Advancement opportunities will depend on the vet that hires you because the laws in Utah make little distinction between an educated veterinary technician and any other unlicensed assistant.
However, many vets, universities, etc are going to look for a degree despite the lack of laws governing veterinary technology just because a person with a degree has shown initiative, a true interest and dedication. This means that the veterinarian is more likely to end up with an employee that needs less in-depth on the job training and who is more likely to treat the job like a profession. So if you are really looking for a long-term sort of position you might want to consider getting a degree. And after working as an assistant for a while you really might WANT to know more and that degree program may look more enticing ;)
To find out about the salaries and positions you would be looking at in your state, try contacting the state veterinary medical or state veterinary technician associations. They will have better info for your specific area of the country.