How to Pick the Best Vet Tech Training near Opelika Alabama
Achieving your long term dream of working with and caring for pets by enrolling in a veterinary technician college near Opelika AL may initially seem like a daunting endeavor. After all, you must find and enroll in a program that will provide the appropriate training to ensure that you can be successful as a vet tech. But just how do you tackle analyzing and comparing colleges so that you can make the ideal selection? Many aspiring students launch their due diligence process by searching for colleges that are near their residences. After they have identified some local colleges, they determine which ones have the most affordable tuition and hone in on those. Although location and cost are significant considerations when assessing vet technician schools, they are by no means the only significant ones when making your assessments. Qualifiers such as internship programs and accreditation need to be looked into also. The main idea is that there are questions you need to be asking the veterinary technician programs you are evaluating before you make an ultimate choice. We have provided several within this article in order to help get you started, but before we discuss them we’ll explore the varied duties of vet techs and the training alternatives offered.
The Role of a Veterinary Technician
Among the first decisions that you will need to make is whether you plan to train as a veterinary technician, assistant or technologist. Part of your determination may be dependent on the amount of time and money that you have to commit to your education, but the main factor will most likely be which specialization appeals to you the most. What techs and assistants have in common is that they all work under the immediate guidance of a practicing and licensed veterinarian. And while there are many duties that they can carry out within the Opelika AL veterinary clinic or hospital, they can’t prescribe drugs, diagnose ailments, or perform surgical procedures. In those areas they may only furnish assistance to a licensed vet. There are technicians and technologists that work away from the typical veterinarian practice, such as for animal shelters, zoos or law enforcement. Let’s take a look at the duties and education prerequisites for each specialty.
- Vet Assistants in the majority of cases will have completed a formal training program, either as an apprentice or intern in a vet clinic or hospital, or by completing a certificate program at a vocational school or community college. As the name implies, their job function is to assist the veterinarians and vet techs in the performance of their duties. Usually they are not involved with more complex activities, such as assisting with surgeries. Some of their normal duties may include working at the front desk, preparing and cleaning exam rooms and equipment, or controlling animals during examinations.
- Vet Technicians go through more extensive training compared to assistants and typically obtain a two year Associate Degree, preferably from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited program. They are in a sense the veterinary equivalent of medical nurses, since their general job function is to assist veterinarians with diagnosing and treating animal patients. Where they vary from veterinary assistants is that they are included in more complicated functions, for instance assisting with surgical procedures or providing medication. All states currently require vet techs pass a credentialing examination for either licensing, registration or certification.
- Vet Technologists are comparable to vet technicians and essentially perform the same work functions. They are required to attain a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology, which typically requires four years. So the only real distinction between a vet technologist and a technician is the technologist’s more advanced level of education. But with an advanced degree comes more job options, higher salaries and potential management positions. They are additionally mandated to pass a credentialing exam for either certification, registration or licensing.
Vet technicians and technologists can specialize in areas such as internal medicine, anesthesia or urgent care. Many may earn certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) to work in Opelika AL labs or research facilities as well.
Online Veterinary Technician Programs Offered
An option that might make sense for those with a hectic lifestyle or who are working full time while going to vet school is to enroll in an online training program. Since the classes are offered over the internet, students can attend on their own timetable wherever a computer is available. The syllabus is taught using multiple methods, including videos, slide shows and live streaming webinars. And since the majority of veterinary tech and technologist degrees require practical training, that part can typically be fulfilled as an internship or work study program at a local Opelika AL veterinary clinic or hospital. Distance learning, as it is also called, may in some instances reduce the cost of your education. Tuition and secondary costs, such as for traveling and study supplies, may be lower compared to more conventional classroom programs. Just make certain that the program that you enroll in is accredited, either by the AVMA or another nationally certified accrediting agency. With the online classes and the practical training, everything is included for a comprehensive education. So if you are dedicated enough to learn in this more self-reliant fashion, an online veterinary technician school may be the ideal option for you.
Things to Ask Vet Tech Colleges
By now you should have selected which veterinarian credential that you would like to attain, and if you want to study online or attend a program on campus. Since there are an abundance of vet community colleges, vocational and technical schools in the Opelika AL area and across the Country, you need to ask some qualifying questions to help fine tune your list of alternatives. As we pointed out in our opening, many future students start by focusing on location and tuition expense. But we have already touched on other essential qualifiers, for example accreditation and internship programs. And of course you need to choose a school that offers the specialty and degree that you want to earn. These and other factors are reviewed in the list of questions that you need to ask the veterinary technician programs that you are looking at.
Is the Veterinary College Accredited? It’s important that you verify that the vet tech college you choose is accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency. As earlier stated, among the most highly respected is the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vocational schools and colleges that are accredited by the AVMA have gone through an extensive screening process that confirms you will obtain a quality education. Also, accreditation is important if you are applying for a student loan or financial assistance, since many programs are not offered for non-accredited colleges. Last, having a certificate or degree from an accredited college is frequently a precondition for employment for many Opelika AL area veterinary practices and hospitals.
What is the College’s Reputation? The veterinarian vocational school or college and program you select must have an outstanding reputation within the vet field. You can initiate your due diligence by asking the colleges you are looking at for references from the employers in their job placement network. Other suggestions include looking on online school rating websites and contacting the school’s accrediting agencies as well. You can ask the Alabama school licensing authority if there have been any grievances or infractions involving your targeted schools. As a final recommendation, phone some Opelika AL veterinarians that you may wish to work for after you receive your training. Ask what they think about your school selections. They may even recommend some programs not on your list.
Are Internships Offered? The best means to obtain clinical hands on training as a vet tech is to work in a professional setting. Find out if the schools you are looking at have internship programs arranged with Opelika AL veterinarians, vet practices or hospitals. Most veterinary medicine programs require clinical training and a large number furnish it by way of internships. Not only will the experience be valuable as far as the clinical training, but an internship can also help build associations in the local vet community and help in the search for a position after graduation.
Is there a Job Placement Program? Searching for a job after graduating from a vet tech program may be challenging without the help of a job placement program. To begin with, ask what the graduation rates are for the schools you are reviewing. A low rate may signify that the instructors were ineffective at teaching the syllabus or that some students were dissatisfied with the program and quit. Next, confirm that the schools have a job placement program and ask what their placement rates are. A higher placement rate may signify that the school has an exceptional reputation within the Opelika AL veterinary community and has a considerable network of contacts for student placements. A lower rate may indicate that the training is not well regarded by employers or that the job placement program is a failure at placing students.
How Big are the Classes? If the classes are larger, you most likely will get little or no individualized instruction from the teachers. Find out from the Opelika AL colleges you are researching what their class student to teacher ratios are. You might also want to participate in some classes (if practical) to monitor the interaction between students and teachers. Ask for evaluations from students regarding the quality of instruction. Also, talk with the instructors and determine what their qualifications are as well as their methods of teaching.
Where is the College Located? Okay, we already talked about location, but there are several more points to make on the topic. If you are going to commute to your vet tech classes from your Opelika AL home, you need to make sure that the driving time is compatible with your schedule. For example, driving during the weekend to check out the route won’t be the same as the commute during rush hour traffic, especially if the campus is located near or in a larger city. Also, if you do choose to attend a school in another state or even outside of your County of residence, there may be increased tuition costs particularly for state and community colleges. Of course taking classes online might be an option that will give you more flexibility and reduce the need for travel.
Is the Class Schedule Flexible? And finally, it’s important that you find out if the veterinarian colleges you are looking at offer class times that are sufficiently flexible to fit your schedule. For instance, many students continue working full time and can only attend classes on the weekends or in the evenings near Opelika AL. Some might only be able to go to class in the morning or in the afternoon. Make certain that the class times you require are available prior to enrolling. In addition, determine if you can make-up classes that you may miss because of illness, work or family issues. You may find that an online college is the best solution to fit your vet training into your active life.
How Long are Vet Tech Programs Opelika Alabama
Enrolling in the right vet tech college is a critical first step to starting a fulfilling career delivering care and treatment for animals. Future students considering veterinary technician programs must make their selection based on several key issues. Veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in animal hospitals, veterinary clinics and animal shelters. They usually take on administrative duties and support the veterinarian with the animal patients when needed. As we have covered, it’s very important that you decide on a veterinary medicine program that is both accredited and has an excellent reputation within the profession. This applies to online vet tech schools as well. You originally came to this website due to an interest in How Long are Vet Tech Programs and wanting more information on the topic Colleges That Have Vet Tech Programs. However, by asking the questions provided in our checklist for assessing schools, you will be able to narrow down your options so that you can make your final selection. And by picking the right school, you can achieve your goal of becoming a veterinary technician in Opelika AL.
More Pet Friendly Locations in Alabama
Opelika (pronounced /ˌoʊpəˈlaɪkə/ OH-pə-LY-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Lee County in the east central part of the State of Alabama. It is a principal city of the Auburn-Opelika Metropolitan Area. According to the 2013 Census Estimate, the population of Opelika was 28,635. The Auburn-Opelika, AL MSA with a population of 150,933 which, along with the Columbus, Georgia metropolitan area and Macon County, Alabama, comprises the Greater Columbus, Georgia, a region home to 501,649 residents.
The first white settlers in the area now known as Opelika arrived in the late 1830s and established a community called Lebanon. After the removal of the native Creek (Muscogee) peoples by federal troops in 1836-37, the area became known as "Opelika." This word taken from the Muskogee language means "large swamp".
In 1848, the Montgomery and West Point Railroad Company extended a rail line from Montgomery, Alabama, to Opelika, and in 1851, completed a connection to West Point, Georgia, thus connecting Opelika with Atlanta, Georgia. This line was the only direct rail route between New Orleans and the Eastern Seaboard. It rapidly became one of the primary trade lines for shipments of raw cotton from Southern plantations to the North. The Montgomery and West Point was soon joined by a rail connection to Columbus, Georgia, in 1855, and a connection to Birmingham, Alabama, in 1869. Almost overnight, Opelika became a regional hub for commerce.
Business Results 1 - 10 of 20