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At the minimum, a high school diploma or GED is required for admittance into a 4 year degree vet tech program. Typically, there are other pre-requisites that include certain grades in related courses (i.e. biology), observation or volunteer experience at a veterinary clinic, and CPR training. More advanced pre-requisites require that the student is already attending the school, or is registered in the Associate of Veterinarian Technology program. There may also be some required courses, particularly in the sciences and pre-veterinary disciplines.
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This program will focus on the advanced areas of veterinarian technology and management, and is heavy in science. Upon completion of this program, students should have a good understanding of animal science. Common courses include veterinary hematology and immunology, veterinary biochemistry, clinical pathology, veterinary radiology, veterinary surgical nursing, and parisitology.
Courses in this program are typically taught by veterinary professions, including registered vets. This program will also include plenty of hands-on experience, either in a clinical training setting or through experience at animal hospitals, zoos, and/or veterinary clinics.
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Length of Program and Cost
As previously stated, the Bachelor of Science in Veterinarian Technology is a four year program, thought some schools are offering it as a 3 and a half year program. Approximately 128 credits are required to graduate, as this varies by program and the courses each school offers. The cost of a program will be approximately $40,000.
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Choosing a School
The program that you choose must be accredited by the American Medical Veterinary Association (AMVA) in order for the degree to have any weight when looking for a job. Typically, students will need to complete the National Veterinarian Technician Exam or a similar state exam upon completion of their studies. Ensuring that your program offers this exam to students will provide reassurance that the education you will be receiving will prepare you for this exam and will save you the trouble of going about taking the exam independently.
A good four year vet tech degree with provide students with a strong scientific background. Along with this, you should be looking for programs that offer hands-on experience. A program that offers both hands-on experience in a clinical setting with live animals and in a laboratory setting would be ideal.
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Respected Schools for Veterinarian Technology
Perdue University is an accredited program and boasts that it is the only U.S.A Veterinary Technology Program initiated by and taught within a school of veterinary medicine. There are online options for this program, and 17 credit hours of clinical field experience in a licensed veterinary practice. The program was designed for veterinary technologists to continue working while attending the program. You can even get your vet tech degree online at Purdue University Online. This school was also named the 56th-best college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in 2011.
Michigan State University
The veterinary technology program at MSU is also accredited. Their program is offered by the College of Veterinary Medicine. The student's fourth year is composed of clinical internships and electives such as zoology, agribusiness, and animal science. This school also offers a completion certificate for students who already hold a degree but wish to get certified as a veterinary technologist.
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The 4 year vet tech degree program is an interesting program, based strongly upon science and hands-on experience. Once you graduate from a vet tech degree program, you can start your career in the world of veterinary technology.
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National Veterinarian Technician Exam: http://www.aavsb.org/vtne/
Vet Purdue: Duties of the Veterinarian Technologist - http://www.vet.purdue.edu/vettech/teamchart.html
Vet Purdue: Purdue Advantages and Curriculum Choices - http://www.vet.purdue.edu/vettech/advantages.html
Education Portal: Veterinary Tech Majors and Undergraduate Degree Programs - http://education-portal.com/veterinary_tech_major.html
Education Portal: Top Accredited Veterinary Technologist Schools - http://education-portal.com/articles/Top_Accredited_Veterinary_Technologist_Schools_List_of_Schools.html