How Much Does It Cost to Become a Veterinary Technician?

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A career as a veterinary tech can be extremely fulfilling.

However, before you make the final decision to become a vet tech you must understand the costs involved to get to where you’d like to be.

Once you’re officially a vet tech, some of the responsibilities you will be in charge of include:

  • Providing medical care and emergency first aid to animals that are injured or recovering.
  • Provide proper hygiene to animals including bathing, nail clipping, and more.
  • Keeping animals restrained during procedures.
  • Administering anesthesia to animals and ensuring that they are monitored the entire time.

The employment of vet techs is expected to increase by 21 percent from 2022 to 2032.

This is according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is considered much higher than other jobs.

Additionally, the costs associated with trade schools will be much lower compared to those of a four-year degree.

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How Much Does it Cost to Complete Veterinary Technician Trade/Vocational School?

The actual costs of vocational/trade school for vet techs vary depending on the school and state in which you are located.

On average, vet tech trade schools cost anywhere between $5,500 and $12,000.

Community College

Attending community college is just one option you have when it comes to becoming a vet tech.

There are various degree programs available in which you can enroll.

For example, if you are interested in a two-year program, you’d receive an associate’s degree.

Depending on the state and school, tuition can vary anywhere between $1,240 and $30,000.

Tuition will vary for in-state and out-of-state residents.

Community colleges also offer certificate programs that you can enroll in to become a vet tech.

Furthermore, if you are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, costs can be as much as $86,000.

Trade School vs. College by Numbers

National AverageFour-Year CollegeTwo-Year CollegeTrade School
Average Cost$67,000 to $86,000$1,240 to $30,000$5,500 to $12,000
Time to Complete4 Years2 YearsUp to 18 months
Other ExpensesBooks/Housing/EquipmentBooks/Housing/EquipmentBooks
AwardBachelor's degreeAssociate's degreeCertificate

How Much Does a Vet Tech’s License Cost?

To become a veterinary technician, following graduation, you must take and pass a state exam to receive an official license.

On average, the exam and testing fees range from $100 to $300.

Again, this depends on the state in which you are in.

For example, fees for licensing and exams in New York are $177.

The following states do not require you to be licensed to work as a vet tech:

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Colorado
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Rhode Island
  • New Jersey
  • Wyoming
  • Vermont

However, all other states not listed here, do require vet techs to pass the VTNE prior to becoming licensed in that state.

Many states also require that you graduate from an accredited program and pass the national exam before you take the state-issued exam.

What are the Additional Costs After Becoming a Vet Tech?

Vet techs will need to pay for books, materials, supplies, and other equipment while enrolled in school.

These costs are estimated to be around $3,556.

In addition to those costs, you will have to pay for the necessary exams and licensing in your state.

Those costs will vary.

Before beginning work as a vet tech, you must ensure that you have a cell phone and computer.

You will also need reliable transportation to get to and from work.

If you are driving your own car, you will need car insurance and gas money.

It’s also possible that you may need to purchase the following supplies:

  • Medical scrubs
  • Sturdy/supportive shoes (preferably closed-toe athletic shoes with thick insoles)

Four essential pieces of equipment that all vet-techs will use to successfully perform their job include:

  • Weight Scale
  • Vital Sign Monitors
  • Thermometer
  • Clippers

However, this equipment is usually provided while you are working, but you may need to purchase them during training.

Is Becoming a Vet Tech a Good Investment?

Depending on the school you choose to become a veterinary technician, the costs will vary.

Exam costs, licensing, and school tuition will be different.

Some states don’t require licensing, so those costs will be excluded for you.

Both the job outlook and salary are great for veterinary techs.

The median annual salary is $38,240, with the highest earning $48,560.

You can expect impressive growth to take place over the next decade.

You can also expect approximately 14,800 openings to become available.

The majority of these positions will mainly be a result of techs retiring and others looking to transfer to different careers.

If you are prepared to invest in a rewarding career that could make a difference in your future, enrolling in a local institution that offers a vet tech program would be a great first step.

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