*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
A bachelor's degree in Veterinary Technology is designed to take four years to complete. The first two years are usually general requirement courses that every college student takes, such as freshman English, biology, a foreign language and physical education classes. The last two years are when you take the bulk of your major courses and complete any internships that might be required. Some students can finish in less than four years by either going to summer school or getting credit for work and life experience. On the other hand, some students need more time to finish because of work or family obligations.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
As you begin exploring colleges and universities, you may already know what you want to major in. If you have a Veterinary Technology major in mind, look through the undergraduate catalog, either online or a copy of the book and browse the majors offered by that college. If you find this major, this will be one school you'll want to consider attending; if not, then cross the school from your list and move on to the next.
If you're uncertain what Veterinary Technology degree you're interested in, try to find a school with a robust variety of courses, that will let you experience a few varied lower level classes and allow you to figure out what you enjoy while you work through your general education.
Before you declare a major in Veterinary Technology, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Veterinary Technology, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master's degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in a typical Veterinary Technology degree are:
The graduation rate is an important piece of information. It measures the performance of the entire student body, and it is a good predictor of the experience each applicant can expect. Time is money when it comes to an education in Veterinary Technology. The longer time for completion means more tuition and fee payments. Each year in addition to the expected four years, adds about 25% to the total costs of a Veterinary Technology degree. The longer it takes to graduate also means the less time a student is in the workforce earning an income from their Bachelor of Science in Veterinary Technology investment.
National statistics measure on-time degree completion using four-year and six-year marks. Private schools across the US and for all majors have a range of 53% on-time graduation and 65.6% within six years. In these schools, students can expect to finish on time if they attend full time and within six years with some part-time attendance. Public schools show a 35% on-time rate at four years and 59% at the six-year mark. Students at these schools must plan carefully to ensure that they can complete the requirements for on-time graduation.
Accreditation is an important part of selecting a school for Veterinary Technology education. Much depends on accreditation and the type of accreditation. There are two main types of accreditation; regional and national. Regional accreditation agencies work with research-based schools, private schools, public schools, and some for-profit schools. National accreditation works primarily with for-profit and career-related education.
There are two types of regional accreditation; they are Veterinary Technology program accreditation and institutional accreditation. Institutional accreditation uses a group of states as the base to compare the school with other colleges and universities; the group of states comprises the region assigned by the Department of Education.
Programmatic Accreditation looks at specific programs or parts of a college or university. This type of accreditation has the same type of respect and acceptance as regional accreditation for institutions. Regional employers and other educational institutions regard regional accreditation as proof of high-quality education.
National accreditation has a Faith-based branch and a career- related education branch. Faith-based institutions have a different set of standards that recognize the role of faith in instruction. The for-profit branch of national accreditation covers the special purpose and non-traditional schools such as vocational schools. The career-related education requires standards that place appropriate weight on general knowledge and education. Some regionally accredited schools do not accept credits from career-related schools.
Did you know that your salary is not always just based on what level of degree you received, but it also could be based on what school you attended? Many employers actually have their own rankings and rating systems of schools. That is to say, if you received your degree from a college that was accredited by a low rated agency, your salary may actually be decreased by a certain percentage where a high-ranked, well-known, accredited school, can raise that mark significantly.
Colleges and universities generally charge per credit hour for Veterinary Technology courses. Multiply the cost by the number of credits you're taking for your total semester's financial commitment. Program fees may not be included in the stated tuition rate. If a university charges $331 per credit hour, multiply this by 12 or 15 (the number of credits you're taking per semester). For 12 credit hours, this is $3,972; for 15 credit hours, it's $4,965.
The College Board's Trends in Higher Education Series reported that the average cost of a four-year public Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technology program was $9,970 if taken in-state. It was as much as $35,260 if taken at a private university or college. And be aware that, even if you are comfortable with the per credit hour cost of the program you are looking at, there will be other costs for fees, textbooks, and room and board if you live on campus.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain an Veterinary Technology degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.