National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

:: Upcoming Events ::

Date: September 1, 2014
ON DEMAND WEBINAR: Detailed 5 Part Simple and Surgical Extraction Series in the Dog & Cat
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Date: September 1, 2014
Radiology: Imaging of the Abdominal Cavity
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Date: September 1, 2014
Radiology: Imaging of the Abdominal Cavity
Learn More »
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:: NAVTA News ::


July 14, 2014 Labrador retrievers are less vulnerable than golden retrievers to the long-term health effects of neutering, as evidenced by higher rates of certain joint disorders and devastating cancers, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Cali
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WVC Announces Veterinary Continuing Education Program

June 11, 2014 LAS VEGAS - Western Veterinary Conference (WVC) announced today the launch of local events for veterinary professionals seeking continuing education (CE) opportunities closer to home. The new program, called WVC On The Road, will feature day-l
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Become a Technician!


So you want to be a veterinary technician?

If you are interested in pursuing a career path in veterinary technology, there are several things you need to know, including:

  • What a veterinary technician is and the duties they perform
  • Schooling and credentialing
  • Career opportunities
  • Speciality options

What is a veterinary technician?

A veterinary technician is a member of the veterinary healthcare team that provides technical support to the veterinarian in all aspects of animal care. They are educated to be the veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse and client educator. There are specific duties that only a technician (not a veterinary assistant) is trained / qualified to do such as:

  • Collecting and recording patients' case histories
  • Performing the inital physical exam
  • Taking and developing x-rays
  • Collecting samples and performing laboratory tests (urinalysis, blood counts, ect.)
  • Administering anesthesia
  • Assisting in surgery

Other technician duties may include maintaining patient files and ordering inventory (although in some practices an office manager does these things).

What kind of education / training do I need?

To become a veterinary technician, you must be the graduate of a 2-year or 4-year program from an AVMA-accredited school. For a list of AVMA accredited schools, click here. Most states also require technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) to be considered credentialed. To find out more about credentialing, click here. Visit the AAVSB website to learn specific requirements for your state.

What are my career options?

Although many technicians are employed in a clinical setting, there are several other options for veterinary technicians including opportunities in:

  • Industry
  • Education
  • Humane societies
  • Zoos and wildlife parks
  • Military
  • Research

Visit our Career Center for job postings.

What specialties are available?

In 1994, NAVTA developed the Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) due to a growing interest among veterinary technicians to attain a higher level of recognition for advanced knowledge and skills in specific disciplines. Currently, there are 10 NAVTA approved specialties. They are:

  • The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists
  • The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians
  • The Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians
  • The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice
  • The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians

For more information on specialties, click here.