Veterinary Technician Schools in New Jersey (NJ)


For animal lovers in the Garden State seeking a fast-tracked veterinary career, there are both accredited schools and many opportunities in New Jersey. With 3,390 veterinary technicians and technologists currently employed in New Jersey and a projected national increase of 20 percent between 2021 and 2031, veterinary technicians should find ample opportunity to work with animals (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2022).

While becoming a licensed veterinarian can require eight years of post-secondary education and additional time in residency, joining an animal healthcare clinic as an entry-level vet tech typically only requires a two-year associate degree. Furthermore, in New Jersey (NJ), these professionals are given more clinical independence than vet techs in many other states. To illustrate, NJ does not require vet tech professional licensure and offers a more generous scope of practice.

By comparison, most US states require licensure and detail what vet techs are permitted to do.

Although professional licensure is not necessary for NJ vet techs, enhancing one’s career prospects can be advisable. The predominant credentialing agency is the New Jersey Veterinary Technicians & Assistants (NJVTA), which provides many resources in addition to vet tech certification, including continuing education (CE) opportunities, professional development events, and networking. Founded as a non-profit in 1972, NJVTA strives to ensure that its members uphold the Veterinary Technician’s Oath:

I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and by promoting public health. I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession’s Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.

Map of AVMA Accredited Vet Tech Schools in New Jersey (NJ)

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
Bergen Community College 400 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey, 07652NoYes
Camden County College 200 College Drive, Blackwood, New Jersey, 08012NoYes

How to Become a Vet Tech in New Jersey

So how does a resident of NJ become a vet tech? And what types of responsibilities do they have? To join this high-growth occupation, a citizen of NJ typically takes several steps, outlined below.

  • Step 1: Graduate from a two-to-four-year veterinary technology program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)—a branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)—which is the main accrediting body for vet tech programs in the country.
  • Step 2: Pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
  • Step 3: Apply for professional certification through the New Jersey Veterinary Technicians & Assistants, Inc. (NJVTA).

While professional certification is not required to practice as a veterinary technician in New Jersey, it is required in many other states. And since professional certification typically requires graduating from an AVMA-accredited program and passing the VTNE, both steps merit serious consideration, especially for those who may wish to practice in other states. Also, many employers require candidates to have earned at least a two-year degree, so skipping that step may impact employability.

According to the extensive skills checklist of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), vet techs are tasked with many responsibilities, such as collecting laboratory samples; performing medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian; helping to diagnose illnesses and conditions; providing first aid and monitoring the stability of animals in medical recovery; restraining animals during examinations; assisting with diagnostic imaging, anesthesia, surgery, and dentistry procedures; and administering treatments.

Veterinary technicians generally have two-year degrees, whereas veterinary technologists have four-year degrees and more in-depth training. Finally, some vet techs choose to specialize in fields such as zoology, nutrition, equine medicine, anesthesia, dentistry, animal behavior, emergency care, clinical pathology, and more.

Read on to discover the job outlook for vet techs in NJ, as well as the range of accredited programs and detailed information about professional certification.

Current Job Outlook for Vet Techs in New Jersey

For New Jersey residents and beyond, there’s excellent news for aspiring veterinary technicians. As mentioned above, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022) anticipates that openings in this profession will swell 20 percent between 2031 and 2031, much faster than the expected growth rate of all occupations during that period (5 percent). That equates to a projected addition of 24,100 vet tech jobs nationally.

The field of veterinary technology is strong nationally and in New Jersey. According to Projections Central (2022), the anticipated growth rate for vet techs in the state between 2020 and 2030 is 9.5 percent.

Veterinary technicians can seek employment in various environments, including animal hospitals, clinics, laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, government agencies, animal products manufacturers, race tracks, zoos, aquariums, farms, livestock yards, animal sanctuaries, universities, and more.

The jobs listings on Indeed in August 2023 indicate that a range of opportunities is available for vet techs in New Jersey at companies such as EverVet Partners, BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital, Whiting Veterinary Clinic, Coastal Veterinary, Long Valley Animal Hospital, Veterinary Emergency Group, CareVet, Petco, Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center, VCA Animal Hospitals, and more.

Vet Tech Salaries in New Jersey – How Much Do Vet Techs Make?

In addition to a strong occupational outlook, New Jersey boasts higher salaries than the national average. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS May 2022), the 118,750 vet techs across the nation earned an average annual salary of $40,770. In comparison, the 3,390 vet techs working in New Jersey earned $45,120 per year, roughly 10 percent more than the national average for vet techs.

The following chart illustrates earning potential for vet techs in New Jersey at various earning percentiles, compared to national figures:

United States New Jersey
Number of vet techs employed 118,750 3,390
Average annual salary $40,770 $45,120
10th percentile $29,000 $36,790
25th percentile $34,510 $38,140
50th percentile (median) $38,240 $45,140
75th percentile $46,740 $47,210
90th percentile $54,680 $58,360

When considering earning potential, the cost of living is a key piece of the puzzle. Vet Techs in NJ fared much better than people in this industry nationwide. It is important to keep in mind that while the salaries for vet techs in NJ are relatively generous, the cost of living in the state is also higher than in most US states. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2023) found that New Jersey was the 12th most expensive state – something to keep in mind when considering job offers.

VET TECH 3,390 $36,790 $45,140 $58,360
VET ASSISTANT 1,940 $29,970 $36,370 $45,440

Accredited Vet Tech Programs in New Jersey

In the state of New Jersey, there are two campus-based programs accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the primary accrediting body for vet tech programs in the country. For more information on accreditation, please reference the section below.

Bergen Community College

Bergen Community College in Paramus provides a CVTEA-accredited associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology, instructing its students in the fundamentals through classroom work, hands-on clinical experiences, and externship training. Students must complete prerequisites to enter the program, as well as general education courses, and two clinical externships.

Courses in this two-year program include vertebrate anatomy and physiology; veterinary pharmacology; veterinary medical terminology; veterinary nursing; clinical laboratory procedures; diagnostic imaging; surgical assistance and anesthesia; and more. Regarding test scores, 68 percent of Bergen’s graduates passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) on their first try between 2019 and 2022.

  • Location: Paramus, NJ
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: In-county ($212.75 per credit); out-of-county ($373.40 per credit); out-of-state ($389.75 per credit)

Camden County College

Camden County College of Blackwood also offers a CVTEA-accredited associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary nursing. As a fairly competitive program, students must complete prerequisites with a “C” grade or higher, and complete an application before they can begin taking vet tech coursework.

This program involves a rigorous combination of 300 hours of practical clinical education and courses such as small animal nursing; microbiology; hematology; veterinary pharmacology; farm animal nursing; pathology for veterinary technicians; radiology for veterinary technicians; animal anatomy and physiology; veterinary dental techniques; and parasitology. The program comprises 69 credits.

Camden County College seeks to prepare students for work in teaching hospitals, small animal clinics, veterinary offices, and exotic practices. Between 2020 and 2023, 71 percent of Camden’s graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.

  • Location: Blackwood, NJ
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: In-county ($115 per credit); out-of-county ($119 per credit)

Accredited Online Vet Tech Programs for New Jersey Residents

In addition to the accredited on-campus programs in NJ, there are currently several CVTEA-accredited, online vet tech programs across the US.

Penn Foster

One distance-based option is available through Penn Foster’s associate degree program, giving advanced instruction in courses such as animal anatomy and physiology; medical nursing for veterinary technicians; pharmacology for veterinary technicians; clinical pathology; anesthesia for veterinary technicians; surgical nursing for veterinary technicians; clinical parasitology for veterinary technicians; radiography for veterinary technicians; small and large animal medicine; and animal nutrition, reproduction, genetics, and aging, among others. This 73-credit program includes two externships.

With a dedicated faculty and externships through Banfield and VCA Animal Hospitals, Penn Foster’s program is also one of the most affordable, with payment plans and additional savings for paying in full or enrolling in autopay. Between 2020 and 2023, 78 percent of its graduates passed the VTNE on the first attempt.

  • Location: Online
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Fast track (nine months); Average time (12 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: $1,499 – $1,999 per semester

St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College in Florida provides two online programs in veterinary technology including an associate of science (AS) and a bachelor of applied science (BAS). The 73-credit AS program offers classes such as medical terminology; animal nursing; animal anatomy; exotic pet medicine; and pharmacology.

The 120-credit online BAS program—offered to applicants who already have associate degrees—provides three specializations: advanced clinical applications, veterinary hospital management, and combined clinical and hospital management. Both programs require students to work or volunteer for 20 hours weekly in a veterinary facility located close to their homes. Distance-based programs begin in August, January, and May each year.

Additionally, St. Petersburg offers a certificate in veterinary practice management. Boasting an $11 million state-of-the-art veterinary technology facility, a 79.3 percent first-time passing rate on the VTNE between 2019 and 2022, and several scholarships for students, St. Petersburg College can provide a solid foundation in vet tech skills at the convenience of students.

  • Location: St. Petersburg, FL
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: AS (24 months); BAS (48 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: Lower division courses (Florida residents: $111.75 per credit; out-of-state residents: $386.90 per credit); upper division (Florida residents: $122.70 per credit; out-of-state residents: $425.79 per credit)

For more information on distance-based programs, please visit the online veterinary technician programs page.

Certification and Program Accreditation for Vet Techs in New Jersey

As mentioned in the introduction, professional certification, licensure, or registration is not currently mandatory for veterinary technicians in New Jersey. That said, it can be advisable to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)—offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB)—for several reasons. First, it’s a prerequisite to licensure for nearly all American states and mandatory for practice in neighboring areas such as New York. Second, it can enhance an aspiring vet tech’s job candidacy and salary prospects.

The New Jersey Veterinary Technicians & Assistants, Inc. (NJVTA) offers professional certification to applicants who have completed an application; submitted proof of having completed a two- to four-year, CVTEA-accredited veterinary technology program; passed the VTNE; and paid a credentialing fee. Credentials must be renewed every two years in January following the completion of 20 hours of continuing education (CE), including approved conferences, courses, events, and other relevant activities.

To qualify for licensure, certification, or registration as a veterinary technician in most states, students must have graduated from a two- to four-year program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)—the program approval body established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)—which is the main accrediting body for vet tech programs in the country.

The CVTEA takes several aspects into consideration in its program accreditation processes such as the comprehensiveness of curricula, student outcomes, quality of facilities, availability of student support services, program finances, and admissions processes.

Finally, The AVMA provides an extensive list of mandated vet tech skills which must be included as part of the curricula in any approved program.

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.