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Top 10 Veterinary Technician Certifications

This article provides an overview of the most popular and respected veterinary technician certifications available.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 17 min read

Certifications are essential for veterinary technicians to demonstrate their knowledge, skills and abilities in the job market. Certification provides evidence that a technician has achieved a certain level of competence and is qualified to work in the field. It also serves as proof of professional commitment and dedication to providing quality care to animals. Employers view certification as a valuable asset when considering potential candidates for positions, and many employers prefer to hire technicians who have obtained certification from an accredited organization. Certification may also be required by some states in order for technicians to practice in their state. Additionally, obtaining certification can open up opportunities for career advancement and increased earning potential.

The purpose of this article is to review and explain the value of top certifications for Veterinary Technicians, and how they can enhance a veterinary technician's career.

What are Veterinary Technician Certifications?

Veterinary technician certification is a professional credential that recognizes the knowledge and experience of veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians are trained professionals who work under the supervision of veterinarians to provide medical care for animals. Certification is achieved by passing an exam administered by one of several organizations, such as the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) or the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Certified veterinary technicians demonstrate their knowledge and proficiency in areas such as animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, pharmacology, laboratory procedures and surgery. By becoming certified, veterinary technicians can demonstrate their commitment to their profession and help ensure they are providing quality care to their patients. Certification also helps employers identify employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties effectively. Additionally, certifications may be required for certain positions or promotions within veterinary clinics and hospitals.

Finally, earning certification can provide career stability by allowing professionals to maintain up-to-date information on changing trends in animal health care. It also indicates that they have met certain standards set forth by national organizations which can help them remain competitive in the job market.

Pro tip: Make sure to research the requirements for veterinary technician certification in your state or region before beginning any certification program. Different states and regions have different regulations and requirements, so it's important to be aware of them before starting a course of study. Additionally, make sure to keep up with any changes or updates to these requirements as they can change over time.

Related: What does a Veterinary Technician do?

Top 10 Veterinary Technician Certifications

Here’s our list of the best certifications available to Veterinary Technicians today.

1. Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)

The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). It is used to evaluate the knowledge, skills, and abilities of entry-level veterinary technicians. The VTNE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions and covers topics such as anesthesia, clinical pathology, dentistry, emergency medicine, pharmacology, radiology, surgery, and more.

The VTNE takes approximately three hours to complete. To get the VTNE you must register online through the AAVSB website. You will need to provide personal information such as your name and address as well as payment information. The cost of the VTNE is $300 USD for AAVSB members and $400 USD for non-members.

After completing the exam you will receive a score report indicating whether or not you have passed the exam. If you pass the VTNE you will be eligible to become a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT).

2. Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

A Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) is a professional who has completed a rigorous program of study and training in veterinary technology. This certification is granted by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The CVT designation is recognized nationally as the standard for excellence in veterinary technology.

In order to become certified, an individual must complete a two-year associate degree program from an accredited college or university and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). The VTNE is administered by the AAVSB and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that test knowledge in areas such as animal anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, laboratory procedures, radiology, anesthesia and surgery.

The cost of becoming certified varies depending on the institution offering the program. Generally speaking, tuition for an associate degree program ranges from $3,000-$15,000. In addition to tuition costs, there are also fees associated with taking the VTNE which range from $200-$300.

Once an individual has successfully completed their education and passed the VTNE they are eligible to apply for certification through their state's veterinary board. Each state may have different requirements for certification but typically require a background check and proof of completion of educational requirements. Once these requirements are met and approved, a CVT will receive their certificate which must be renewed every two years by completing continuing education courses or other activities related to veterinary technology.

3. Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)

A Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) is a professional who has completed an accredited veterinary technician program and passed the national Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). RVTs are licensed to practice veterinary technology in their state and are held to a higher standard of care than unlicensed technicians.

It typically takes two years to complete an accredited veterinary technician program, depending on the type of program you choose. Most programs require prerequisites such as biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and other related courses. After completing the program, students must then pass the VTNE in order to become an RVT.

In order to get an RVT license, you must first complete an accredited veterinary technician program and then take and pass the VTNE. You will also need to submit your application for licensure with the appropriate state board or agency. The cost for taking the VTNE varies by state but usually ranges from $200-$400. The cost for applying for licensure varies by state as well but usually ranges from $50-$100.

Once you have obtained your license, you will need to renew it every two years in most states by taking continuing education courses or passing a recertification exam. The cost for renewing your license varies by state but usually ranges from $50-$100 per renewal period.

4. Certified Animal Health Technicians (CAHT)

Certified Animal Health Technicians (CAHT) are highly trained professionals who provide a wide range of medical services to animals, including preventive medicine, diagnostics, and treatment. They are responsible for the health and welfare of animals in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, research facilities, zoos, and other animal care settings.

In order to become a CAHT, individuals must complete an accredited program that typically takes two years or more to complete. The program includes courses in anatomy and physiology; clinical practice; pharmacology; nutrition; pathology; parasitology; surgery; radiology; and public health. Upon completion of the program, graduates must pass a national certification exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

The cost of becoming a CAHT varies depending on the school or program chosen. Generally speaking, tuition costs range from $10,000-$20,000 for the entire two-year program. In addition to tuition fees, there may also be additional fees for books and materials.

Once certified as a CAHT, individuals must maintain their certification through continuing education credits every three years in order to remain in good standing with the AAVSB.

5. Certified Veterinary Practice Managers (CVPM)

Certified Veterinary Practice Managers (CVPM) is a credential awarded by the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA). It is designed to recognize veterinary professionals who demonstrate excellence in practice management. The CVPM program requires candidates to have a minimum of three years of experience in veterinary practice management, and successful completion of an extensive examination process.

The application process for the CVPM designation includes completing an online application, submitting a resume and two letters of recommendation, and passing a comprehensive exam. The exam covers topics such as financial management, marketing, human resources, customer service, operations, legal issues and ethics. Candidates must also complete at least 15 hours of continuing education in practice management within the last three years prior to applying for certification.

The cost for the CVPM designation varies depending on the type of membership you choose with VHMA. The basic membership fee is $150 per year plus an additional $125 fee for those who wish to take the exam. There are also additional fees associated with taking the exam including a $50 non-refundable application fee and a $250 proctoring fee if you choose to take the exam at a testing center instead of online.

Overall, it typically takes between six months and one year to become certified as a CVPM after submitting your application and passing the required examinations.

6. Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT)

Certified Professional Dog Trainers (CPDT) are individuals who have achieved a professional designation from the Certification Council for Professional Dog Trainers (CCPDT). This certification is designed to recognize professionals who demonstrate a high level of knowledge and skill in the field of dog training.

To become certified, an individual must meet certain requirements, including completing a minimum of 300 hours of hands-on experience working with dogs, passing an exam administered by the CCPDT, and agreeing to adhere to a code of ethics. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as canine behavior and learning theory, safety protocols, and teaching techniques.

The process typically takes several months to complete. Once all requirements are met, applicants receive their CPDT certification.

The cost for becoming certified varies depending on the program chosen and other factors. Generally speaking, it can range from $200-$500 USD.

7. Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP)

A Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner (CVPP) is a professional certification program designed to recognize the expertise of veterinarians who have demonstrated advanced knowledge and skills in recognizing, assessing, and managing pain in animals. The CVPP certification is awarded by the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management (IVAPM).

To become certified as a CVPP, you must first complete an approved training program. These programs typically take between 12-24 months to complete depending on the specific requirements of the program. After completing the training program, you must pass an examination administered by IVAPM.

The cost for becoming a CVPP varies depending on the specific requirements of each individual's training program. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,500 to become certified as a CVPP.

8. Certified Veterinary Behavior Technicians (CVBT)

Certified Veterinary Behavior Technicians (CVBTs) are professionals who specialize in the behavior and welfare of animals. They are trained to assess, diagnose, and treat behavioral problems in animals. CVBTs work with veterinarians, animal trainers, and other animal care professionals to help improve the quality of life for animals.

In order to become a Certified Veterinary Behavior Technician (CVBT), an individual must complete a minimum of 300 hours of approved training in veterinary behavior and pass a certification exam administered by the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (AVBT). The AVBT is an international organization that sets standards for veterinary behavior technicians. Training typically consists of courses in animal behavior, animal welfare, applied behavior analysis, pharmacology, nutrition, anatomy & physiology, and clinical practice.

The cost of becoming a Certified Veterinary Behavior Technician (CVBT) will vary depending on the program chosen. Generally speaking, it can cost anywhere from $2,500 - $5,000 USD for tuition and associated fees such as textbooks or exam fees. Additionally, some programs may require additional costs such as travel expenses or lodging if they are held at an off-site location.

Once certified as a CVBT, individuals must maintain their certification by completing continuing education credits every two years in order to stay current with developments in the field.

9. Registered Veterinary Technician in Anesthesia and Analgesia (RVTA&A)

Registered Veterinary Technician in Anesthesia and Analgesia (RVTA&A) is a certification program offered by the Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA). This certification is for veterinary technicians who have completed training in anesthesia and analgesia, including the administration of drugs, monitoring of patients under general anesthesia, and providing post-operative care.

The program requires applicants to have a minimum of two years experience as a veterinary technician with at least one year of experience in anesthesia or analgesia. Applicants must also pass an exam that covers topics such as pharmacology, physiology, anatomy, patient assessment, pain management, and equipment maintenance.

It typically takes six months to one year to complete the requirements for RVTA&A certification. The cost of the program varies depending on the institution offering it but generally ranges from $500-$1,000 USD.

10. American Association of Feline Practitioners Feline Nursing Assistant Certification Program

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Feline Nursing Assistant Certification Program is a program designed to provide veterinary technicians and assistants with the knowledge and skills needed to care for cats in a veterinary setting. The program consists of two parts: an online self-study course, and a practical exam. The course is designed to teach students about feline anatomy, physiology, nutrition, behavior, diseases, treatments, and client communication. The practical exam tests the student’s knowledge of feline nursing skills such as restraint techniques, administering medications, performing physical exams, taking radiographs and more.

The program takes approximately 8-10 hours to complete the online self-study course and can be completed at your own pace. After completing the course you must pass the practical exam in order to receive certification. The exam is offered at AAFP approved testing centers throughout the United States and Canada.

The cost of the program is $200 USD which includes access to the online self-study course as well as one attempt at the practical exam. If you need additional attempts at the exam there will be an additional fee of $50 USD per attempt.

Do You Really Need a Veterinary Technician Certificate?

Yes, a veterinary technician certificate is an important credential for any individual interested in pursuing a career as a veterinary technician. A veterinary technician certificate can open up new job opportunities and give you an edge over other applicants in the field.

A veterinary technician certificate allows you to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise in the field of veterinary technology. It is often required by employers when applying for a job as a veterinary technician and can be used to show that you are capable of providing quality care for animals. Additionally, having a certificate can help to increase your chances of obtaining better jobs with higher salaries.

In order to obtain a veterinary technician certificate, you must complete an accredited program at either a community college or technical school. These programs typically require courses related to animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, and clinical procedures. You will also need to pass a certification exam administered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA). Upon successful completion of this exam you will receive your official certification from NAVTA and be eligible for employment in the field.

The benefits of having a veterinary technician certificate are numerous. Not only does it demonstrate your commitment to the profession but it also shows potential employers that you have the necessary skills and knowledge needed to provide quality care for animals. Furthermore, having this type of certification may even qualify you for additional job opportunities or promotions within the animal health industry.

Overall, obtaining a veterinary technician certificate is essential if you want to pursue a career as a veterinary technician. Not only does it provide proof that you have acquired necessary skills and knowledge related to animal care but it also gives employers assurance that they are hiring an individual who has met certain standards set forth by NAVTA. In addition, having such certification may even result in more job opportunities or better pay depending on the employer’s requirements.

Related: Veterinary Technician Resume Examples

FAQs About Veterinary Technician Certifications

Q1: What is a Veterinary Technician Certification?

A1: A Veterinary Technician Certification is an official recognition that a person has met certain academic and practical requirements to be qualified to work as a veterinary technician. This certification is typically awarded by a professional organization or the government, and allows technicians to practice in their field with greater confidence and knowledge.

Q2: How do I become certified as a Veterinary Technician?

A2: To become certified, you must first complete an accredited veterinary technician program. After completing the program, you must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). Once both of these requirements have been fulfilled, you can apply for certification from your state's licensing board.

Q3: What are the benefits of becoming certified?

A3: Becoming certified as a veterinary technician demonstrates knowledge and experience in your chosen field. It also improves job prospects and allows access to higher-paying positions. Additionally, certification may be necessary for certain types of jobs, such as those involving research or public health.

Q4: How long does it take to become certified?

A4: The time required to become certified varies depending on individual circumstances. Generally, it will take at least one year of study and passing the VTNE exam before applying for certification from your state's licensing board.

Q5: Are there any continuing education requirements for maintaining my certification?

A5: Yes, most states require that veterinary technicians maintain their certification through continuing education courses every two years. These courses are designed to keep technicians up-to-date on new developments in the field and ensure that they remain competent practitioners.