What is a veterinary technician?

A veterinary technician, as defined by CACVT, is a veterinary professional that applies their medical knowledge and clinical skills to provide routine, emergency, and specialized care for a variety of animals, all while under the direction and supervision of a veterinarian.

How do veterinary technicians become qualified? 

There is more than one path to become a veterinary technician; however, the most common path involves formal education and a minimum competency exam. This pathway allows the most credential portability and opportunity for advancement in the field. 

  • Attend an AVMA accredited program, where they study a wide variety of species of animals and acquire over 500 skills that are considered foundational knowledge to practice as a veterinary technician.
  • After graduation, veterinary technicians take the Veterinary Technician National Exam. When passed, veterinary technicians qualify for credentialing with the licensing entity in their state. 
  • In Colorado, after obtaining a credential from CACVT, applicants must apply for licensing with the Department of Regulatory Agencies to become a registered veterinary technician.

What do veterinary technicians do?

Veterinary technicians are qualified to do almost any task under the supervision and direction of a veterinarian, except prescribing medications, diagnosing medical conditions, making a prognosis, initiating treatment, and performing surgery. 

Tasks performed by RVTs

NAVC’s own research shows credentialed veterinary technicians use less than one-third of the competencies they are trained to perform. By elevating this essential position and spreading awareness around the skill set of veterinary technicians, we hope to improve the performance of interdependent healthcare teams.

Although this information lays the groundwork for the basis of the field of veterinary technology, the upward mobility within the field leads to many possible specialties and career tracks for veterinary technicians. 

To learn more about diverse career paths for veterinary technicians, CLICK HERE.

The Veterinary Technician’s Oath

I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and by promoting public health. I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession’s Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning.