Guide to Online Vet Tech Continuing Education Opportunities (2023)

Outside of the requirements for their original credentials, most veterinary technicians need to complete a specified number of continuing education hours to keep their credentials. Most states (except for five and the District of Columbia) require continuing education credits with every license renewal, but the number of credits varies between states.

For example, both Iowa and Washington require 30 hours of continuing education every three years, while Arkansas requires six hours annually. Florida will not renew credentials unless the vet tech has completed 15 hours of continuing education every year, and Kentucky asks for six hours for their biannual renewals.

It is important that students enroll in programs that have received the proper accreditation. The Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) is a program offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) that ensures uniform standards across veterinary medicine continuing education providers and programs. The RACE program reviews and approves programs but does not “accredit” them. However, the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) gives accreditation to providers of continuing education programs for animal technicians.

Most state regulatory boards accept RACE-approved and CVTEA-accredited continuing education credits. However, continuing education acceptance is not standardized. States reserve the right to refuse credits from certain classes or providers. Students are advised to confirm that their state will accept credits before registering for any program.

Providers of Online Vet Techs Continuing Education

IDEXX Learning Center
The IDEXX Learning Center offers more than a dozen courses in online webinar format. The courses are all available online and in English or Spanish. Although each course indicates a fee, the RACE-approved courses are currently complimentary. Students receive one credit per hour of coursework.

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IDEXX offers a series of courses ranging from “Watch Your Step! A Playground for Parasites” and “Not Just Chopped Liver: Use of Bile Acids as Part of a Complete Liver Workup” taught by leading veterinary professionals.

North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine
North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine ranks as one of the top veterinary educational programs in North America and currently offers online continuing education courses in avian pathology, K9 down, selected topics in neurology, and selected topics in cytology.

The avian pathology course consists of several levels of coursework, each with a different price and period of accessibility. These courses are available to take at any time and can be purchased instantly and range from $500 to $1,200 depending on the number of units purchased. Members of the American Association of Avian Pathologists (AAAP) can take the courses at a discounted rate.

The K9 down series is a highly-specialized program for professional dog handlers and emergency response personnel such as police officers and search and rescue teams. This hybrid course includes an extensive list of online lecture topics combined with an in-person skills laboratory. The cost is $200 per person or $150 per person for groups of three or more.

Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Purdue’s College of Veterinary Medicine offers four categories of online continuing education courses: all species, small and exotic animals, food and large animals, and industry veterinarians. Each category includes more than a dozen subjects, each costing $40 for each credit-hour earned.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is CVTEA-accredited, and the courses are offered through the World Veterinary Association (WVA). As well, Purdue University offers certificates for diversity and inclusion in veterinary medicine.

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Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (Advanced)
Tufts University’s veterinary school offers two online courses: dentistry and exotics. These courses are led by doctors of veterinary medicine (DVMs).

The clinical dentistry course is intensive in nature and will earn students up to six continuing education credits. Courses include dental and oral anatomy review/talking to clients about dentistry; periodontal disease: diagnosis and treatment; feline dentistry/endodontic disease; malocclusion treatment; advances in oral radiology for the general practitioner; and guided bone regeneration for small animal practitioners. The cost is $189.

The exotics course also earns students six hours of continuing education credits. Courses include small mammal respiratory emergencies; avian gastrointestinal emergencies; small mammal gastrointestinal emergencies; reptile respiratory emergencies; avian emergencies; and reptile gastrointestinal emergencies. Like the dentistry course, this exotics course is led by DVMs with specializations in exotic animals.

Tufts periodically offers additional online intensive learning experiences in small animal anesthesia, treating chronic pain in small animals, and small animal behavior.

Veterinary Support Personnel Network
The Veterinary Support Personnel Network (VSPN) offers eleven online courses—all of which are RACE-approved. Each course is self-paced and there is no interaction between the student and instructor. Tuition and continuing education credits vary according to the course material.

Fees range from $21 for a one-credit course to $138 for a six-credit course. Students must be a member of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN) or VSPN to enroll. VSPN membership is free for veterinary support staff working in the field of veterinary medicine under the direction of a licensed veterinarian.

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VetBloom offers almost nearly 100 mobile and on-demand RACE-approved courses in their clinical category. The courses are presented as one-hour video lectures and PowerPoint presentations, but students do have the opportunity to submit questions to the instructor. Some courses are complementary and others are priced at $50. Each course counts as one hour of continuing education credit.

This subscription-based podcast and webinar service offers webinars that students can attend in real-time or watch later. New podcasts and webinars are added regularly with the most recent one titled: “Fecal Transplantation: What’s Coming Down the Pipeline”. VETgirl’s CE content is RACE-approved and approved as a New York State sponsor of continuing education for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. Florida, Louisiana, and North Carolina. As well, two states in Australia and the UK also recognize VETgirl as a CE provider.

Continuing education credit varies from 0.5 to 2.0 per hour, depending on the course. Elite VETgirl members receive 100 credit-hours and membership is $249 per year. Some courses are sponsored by vendors such as Vetrix and are complimentary for all students.

The VetMedTeam course catalog offers dozens of online courses for vet techs. The courses are RACE-approved and students receive continuing education credit-hours based on the duration.

Enrollment and start times are on-demand, allowing students to take a course at a time that fits their schedule. Once a course is started, students are expected to meet the deadline for each lesson. Most courses require an exam to earn a certificate of completion. Students are responsible for purchasing the required textbooks at their own expense. Courses vary in length of time to complete and price and students who enroll in three or more courses at the same time are eligible for a 10 percent discount. VetMedTeam also offers some free RACE- and VHMA-approved courses.

Pet Poison Helpline
The Pet Poison Helpline offers free continuing education credits for vet techs through a series of live and previously recorded webinars. Featuring specialized courses in toxicology, most courses are worth one hour of continuing education credit and approved by RACE and the New York State Education Department (NYSED).

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Additional webinar course categories include business, self-care, and zoonoses and participants can find a course that works for them by searching for a particular date or featured speaker. Webinars are typically offered from 12:00 to 1:00 PM (CT) and presentation slides are made available to pre-registered participants. Certificates of completion are mailed within 24 hours to those who take the post-test and pass it with a score of 70 percent or higher.

American Animal Hospital Association
Known as the leading professional and accreditation organization for veterinary professionals, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers free distance learning opportunities and seminars for its members. Members receive a complimentary AAHA Learning subscription in their benefits package, which includes more than 50 hours of non-sponsored RACE-approved technical continuing education courses for veterinary techs.

Through an easy-to-use, mobile-friendly interface, AAHA members can keep track of their learning through their online accounts. AAHA members have the option to subscribe to 200 additional courses for $6 per month, which gains them access to virtual simulations, podcasts, and webinars on a variety of veterinary topics. Membership also includes discounts on certification courses such as animal hospice and palliative care certification (six CE hours) and a diabetes educator certificate (four CE hours). AAHA membership is free for current vet tech students and $95 a year for credentialed vet techs.

Large Animal Consulting & Education
Vet techs working with larger animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, llamas, camels, and pigs benefit from the relevant wealth of continuing education courses offered by Large Animal Consulting & Education.

Each CE course provides one hour of RACE-approved continuing education for vets and vet techs. Courses are divided into three categories: camelids, cattle, and sheep, and goats. Most courses cost $35 and the content ranges from neonatal care of lambs and kids to small ruminant vasectomy (free). Large Animal Consulting & Education features the work of practicing large animal veterinary and faculty member Dr. Meredyth Jones—an award-winning educator in the field of veterinary techniques.


How many CE credits do vet techs need in PA? ›

16 hours of continuing education required for each biennial license renewal.

What is burnout in veterinary medicine? ›

They use the World Health Organization (WHO) definition of workplace burnout: A syndrome “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” An individual experiencing burnout might feel depleted energy levels, high exhaustion and cynicism toward the job.

What is compassion fatigue in veterinary? ›

Compassion fatigue – also known as "vicarious trauma," "secondary traumatic stress" or "secondary victimization" – is the result of a medical caregiver's unique relationship with a patient, through which empathy allows the caregiver to "take on the burden" of the ill or dying patient.

Which agency or organization is responsible for the accreditation of veterinary and veterinary technology programs in the US? ›

Accreditation activities take place in the Center for Veterinary Education Accreditation (CVEA). The Council on Education (COE) accredits DVM or equivalent educational programs and the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) accredits veterinary technology programs.

How much do certified vet techs make in PA? ›

How much does a Veterinary Technician make in Pennsylvania? The average Veterinary Technician salary in Pennsylvania is $37,516 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $31,581 and $44,581.

How much does a vet tech make? ›

According to (March 2022), a veterinary technician has the potential to earn between $28,000 and $54,000 per year, with an average salary of $38,447. This salary data is based on 2,830 vet techs who reported their salary to the site.

Why are vets leaving the profession? ›

A 2021 RCVS Survey of the Veterinary Profession found that 60% of vets left because of poor work life balance and 48% for long and unsocial hours. The day to day running of a practice varies. Some days, although very rarely(!), are quite quiet and you can keep up with your appointments.

Why are vets so busy right now 2022? ›

The Veterinary Industry Trends of 2022

Fueled by increased client demands, stress, uncertainty, and reduced resilience, this problem is set to continue. With many clinics being unable to function at full capacity due to staff absenteeism, businesses have been working overtime to keep up.

Do vets get depressed? ›

The study also showed that 24.5% of male and 36.7% of female veterinarians have experienced depressive episodes since graduation, which is approximately 1.5 times the prevalence in US adults.

Why are veterinarians burning out? ›

It's a very intense experience.” The overwork and short staffing of the pandemic has affected veterinarians as much as it has other doctors and nurses, and dealing with the constant moral dilemmas and emotional output is driving many to burn out.

How do vet techs deal with burnouts? ›

Give vet techs control of their schedule: Vet techs are typically at the whim of the veterinarians with whom they are working, which can reduce their sense of autonomy and control. Job control is important for managing burnout because it offers a feeling of predictability and lessens anxiety and overwhelm.

Why is there a veterinary shortage? ›

Experts blame the shortage on a lack of vet schools, along with the high cost of becoming a vet, and then maintaining a practice. “People don't want to get out of school with $300,000 worth of debt,” said veterinarian Dr. Leroi Boldon. Plus, many vets are retiring early due to their challenging career.

How many people pass the VTNE? ›

What is the pass rate for the VTNE? The three-year average passing rate for the VTNE is 76%.

What happens if you fail the VTNE? ›

If you fail the VTNE test, you can retake it up to four more times. You will have to pay the registration fee each time; however, you only need to submit your transcript once. If you have failed the exam five times, you must contact the AAVSB in order to take the exam again.

What percentage do you need to pass the VTNE? ›

Passing the VTNE

The VTNE is scored on a scaled basis. Depending on the state or professional organization, VTNE scores can range from 200-800 or 0-100. In most areas, a passing score for the VTNE is either 75 or 425, depending on the scoring method used.

What state pays vet techs the most? ›

1. Alaska
Total Veterinary Technician Jobs:112
Average Annual Salary:$45,718
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$40,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$51,000
1 more row
6 Apr 2021

Can you make a living as a vet tech? ›

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for veterinary technicians hovers just over $37,00 a year, with an average hourly wage of $17.43. Of course, salaries will vary according to education, experience, and location. The organization reports that the top ten percent of earners pocket over $52,000 annually.

What is the difference between a vet tech and a vet assistant? ›

One major difference in these careers is that a veterinary technician works under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and must pass a credentialing exam. Veterinary assistants work with the veterinarian or veterinary technician and do not need to pass a credentialing exam1.

What is the highest paying vet tech job? ›

High Paying Veterinary Technician Jobs
  • Veterinary Technologist. Salary range: $34,500-$56,000 per year. ...
  • Veterinary Surgery Technician. Salary range: $35,500-$56,000 per year. ...
  • Animal Laboratory Technician. ...
  • Animal Health Technician. ...
  • Animal Technician. ...
  • Emergency Veterinary Technician. ...
  • Animal Care Technician.

Is vet tech a stressful job? ›

Being a vet tech is stressful for a lot of obvious reasons, including long hours, a fast pace, difficult schedules, and having to do painful things to animals when you went into the field because you love them. But some of the reasons it's hard to cope with the stress may be less obvious.

How can a vet tech make more money? ›

Best Methods to Increase Your Salary
  1. Earn a Bachelor Degree in Veterinary Technology.
  2. Choose a Specialty Such as Those Listed Above.
  3. Consider Earning More than One Specialty Credential.
  4. Participate in an Internship or Externship.
  5. Seek Employment in Your Specialty.
  6. Consider Relocating to a Higher-Paying Area.

Are vets quitting? ›

Disaffection among veterinarians varies by generation. For example, 43% of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) say they are considering leaving the veterinary profession, compared with 47% of Generation Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) and 43% of millennials (born between 1981 and 1995).

Who is the best veterinarian in the United States? ›

Dr. Richter was named as "America's Favorite Veterinarian" by the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF).

Is a veterinary degree worth it? ›

Most vets can expect good job security. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment for veterinarians will increase by 17 percent over the next 10 years. Vets can expect decent pay. Per the BLS, vets had median salaries of almost $100,000 in 2020.

How old is the youngest veterinarian? ›

Elinor McGrath was only 22-years-old when she earned her DVM from the Chicago Veterinary College in 1910.

Why are vets always full? ›

The current state of the veterinary industry is not due to one problem, but many different ones - the sharp increase in new pets, the closures from the pandemic, limited hospital capacity, a shortage of veterinary staff, and the emotional and financial stress across the country.

What is the biggest challenge facing veterinary medicine right now? ›

Wellness In Veterinary Medicine

One of the biggest challenges for veterinary medicine- unsurprisingly- is wellbeing. The mental health statistics for veterinary medicine are shocking. Female vets are 2.4 times more likely to commit suicide compared to the average person, whereas male vets are 1.6 more likely to do so.

Do veterinarians get PTSD? ›

Unfortunately in the veterinary field, we are repeatedly exposed to traumatic situations and are at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD; sometimes referred to as “primary traumatic stress disorder”) and secondary traumatic stress disorder (STSD).

Why are veterinarians so expensive? ›

The truth is that most vets are perfectly honest and do have the best interests of your pets at heart. Their fees are high because they must cover not just their own time but also the cost of the veterinary nurses, receptionists and other support staff.

Can you be a vet if you have mental health issues? ›

Work as a vet is very demanding, emotionally and physically. It would be unwise for individuals with serious health problems (physical or mental, including a history of addiction) to put themselves into a situation in which this would be a risk to themselves or others, including the animals they are working with.

What's the difference between a vet tech and a vet assistant? ›

One major difference in these careers is that a veterinary technician works under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and must pass a credentialing exam. Veterinary assistants work with the veterinarian or veterinary technician and do not need to pass a credentialing exam1.

Do you need a degree to be a vet tech in Pennsylvania? ›

Graduate from an accredited vet tech program in Pennsylvania (two to four years). To become eligible for this profession, vet techs must complete a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

What college has the best vet tech program? ›

Purdue University

Does Penn State have a vet tech program? ›

Animal health, up close and personal.

Penn State Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences is hands-on, science-heavy preparation for veterinary school. Grads thrive at top veterinary, medical, and other biomedical programs, and work, teach, and conduct biomedical research.

What makes more money a vet tech or vet assistant? ›

Vet tech vs. vet assistant pay differs depending on factors such as a worker's level of education and location. However, the BLS reported that the median annual salary for a veterinary technician was $36,260 in 2020. In the same year, veterinary assistants earned a median annual wage of $29,930.

Can you make a living as a vet tech? ›

According to the BLS, the median annual wage for veterinary technicians hovers just over $37,00 a year, with an average hourly wage of $17.43. Of course, salaries will vary according to education, experience, and location. The organization reports that the top ten percent of earners pocket over $52,000 annually.

Can you make a living as a vet assistant? ›

No, you can not make a living as a vet assistant.

Working as a vet assistant earns you, on average, $28,000 a year ($13.50 an hour) with a modest range between $20,000 a year ($10.02 an hour) to $38,000 a year ($18.27 an hour).

How fast can you finish Penn Foster vet tech program? ›

Fast track = 9 months. Average time = 12 months.

How much does a vet assistant make? ›

How much does a Veterinary Assistant make in the United States? The average Veterinary Assistant salary in the United States is $32,228 as of September 26, 2022, but the range typically falls between $25,968 and $38,874.

What can a vet tech do in PA? ›

(i) Perform diagnostic imaging. (ii) Perform intravenous catheterization. (iii) Administer immunizations which are not required by law to be administered in the presence of a licensed veterinarian. (iv) Administer and apply medications and treatments by routes, including intramuscular, intravenous and subcutaneous.

What state has the highest paid vet techs? ›

1. Alaska
Total Veterinary Technician Jobs:112
Average Annual Salary:$45,718
Lowest 10 Percent Earn:$40,000
Highest 10 Percent Earn:$51,000
1 more row
6 Apr 2021

Are vet techs in high demand? ›

Job Security and Opportunities

There is a strong demand for veterinary technicians. The projected rate of growth for the profession is 30 percent through the year 2022. A veterinary technician should have no problem finding a job with such sustained demand for the foreseeable future.

How do I survive vet tech school? ›

Surviving Vet Tech School!
  1. 1) Don't lose sight of the end goal. Vet tech school won't last forever. ...
  2. 2) Try to enjoy learning and give maximum effort. ...
  3. 2) Make a schedule and stick to it. ...
  4. 3) Eat healthy. ...
  5. 4) Try to exercise regularly. ...
  6. 5) Get enough sleep.
30 Apr 2018

What is the #1 vet school in the US? ›

University of California--Davis

Is vet school or med school harder? ›

Many of the prerequisites for these schools are similar because biology and chemistry are needed in the veterinary and medical fields. Though aspiring med students have to take the MCAT before applying to medical school, most people agree that vet school is harder than medical school.

What is the acceptance rate for Penn Vet? ›

Admission to the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine (“Penn Vet”) is extremely competitive. Each year, Penn Vet receives well over one thousand applications for approximately 150 offers of admission.


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