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How Long Does It Take to Become a Vet Tech/Nurse?

by Kelsey Wirt, MS, LVT and Josh L. Clark, MS, RVT

Becoming a veterinary technician requires several steps, each of which takes a certain amount of time. Let's explore the journey and timeline for aspiring vet techs.

Education and Training (2-4 Years)

In order to enroll in an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program, you must have earned a high school diploma or equivalent. These programs offer an Associate or Bachelor's degree that can take two to four years to complete depending on the student’s ability to enroll as a full or part-time student.

Decide how to choose the right vet tech program for you.

Curriculum and Modality

Veterinary technology programs cover diverse subjects including animal anatomy, pharmacology, surgical nursing, radiology, laboratory procedures, and more. Depending on the program, you may be learning these topics in an in-person or an online setting. Based on the modality, hands-on experience is gained through laboratory courses and/or by completing supervised externships/mentorships at veterinary practices. Learn more about the pros/cons of in-person or online vet tech programs.


Upon graduation from an AVMA accredited vet tech program, graduates pursue credentialing. This involves passing the VTNE and possibly additional state-specific exams.

Read more about the VTNE.

Becoming a vet tech is a journey that requires commitment and hard work. Depending on the educational route you choose it could take anywhere from 2-4 years or longer to become a credentialed veterinary technician/nurse. This timeline is helpful to know if you decide to go down the path towards becoming a vet tech/nurse.

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