A veterinary technician certification is a very important tool if you want to become a respected and trusted veterinary technician. With employment competition expected to increase in the coming years due to the growth in the demand for vet techs, the significance of a certification has never been more obvious. Caring for animals is no different from caring for humans. That is why there is a need for a system that ensures that all veterinary technicians meet all the expectations of pet and animal owners. It is towards the achievement of this end that veterinary technician certification was born.
The most common way of gaining a veterinary technician certification is by enrolling and passing a veterinary technician program from an accredited school. No person can take an exam granting certification without earning an associate or bachelor’s degree in veterinary technician. While any school may offer a veterinary technician course, enrolling in an accredited institution ensures that you get the right training needed to become a successful vet tech. Graduating from an accredited school does not automatically confer certification to a veterinary technician. To get a veterinary technician certification, a vet tech must take and pass a certification exam conducted by various organizations. The American Veterinary Medical Association is considered the premier organization that confers school program accreditation and veterinary technician certification to college graduates who either have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree in veterinary technician.
Most states in the United States require vet techs to undergo the Veterinary Technician National Exam administered and prepared by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. Passing the exam gives a vet tech a veterinary technician certification, which is granted by the various state boards. The VTNE is not the only exam that provides veterinary technician certification. Research facility owners, for example, encourage veterinary technicians to take an examination conducted by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. Unlike the VTNE which focuses on surgical assistance, anesthesia administration, and laboratory work, the AALAS exam covers animal caring and management. The AALAS veterinary technician certification comes in three levels of proficiency.
It must be noted that these veterinary technician certification exams are not exclusive for graduates of accredited schools. Any veterinary technician graduate may take these exams and earn their veterinary technician certification, although some organizations may require additional actual experience for candidates who graduated from non-accredited schools. In addition, these exams do not determine who the legitimate or illegitimate vet techs are. You may still be considered a veterinary technician even without any certification from these organizations. However, your chances of landing a high-paying vet tech job will be greatly boosted if you carry a veterinary technician certification. Most employees now look for certification from veterinary technician applicants. Although a vet tech without certification may still apply at any facility, employers usually prefer those who have certifications from highly regarded organizations.
While it is true that one exam cannot determine the real competence of a person, having any of these certifications can act as proof that a veterinary technician has the knowledge and training to properly perform the duties and responsibilities of a vet tech. A veterinary technician certification merely attests that a candidate possesses the qualifications of a vet tech, at least on paper. Whether such holder of a veterinary technician certification can actually perform the things that the vet tech is supposed to know based on the certification is another story that can only be answered by an employer after proper evaluation.
A veterinary technician certification is not merely a tool to facilitate one’s employment application. In the long run, having a veterinary technician certification or two in your arsenal can help you rise above your peers when the time for promotion arrives so that you may ultimately continue to earn the highest veterinary technician salary available.