Veterinary Tech Education: Courses & National Exam

Find out what classes you need to take to complete your veterinary technician education.

Courses You’ll Take at Vet Technician Schools

A good vet technician school will prepare you for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and immediate placement in a clinic or laboratory. Additionally, accredited veterinary technician programs are required to include internship/externship opportunities in their curriculum. Be sure to look for these features when you consider program options.

Whether you choose an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you must have a basic understanding of animal nursing, performing laboratory procedures, and assisting in all aspects of animal care, including surgical procedures. The process to become a certified veterinary technician and VTNE information is overseen by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Some courses in a typical veterinary technician education curriculum include:

  • Anatomy
  • Anesthesiology
  • Animal nursing
  • Dentistry
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology
  • Public health
  • Physiology
  • Radiology
  • Zoonotic diseases

The Veterinary Technician National Exam

The VTNE is a 4-hour, 200 multiple choice question certification exam. The VTNE is prepared exclusively by the AAVSB. You can take the exam at certain times of the year in your state. The exam covers seven major areas of knowledge in which an entry level candidate with a veterinary technician education should be proficient:

  • Pharmacy and pharmacology
  • Surgical preparation and assisting
  • Dentistry procedures
  • Laboratory procedures
  • Animal nursing
  • Radiography, ultrasound, etc.
  • Anesthesia

Practice exams may be purchased on the AAVSB website.

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