You know you are a Vet Tech when…

I Love Veterinary blog is reader-supported, and we may earn a commission from products purchased through links on this page, at no additional cost to you. Learn more About Us and our Product Review Process >

What it Takes to Be a Vet Tech

Being a veterinary technician is quite challenging. Vet Techs are the ones you see in every veterinary clinic, helping the veterinarian and taking care of the patients. They do so much more than what we see at the first glance, that they deserve praise and respect from the doctors and the pet owners.

veterinary technician examining a white dog

Some of them say that being a vet tech is hard and very demanding. Their job is constantly stressful and many times risky. However, there are just a few that don’t say they love being a vet tech.

We asked our followers on Facebook to finish the sentence: “You know you are a Vet Tech When…” and on the infographic below you can see the most insightful answers we’ve got.

How do You Become a Vet Tech?

Students interested in becoming a vet tech need to first complete work towards an associate’s degree, which takes about two years of full-time study. One can earn credits through online programs, but it is advised that they talk with the vet tech program at their chosen college to ensure that the course they are taking will transfer. They then need to undergo an apprenticeship for one year before they are eligible for certification as a technician.

After completing the requirements for certification, most vet techs will continue their education by pursuing a bachelor’s degree and then moving on to become a practicing veterinarians.

There is also a national certification available to those who complete an accredited program. The national certificate is offered through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and is voluntary; therefore, not all individuals seeking certification go through this program. It is known as the AVMA-CVT or Certified Veterinary Technician.

avma logo

Students wishing to become a vet tech need to complete the following steps:

Step 1: Complete an accredited program

Step 2: Obtain the appropriate certification(s) through a chosen program(s) or other organizations. The AVMA offers national certification through its Animal Health Technician program. Many states also offer state-specific certifications. Vet techs wishing to practice in their home state must obtain their state certification.

Step 3: Obtain an apprenticeship through the American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) programs. This requires a two-year commitment, which varies by state and by program, and is followed by a one-year internship. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age and currently enrolled in school to apply for an AAFP apprenticeship.

infographic i love veterinary YOU KNOW YOU ARE A VET TECH WHEN

You Know You Are a Vet Tech When

  • Another tech asks if she smells like anal glands and you sniff her without hesitation
  • You find dog nail clippings in your bra.
  • You get urine on you and it’s not the worst thing to have gotten on you that day.
  • Abscesses are the best, but human children sneezing/coughing are a bit gross.
  • You don’t need to go to the gym, because all your lifting gets done at work.
  • You panic when you have to wear something other than scrubs to an event.
  • You get grossed out if you go to a restaurant and find a human hair in your food but don’t mind if you find a dog/cat hair in your food when you are eating lunch at work!
  • The doc asks you if the dog’s butt still smells like anal glands, and you sniff the dog’s butt to be sure it’s clean
  • The sign of any bump that looks remotely like it can be expressed easily anywhere on a dog excites you.
  • You get pulled over on your way home from work and have to explain to the nice officer that the used needles in your pocket do not indicate a drug addiction.
  • You’re pregnant and the thought of spaghetti makes you want to vomit but watching an abscess on a cow be drained is still satisfying.
  • You meet a dog at the dog park and check its teeth/ears/eyes…and nails of course.

We are looking forward to doing another post like this, where we will ask our followers “Why do I love being a vet tech?”.

If you liked this article, read our article on “Vet Tech Appreciation Week” on our blog.