How to Go From Vet Tech to Veterinarian

So you want to be a veterinarian? That’s amazing! The first step is finding out how to go from being a vet tech to a veterinarian.

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Becoming a veterinarian is a long and challenging process, but it can be a very rewarding career. If you’re interested in becoming a vet, you might be wondering how to go about it. The most direct route is to complete a veterinary medicine program at an accredited institution. However, this is not the only path to becoming a vet.

Another option is to first become a veterinary technician (vet tech). Vet techs are vital members of the veterinary team and provide crucial support to veterinarians. They typically have an associate’s degree or certificate in veterinary technology. Becoming a vet tech can be a great way to learn more about the field of veterinary medicine and decide if it’s the right career for you. And, because vet techs already have some formal education and training in the field, they may be able to complete a veterinary medicine program in less time than someone who does not have any prior experience.

If you’re interested in becoming a veterinarian, talk to your local veterinarian or vet technician about your options and what you need to do to make your dream a reality.

Education and Training

The path to becoming a veterinarian typically starts with a four-year undergraduate degree in pre-veterinary medicine or a related science. After completing a four-year professional veterinary program, new veterinarians must pass a national exam to become licensed. Some veterinarians choose to specialize in a certain area of veterinary medicine after completing their education and training.

Getting a Degree

There are a few different steps that you’ll need to take if you want to go from being a vet tech to becoming a licensed veterinarian. The first and most obvious step is to get a degree. You’ll need to obtain a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree from an accredited veterinary school.

In order to be eligible to apply to vet school, you’ll need to complete a pre-veterinary program first. This can be done at most colleges and universities and will usually take about two years to complete. Once you’ve completed your pre-vet program, you’ll then need to take the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT).

After you’ve been accepted into veterinary school, you can expect to spend another four years completing your studies. Once you’ve graduated, you’ll then need to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) in order to receive your license.

Gaining Experience

There are a few ways to gain the experience required to become a veterinarian. You can work as a veterinary technician or assistant, shadow a practicing veterinarian, or volunteer at an animal shelter or rescue. Each of these options has its own set of pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for you.

Working as a veterinary technician or assistant is the most direct way to gain experience in the field. You’ll be working with animals on a daily basis and will learn firsthand how to care for them. The downside is that you may be working long hours, weekends, and holidays. You’ll also be dealing with sick animals and their owners, which can be emotionally draining.

Shadowing a practicing veterinarian is a great way to see what the day-to-day life of a vet is really like. You’ll be able to observe procedures being performed and ask questions about the work. The downside is that you may not have much hands-on experience.

Volunteering at an animal shelter or rescue is a great way to gain experience working with animals. You’ll be able to socialize them, care for them, and help them find homes. The downside is that you may not have much interaction with veterinarians or other medical staff.

The Veterinary Exam

The Veterinary Exam is a long and detailed process, but it is doable with the right preparation. You will need to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, as well as pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). After you have completed these steps, you will be eligible to take the Veterinary Exam.


The North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) is a computer-based test used to assess the competency of veterinary school graduates in the United States and Canada. The NAVLE is produced by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (NBVME), and is taken by candidates seeking licensure as a veterinarian in either country.

The NAVLE consists of 400 multiple-choice questions, divided into ten sections of 40 questions each. The sections cover the following topics:
-Basic sciences (anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, pathology)
-Clinical sciences (internal medicine, surgery, ophthalmology, radiology, cardiology)
-Animal welfare and public health
-Diagnosis and treatment planning

Candidates are given four hours to complete the examination. A passing score is set by the NBVME on a yearly basis, and generally falls between 70% and 80%.

State Board Exams

After you have completed your veterinary technician program and received your veterinary technician license, you will need to take a state board exam in order to practice in your state. The requirements for taking the state board exam vary from state to state, but in general, you will need to submit an application to take the exam and pay a fee. The application will ask for your personal information, education history, and work experience. You may also be required to submit transcripts from your veterinary technician program.

Once you have submitted your application, you will be scheduled to take the state board exam. The exam is composed of two parts: a written portion and a practical portion. The written portion of the exam tests your knowledge of the material covered in your veterinary technician program. The practical portion of the exam tests your ability to perform the tasks that are expected of a veterinary technician.

You will need to pass both parts of the exam in order to receive your veterinary technician license. Once you have passed the state board exam, you will be able to find employment as a veterinary technician in any state that licenses veterinary technicians.

Passing the Exam

After you have completed your undergraduate or graduate degree in veterinary medicine, you will need to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE). The NAVLE is a computer-based exam that is administered by the state veterinary licensing boards. Once you have passed the NAVLE, you will be eligible to receive your veterinary license.


If you love animals and want to work with them full time, becoming a veterinarian may be the right career path for you. Though the path to becoming a veterinarian is long, it can be immensely rewarding. If you’re currently working as a vet tech and considering going back to school to become a veterinarian, here are a few things to keep in mind.

First, remember that becoming a veterinarian requires at least 8 years of schooling—4 years for an undergraduate degree and 4 years for veterinary school. While you can go directly from high school into veterinary school, most students choose to complete an undergraduate degree first. This gives you the opportunity to explore different areas of interest and gain some experience working with animals before making the commitment to veterinary school.

Once you’ve decided to become a veterinarian, the next step is getting into veterinary school. The admissions process for veterinary school is competitive, so it’s important to start planning early. Your grades and score on the Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) will play a big role in your admission decision, so make sure to keep your grades up and study hard for the VCAT. In addition, most schools require applicants to have experience working with animals, so be sure to get some experience through volunteer work or internships before applying.

Once you’ve been accepted into veterinary school, you can look forward to four more years of schooling. Veterinary school is intense, but it will be worth it when you finally graduate and start your career as a veterinarian!

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