Once you make the decision to become a veterinary technician you will have to seek out proper schooling so you can get a degree and eventually a certification or license to practice. There are many online programs available to those who don’t have a physical school in their area offering such a program. It is important to consider several things when choosing the right online veterinary technician program for you.
Make sure the program is accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).
This is necessary if you want to become a licensed or certified veterinary technician. A degree from an unaccredited program won’t count as valid toward testing and without taking the tests and becoming licensed you won’t be able to legally work. It is also important to pick a program that is listed as “fully” accredited. This means they have met more than just the basic requirements of the AVMA.
Choose a program with experienced instructors.
Some of the best instructors are those that have first hand experience in what they are teaching. Veterinary technicians, veterinarians, and those that have taught at traditional schools should be able to provide more than adequate instruction. They may also write the course materials that the program teaches and will be able to answer any questions those materials create.
Find out how much assistance they give with job placement and practicum service.
To complete a veterinary technician program you will need to finish a certain number of hours in a veterinary clinic. This is called a practicum. At a traditional school there may be a clinic that works directly with the program. Attending an online school you won’t have that option. Some online schools will still set up the practicum for you, but most expect you to take care of this on your own. There are also some schools that will help you find job placement once you graduate. If you do not have something lined up it may help to work with a program that can help you.
Look for a program that requires “class participation.”
This may sound strange considering you aren’t taking any physical classes, but there are still ways to participate in an online program. Many require you to watch webinars and ask questions afterword, as well as take part in discussions on a forum. This can help a lot when learning different things and make the experience more interesting and interactive.
Make sure the program provides an actual degree upon completion.
There are many career schools and online colleges that offer veterinary assisting programs but these are not the same thing as veterinary technician programs. They may provide a diploma upon completion but not a degree, and finishing will not allow you to get licensed or work as a veterinary technician. You may also find both two year and four year degree programs. While it is not necessary to have more than an Associate’s degree to become licensed, you may find the extra level of education that comes with earning a Bachelor’s degree will help you get jobs in specialty clinics, laboratories, or research facilities.