Veterinary Technician (VT)/Certified (CVT)/Licensed (LVT)

  • Veterinary Technician (VT)/Certified (CVT)/Licensed (LVT)


  • Lab Animal Technician – specializes in the testing of biomedical advancements and product safety.
  • Biotechnology Technician – can specialize in animal breeding, forensics, gene therapy, fermentation, bioremediation, or DNA reagents and products.

Work Activities/Work Locations

  • Veterinary Technicians, known also as Veterinary Assistants, Animal Health Technicians, or Animal Technicians, perform support duties for and under the supervision of a Veterinarian.
  • Routine duties include restraint of animals, sample collection, nursing care (IV catheter placement, bandage application, medication administration, etc.), feeding of animals, record keeping, office procedures, and client education and communication.
  • Other skills include administration of anesthesia, surgical nursing, radiographic procedures, dental prophylaxis, clinical pathology procedures and medication preparation.
  • Under the supervision of a Veterinarian, Technicians may also perform laboratory tests, give injections, take vital signs, change bandages, bath or groom, or clean animal’s teeth.
  • May work in a private practice, research laboratory, private industry or public health.

Advantages and Disadvantages

  • Some of the work may be unpleasant, physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes dangerous.
  • Must love animals.
  • Communication skills necessary to deal with pet owners.
  • Work setting can be noisy.
  • Witnessing abused animals or euthanized unwanted, aged, or hopelessly injured animals may experience emotional stress.
  • Must have physical strength to lift and carry 50 pounds.
  • Risk exposure to bites or scratches.

Quick Facts

Education: 2 year

Patient Interaction: Medium

Physical Activity: Medium

Salary: $31,424

Job Growth: High

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Getting Started

  • Helpful high school courses include biology, chemistry, math, animal science and English.
  • Volunteering or working with animals is strongly recommended.
  • Entry to this occupation is a 2-year Associate Degree.
  • Madison Area Technical College (MATC) offers a 2-year Associate Degree Program. Courses include Principles of Animal Biology, Veterinary Medical Terminology, Written Communication, Animal Disease, Life Science Chemistry, Animal Anatomy & Physiology, and Psychology of Human Relations.
  • MATC’s Program includes an Internship (work experience) that generally follows the 2nd semester coursework in the college summer recess and is conducted during a period of 8 weeks (or 288 hours minimum) Student’s work is supervised by assigned instructors.

Educational Institutions

Gateway Technical College
Madison Area Technical College
Milwaukee Career College
Northcentral Technical College
University of Wisconsin – River Falls

  • Most entry-level Veterinary Technicians have a 2-year degree, usually an Associate’s Degree, from an accredited community college program in veterinary technology in which courses are taught in clinical and laboratory settings using live animals.
  • Upon completion of an accredited program, graduates are eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) administered by the Veterinary Examining Board of the Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing.
  • Each State regulates Veterinary Technicians differently; however, all States require them to pass a credentialing exam following coursework.
  • Receiving a passing score on the VTNE permits the use of the title Certified Veterinary Technician.

American Animal Hospital Association
12575 W. Bayaud Ave.
Lakewood, CO, 80228
800/252-2242 or 303/986-2800

American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
9190 Crestwyn Hills Dr.
Memphis, TN, 38125

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
PO Box 630
Abingdon, MD, 21009

American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL, 60173-4360
800/248-2862 or 800/321-1473 or 847/925-8070

Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges
1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 301
Washington, DC, 20005

Association of Avian Veterinarians
PO Box 9
Teaneck, NJ, 07666

National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
PO Box 1227
Albert Lea, MN, 56007
888/99NAVTA (62882)

United States Animal Health Association
4221 Mitchell Ave.
St. Joseph, MO, 64507

Veterinary Career Network
888/491-8833, Ext. 1247

Veterinary Hospital Managers Association
PO Box 2280
Alachua, FL, 32616-2280
877/599-2707 or 518/433-8911

Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association
4610 S. Biltmore Lane, Suite 107
Madison, WI, 53718

Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association
12321 W. Godsell Ave.
Hales Corners, WI, 53130

Career Outlook

Number Employed in 2014 (Wisconsin): 1,880
Number Employed in 2014 (U.S.): 95,600
Expected Employment in 2024 (U.S.): 113,600
Percent Employment Growth (2014-2024): 19%
Expected Annual Openings: 2,740
Median Salary in 2014 (Wisconsin): $31,424

Salary information is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.