National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

:: Upcoming Events ::

Date: March 12, 2015
AAHA Tampa 2015
Learn More »
Date: March 12, 2015
Sunshine and CE in Picturesque Sedona, AZ
Learn More »
Date: March 15, 2015
Pharmacology: Conquering the Basics of Drugs
Learn More »
Sidebar AdSidebar AdSidebar Ad

:: NAVTA News ::

Hill's Strengthens Partnership with Minnesota Urolith Center; More than 85,000 canine and feline urinary stones analyzed in 2014

January 6, 2015 TOPEKA, Kan. (January 6, 2015) - Hill's Pet Nutrition, Inc. has extended its partnership with the Minnesota Urolith Center (MUC) to reduce the worldwide incidence of urinary disease in companion animals and to enhance the global veterinary care of pets wi
More »

2nd Annual NAVTA Case Presentations at NAVC; Saturday January 17, 2015

December 24, 2014 Join NAVTA and these superb veterinary technicians as they present some very interesting cases!
More »

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 initial 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 11 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
  • The Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians

For more information on specialties, click here.