Veterinary Technician Schools And Training In Florida

Florida has many post-secondary schools offering accredited programs to become a veterinary technician or technologist.

Vet Tech programs typically take two to three years to complete for an Associate’s degree, and four years for a Bachelor’s degree. Upon successful completion of a program, students will need to pass a state and/or national certification examination to begin working in the field.

How to Become a Vet Tech

Becoming a Vet Tech requires a post-secondary education in the field. Veterinary Technologists need to complete a Bachelor’s degree, whereas technicians need an Associate’s degree. Both levels of degree programs require general education courses in English, math, science, humanities, social science and communication.

Students with previous college credits may be able to transfer general education credits into a Vet Tech program. After students complete these core classes, they begin specific courses relevant to the major, such as:

  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Surgery
  • Pharmacology
  • Histology and Pathology
  • Ethics
  • Nutrition
  • Radiology
  • Medical Terminology
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Animal Behavior

Separate courses on each topic may be focused on specific types of animals, or they may be combined into one course. In addition to classes, programs require laboratory hours and clinical experience. During laboratory and clinical hours, students have the opportunity to be supervised by a professional in the field of veterinary medicine and improve their skills.

This applied setting allows students to assume roles in clinics, similar to what they will experience in their career. Programs may allow students to specialize in small, large or exotic animals. Furthermore, some programs have opportunities for students to learn about veterinary medicine beyond the classroom by participating in research opportunities.

Upon graduation from an accredited program, students will need to become certified to begin their career. Florida requires graduates to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). To take the VTNE, graduates must submit an application and pay a fee of at least $300.

The VTNE is offered in three window periods throughout the years. Applicants must schedule an exam during these month-long windows. Test-takers receive an unofficial pass/fail grade after taking the exam, and official notification is made approximately one month after the test.

Vet Tech Schools in Florida

Florida has several institutions that offer Vet Tech programs, which are fully or provisionally accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA):

Brevard Community College

The A.S. in Veterinary Technology at Brevard Community College may be completed on a fulltime or part-time basis. Completion of the program takes at least two years, and is sufficient for graduates to apply for certifying examinations at the state and national level.

Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College offers an A.S. in Veterinary Technology. The program can be completed with two years of fulltime study, and prepares students to work in private and public animal care settings.

Miami-Dade College

The Veterinary Technology program at Miami-Dade College is designed to be completed in six semesters, or approximately two years of fulltime study. It is primarily geared toward students that have an interest in small animals, although some courses for large animals are available. The program offers education beyond the classroom, including seminars and workshops, which may be offered in the evenings or on weekends.

Sanford Brown Institute

An A.S. in Veterinary Technology is available at the Fort Lauderdale and Jacksonville campuses of the Sanford Brown Institute. The program prepares students to work in a variety of settings such as animal clinics and hospitals, shelters and zoos. Experience is acquired through coursework and supervised clinical rotations.

St. Petersburg College

The A.S. in Veterinary Technology at St. Petersburg College is available both on-campus and online. Part-time and online studies may be completed in approximately three years, two years with a fulltime on-campus program. Both on-campus and online programs are designed to be equivalent and require clinical experience.

St. Petersburg College also offers a B.A.S in Veterinary Technology, which requires approximately four years for completion. The B.A.S program allows students to choose tracks in Clinical, Hospital Management or a combination of both. The management emphasis teaches students the fundamentals of managing an animal care environment, such as finances, medical ethics and marketing.

Florida has ample opportunities for individuals interested in Vet Tech programs. These programs provide students with in-depth coursework, many hours of clinical experience and the preparation for certification.

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