Veterinary Technician Schools in Louisiana


In the Pelican State, people take animal welfare seriously, particularly when it’s hurricane season. In fact, the Louisiana SPCA urges the state’s citizens to incorporate their pets into their disaster evacuation plans, ensuring that their animal’s vaccinations and identification tags are current and packing extra food and supplies. The organization plans a wealth of charity events throughout the year—including Dine Out 4 Paws, Jazzi Sunday Brunch, Frisky Felines Friday, and the Patriotic Pooches Walk—to raise money for various pet-loving causes.

On August 1, 2018, the Good Samaritan Law went into effect to help protect minors and animals unattended in a vehicle. There are specific requirements to carrying out a rescue but the law was enacted to protect children and animals from overheating in unattended vehicles. The Louisiana (LA) SPCA also holds courses and seminars on topics such as pet first aid and CPR, humane law enforcement, and dealing with feral cats. For Bayou State residents interested in promoting the well-being of furry, feathered, and scaly-skinned creatures, becoming a veterinary technician is one possible career path.

So what do vet techs in LA do? According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA June 2023), vet techs fulfill an invaluable role in animal healthcare, taking on responsibilities such as assisting vets with common procedures (e.g., vaccinations, surgeries, dental cleanings, radiographic images); holding down animals during routine examinations; maintaining veterinary health records; keeping inventories of pharmaceuticals and other supplies; performing basic laboratory tests; and educating pet-owners about proper care. Depending on a vet tech’s training, they may also specialize in certain types of procedures (e.g., taking diagnostic images, animal dentistry, critical care) or animal populations (e.g., avian, equine, or exotic animals).

The AVMA (2023) adds that the scope of practice in this profession varies by state. In LA, registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) have board-issued credentials and may perform the following procedures without the direct supervision of a veterinarian: giving medications, taking impressions, teeth floating, developing dental diagnostic images, and taking records of dental pathologies. For a full list of the restrictions on the scope of practice, please consult the AVMA’s chart or the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.

Read on to learn about the bright career prospects for vet techs in LA, what to expect from an accredited vet tech program, and how to register as a vet tech in the state.

Map of Vet Tech Schools in Louisiana

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
Baton Rouge Community College 201 Community College Drive, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, 70806NoYes
Delgado Community College 5200 Blair Drive, Room A3, Metairie, Louisiana, 70001NoYes
Northshore Technical Community College 7067 Hwy 10, Greensburg, Louisiana, 70441NoYes
Northwestern State University of Louisiana 225 Bienvenu Hall, Natchitoches, Louisiana, 71497NoYes

How to Become a Vet Tech in Louisiana

Veterinary technicians in Louisiana and several other states have a simple prescribed course to follow to become employable and certified in the vet tech field. As mentioned above, prospective veterinary technicians should expect to spend two years in an approved vet tech program before beginning work.

Step 1: Graduating from High School (Four Years)– Vet techs must be high school graduates, or earn a GED, before applying to veterinary technician programs. High school students should be sure to excel in hard science classes, such as chemistry and biology, as well as statistics and math, to be as prepared as possible for their continued education.

Step 2A: Earning a Veterinary Technician Degree (Two to Four Years) – Following high school, veterinary technicians in Louisiana must earn veterinary technician degrees from Board-approved veterinary programs. Although listed here as step 2, the fact is that many applicants to vet tech programs already have experience in a veterinary office before enrolling.

Step 2B: Completing On-the-Job Training (One Year or More) – A degree from an approved vet tech school is not strictly required in Louisiana. To become a certified veterinary technician (CVT), those without a degree must submit proof of at least 6,000 hours of on-the-job experience in the veterinary technician role, as verified by a Louisiana licensed veterinarian, and must complete a 20-hour radiation safety training course. Board approval is essential for this particular path.

Those who do not earn a degree from a Board-approved program may be required to verify on-the-job training hours and whatever degree they earn. This training requirement ranges from 1,500 hours for those with a bachelor’s degree in a field such as zoology to 4,500 hours for those who do not complete enough credits to earn an approved degree.

Step 3: Passing the VTNE (Timeline Varies) – Whether a veterinary technician has chosen formal education or on-the-job training as their route to certification, vet techs in Louisiana must sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) as administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. This computer-based exam is used to evaluate entry-level veterinary technicians’ competency to practice and to be credentialed.

Step 4: Applying for CVT Certification (Timeline Varies) – Veterinary technicians who meet all the requirements laid out above are eligible to apply to become CVTs. The application is available online and is administered by the state Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

Job Outlook for Vet Techs in Louisiana

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022) reports that there will be 24,100 new jobs for vet techs nationwide between 2021 and 2031. This projected 20 percent increase is four times the average growth anticipated across all occupations during that same decade (5 percent).

With this growth in new jobs, the veterinary technology field is strong nationally and in Louisiana. In Louisiana (LA), veterinary technician and technologist jobs are expected to increase by 12.8 percent between 2020 and 2030 (Projections Central 2023).

Where do Louisiana Vet Techs Work?

While many vet techs in the Creole State work in veterinary clinics and hospitals, they are also employed by farms, aquariums, biomedical research labs, animal sanctuaries, zoos, kennels, humane societies, universities, pet stores, public policy organizations, and more. Some of these animal healthcare professionals work typical business hours, while others may be called upon to work nights, holidays, or weekends, depending on the needs of their patients.

In addition to iHireVeterinary—a job hunting site specializing in animal healthcare—Indeed boasts employment opportunities for vet techs at places such as CareVet, Tulane University, Banfield Pet Hospital, North Airline Animal Hospital, Mission Veterinary Partners, Metairie Small Animal Hospital, Petco, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury, and more.

Additionally, some LA vet techs choose to specialize their skills and become veterinary technician specialists (VTS). The National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) reports that there is an abundance of professional credentialing societies and academies in areas such as dentistry, dermatology, critical care, zoological medicine, nutrition, avian medicine, equine nursing, and animal behavior, to name a few.

In order to become credentialed, candidates typically need to have documented experience in their subfield, proof of specialized education, and a passing score on an exam. To learn more about how to become a VTS, please check out the vet tech career page.

Vet Tech Salary in Louisiana

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2022) reported that 118,750 vet techs were working across the country with an annual average salary of $40,770. In comparison, the 1,760 vet techs working in Louisiana made an average annual salary of $28,730. In more detail, the BLS (May 2022) found the following salary percentiles among vet techs nationwide and in Louisiana:

United States Louisiana
Number of vet tech professionals employed 118,750 1,760
Annual mean wage $40,770 $28,730
10th percentile $29,000 $21,710
25th percentile $34,510 $23,500
50th percentile (median) $38,240 $28,000
75th percentile $46,740 $33,210
90th percentile $54,680 $37,740

With salaries lower than the national average, future Louisiana vet techs may be comforted knowing that Louisiana’s cost of living is lower than in many other states. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2023), Louisiana is the 18th most affordable place to live in the U.S. Compared to the national average, those living in Louisiana can anticipate spending significantly less on housing and utilities.

Veterinary Career Louisiana Jobs SALARY DATA (BLS May 2022)
Low Salary (10th %ile) MEDIAN SALARY (50TH %ILE) High Salary (90th %ile)
Vet Tech 1,760 $21,710 $28,000 $37,740
Vet Assistant 1,050 $18,800 $28,180 $37,510

Accredited Vet Tech Programs in Louisiana

To become a registered veterinary technician (RVT) in LA, candidates typically graduate from a two- to four-year program in veterinary technology accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) main approval body for educational programs. To gain entry, LA applicants typically must submit the following:

  • Official high school transcripts with proof of having completed specific classes (e.g., biology, algebra, English)
  • Personal statement
  • Proof of health insurance and/or vaccinations
  • Application fee

Please note that some programs call for letters of recommendation, experience working in an animal healthcare setting, test scores, measures of physical fitness (e.g., being able to lift 50 lbs.), or additional course prerequisites such as animal health careers.

There are four CVTEA-accredited programs in Louisiana:

Baton Rouge Community College

Baton Rouge Community College offers a full-time, five-semester associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. Based on the requirements of the American Veterinary Medical Association, this AAS degree program provides graduates with the clinical skills and knowledge required for a veterinary practice career or other animal health professions.

Courses include animal nursing skills; general microbiology; exotic animal medicine; trends in veterinary technology; animal breeds and behavior; imaging for veterinary technicians; veterinary medical terminology; veterinary office procedures & hospital management; pharmacology for veterinary techs; small animal medicine; and large animal medicine and nursing. The program comprises 72 credits.

Prerequisites to the program include English composition I, college algebra, biology I for science majors, biology I lab for science majors, and animal health careers. Competition for this program is competitive and includes evaluation of an applicant’s written communication skills, aptitude for the profession, and academic performance.

One measure of program effectiveness is the first-time passing rate among graduates on the predominant credentialing exam for vet techs: the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Between 2019 and 2022, 67 percent of program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.

  • Location: Baton Rouge, LA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Five semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: $134.89 per credit

Delgado Community College

Delgado Community College of New Orleans provides a five-semester associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology.

This program features a combination of hands-on clinical practicums and courses such as animal anatomy and physiology; animal nursing skills; clinical pathology; pharmacology for veterinary technicians; veterinary office procedures and management; anesthesia; small animal medicine; and surgical nursing. This program is made up of 65 credits.

Program goals include teaching attitudes of excellence, teamwork, professionalism, personal responsibility, and respect for animals and their owners. At Delgado, 38 percent of program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt between 2019 and 2022.

  • Location: New Orleans, LA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Five semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: $133.93 per credit

Northshore Technical Community College

A third CVTEA-accredited program is offered through Northshore Technical Community College (NSCC) in Greensburg, LA. This two-year program combines classroom teaching with labs and supervised clinical externships.

The program is a hybrid of online learning through Canvas and hands-on instruction at the Florida Parishes Campus, local farms, and horse stables. Courses include veterinary medical terminology; lab animal medicine; parasitology for veterinary technicians; veterinary office and hospital procedures; animal nursing; animal anatomy and physiology; animal care & handling; avian & exotic medicine; animal dentistry; anesthesia & analgesia, and more. The program consists of 66 credits.

The NTCC first-time pass rate on the VTNE is 41 percent (2019 to 2022).

  • Location: Greensburg, LA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $133.92 per credit

Northwestern State University

Finally, Northwestern State University of Natchitoches, LA, provides both an associate degree program and a bachelor of science (BS) in biology with a concentration in veterinary technology. Courses for the veterinary portion of these degrees include veterinary medical terminology; animal care and health; veterinary anatomy and physiology; diseases of animals; veterinary hospital technology; veterinary radiology and imaging; and more.

Students complete a host of labs and an internship to gain the hands-on skills needed to pass the VTNE and become registered veterinary technicians (RVT) in LA. Between 2019 and 2022, 66.7 percent of Northwestern State’s program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.

  • Location: Natchitoches, LA
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: $2,590 per semester

Accredited Online Vet Tech Programs for Louisiana Students

For students living in more rural regions of LA or who have time commitments preventing them from attending an on-campus program, there are ten CVTEA-accredited online programs. These programs involve a combination of online coursework and clinical training at approved local sites close to students’ homes.

Jefferson State Community College

For example, Jefferson State Community College of nearby Alabama offers an online associate program in veterinary technology with classes such as animal diseases and immunology; animal nutrition of laboratory animals; animal pharmacology and toxicology; vet microbiology and parasitology; and anesthesia and diagnostic imaging.

Among program graduates between 2019 and 2022, 71 percent passed the VTNE on their first attempt. Please note that clinicals must be completed in Alabama; therefore, this program may be ideal for LA residents living close to the state border.

  • Location: Birmingham, AL
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: In-state ($166 per credit); out-of-state ($291 per credit)

Penn Foster

A more flexible online vet tech associate program is available at Penn Foster, a vibrant distance-based college boasting affordable tuition ($85 per credit), renowned faculty, and individualized attention.

With clinical components of the program available at Banfield and VCA Animal Hospitals nationwide, Penn Foster offers didactic classes online such as veterinary office management and skill with people; medical nursing for veterinary technicians; small and large animal medicine; anesthesia; pharmacology; surgical nursing; and clinical parasitology. This program is made up of 73 credits.

Finally, 78 percent of Penn Foster’s vet tech graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt between 2019 and 2022.

  • Location: Online
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Nine months
  • Estimated Tuition: $85 per credit

To discover other distance-based opportunities in veterinary technology, please visit the online vet tech programs page.

Vet Tech Program Accreditation

For Louisiana residents interested in becoming vet techs, seeking out an accredited educational program is essential. Not only is graduating from an accredited program a prerequisite to becoming a registered veterinary technician (RVT) in the state, but it also can ensure a baseline of quality in terms of instruction, program resources, and student outcomes.

Aspiring vet techs are encouraged to find programs accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) program-approval branch. The CVTEA weighs several factors in its accreditation process such as:

  • Institutional accreditation
  • School and program finance management
  • Organization and communications networks
  • Quality of facilities
  • Resources available for clinical training
  • Libraries and other resources
  • Admissions process
  • Student outcomes
  • Faculty and staff
  • Curriculum

To learn more about each of these factors, please check out the main CVTEA accreditation page.

Louisiana Vet Tech Registration Process

To practice as a veterinary technician in LA, candidates must first register with the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine (LBVM). The LBVM calls for the following in its registration process:

  • Notarized application with references
  • Two “reference of personal and professional character” forms
  • Passport-style photograph
  • Proof of graduation from an AVMA-accredited (i.e., CVTEA-accredited) program
  • Application and certificate fees ($25 + $30)
  • A passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)

Finally, to maintain an active registration, LA vet techs must renew their credentials annually and complete 10 hours of continuing education (CE), five of which can be completed online. There is a wealth of organizations that offer web-based CE opportunities, including:

  • VetMedTeam
  • AtDove
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Vetlearn
Jocelyn Blore (Chief Content Strategist)

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as an English teacher and freelance writer. After stints in England, Japan, and Brazil, she settled in San Francisco and worked as a managing editor for a tech company. When not writing about veterinary technology, nursing, engineering, and other career fields, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor.