Online Vet Tech Program

Many accredited vet tech schools now offer online programs to meet the demand. These offer a flexible way to take classes on the web and practicums near by. If you love animals find out how to prep for this booming field with an online degree. 

What is an Online Vet Tech Program?

An online vet tech program studies basic science, animal handling and health care. That includes information about pets, exotic and farm animals. Learning these areas you may grow the skills needed to work side by side with veterinarians. Areas like surgical nursing and other lab procedures. 

When looking into veterinary technician programs there are online options at all levels. Most common are associate, bachelor’s and graduate degree programs. An associate degree is the most basic. It stacks clinical training with education in the day to day duties of a V tech. Bachelor’s programs go deeper and may help grads make a career move. Either into vet technology or vet nursing. Master’s and doctor degrees are grad level. A master’s may help if you want to study veterinary sciences. And a doctorate is what vets need to go for a state license. 

As you decide on a program and school, check for AVMA CVTEA accreditation. AVMA is the American Veterinary Medical Association. Also, the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). What accredited schools do is set standards. Those who meet these norms may 

  • Have transfer credit policies between them
  • Take part in Federal financial aid (E.g. Pell Grant, scholarships) 
  • Enable grads to take national licensure exams 

Another helpful hint is to check to see what the school’s pass rates for these exams are. This may shed light on how others found the quality of instruction. When available this data is on a school website. 

Associate’s Degree: Veterinary Technician Program 

An associate degree  tends to take two years full time study. Most online schools offer an associate of applied science (AAS). Or associate of science degree (AS). Found at community colleges an AS is a transfer degree. As a result it may cover material in a way that preps grads to finish a bachelor’s degree later. 

An AAS available at trade schools is more of a career prep. It usually walks you through the industry, ethics and daily tasks. Either may stack online course work in basic sciences and in person technical ones. The hands on classes are about procedures and using tools. So these are likely supervised and in a setting (E.g. animal hospital) near you.

When ready to apply you need a high school (HS) diploma or GED. Schools may want to see test scores in math, chemistry, biology, English and reading as well. That said there are schools that are test optional since COVID 19.

Another factor is tuition. To give you an idea we’ll use the last study by the NCES. They reported the avg. 2 year college cost $10,704 per year in 2018. Once you graduate, the next step is to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). It is a credentialing exam and necessary in most states. A passing grade enables one to go for a license, certification (CVT) or registration (RVT). 

Bachelor’s Degree: Veterinary Technology Program 

A bachelor’s degree tends to entail 120 credits and 4 years of full time study. Most aim to prep grads to go for jobs beyond the entry level. With this in mind, may topics are at the advanced level. Some of them may expose you to concepts needed by vet program director areas. Like staffing, marketing and work place safety.

Another set may dig into animal medicine and critical care. Through them you may come to understand common animal diseases and ways to help in surgery. To apply, you need a HS diploma and courses in math, English and lab science. If you already have an AS degree these are likely completed.

Colleges with V tech programs may be competitive. So, they may also set a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher. When searching for schools there are different price points. If you choose a public college in your state it may cost an avg. of $17,797 per year. Private schools are more expensive. They avg. $26,261 (for profit) and $46,014 (nonprofit) per year. 

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program

A DVM is a professional graduate degree. It is the highest award one may achieve in this field and preps grads to pursue state and national licensing exams. Many apply for veterinary medical school admission while obtaining a bachelor degree in a related field. If accepted, the course of study takes four years more. 

The first two years may focus on growing core knowledge and skills. Usually across the species and by weaving basic and clinical sciences with labs. After this come externships or clinic rotations. These are hands on and sometimes run through a summer. You may find these in vet medical centers or hospitals.

From there it may be time to anchor studies in a track. Some prefer to work with small animals such as dogs and cats or large animals, food animals etc. Licensure rules vary by state. But does require one to graduate from an accredited veterinary program.

What can I do with as an online Vet Tech Program Graduate?

Veterinary technician education may be a gateway for a range of career opportunities. Persons with varying degrees staff a veterinary hospital. And as more people have pets and spend money on them it is creating jobs.

The veterinarian is the one who diagnoses, treats, prescribes and takes care of surgery. While vet techs and technologists fill support roles. Both study to be the veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography tech, anesthetist, surgical nurse and client educator. The rule of thumb is that V technicians need a 2 year associate’s degree. And V technologists, a 4 year bachelor’s degree. 

Apart from veterinary practices, there may be jobs in other areas. Biomedical research, zoo / wildlife medicine, military, livestock health management, and pharmaceutical sales. Take a look at some of these potential career paths. 

#1 CERTIFIED VETERINARY TECHNICIAN / VET NURSE

Vet techs are essentially the nurses for veterinarians. As a rule, they work in private clinics, a humane society and animal hospitals. In these settings they provide first aid, take x rays and restrain small animals during procedures. Depending on the state rules, one may seek specific credentials (registered, certified, etc.)

#2 VETERINARY TECHNOLOGIST

A tech works under the watch of a scientist of veterinarian. Often, this will be in a lab setting and about research. Here they ensure the humane handling of laboratory animals. They also prep tissue samples, record and lab animal’s vitals and pain. 

#3 ANIMAL CARE WORKERS

Those working in animal care feed, groom, bathe and exercise non farm animals (pets). These workers may find jobs as pet sitters and animal trainers. Also, in kennels, zoos, stables, animal shelters, pet stores, veterinary clinics and aquariums. The education level one needs ranges from a high school diploma to a college degree.

#4 VETERINARY ASSISTANT

A vet assistant helps veterinarians and vet techs. They restrain animals, disinfect cages and check animal health after surgery. Most of these tasks are routine animal care in clinics and hospitals. But they also work in colleges and research labs to help scientists. Many workers in these roles have a certification.

#5 VETERINARIANS

A veterinarian diagnoses, treats and researches medical conditions and diseases. They often work with pets though may also work with livestock and other animals. It is their role to euthanize animals, perform surgery and vaccinate. To work in this capacity, one needs a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM or VMD). Graduating from an accredited veterinary college and state license are mandatory too.

#6 ANIMAL TRAINERS

Trainers teach animals to obey, ride, and help people who have disabilities. Their skills train pets to respond to commands. For example, police dogs who sniff out drugs in the airport. Or, service dogs who help blind people find their way. As such, these roles take a strong grasp of animal behavior and how to work with it.

Is an Online Vet Tech Program worth it?

The skills gained from a vet tech program may yield prospects and opportunity. The number of households with pets is going up and it’s creating high demand. According to the BLS.gov the workforce for vet technologists /technicians should see 16% more jobs to 2029. That’s much faster than most lines of work. The same expansion goes for veterinarians. That’s because they of the up and coming services they offer. Like cancer treatments and others as complex. 

Salaries in these career paths vary of course. The median annual wage for veterinarians was $95,460 in May 2019. Compared to that vet technologists /technicians earned an avg. of $35,320 in that year. Those in colleges and professional schools faring better with avg. annual wages of $40,990. Take away? If you are keen on research positions, it may provide a more lucrative pay check. 

Let’s say you wonder if there are paths to follow with a high school diploma? There should be growth in these areas too. Vet assistants and lab animal care is also fast growing field with projected demand at a 16% rise too.  That said, the avg. annual salaries are lower ($28,590). So if a higher salary, more responsibility and skill level are your goals you tend to need a college degree. 

Online Vet Tech Program Jobs & Salary

Occupation Average Salary Jobs
Vet Tech $35,320 18,300
Animal Care Workers $24,990 75,500
Veterinary Assistant $28,590 15,700
Veterinarians $95,460 14,200

Top States for Jobs as a Vet Tech

State Jobs Annual Mean Wage
Nevada 610 $46,370
Connecticut 1,490 $43,340
New York 4,810 $43,190
California 9,270 $41,920
Massachusetts 3,270 $40,990

What classes will I take with an Online Vet Tech Program?

Most of these degree programs blend laboratory procedures, surgical nursing and sciences. These areas discuss how to work with animals of all sizes. And, the more clinical methods that assist veterinarians with many tasks. 

You may study many of these topics when you are going for a data science degree online. But each level of degree is likely to do this in a different way. Below are some of the classes you may find at the associate and bachelors levels.

ASSOCIATE DEGREE CLASSES

An AAS syllabus frames the skills and knowledge that veterinary techs need. Both to pass the VTNE exam and seek work in a professional setting. Most programs walk you through basics first. What types of veterinary practices there are, the people on the health care team and software. Along with these come general college subjects including medical math and English.

Sciences are a staple. So, you tend to study animal anatomy, physiology and biology. Along with this material you study how animals behave. Plus their handling and restraint, patient history, and physical exams. These classes may also be part of your program:

CLINICAL PATHOLOGY

This class is about the diagnosis and prevention of diseases in animals. One of the main topics looked into is the issue of parasites of animals. You may also learn how to perform tests and what it takes to ensure they are accurate. 

PHARMACOLOGY

In this class you may come to understand the use of drugs in vet medicine. Including drug testing, how to handle prescriptions and dosages. 

SURGICAL NURSING 

About the surgical setting and its tools. Also the practical side of getting an animal ready for surgery. How to check them during and after during recovery. This class usually comes with a companion in anesthesia and pain relief.

RADIOGRAPHY 

Knowing how to position an animal for an ultrasound or x ray is a key task. As such, this class explores the types of films and techniques used for both duties. 

BACHELOR DEGREE CLASSES

BS programs go deeper and entail about 120 credits. The first 2 years may cover general college classes. Ones like biochemistry, math and veterinary sciences.  From this base you often find a class that comes with a related lab. This practical side provides clinical training and in depth medical knowledge.

Some of the areas you may learn about include how to handle small, domestic and large animals. Also the various diseases to look for and how each behaves. Closer to the end you often take part in full semester externships. These allow you to gain first hand experience in an approved local setting. These classes may also be part of your program:

VETERINARY EMERGENCY AND CRITICAL CARE

A class about animal emergencies. Within the scope, you may study wounds, traumas, CPR, toxins and other critical issues. What to expect and how to handle them.

HUMAN ANIMAL BOND

This class focuses on the relationships owners nurture with their animals and pets. Some of the side topics might shed light on pet death, euthanasia, and the grieving process. 

VET PRACTICE MANAGEMENT 

In this course, you study the the things that make a veterinary setting successful. Scheduling, staffing, client care, finances and record keeping. At the same time, you make come to understand ethics, rules and pet insurance. 

PREVENTIVE HEALTH CARE

An overview of cat and dog health as well as birds, small mammals and horses. You may come to understand the role of nutrition, food guidelines and how to prevent diseases.

How long are online Vet Tech Programs?

The time it takes to finish a vet tech degree online varies by program level and course load. A general rule is 2 to 3 years for an associate’s and 4 years for a bachelor’s. If planning to go for a DVM degree it tends to take at least four more. 

University Level of Degree # of Credits Required Starts Per Year Minimum Months to Complete
Penn Foster College Associate 60+ Rolling 24
Purdue University Global Associate 70 3 36
Madison Area Technical College Associate 70 2 24
North Dakota State University Bachelors 120 2 48
Liberty University Bachelors 120 6 48
St Petersburg College Bachelors 120 2 48

15 Schools with Online Vet Tech Programs 

Many online schools offer vet tech programs. But we’ve narrowed school search results. Here are 15 schools with online vet tech programs.

  1. Penn Foster College
  2. Purdue University Global
  3. American National University
  4. Madison Area Technical College
  5. Ashworth College
  6. San Juan College
  7. Colby College
  8. Allen Community College
  9. Metropolitan Community College
  10. North Dakota State University
  11. Liberty University
  12. St. Petersburg College
  13. Mercy College
  14. Tarleton State University  
  15. Oregon State University

FIND AN ONLINE VET TECH PROGRAM

Let’s take a closer look at the vet tech programs that these 15 schools have to offer.

1

Penn Foster College

Veterinary Technician Associate Degree  

Online / In Person


This 4 semester program melds online classes with in person clinical ones which you may complete near you. Or, you might apply through one of their partner pet hospitals. The initial classes frame key theories, techniques and tools. From there you branch out into nursing, imaging and lab procedures. Grads may complete their bachelor’s through the college as well. Some other sample topics are, 

  • Pharmacology
  • Pathology
  • Anesthesia 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $2,049 per month

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
N/A

Accredited:
DEAC, AVMA CVTEA

2

Purdue University Global

Associate in Applied Science Veterinary Nursing   

Online / In Person


This program has two parts. Online academic topics that cover animal anatomy, physiology, disease, dentistry and nursing. And nursing clinical mentorships which are task based. It is also part time so it spreads the courses over three years. Some of the other classes you might take are, 

  • Anesthesia
  • Pharmacology
  • Diagnostic Imaging 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,037 / $14,358
Grad $8,791 / $9,768
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,289

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC

Accredited:
Higher Learning Commission (HLC), AVMA/CVTEA

3

American National University 

Associate of Applied Science Veterinary Technology   

Online / In Person


This program entails 8 quarters. Its last one, devoted to an externship in a veterinary office. The broad course plan touches on patient care, surgical prep and equipment maintenance. There is also instruction in office tasks as well as

  • Radiology 
  • Lab procedures
  • Medication

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $8,208
Grad $7,296
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$23,545

Average Net Price:
$25,516

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, & member of SOC

Accredited:
DEAC, AVMA/CVTEA

4

Madison Area Technical College

Associate of Science in Veterinary Technician  

Online / In Person


This 70 credit program offers a blended format. All initial instruction of hands on skills is through the hybrid labs at the college or off campus. First courses prep students for the industry. They also look into animal science, wound care and medical jargon. Along the way there are clinical topics about drugs, disease and others such as, 

  • Surgical and Animal Nursing
  • Imaging and Lab Tests
  • Office Skills 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $4,482/ $6,622
Grad $4,482 / $6,622
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,244

Average Net Price:
$9,138

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org.

Accredited:
HLC, AVMA/CVTEA

5

Ashworth College

Veterinary Technician Associate Degree   

Online / In Person


This program entails 4 terms. In them, students learn about the day to day duties of working along side a veterinarian. Along with basic sciences, you also work with a veterinary setting to get hands on training. A few sample topics are, 

  • Veterinary Anatomy
  • Lab Procedures
  • Animal Nursing 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $1,799 per month

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
N/A

Average Net Price:
N/A

Military Programs:
N/A

Accredited:
DEAC, AVMA CVTEA

6

San Juan College

Associate of Applied Science Veterinary Technology   

Online / In Person


This program entails 76 to 80 credits. It has a broad course plan. One that melds clinical, surgical, diagnostic and business skills. Of the more basic classes are math for health careers and lab science. As you move through you also study vet nursing care, drugs, disease and imaging. Along with classes, there are practical ones. For e.g. you work on a video portfolio of clinical tasks. A few topics may be,

  • Pharmacy 
  • Vet Anesthesia
  • Anatomy

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $1,546 / $4,330
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,364

Average Net Price:
$7,075

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC, AVMA CVTEA

7

Colby College

Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Nursing   

Online / In Person


This program entails 82 credits. Some of these consist of online classes. From math and medical record keeping. To basic nutrition, anatomy, exotic pet medicine and nursing. Others are mentorships and clinical ones in approved veterinary hospitals. Some examples of class material are, 

  • Immunology
  • Animal Facility Mgmt.
  • Imaging

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $3,698 / $3,848 / $5,385
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$4,839

Average Net Price:
$8,614

Military Programs:
Dedicated point of contact

Accredited:
HLC, AVMA CVTEA


This 64 credit program covers a wide range of college science classes. It also goes into the concepts of animal science and industry. Grads may take away basic skills as well as cover some general classes to then work towards a bachelor’s. Among the courses you might take are, 

  • Animal Science
  • Chemistry
  • Agriculture Economics

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $3,080
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,337

Average Net Price:
$8,668

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC

9

Metropolitan Community College

Associate of Science in Biology / Pre Veterinary  

Some Online / In Person


MCC’s 60 credit AS program offers a major in biology. So, it may provide the pre requisites for applying to Veterinary School. These include zoology, chemistry and statistics. You also take general ed classes which may transfer to a bachelor’s program later. If either is your goal, check with schools to ensure you are on track. Some sample material includes,

  • U.S. History
  • Speech
  • Statistics

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $3,240 / $5,700 / $7,410
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$3,754

Average Net Price:
$6,997

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, Student Veteran Org., & Member of SOC

Accredited:
HLC

10

North Dakota State University

Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology 

Some Online / In Person


This is a four year program which allows you to choose electives and a minor. The first year is pre vet and introductory. You tend to study anatomy and physiology of domestic animals and take labs. As it moves along, material gets more technical. So this is when you may take classes in nursing skills, drugs, disease, imaging and surgery. You may also study some of the following, 

  • Anesthesiology
  • Microbiology
  • Nursing (Surgery)

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $9,736 / $15,895
Grad $10,534 / $18,434
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$5,506

Average Net Price:
$15,654

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC.

Accredited:
HLC, AVMA CVTEA

11

Liberty University 

Bachelor of Science in Zoology (Pre-Vet)  

Residential


While the school offers online programs, this one is in person. It entails 120 credits. And aims to prep grads for fields like husbandry, zoo curation, or wildlife biology. Along with some of the science courses there are labs. You also have the option to take part in an internship. A few possible topics of study are,

  • Ecology
  • Genetics
  • Biology

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $22,747
Grad $7,980
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,550

Average Net Price:
$28,181

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC

Accredited:
Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)  

12

St. Petersburg College

Bachelor of Applied Science Veterinary Technology

Online / In Person


This program aims to provide a terminal degree for those with experience. As such it touches on areas that may help to pivot into vet hospital management, teaching or research. That said it still covers nutrition, drugs, nursing and many others such as, 

  • Companion Animal Diseases
  • Leadership
  • Dental Techniques

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $2,682 / $9,286
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,933

Average Net Price:
$3,315

Military Programs:
Credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC

Accredited:
SACSCOC, AVMA CVTEA

13

Mercy College

Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology

Mostly In Person 


This four year program covers basics as well as supervisory topics. The first 2 years are academic. While the second part is about clinical experiences and interning. Some of the material looked at are emergency and critical care nursing. At the same time there are classes that grow office skills and basics for animal research. Along with these you may find ,

  • Animal Handling
  • Toxicology
  • Intro to Vet Science

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $19,594
Grad $16,146
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$11,491

Average Net Price:
$15,283

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC.

Accredited:
Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), AVMA CVTEA

14

Tarleton State University 

Bachelor of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology  

Online / In Person  


This program entails 120 credits and takes 2+ years if you have an AAS-VT. There are two tracks. Companion Animals and Vet Practice. One may also minor in V Tech while going for a Shelter Animal Medicine Certificate. Either way, the curriculum makes use of case studies and covers areas like

  • Animal Diseases
  • Nutrition
  • Practice Management 

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $7,851 /$17,621
Grad $7,215 / $14,811
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$6,756

Average Net Price:
$12,352

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC.

Accredited:
SACSCOC

15

Oregon State University

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program   

Online / In Person


For qualifying students, OSU’s program does not entail an undergrad degree. You doneed to complete pre requisites before admission.  If accepted, the course plan is science focused. Including animal and general biology classes, math, physics and chemistry. Other possible areas of study are

  • Animal Genetics
  • Parasitology
  • Domestic Animals Lab

Tuition and Fees:
Undergrad $11,715 / $31,215
Grad $14,802 / $26,844
Special rates available for military students.

Avg Grants & Scholarship Aid:
$7,637

Average Net Price:
$19,273

Military Programs:
Yellow Ribbon Program, credit for military training, dedicated point of contact, student veteran org., & member of SOC

Accredited:
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities