Online Veterinary Science And Animal Care Degree Programs

According to the National Pet Owner's Survey, 63 percent of American households have at least one pet. The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) reports there are 74 million dogs, 88 million cats, and 142 million freshwater fish owned in the United States. In 2007, APPMA estimates that Americans may spend as much as $9.8 billion on veterinary care for their beloved pets.

All of this explains why the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 41 percent job growth from 2006 to 2016, meaning career opportunities in veterinary science should remain abundant. The demand for veterinarians and veterinary technicians continues to exceed the number of graduates each year. Jobs in zoos and aquariums are the most difficult to get and competition remains tough for them, but most veterinary technicians work in private practices.

Veterinary Degrees and Career Training

Veterinary technologists and technicians perform routine laboratory and clinical procedures while working under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Both perform the same types of duties, and therefore both often get called technicians since the terms are used interchangeably. The primary difference comes from the type of training: technicians tend to have associate's degrees from an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited community college, which they obtain upon completion of a two-year course. Technologists have typically attended colleges that offer four-year bachelor's degrees in veterinary technology. To prepare for either of those programs, students should take science, biology, and math classes. And upon the completion of coursework, all technicians and technologists must pass a state exam.

What's Involved in Animal Care

Job responsibilities for technicians may include:

  • Urinalysis
  • Blood samples
  • Dental work
  • Preparing tissue samples
  • X-rays
  • Vaccinations
  • Obtaining medical histories from pet owners
  • Assisting the veterinarian with medical and diagnostic equipment

The job can be demanding and difficult at times, ranging from dealing with frantic pet owners to having to euthanize a severely injured, ill, or unwanted animal.

Most people who study veterinary science and animal care focus on either small companion animals, such as cats, dogs, birds, rabbits, ferrets, reptiles, and other creatures people can keep in their homes. Other vets specialize in treating larger, nondomestic animals like horses, pigs, goats, cattle, and sheep. A small number of veterinarians, however, do have practices that treat both small and large animals.

Veterinary Degrees Online

Online degree programs allow you to take courses in veterinary science from home. Coursework traditionally includes subjects such as animal biology, zoology, animal nutrition, systemic physiology, and more. Associate's and bachelor's degrees in veterinary science can qualify you to work as a veterinary technician or laboratory assistant.

Veterinary Careers and Jobs

Veterinary school admission can be highly competitive, but after you earn your degree, job opportunities are promising. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 71,000 veterinary technician and technologist jobs in 2006. In 2007, veterinary technician and technologists earned an annual median salary of $28,920. If you love working with animals, pursuing a traditional or online degree in veterinary science is a great way to begin your career.

Pursue your Veterinary Science & Animal Care major today…

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