Can You Work as a Vet Tech Without a Degree?

If you’re interested in becoming a veterinary technician but don’t have a degree, you may be wondering if it’s possible to work in this field without one. The answer is yes, but it may be more difficult to find a job without formal education. Keep reading to learn more about what you can do to increase your chances of working as a vet tech without a degree.

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Vet techs are important members of the veterinary care team, assisting veterinarians in providing medical care to animals. Vet techs typically have an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, but in some cases, they may be able to work without a degree. Keep reading to learn more about what vet techs do and what education and training you need to enter this career field.

What is a Vet Tech?

A Vet Tech is a highly skilled professional who works alongside Veterinarians to provide medical care for animals. They are responsible for a variety of tasks, including taking x-rays, administering medications, and caring for sick or injured animals. Vet Techs must have a solid understanding of animal anatomy and physiology, and be able to effectively communicate with both Veterinarians and animal owners.

Most Vet Techs have at least an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology, but some may also have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. There are a handful of states that allow Vet Techs to practice without a degree, but these states typically require that the individual has significant experience working in a Veterinary practice.

The Duties of a Vet Tech

The duties of a veterinary technician, also called a vet tech, are to assist the veterinarian in the care of animals. They usually work in private veterinary clinics or animal hospitals, but they may also work in research laboratories or zoos. They may be responsible for taking X-rays, collecting blood and urine samples, preparing animals for surgery, and many other tasks.

The Education of a Vet Tech

Most employers prefer that their veterinary technicians have at least an Associate’s degree in veterinary technology, although a few may be willing to hire someone with a high school diploma and relevant experience. There are currently 22 accredited veterinary technology programs in Ohio that offer either 2- or 4-year degrees. The Ohio Veterinary Medical Association also offers a statewide examination for certification, which is required by many employers.

The Certification of a Vet Tech

To work as a Vet Tech, you will need to be certified. The certification of a Vet Tech is handled by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). To be eligible for certification, you must have graduated from an AVMA-accredited program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

There are a few schools that offer non-accredited programs that may allow you to take the VTNE, but it is important to note that these schools are not AVMA-accredited. This means that their programs may not meet the standards set by the AVMA and that you may not be eligible for certification.

The Salary of a Vet Tech

As a Vet Tech, you can expect to earn a median salary of $33,000. This means that half of Vet Techs make more than this amount and half make less. The top 10% of Vet Techs make more than $45,000 a year.

The Job Outlook of a Vet Tech

There are many career paths you can take as a Veterinary Technician. Most path will lead you to working in a veterinary clinic, animal hospital, or other medical facility where you will be assisting the veterinarian in the care of animals. You may also find work in zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, research labs, pharmaceutical companies, and more.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Vet Tech

There are pros and cons to working as a vet tech without a degree. On the plus side, you may be able to get a job more easily without a degree, and you can learn on the job. On the downside, you may not have the same job prospects or earnings potential as someone with a degree.

If you’re considering working as a vet tech without a degree, weigh the pros and cons carefully to decide if it’s the right choice for you.


While you can certainly work as a vet tech without a degree, most employers will prefer to hire candidates who have completed an accredited program. In addition, many states require vet techs to be licensed or registered, and most of these states require completion of an accredited program as well. So while you may be able to find a job without a degree, your opportunities will be limited and you may have a hard time advancing in your career.

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