Top 20 Affordable Vet Tech Associate’s Degree Programs 2021

Earning a vet tech associate’s degree from an accredited Veterinary Technology program qualifies graduates to take both state and national exams to practice as a veterinary technologist. This list of 20 affordable vet tech programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is a great place to begin researching a vet tech degree program and begin the journey into this satisfying field. Applicants to an on campus or online vet tech degree program typically enjoy animals and have good people skills. As a part of the veterinary medical team, veterinary technologists give plenty of hands-on care to their furry or feathered friends. Check out this list of the 20 most affordable accredited on-campus and online vet tech associate’s degrees and start down the path to a rewarding career. 

Top 20 Vet Tech Associate’s Degree Programs

This list of 20 of the most affordable vet tech associate’s degree programs was selected from an initial pool of 150 vet tech programs fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Most of these vet tech associate’s degree programs are on-campus, with some online programs listed as well. Programs are ranked according to in-state tuition costs from the College Navigator website. Profile information is from individual school websites. Contact your school of interest to obtain the most up-to-date program and tuition information.

  1. Cosumnes River College, Sacramento, CA
  2. Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA
  3. San Juan College, Farmington, NM
  4. Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA
  5. Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, NM
  6. Lone Star College, Tomball, TX
  7. Dallas College, Lancaster, TX
  8. Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ
  9. Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ
  10. Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, CO
  11. Pensacola State College, Pensacola, FL
  12. Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa, FL
  13. Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, FL
  14. Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, NC
  15. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, NC
  16. St. Petersburg College, Largo, FL
  17. Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, NV
  18. Athens Technical College, Athens, GA
  19. Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL
  20. Arkansas State University, Beebe, AR

Reviewing the Cheapest Vet Tech Degree Programs

20. Arkansas State University, Beebe, AR

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,928

Out-of-state tuition $4,656

This affordable vet tech associate’s degree program offered by ASU promises a hands-on education. Although enrollment for year one of the program is open, acceptance into the second year of this program is limited to students who have met the competitive selection criteria. Up to 24 students may be admitted to the second year of this program, leading to a vet tech degree. Graduates of this vet tech program will have the entry-level competencies needed for employment in the industry. Students in this program have hands-on kennel duties to develop confidence in the care and welfare of animals. Students may take up to 3 years to complete this vet tech associate’s degree program. 

19. Miami-Dade College, Miami, FL

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,836

Out-of-state tuition $9,661

Miami-Dade College’s affordable vet tech associate’s degree program prepares graduates to take their national exam and enter the exciting field of Veterinary Technology. Students complete 400 hours of on the job practical experience, building on the classroom foundation. With a 92 percent pass rate of the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), students can expect to be well prepared for taking the exam and for successful future employment. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program can expect to have skills in medical testing and procedures in a wide range of settings. 

18. Athens Technical College, Athens, GA

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,794

Out-of-state tuition $4,922

This affordable vet tech degree program from ATC promises students will graduate with the essential skills needed to secure entry-level positions. Graduates of this program go on to a wide array of work in veterinary medicine including small, large, exotic, and laboratory animal nursing. This competitive vet tech associate’s degree program has 20 spots open to qualified students each year. Applicants are recommended to have practical experience in a veterinary hospital or other animal care facility prior to applying to this program to assure awareness of the career requirements.

17. Truckee Meadows Community College, Reno, NV

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,766

Out-of-state tuition $9,956

This Associate of Applied Science vet tech program from affordable Truckee Meadows Community College promises to prepare students for success as a veterinary technician. Students go on to careers working in specialty private practices, veterinary hospitals, teaching hospitals, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies, to name a few. Students in this program may specialize in areas such as anesthesia and analgesia, emergency room and critical care, animal behavior, dermatology, dentistry, equine care, nutrition, ophthalmology, zoo medicine, and surgical practice. Applicants must have a resume documenting verifiable work experience, a single-page essay discussing animal related experiences in preparation for a career as a veterinary technician, and a letter of recommendation. Graduates are prepared for the national exam and for a successful career as a Veterinary Technician. 

16. St. Petersburg College, Largo, FL

Vet Tech Degree Online and On-Campus

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,682

Out-of-state tuition $9,286

St. Petersburg College’s Veterinary Technology AS degree promises students a foundation that is solid, ensuring success in the workplace. Classes can be completed online, on-campus, or in a blended format, giving students flexibility in completing this affordable program. On-campus students have at their fingertips SPC’s new 32,000 square foot state-of-the-art Veterinary Technology facility, with its classrooms, laboratories, surger suites, and x-ray suites. On-campus students complete 100 hours of clinical experience each semester with a veterinary clinic. Online students complete clinical practicums right in their community, with a credentialed mentor that oversees the experience. Online students complete 280 hours of clinical experience each semester. This affordable online vet tech associate’s degree is a flexible option for those aspiring for a vet tech degree, but have responsibilities tying them to a geographical location. Whether on-campus or online, SPC students graduate with skills in radiology, nursing, dentistry, surgery, anesthesia and lab testing. Students are prepared to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and enter this exciting and rewarding career. 

15. Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, Asheville, NC

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,632

Out-of-state tuition $8,776

This vet tech associate’s degree program in Veterinary Medical Technology is a competitive program to enter. Applicants should have a Chemistry, Biology, and Algebra background to be successful. This vet tech degree program is a six-semester program and includes a semester of work-based learning, giving students valuable time to solidify skills and knowledge in preparation for entering the workforce. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program may find employment in a variety of opportunities associated with the care of animals, including veterinary hospitals, diagnostic, research and pharmaceutical laboratories, zoos, and academic environments. 

14. Central Carolina Community College, Sanford, NC

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,554

Out-of-state tuition $8,698

Central Carolina Community College’s Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology program is taught by leaders in the veterinary community and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to teach students. Most students come into this vet tech associate’s degree program with valuable work experience in a veterinary hospital. This vet tech program exposes students to a variety of animals that includes rabbits, dogs, cats, cattle, horses and rodents. In addition to hands-on laboratory experience, this vet tech program also uses teaching models and demonstrations. CCCC’s lab experience is led by licensed veterinarians and veterinary medical technicians. Graduates of this vet tech program find employment in private veterinary practices, research, pharmaceutical companies, laboratories, zoos, wildlife centers, governmental agencies, and specialty and emergency veterinary practices. 

13. Hillsborough Community College, Plant City, FL

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,506

Out-of-state tuition $9,111

This vet tech associate’s degree program from Hillsborough Community College promises students a robust hands-on training program that can be completed in five semesters of full time study. Graduates can expect to be prepared to work in private practice, humane societies, veterinary specialities, zoo and wildlife medicine, and medical research and agriculture. HCC’s vet tech program’s agreement with St. Petersburg College provides HCC graduates entrance into the BS in Veterinary Technology at SPC, which is an online vet tech degree program. Applicants beginning in 2022 are required to have had a minimum of 10 hours as an employee, volunteer or observer in a veterinary facility. 

12. Eastern Florida State College, Cocoa, FL

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,497

Out-of-state tuition $9,739

Easter Florida State College’s two-year Veterinary Nursing program promises to prepare vet tech program graduates for work in the exciting field of Veterinary Technology. Students have clinical practice in the college’s veterinary clinical facility as well as at designated clinical sites in the community. Applicants to this vet tech degree program complete their general education classes and other support courses prior to being admitted to this program. This vet tech associate’s degree program requires a special application to be admitted to this limited access degree program. Students graduating from this vet tech program also complete a Veterinary Assisting College Credit Certificate along with their degree. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program qualify to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).

11. Pensacola State College, Pensacola, FL

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,364

Out-of-state tuition $9,471

This full-time vet tech associate’s degree program can be completed in two years. Students in this limited access program develop their skills and knowledge through classroom and laboratory instruction. This vet tech associate’s degree program begins yearly in August, and students are required to complete specific general education requirements prior to beginning this program. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program can anticipate employment in veterinary hospitals, animal shelter and rescue organizations, medical and pharmaceutical research, wildlife rehabilitation, zoos or related government agencies. 

10. Colorado Mountain College, Glenwood Springs, CO

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,220

Out-of-state tuition $4,640

Colorado Mountain College’s Veterinary Technician program has become a nationally recognized program and is well known and respected across the United States. Graduates of this rigorous vet tech associate’s degree program have an impressive near 100% pass rate (from 2016-2019 was 100%). This program boasts a specular location set on a 220-acre facility overlooking the Elk Mountains in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. This veterinary technology facility includes an equine teaching barn, a livestock handling facility, small animal hospital with kennel and treatment areas, a surgical suite, and dental, x-ray and laboratory areas. Students work with a variety of animals, including horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, cats and exotic animals. Their 2600 square foot hospital was carefully designed to approximate a working veterinary hospital, providing hands on-training. This unique farm location provides learning opportunities not found at most Veterinary Technology programs.

9. Pima Community College, Tucson, AZ

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,190

Out-of-state tuition $7,506

PCC’s vet tech associate’s degree program prepares students in a wide range of classroom topics and through real world experience through the clinical portions of this program. Applicants to this vet tech associate’s degree program must complete program requirements prior to being eligible to take the courses in the program. This robust vet tech degree program has a higher than national average pass rate of the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), with an 80% pass rate of first time candidates (national average is 70.6%). Graduates of this vet tech degree program are prepared to work in veterinarians offices, work in research, or other organizations that provide animal care. 

8. Mesa Community College, Mesa, AZ

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $2,070

Out-of-state tuition $7,854

This Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Veterinary Technology/Animal Health offered at Mesa Community College offered from Mesa Community College promises to prepare vet tech program students with the skills and knowledge to begin their career in the important field of health. Students graduate from this vet tech associate’s degree program with a working knowledge of basic medical science, animal care, animal management, veterinary medical care, communication and service. This is a competitive program with students completing their first year requirements and then must apply to and be admitted into the second year cohort. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program qualify to take their state and national exam to become Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVT). 

 7. Dallas College , Lancaster, TX

Vet Tech Associate’s Online and On-Campus

WEBSITE

 In-state tuition $1,770

Out-of-state tuition $3,330

Dallas College offers this affordable and accredited associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology in both an online format and traditional on-campus program. Applicants must complete English and biology prerequisite courses, and are encouraged to have a solid academic background in English, math, and biology. On-campus students have access to the school’s 32,000 square foot teaching facility featuring a 170 acre stock farm with breeding herds, including horses, cattle and goats. Students in the online vet tech associate’s degree program have the ability to pursue their vet tech degree without relocating. Graduates of this vet tech program are prepared with the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience needed to perform all technical duties in a veterinary practice. Graduates earn their vet tech associate’s degree and qualify to take the examinations, both state and national, necessary to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT).

6. Lone Star College , Tomball, TX

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

 In-state tuition $1,724

Out-of-state tuition $4,244

This five semester vet tech associate’s degree program from Lone Star College ensures graduates have the knowledge, skills and experience to enter into a satisfying career in this exciting field. Students work in the laboratory with cows, dogs, cats, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, exotic animals, and laboratory animals such as mice and rabbits. Graduates completing their vet tech associate’s degree can expect to enter their career in a veterinary hospital, zoological garden, industry, medical research, or government program. Applicants to this affordable vet tech degree program need to fulfill entry requirements listed on their website, including an exam such as the SAT. This program boasts an overall pass rate of 99.8% on the State and National Board Examinations, one of the highest passing rates of all accredited Veterinary Technology programs in the country. 

5. Central New Mexico Community College, Albuquerque, NM

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $1,650

Out-of-state tuition $7,410

This five term Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from Central New Mexico Community College prepares graduates to pass the Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE) and begin working in this challenging field of veterinary medicine. This affordable vet tech associate’s degree program equips students through didactic, lab, and clinical practice experience that will provide the skills and knowledge needed for successful employment in this career. Those wishing to enter this vet tech degree program will need to complete pre-registration requirements, including an entry exam, background check, drug screening, immunizations and Healthcare Provider Basic Life Support (BLS) certification. Graduates of this vet tech associate’s degree program can expect to be prepared to be an important and integral part of the veterinary health care team caring for animals in a variety of settings. 

4. Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

 In-state tuition $1,563

Out-of-state tuition $9,528

This associate’s degree from Foothill College’s Veterinary Technology program promises to be academically challenging in preparation for taking the national examination to become a Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). Through hands-on training and personal attention to student success, graduates of this vet tech degree program can expect to have competency in essential skills for entering this field. Graduates of this vet tech program can expect to have the knowledge, skills and ability to practice as a Veterinary Technologist in a wide range of work settings. In addition to the Veterinary Technology program, this school also offers Veterinary Assisting courses that are offered online, along with a preceptorship component. Students completing all three Veterinary Assisting courses earn a certificate that will appear on their college transcript. Veterinary Assisting courses are separate from the Veterinary Technology program and not accredited by the AVMA. 

3. San Juan College, Farmington, NM

Vet Tech Associate’s

Online

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $1,546

Out-of-state tuition $4,330

This online vet tech associate’s degree program from affordable San Juan College promises to prepare students to enter this rewarding field that is a vital part of the animal health care team. This online vet tech degree program is flexible and allows students to complete the program in the time frame that best suits them, from anywhere in the world. Graduates from this rigorous and convenient program can expect to find opportunities in a wide range of veterinary jobs. San Juan College boasts high results for their graduates taking the Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE), with students frequently scoring 15-20% above the national average in most categories on this exam. This online vet tech degree program removes geographic boundaries and allows for graduates to take the VTNE in any state. This rigorous vet tech degree program emphasizes techniques for assisting in diagnostic imaging, surgical, pharmacological and clinical procedures and business skills. This flexible and affordable online vet tech degree program is ideal for students seeking a veterinary career as a credentialed Veterinary Technician, Veterinary Assistant, or practice manager in a veterinary office. 

2. Los Angeles Pierce College, Woodland Hills, CA

Associate’s in Vet Tech

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $1,220

Out-of-state tuition $8,110

Graduates of this affordable Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree program qualify to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Students can expect to be prepared to work in a variety of capacities and settings. This vet tech degree curriculum combines hands-on lab courses with clinical experiences in the community. Students complete required prerequisites before beginning this robust and affordable Associate’s degree program. This affordable vet tech associate’s degree program can be completed on a part time basis in 3-4 years or full time in 2 years. 

1. Cosumnes River College, Sacramento, CA

Vet Tech Associate’s

WEBSITE

In-state tuition $1,104

Out-of-state tuition $8,928

This affordable Associates degree in Veterinary Technology provides students with ample hands-on experience and the skills and knowledge to pass the state board exam. CRC’s rigorous program includes veterinary emergency care, anesthesia, dental care, surgical assistance and laboratory procedures. Students graduate from this vet tech program with practical knowledge of animal behavior, restraint, nutrition and nursing. Pre-requisite courses in Biology and Chemistry are required. This vet tech associate’s degree program boasts an excellent passing rate for their graduates passing their state board exams. Recognized by local employers, students can expect on the job training and job placement services to help them in their career. As one of six vet tech programs in California fully accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, it is also the most affordable vet tech associate’s degree program. 

FAQs

What is a Veterinary Technologist?

A Veterinary Technologist provides assistance to veterinarians in providing primary care to animals, as well as assisting in radiology, anesthesia, nursing care, and laboratory work. Vet Techs, as they are often known, also are qualified to assist in client education, and sales and marketing. Veterinary technicians serve as paraprofessional support to veterinarians, medical researchers, and others that work with animals. 

Is Veterinary Technology considered a public health field?

Vet Techs are often considered public health workers because they benefit society through protecting animal health, relieving animal suffering, conserving livestock resources, promoting public health, and advancing medical knowledge. 

What’s the difference between a Veterinary Technician and a Veterinary Assistant? 

Vet Techs complete a 2-year associate’s degree and assist Veterinarians in many areas of practice. A Veterinary Assistant is mostly responsible for assisting the Vet Tech and has clerical duties as well. 

How long does it take to complete an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology?

These programs are most typically completed in 4 or 5 semesters of full-time study and clinical experience. Some programs may have a part-time study program, which will take longer. 

How is the job outlook for Veterinary Technologists?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov), employment of Veterinary Technologists is projected to grow 16% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average for all occupations. This growth is expected as veterinarians continue to use Vet Techs to do general care and lab work on house pets. 

Do I need an associate’s degree to take the national exam? 

To qualify to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), or the state exam, students must graduate from an accredited Veterinary Technology program, such as those listed in the article. Those that pass the exam, students are classified as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT). After passing this exam, continuing education credits and certification renewal every two years are required to maintain certification.

Will I be called a certified, licensed or registered Veterinary Technologist?

Vet techs must be certified, licensed or registered to practice, depending on the state. The Veterinary Technology National Exam (VTNE) is a 4-hour, 200 multiple choice question certification exam. Check out your state’s requirements for practicing as a Veterinary Technologist. 

Who accredits Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree programs? 

Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree programs are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Is it important for the program I choose to be accredited?

Accreditation assures the program covers all information needed to be successful as a Veterinary Technologist. Programs that are accredited work to make sure they keep their accreditation status. Students graduating from an accredited program are qualified to take the national exam. 

Where can I work with this degree after I graduate?

After taking the exam, the majority of graduates find employment in veterinary private practice. In addition, some may find satisfying work in biomedical research, specialty practice, zoo and wildlife care, veterinary supplies sales, and veterinary emergency hospitals among other places. 

What kind of classes are required for this degree?

Courses in vet tech degree programs can include veterinary anatomy, animal nutrition, parasitology, pathology, physiology, radiology, medical terminology, zoology, general office practices, laboratory techniques, dentistry, and small, large and exotic animal clinical practices.

How do I know if this career is for me?

People in this career often like physical hands-on activities and projects. They are often good “thinkers,” analyzing problems and looking for different ways to solve them. In addition, having good people skills is an asset to this profession. If uncertain, get a job or volunteer at an animal hospital or other place that works with animals to find out if it may be something worth pursuing. 

Is becoming a Veterinary Technologist a route to becoming a Veterinary Doctor? 

These programs are not a pre-veterinary medicine curriculum. This is not the route to becoming a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. 

What is the professional organization for this field? 

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) is the nation’s leading advocate for the veterinary profession, representing more than 95,000 members. They exist to protect, promote and advance the needs of the veterinary profession. They provide educational accreditation and certification programs among other services. 

By Carol Dolan BS RN BSN CDCES
January 2021

Carol graduated with her BS in Nutrition from Montclair State University and her BSN in Nursing from Rowan University. She is a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) currently working with adults and children living with diabetes in both outpatient and inpatient settings.

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This concludes our ranking of the top vet tech associate’s degrees 2021.