?

            Real-World Training

            We keep education relevant by employing instructors with real-world experience in the field, who bring their career backgrounds to the classroom. Our programs are continually assessed by faculty, staff and members of the business and education communities to help ensure your studies align with your career goals. Programs offered by Brightwood College focus on local employment needs, in areas such as allied health, nursing and technical and professional programs.

            Good for Working Adults
            • Offers career placement assistance services to recent graduates.
            • Our short-term allied health programs will give you the skills and knowledge to become a part of the exciting health care field.
            • Programs include Medical Office Specialist, Medical Assistant, Dental Assistant and Healthcare Administration.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES).
            • Main campus is located in Van Nuys, California, north of Los Angeles.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits