Vet Tech Colleges

Veterinary Programs

Only 3 weeks after being adopted by the Swinson family, Bear, a mastiff mix, saved his family by alerting them to the flames that were engulfing their home. Although you can read more of his story on sites like or on shows like Animal Planet’s Emergency Vets, some people wonder who takes care of the animals that put their lives on the line for their owners. Veterinarians, veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants work together to make sure that all animals, heroes or not, are given the highest level of care to ensure they have long and happy lives.


Although most people think of veterinarians as the key pet caregivers, there are other options for those who wish to work closely with animals. Both veterinary assistants and veterinary technologists work with veterinarians to make sure that animals are diagnosed and treated for illness quickly and efficiently, so that they can have longer life spans. The benefit is that both of these jobs allow people to have personal connections with their patients, but allow the veterinary professional to jump right into the field without an extensive amount of educational investment.


Veterinary assistants have the important job of making sure the veterinary office and procedures run smoothly. They often answer phones, clean up office spaces, administer medication and collect and process laboratory samples. Most veterinarians like to hire assistants who are familiar with animal science and have a background working with different types of animals. Usually, getting an Associate of Arts (AA) in Animal Science is sufficient for this position, as the AA in Animal Science is a broader, more theoretical degree than the Associate of Science (AS).


Veterinary technology is a more hands-on field and requires a significant understanding of the science and anatomy of animals. Veterinary technicians are the equivalent of nurses in a veterinary office. They often provide anesthetic, bandaging, dentistry and surgical assistance to a veterinarian. Some veterinary technologists are also trained in radiological techniques for identifying cancer, taking blood and inserting catheters. This job usually requires at least an AS in Animal Science, although a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Animal Science, as well as state licensure, is a requirement in many states.

Veterinary Technicians

Often responsible for administering medication, performing x-ray and ultrasound procedures, and assisting with surgery, vet techs are the nurses of the veterinary world.

Veterinary Assistants

Veterinary assistants help run the veterinary office, scheduling appointments with pet owners, maintaining medical records, and medically assisting the veterinarian and vet tech.

Major Universities, Community Colleges and Online Schools for Veterinary Science

Because veterinary technology is such a popular choice for students who love animals, there are many award-winning vet tech colleges and veterinary assistant schools to choose from. The U.S. News and World Report 2013 ranked Cornell University, University of California-Davis and North Carolina State University in the top 4 veterinary programs in the US. Each of these prestigious schools offers an undergraduate degree in Animal Science or Veterinary Technology. Abilene Christian University also offers an extensive B.S. in Animal Science, and it allows students to choose from specialties like Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Livestock Management.


Students who are looking for a more cost-effective degree in Animal Science or Veterinary Assisting may find that community colleges provide a reasonable alternative. Wayne Community College provides an Applied Animal Science Technology program (AAS) that allows students to pursue either veterinary technology or veterinary assisting.  And Wake Tech Community College provides an AS in Animal Science, while Dallas County Community College offers a 100% online AA degree program in veterinary assisting.


Regardless of where you live, there is probably a veterinary assistant program or veterinary technology program nearby. We have created a comprehensive listing of vet tech colleges by state to help you find a school in your area.   If you are a motivated self-starter more interested in the flexibility of an online program, we provide a convenient listing of vet tech programs online as well.  Some of these programs are hybrid online-campus programs, such as the AAS degree programs in Animal Technology at University of New Hampshire and Wayne Community College where half of the classes are offered online and the other half on campus.


Other programs may be completed 100% online, like the online veterinary assistant programs at Penn Foster, California State University and Ashworth College. The reason these AA programs may be completed online is that these degrees are typically based in conceptual veterinary science rather than procedural veterinary science.

Animal care specializations


specializations by animal

specializations by program

Veterinary Radiology Technician
Veterinary Radiology Technician

Use your X-ray vision! Master radiologic equipment to help diagnose and care for animals in need.

Veterinary Nutrition Technician
Veterinary Nutrition Technician

Don't "weight"! Help pet owners provide healthy diets and exercise routines for their pets.

Veterinary Dental Technician
Veterinary Dental Technician

Sink your teeth in! Pursue a career as a veterinary dental technician and your work could be all smiles.

The Latest from the Vet Tech Education Blog

If you are looking for the best practical and educational blog to keep your future on track, the veterinary technology blog is the perfect place to start!  The blog is a compilation of the latest technology and research related to veterinary science, updated weekly with information like how to land the best veterinary internships or find the top pre-veterinary programs. The blog also contains handy guides to becoming a certified veterinarian or veterinary technician, including clear instructions on how to apply for and complete your vet tech certification.

How to Become an Animal Care Technician

August 25, 2014

Think you know about the many different types of animal care technicians? Yes, they can work in kennels and animal shelters, but they can also work in research labs, helping to provide care and assistance in a variety of a ways.

7 Vet Tech Programs With Courses In Avian Care

July 31, 2014

Avian and exotic animal care classes allow students in vet tech programs to learn more about diseases, treatment and care. Handling and restraint is often an important part of the learning and may be critical to successfully treating birds and exotic animals.

Barry Franklin (Editor)

Barry joined publisher Sechel Ventures as partner in 2013 and, along with running the business, edits content for