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What kind of education do I need to work with animals? I can't afford a 4 year college.

In a vet setting.

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Elizabeth (Betsy)’s Answer

Hello Alexandra,

It's often possible to find jobs that cover some of your college and certification costs, especially if you're in the right field. In my region, for instance, there's a shortage of farm veterinarians. This has led to the creation of apprenticeship programs and scholarship funds to help aspiring farm vets with costs of their education.

I suggest you contact local animal shelters and veterinarians to explore volunteer work or part-time job opportunities. This will allow you to network with professionals in the field, learn about their educational background, and discover if there are any local scholarships or apprenticeship programs.

To become a fully licensed veterinary doctor, you'll likely need to attend both college and veterinary school. However, you might be able to become a veterinary technician by attending a community college or a vocational tech school.

Best of luck.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice, Elizabeth (Betsy). Alexandra
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Cassandra’s Answer

There are several exciting paths you can take. For instance, in the field of veterinary medicine, roles like receptionists and assistants don't demand any formal education. While there are certification programs available, most establishments are more than willing to provide you with the necessary training. Alternatively, you could consider becoming a veterinary technician. This typically involves just two years of college, and there are even online programs available that allow you to learn at your own pace. So, there's always a way to reach your goal, no matter your current situation or schedule.
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Karin’s Answer

Hi Alexandra ,

You could become a vet tech, a vet assistant or possibly a dog trainer or a dog groomer. These are sometimes associated with a vet clinic.

To become a vet tech, you need an associates degree (2 to 3 years) and possibly certification (depends on state). There are courses for vet assistants but there is no formal degree requirement

If you want to become a veterinarian, you are looking at 4 years undergrad and 4 years vet school. Check out scholarships and admission requirements. Have you considered starting as a vet tech and working your way up?

I hope this helps! Good luck!

KP


Karin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.veterinarianedu.org/illinois-vet-tech/
https://www.veterinarianedu.org/illinois-veterinary-assistant/
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Alexandra
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome! Karin P.
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Mohd Shoeb’s Answer

Four-year college degree can be beneficial for certain careers working with animals, there are still plenty of opportunities available with alternative forms of education and training. Consider the following options:

Community College or Vocational Programs: Many community colleges offer two-year associate degree programs or vocational certificates in fields such as veterinary technology, animal care, or animal behavior. These programs provide hands-on training and can lead to entry-level positions in animal-related industries.

Apprenticeships or On-the-Job Training: Some animal-related careers, such as animal grooming or veterinary assisting, may offer apprenticeship programs or on-the-job training opportunities. These experiences allow you to gain practical skills while earning a salary.

Online Courses and Certifications: There are numerous online courses and certification programs available in areas such as pet grooming, animal behavior, and wildlife conservation. While these may not provide a formal degree, they can still enhance your knowledge and skills in specific areas of interest.

Volunteer Work and Internships: Volunteering at animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers, or veterinary clinics can provide valuable hands-on experience and networking opportunities. Many organizations also offer internships for individuals interested in gaining practical experience in the field.

Continuing Education and Professional Development: Even if you can't afford a traditional college education, you can still pursue continuing education and professional development opportunities to enhance your skills and knowledge in the field. This could include attending workshops, conferences, or seminars related to animal care and management.

Ultimately, the key is to gain relevant experience, whether through formal education, hands-on training, or volunteer work, and to demonstrate your passion and commitment to working with animals. Employers often value practical experience and dedication just as much as formal education when hiring for animal-related positions.
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Alexandra
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