Veterinary Technician Degree
How to Pick the Right One Near Marana Arizona
Finding a veterinary technician school near Marana AZ to fulfill your passionate desire to help and care for animals might initially seem like an enormous task. After all, you must locate and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training so that you can succeed as a vet tech. And in order to pick the right one you must research and compare all of the schools you have placed on your short list. Many future students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their homes. When they have identified some nearby colleges, they find out which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when comparing vet tech programs, they are not the only critical ones when making your assessments. Job placement and intership programs in addition to accreditation are just as important if not more so as cost and location. The bottom line is that before making a selection, you must complete your due diligence and compare all important aspects of the schools you are evaluating. We have presented several in this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we'll go over the different roles of veterinary technicians and the training options available.
IT TAKES JUST A FEW MINUTES TO START YOUR VET TECH CAREER BELOW
Vet Tech Education Options
Among the initial decisions that you will need to make is if you want to train as a vet assistant, technologist or technician. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest in your education, but the primary factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What technicians and assistants have in common is that they all work under the direct direction of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And even though there are numerous duties that they can carry out within the Marana AZ veterinary clinic or hospital, they can't prescribe medications, diagnose ailments, or perform surgeries. In those areas they can only provide assistance to a licensed vet. There are technologists and technicians that work exclusive of the conventional veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or police departments. Let's take a look at the job functions and education requirements for each position.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have undergone a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a practice, or by finishing a certificate program at a community college or trade school. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the vets and vet technicians in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more involved tasks, for instance assisting with surgical procedures. Some of their normal functions may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or handling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians undergo more advanced training compared to assistants and usually acquire a 2 year Associate Degree, ideally from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the vet counterparts of medical nurses, since their basic job duty is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they stand apart from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complex tasks, for instance assisting with surgeries or administering medication. All states presently require veterinary techs pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet techs and essentially carry out the same work functions. They are mandated to attain a Bachelor's Degree in veterinary technology, which generally takes four years to complete. So the only real difference between a vet technician and a technologist is the technologist's higher level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more career options, higher salaries and possible management positions. They are also required to pass a credentialing examination for either registration, certification or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists may specialize in areas such as anesthesia, internal medicine or emergency care. Some may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Marana AZ laboratories or research facilities also.
Vet Tech Online Programs Available
An option that may be a solution for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full-time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online program. Because the classes are offered over the internet, students can study on their own schedule wherever a computer is accessible. The curriculum is taught using various venues, including slide shows, videos and live streaming webinars. And since most veterinary technician and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can usually be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Marana AZ veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and ancillary expenses, for instance for traveling and study supplies, can be more affordable compared to more traditional classroom programs. Just make sure that the online school that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally recognized accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more independent mode, an online veterinary technician program may be the perfect option for you.
What to Ask Veterinary Technician Colleges
By now you probably have selected which veterinary degree that you want to earn, and if you want to study online or attend a college on campus. Since there are a large number of vet community colleges, technical and vocational schools in the Marana AZ area and across the United States, you need to ask some qualifying questions in order to narrow down your list of options. As we discussed in our opening, many prospective students start by concentrating on location and the cost of tuition. But we have previously touched on other essential qualifiers, such as internship programs and accreditation. And of course you want to choose a college that offers the degree and specialty that you would like to earn. These and other qualifications are covered in the checklist of questions that you need to ask the vet tech colleges that you are reviewing.
Is the Vet College Accredited? It's important that you verify that the vet tech college you select is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As previously mentioned, among the most highly regarded is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Trade schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have undergone a demanding review process that confirms you will get a quality education. Also, accreditation is essential if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, since a large number of programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a degree or certificate from an accredited college is in many cases a precondition for employment for many Marana AZ area vet practices and hospitals.
What is the School's Reputation? The veterinary college or trade school and program you choose should have an exceptional reputation within the vet community. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the schools you are reviewing for endorsements from the employers in their job placement network. Other pointers include checking with online school rating websites and contacting the school's accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Arizona school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or violations concerning your specific schools. As a final tip, phone some Marana AZ veterinary clinics that you may want to work for after you get your training. Find out what they think about your school choices. They may even recommend one or more colleges not on your list.
Are there Internship Programs? The best means to get practical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the colleges you are considering have internship programs established with Marana AZ veterinarians, vet hospitals or clinics. Most veterinary medicine programs require practical training and a large number provide it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be beneficial regarding the clinical training, but an internship may also help build associations in the local vet community and aid in the search for a position after graduation.
Is Job Assistance Provided? Searching for a job after graduating from a veterinary technician program can be difficult without the assistance of a job placement program. To start with, find out what the graduation rates are for the schools you are considering. A lower rate could mean that the teachers were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that a number of students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job assistance program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may mean that the program has an excellent reputation within the Marana AZ veterinarian community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A low rate could signify that the training is not well thought of by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are bigger, you may get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Marana AZ colleges you are looking at what their class student to teacher ratios are. You may also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and instructors. Get evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the teachers and find out what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the Campus Located? Of course, we already talked about location, but there are a few more points to consider on the subject. If you are planning to drive to your veterinary technician classes from your Marana AZ home, you must confirm that the commuting time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to investigate the route won't be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the school is located in or close by a large city. Also, if you do decide to attend a college in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. On the other hand, taking online classes could be an alternative that will give you more flexibility and decrease the need for travel.
Do the Classes Fit Your Schedule? And last, it's important that you determine if the veterinary schools you are considering offer class times flexible enough to fit your schedule. For instance, a number of students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Marana AZ. Others might only be able to go to class in the morning or later in the afternoon. Verify that the class times you need are offered before enrolling. In addition, find out if you can make up classes that you might miss due to work, illness or family issues. You might discover that an online college is the best way to fit your veterinary education into your hectic life.
Enroll in the Best Marana Vet Technologist Program
Picking the appropriate vet tech college is a critical first step to starting a rewarding career delivering treatment and care for animals. Future students considering vet tech colleges must make their decision based on several key factors. Veterinary technicians and technologists work in vet clinics, animal hospitals and animal shelters. They commonly take on administrative duties and assist the veterinarian with the animals as needed. As we have covered, it's imperative that you enroll in a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the field. This applies to vet tech online schools as well. By asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to reduce your alternatives so that you can make your final selection. And by selecting the best program, you can reach your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Marana Arizona.