How Much Does It Cost to Be a Vet Tech?

Considering a career as a veterinary technician? Find out how much it costs to become a vet tech, and whether the salary is worth the investment.

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The Low End

The cost of becoming a Veterinary Technician depends on which route you decide to take. The traditional route of completing a Veterinary Technician Associate’s Degree will cost you between $6,000-$10,000.

National Averages

As of May 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the national average salary for veterinary technicians is $33,740 per year, or $16.22 per hour. The lowest 10 percent of earners make less than $23,490 annually, while the highest 10 percent bring in more than $46,610. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay in this profession.

Online Programs

There are a few online programs available, but they are not very common. Most schools that offer online programs require students to complete clinical hours in addition to their coursework, and these clinical hours must be completed at an approved facility. The cost of clinical hours can add up, so be sure to factor that in when considering an online program.

The High End

On the high end, you could expect to pay as much as $200,000 for a top-notch education. This is what you would pay for a four-year degree at a private university. You would also need to factor in the cost of living and other associated expenses.

In-person Programs

In-person programs are available at many community colleges, technical schools, and universities. Prices for these programs can range from $5,000 to $20,000. The length of the program will also differ, with most taking two years or less to complete.

Top-tier Programs

There are about 190 AVMA accredited programs in the United States, and the cost of attendance varies greatly from program to program. Private schools, for example, tend to be much more expensive than public schools.

In-state tuition at a public school may be as low as $5,000 per year, while out-of-state tuition at a public school can be more than double that. Private schools can charge upwards of $40,000 per year.

In addition to tuition, other expenses to consider include books and supplies, room and board, and transportation. Many programs also require students to purchase liability insurance and professional membership dues.

The cost of attending a top-tier Veterinary Technician program can easily exceed $50,000 per year. But there are ways to offset the costs.

Many schools offer scholarships and financial aid packages to qualified students. And many states offer loan forgiveness programs for Vet Techs who agree to work in underserved areas.

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