College Graduate wanting to become vet tech

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (26)

margie1129 in Whitefish, Montana

53 months ago

I recently graduated from a four year university in sociology. I have a passion for animals and would like to become a vet tech. I am shadowing a vet tech and observing surgeries to see if this is the right move for me. The one thing I am worried about is that if I will be able to get into an accredited Vet Tech school, even though I do not have much knowledge in biology. Will it be difficult for me to be accepted to these schools, or because I am a college graduate will I just need to take a placement test to see where I am?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (14) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Future Tech in Long Beach, California

52 months ago

Hi Margie!
I also have a bachelor from a 4-yr university. I applied to an AVMA-accredited distance learning program (San Juan College); all of my lower-division requirements met with their program after they reviewed the transcripts (and my biology class was over 10 years old!). Since you have a bachelor degree, there may not be a placement test, depending upon the school and the program requirements, and you may be able to move right into their curriculum. Check the AVMA site for accredited programs in MT.
Since you already work in the field, make sure to let your vet/employer know of your plans, and you'll be able to do your clinicals from the get-go. Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

T in Pomona, California

52 months ago

Hi Margie,

I heard they just opened up a RVT program in Pomona for Carrington College. My friend who is working as an assistant is looking to get licensed. He said it is not an online course so would have to attend class and internships.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (12) / No (8) Reply - Report abuse

cindy in Fullerton, California

51 months ago

Hi I'm going to attend carrington college in pomona for the vet tech program. The staff is great the assessment test is easy anyone can pass it you don't have to be good in biology at least not for the test. The test is just math and vocabulary.:-) I hope I helped

margie1129 in Whitefish, Montana said: I recently graduated from a four year university in sociology. I have a passion for animals and would like to become a vet tech. I am shadowing a vet tech and observing surgeries to see if this is the right move for me. The one thing I am worried about is that if I will be able to get into an accredited Vet Tech school, even though I do not have much knowledge in biology. Will it be difficult for me to be accepted to these schools, or because I am a college graduate will I just need to take a placement test to see where I am?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (7) Reply - Report abuse

Kendal in Rancho Cucamonga, California

51 months ago

I did attend a vet tech school in San Diego. I did well and learned quite a bit. I have worked at a bunch of hospitals and have lost most jobs after just 3 mos. The reason? No skills. Or lack of skills. But, actually, none of the lead techs would take me under their wing, so to speak, and really force me to do jug draws and catheter placements. Mostly it has been restraint, restraint, restraint. I made a huge mistake and spent a ton of money by going to a tech school without having worked in the industry. My advice, as an RVT (that test is really hard), just start working in a hospital and gain some skills. Don't waste the money until you are absolutely sure. There are only 4 things you can't do without the license check the vet med board, everything else, you can do unlicensed and many vets hesitate to hire a licensed RVT b/c we demand more money and they would rather train someone off the street. Also, you have to be a psychotic rude blank to get along with the techs, because they are not people lovers and they will absolutely treat you like blank and demean you if they know you have a license but no experience. I had to quit Banfield for that reason. This is all true, absolutely true. Trust me, go get a job first and see that I am right. OH, and microbiology is an impacted course at most colleges, I lucked out and got in on a summer course, get that one done as soon as possible.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (19) / No (9) Reply - Report abuse

Jenn in Rochester, New York

49 months ago

I had a similar problem. I did make some mistakes in regard to getting a job (waiting until after I was sure I'd passed my licensing exam for one - you don't need to wait if you've graduated, but at the time, I worried I might fail the test. Now I feel dumb, since I still would have been able to be an assistant until I did pass). However, I lost my job six months after I got my first one and the only thing I can put it down to is lack of experience. I know I'm an excellent employee otherwise, so that's the only reason they would have let me go. I just wish they'd have been a bit more prepared to have a new grad. I was nervous about doing most things without anyone overseeing me, and this wasn't the type of place that allowed for that. I only got 3 DAYS of shadowing someone before they put me on by myself. Of course, I wasn't really alone, but I never got the guidance I needed or the opportunities to watch and learn when I really needed to. For instance, I remember one day after I'd been there a few weeks. I was observing a dental cleaning (never having done one myself, I was trying to learn by watching the more experienced technician). The head doctor came in and told me to go find something else to do because he didn't like it when people were "idle". Um, hello? I was trying to learn an important skill that's part of my job. I ended up doing pretty much anything but what I really should have been learning while I was there. I was pretty much nothing more than a glorified assistant. Yes, I was allowed to do some things; I got pretty good at intubating and self-monitoring animals that were under anesthesia. I did okay with x-rays when I was assisting the other technicians, and I was even improving with catheter placements and blood draws by the time they decided to get rid of me. I just never got to do enough of anything to really get good at it, and I think it's partly because, after a while, they didn't really want to train me.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (10) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

esmi13 in Lake Elsinore, California

48 months ago

i have an appointment at carrington college in pomona this friday to see if i wanna enroll into this school for the vet tech program! they told me they offer an associates degree! but after reading what Kendel had to say, im kinda scared! i was just wondering if any one knows how much training they actually give u hands on! im suppose to start school at a jc but i only got one class and its not even a transferable class so i dont know wether i should just go to the jc and just attend that one class till next semester or if carrington will actually help..im just scared of not being employed after i get my associates?!! someone please help!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (9) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

elle89 in Richmond, California

48 months ago

esmi13 in Lake Elsinore, California said: i have an appointment at carrington college in pomona this friday to see if i wanna enroll into this school for the vet tech program! they told me they offer an associates degree! but after reading what Kendel had to say, im kinda scared! i was just wondering if any one knows how much training they actually give u hands on! im suppose to start school at a jc but i only got one class and its not even a transferable class so i dont know wether i should just go to the jc and just attend that one class till next semester or if carrington will actually help..im just scared of not being employed after i get my associates?!! someone please help!

My friend attended the program but in a different city and she has had the same job for a year and a half now :).. but I hear a lot of people are struggling with finding a job. I recently applied and just had to go through financial aide and i would be in,but after really looking at it,the school costs 32,000 where i live and vet techs out here are topping out at 42,000 with plenty of years of experience.Im not saying I only care bout the money,but honestly to pay 32,000 and get paid less than that for years just scared me a little. I think a JC is a more reasonable option.by the way it makes u wonder,are these people only after my money?my friend went to enroll for the vet tech program with me but did not pass the exam and they just kept pushing other programs on her.honestly it looks like its just a 50/50..u may be lucky after taking the course,but luck may not be good enough when youre 30,000 in debt..(i am now looking for a JC to start on my ultrasound tech program) =].

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

donna in Indianapolis, Indiana

48 months ago

i know indianapolis is kind of far away but I go to the vet tech institute at international business college. they have many locations in the country. it is an associate's degree that you get in 18 months. it is pretty hands on too. one of my classes is just for hands on learning. they have a kennel in the school! it is accredited by the avma. you dont need any previous degrees in biology or anything. its a great school!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (6) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Kenzy21 in Modesto, California

44 months ago

I'm looking going into Carrington College in Stockton but I'm nervous because I'm looking at 32,000 for the schooling. I live in Sonora,CA. Does anyone out there know if they schooling is really worth it and if they'd hire me in my area after the school? I don't want to be like my fiance who went through the HVAC program in Modesto and then found he couldn't get a job because the market was flooded. Luckily he got a free ride. I will have to pay for all of mine.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (6) Reply - Report abuse

WRB in Gualala, California

43 months ago

looking into vet tech school for my 23 year old daughter. She has hands-on experience with animals having worked as an animal trainer trainee at Six Flags, for a pet sitting service, and for a pet resort. She also has about 100 hours volunteer time at the zoo. She had a very ill cat and her vet taught her how to do subcutaneous IVs, give pills, etc. She knows how to lay out everything for certain injections from her jobs, works with various types of animals, and so forth. Carrington College seems very pricey for the vet tech program- is it really worth it or would it be better for her to try to get a job at a vet's office and learn that way?
Thanks for any and all input.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

KATtheDogLover in Long Beach, California

43 months ago

WRB, since she already has some hands-on experience, it would seem that there are several options for your daughter. If she really wants to work in veterinary care (domestic or exotics), an education is becoming a good option. With the California laws changing, it would be a good idea to work toward some kind of degree, whether an AAS or a BS.

She could find an entry-level assistant job at a vet's practice (perhaps the very one who taught her to SQ IV injections) and attend one of the online vet tech programs; some offer an AAS degree. With that AAS comes the eligibility to sit for the VTNE exam and become a registered veterinary technician in the state of California.

Online programs are more budget-friendly than private colleges or universities, and the work can be done outside of traditional campus classroom schedules. Go to the AVMA site and check out their list of accredited Vet Tech distance learning programs:

www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_distance_learning.asp

I have attended San Juan College and have been very happy with their program, faculty, and staff, but that is just my experience and opinion. Good luck!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Aaliah Thomas in Chicago

43 months ago

WRB in Gualala, California said: looking into vet tech school for my 23 year old daughter. She has hands-on experience with animals having worked as an animal trainer trainee at Six Flags, for a pet sitting service, and for a pet resort. She also has about 100 hours volunteer time at the zoo. She had a very ill cat and her vet taught her how to do subcutaneous IVs, give pills, etc. She knows how to lay out everything for certain injections from her jobs, works with various types of animals, and so forth. Carrington College seems very pricey for the vet tech program- is it really worth it or would it be better for her to try to get a job at a vet's office and learn that way?
Thanks for any and all input.

Hey WRB!

It seems your daughter is fond of animals and due to this reason she is in pet care field. But inspite of her experience in this field she may need a vet tech degree in future. So it would be better if she goes for online courses in vet tech. There are many universities which have online vet tech programs. And trust me they are really good. Also there are provisions of scholarship, which will lower the cost of studies to great extent. The following site will give you all the details.

veterinariantechnician.org/financial-aid-and-scholarships-for-vet-techs/

Many of my friends are doing online courses and are really satisfied with these programs.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Vanuhy in Armenia

39 months ago

hi,,i am from Armenia,,i will grad school in 2012,i dream to become veterinar,,i loove anymals and have lots of wishes about helping them ,,but in Armenia there isnt good vet institute,,plz help me to find where can i apply or get for learning vet program at institute..??thanks if somebody will reply me//

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

Missi in Wheeling, Illinois

36 months ago

donna in Indianapolis, Indiana said: i know indianapolis is kind of far away but I go to the vet tech institute at international business college. they have many locations in the country. it is an associate's degree that you get in 18 months. it is pretty hands on too. one of my classes is just for hands on learning. they have a kennel in the school! it is accredited by the avma. you dont need any previous degrees in biology or anything. its a great school!

Are you talking about the Vet Tech Institute at Fox College? It is accredited right? and do you have to have any college level classes before you apply? I can't seem to find any info on that.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

36 months ago

You can find a complete list of AVMA accredited colleges in Illinois here: www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/illinois.asp

There are links to each school's website there as well.

To determine what their requirements are for applying to the veterinary technology degree program, contact the program. It's the easiest way to get clear and accurate answers.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Lexie1333 in Plymouth, Indiana

32 months ago

I am a 10th grader in high school and I am looking into becoming a vet tech or a vet assistant. I am really set on becoming a vet tech but I am worried about the cost and all that and I keep finding different answers online. So please any information would help me.I live in Indiana and I may be moving to Nevada after I graduate high school so really any information about becoming a vet tech in Indiana or Nevada would be very helpful. I need information on schools,cost and how long it would take me to get everything done...any information and opinions are welcome thank you.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

LeTreay in Rochester, New York

30 months ago

Jenn in Rochester, New York said:

I want to start school to be a vet tech but I'm having trouble finding local schools that dont require you to take GE courses. There are some schools that review specific GE courses but just the ones you need for your major. An 18 month program is perfect, I just need to find one. I've only lived in Rochester about six months now and I really don't want to relocate to find a good school but if I really have to I will. Any suggestions?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Rhonda in Warner Robins, Georgia

30 months ago

Hello. I am writing a post to this area because I am a Certified Veterinary Technician. I took the NVTE right out of college so I wouldn't forget the information and was able to pass. The test was hard but with studying hard you can pass it.
As far as working in the field...
The best clinic I ever worked at was in Hopewell, PA. I worked for a team of 6 Veterinarians who were not only a pleasure to work with but have taught me a great deal about this field. We also had an awesome team of Assistants as well as Technicians, Certified and Non.

I moved to Georgia and had a hard time finding that "family environment" like I had for the 7 years I worked in PA. Found a job in a clinic and was told that she wanted to hire someone to replace her as she was retiring. But at the same time would not train me to take over her position. I ended up walking out on the job which is something I would never do but I could no longer watch dangerous things go on and watch an untrained assistant do dentals on patients with NO ANESTHESIA EXPERIENCE. And watching teeth get pulled with out being properly trained. I had to leave! Also watched a Certified Tech...the one who hired me...give a bath to a patient with heart failure for over an hour...the whole time stressing the animal. Watching that poor thing flailing to get out of the tub was inhumane. THIS CLINIC WAS NOT FOR ME!

Moved to Tampa...The Dr's that I worked for were very condescending and rude and one Dr. even threatened to hit another Tech. Very abusive and I have NEVER been treated so badly by another human being in my life! Rumors were that he has been reported to the board for prior incidences like this.
THIS DR. EVEN HAD A RECORD OF HOW MANY WOMEN HE MADE CRY EVERY DAY! THE OWNER OF THIS CLINIC FOUND THAT TO BE CUTE.

continued....

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Rhonda in Warner Robins, Georgia

30 months ago

Back to Georgia, searched hard for clinic...got call from one, took the job. Only to be bullied by the office manager who apparently has a habit of doing this to new hires. 3 employee told me she was a liar and quite good at it. Complete control freak she was. She is not a tech but felt it necessary to "teach" me on how to be a tech. THE CLINIC CANNOT AND WILL NOT RUN WITHOUT HER! And she made that quite clear. If SHE didn't want something to happen...it was NOT going to happen. Her way or the highway. She made a comment that she was a very vindictive person...then lied about saying it. Nothing but problems with this girl. She made my life hell while I worked there.
She would literally follow me around and try to argue with me and even said "We can go outside and talk about it if you want!" I told her to let it go and kept walking away to avoid confrontation. Only to have her follow me again.
She controlled that clinic in the worst way! The other employees didn't even like her but the boss did and that's all that mattered.

Needless to say...

I got left go after my 90 days! I really wanted it to work out. Despite the harassment from the office manager...I still got to work every day.

To make a long story even longer...there are great clinics out there and it may take you a few to find the one you belong in. You will get tired, beat down, belittled by cranky Dr's, won't get paid much, chances are you will cry at least twice a week whether it's because you watched a puppy be put down or a co-worker just stabbed you in the back.

On the upside...you will fall in love everyday at work, (how many people can say that lol), you will make a difference every day, you will make someone feel better every day, you will learn something new every day, you will get that I.V. catheter in when no one else can, you will hit that jugular stick when no one else can, you will nail that perfect X-Ray for the Dr so he can base his diagnoses on it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (5) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

WRB in Gualala, California

30 months ago

KATtheDogLover in Long Beach, California said:
She could find an entry -level assistant job at a vet's practice (perhaps the very one who taught her to SQ IV injections) and attend one of the online vet tech programs; some offer an AAS degree. With that AAS comes the eligibility to sit for the VTNE exam and become a registered veterinary technician in the state of California.

Just thought I would reply. My daughter quit her job at the pet hotel and decided to go back to school and get into the vet tech program at the JC. She talked to the counseler, got the lists of classes and prerequisites she needs, and made a date to take the placment tests. In the meantime, she had gone into the vet where she took her animals, and they gave her a job! She started part time but two other techs left and suddenly they were short-handed. She is now full-time. They have told her that she will be eligible for an accelerated program to get her Vet Tech Certification after a certain amount of time. She is doing everything you can do without being a certified vet tech. It's kind of been trial by fire or sink or swim. She has been there for almost a year and loves it.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

Rhonda in Warner Robins, Georgia

30 months ago

If I can find that clinic like I was in back home in PA, I would do it and go there with bells on!

That clinic was run properly by the nicest owner. It was HIS livelihood and he appreciated his employees. That's why it is successful to this day.

We all knew our jobs, we all had our place, we all leaned on each other when needed. THAT'S FAMILY!!

The pay wasn't the greatest but when you actually love to go to work...it didn't really matter. I worked there for 7 years and was their Dental Technician.

The teamwork was amazing. I hope you find that type of environment. I am blessed to have experienced it.

Good luck in your endeavors. Love what you do!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

WRB in Gualala, California

30 months ago

To continue- the first day at work they had her assist with cleaning out a horrible abscess and I guess the fact that she didn't pass out or puke helped them decide to hire her. She has a list of skills she needs to learn that gets checked off when they are satisfied that she can do them. They are also really good about sending her to workshops and seminars to learn new things. She is working very hard, long days (she works a four day week), it can be exhausting but it is never boring and she is always learning something new. The other day she called me at lunch and had been carrying a kitten around in her pocket all day. When they feel she is ready she will take the classes to get the certified vet tech and would like to go for RVT. She is definitely getting the hands-on skills she needs.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

30 months ago

Rhonda,
If there are assistants performing tasks that it is illegal for them to perform or under improper supervision, you can and should report them to the state licensing board. Or if a clinic doesn't have a notice posted that they utilize veterinary technicians rather than licensed technicians and/or they don't identify their assistants as assistants, you should report them.
sos.georgia.gov/acrobat/PLB/laws/07_Veterinary_43-50.pdf

The only way these things will change is if we start standing up for what is right.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

KAT the Dog Lover in Long Beach, California

30 months ago

Hi WRB,

Glad to hear that your daughter got a lucky break from her vet and decided to go to school. Yay! It sounds like they are happy with her work and feel that she is worth their investment in training her while she works toward formal education and state credential.

To become an RVT (Registered Vet Tech) in California she will have to earn an AAS degree from an AVMA-accredited school vet tech program, take the VTNE (national exam), and apply to the State for her RVT credential. Later, she'll need to earn CE credits (Continuing Educ, to retain that credential).

I'm glad for her and hope she plows through all of the tasks and excels in her chosen program. Wish her luck from a fellow tech assistant!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

WRB in Gualala, California

30 months ago

Thank you! Yes, it was amazing that they offered her the job and they seem quite happy with her. She will work towards getting that Certified Vet tech degree first- right now she is just getting used to being a working stiff working 40 hours a week. Hopefully eventually she can get the RVT. I'll pass on your kind words.
:)

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.