Veterinary Technician

License required by 36 states

16th most burdensome licensing requirements.

27th most widely and onerously licensed occupation.

Veterinary technicians generally work in private clinical practices under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. They may perform laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis, and help veterinarians conduct a variety of other diagnostic tests. They may also talk with animal owners about a pet’s condition or how to administer medication prescribed by a veterinarian.1

Thirty-six states require veterinary technicians to obtain licenses. On average, these laws require $380 in fees, two years (730 days) of education and experience, and around two exams—the 16th most burdensome requirements of the 102 occupations studied here. However, because veterinary technicians are not licensed everywhere, the occupation ranks as the 27th most widely and onerously licensed.

License requirements are mostly uniform. Every state requires two years (730 days) of veterinary technician education (Washington also requires a four-hour HIV/AIDS course) and one or two exams. In addition, 32 states require fees of $330 to $477. However, there is some variability: Alaska and Washington require fees over $500, while Arizona and New York require fees under $200. Also, only Indiana, Louisiana and South Dakota require a high school diploma.

States With Licenses

Burden Rank State States Licensed Fees Estimated Calendar Days Lost Education Experience Exams Minimum Grade Minimum Age
1 Washington 36 $580 731 2 years and 4 clock hours 2 0 0
2 Indiana 36 $392 730 2 years 2 12 18
3 Louisiana 36 $405 730 2 years 2 12 0
4 South Dakota 36 $330 730 2 years 2 12 0
5 Idaho 36 $477 730 2 years 2 0 18
6 Wisconsin 36 $475 730 2 years 2 0 18
7 Alabama 36 $410 730 2 years 2 0 18
7 Mississippi 36 $410 730 2 years 2 0 18
7 North Carolina 36 $410 730 2 years 2 0 18
7 West Virginia 36 $410 730 2 years 2 0 18
11 Maryland 36 $395 730 2 years 2 0 18
12 South Carolina 36 $360 730 2 years 2 0 18
13 Oklahoma 36 $440 730 2 years 2 0 0
14 New Mexico 36 $435 730 2 years 2 0 0
15 Nebraska 36 $410 730 2 years 1 0 19
16 Nevada 36 $410 730 2 years 2 0 0
17 Alaska 36 $535 730 2 years 1 0 0
18 Georgia 36 $360 730 2 years 1 0 18
19 Missouri 36 $360 730 2 years 2 0 0
20 California 36 $351 730 2 years 1 0 18
21 Oregon 36 $345 730 2 years 2 0 0
22 Iowa 36 $335 730 2 years 2 0 0
23 Kansas 36 $330 730 2 years 2 0 0
24 Arizona 36 $150 730 2 years 2 0 18
25 Tennessee 36 $428 730 2 years 1 0 0
26 Delaware 36 $397 730 2 years 1 0 0
27 Virginia 36 $375 730 2 years 1 0 0
28 Maine 36 $366 730 2 years 1 0 0
29 Illinois 36 $360 730 2 years 1 0 0
30 Michigan 36 $350 730 2 years 1 0 0
31 Arkansas 36 $350 730 2 years 1 0 0
32 Pennsylvania 36 $345 730 2 years 1 0 0
33 Kentucky 36 $335 730 2 years 1 0 0
33 North Dakota 36 $335 730 2 years 1 0 0
33 Ohio 36 $335 730 2 years 1 0 0
36 New York 36 $177 730 2 years 1 0 0

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