Last Updated on December 24, 2022
The first step to becoming a certified veterinary technician (CVT) in Illinois is graduating from a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This organization uses criteria such as comprehensiveness of curriculum, quality of program facilities, and student outcomes in order to gauge the effectiveness of a vet tech school.
Tuition and fees for the academic year 2020 – 2021
|Per Year||Per Semester|
|Resident Tuition, 2020-21||$28,694||$14,347|
|Non-resident Tuition, 2020-21||$51,398||$25,699|
|Campus Fees, 2020-21||$5,016||$2,508|
|Room and Board Costs*, 2020-2021 *Calculation by Office of Student Financial Aid for loan purposes||$13,060||$6,530|
As of April 2020, there are four AVMA-accredited programs in Illinois. Here is an overview of these vet tech schools offering associate of applied science (AAS) degrees for aspiring veterinary technicians:
Parkland College of Champaign offers a veterinary technology program, which had an impressive 92.6 percent first-time VTNE pass rate among its graduates between 2016 and 2018.
Courses include small animal nursing; diagnostic imaging; animal management; large animal nursing; surgery technology; common veterinary drugs; and more. Students complete several lab courses as well as a full-time clinical practicum at a veterinary clinical site approved by the program director. Parkland’s selective program ensures that each of its students meets a rigorous list of technical abilities prior to graduation.
The Fox College, located southwest of Chicago, offers an 18-month veterinary technology AAS degree at their Tinley Park campus. Courses include clinical medicine; veterinary pharmacology; anesthesia; large animal theory; surgical nursing; radiology; veterinary office procedures; and more. In addition there is a VTNE preparation course, as well as a veterinary externship. Between 2016 and 2019, 65.5 percent of its 226 graduates passed the VTNE on the first attempt. In addition to coursework, Fox College maintains an on-site kennel with dogs, cats, and rodents to help students develop care-taking and sanitation competencies through mandatory kennel duty during the program.
Rockford Career College has an online video tour of its veterinary technician program to give prospective students a flavor for the environment. This two-year associate of applied sciences degree in veterinary technology offers courses such as animal clinical procedures; large animal medical techniques; veterinary anatomy systems and functions; clinical pathology; principles of surgery; husbandry and disease; husbandry and disease; small animals, and more.
General education requirements are delivered in an online format. There are a number of rabbits, rats, and cats that live on-site for students to practice handling, many of which are adopted at the end of school terms. The school works mainly with animals from rescue and humane societies—120 to 150 animals every 10 weeks— and the laboratory has blood-work, radiographic, and other types of commonly used veterinary equipment. Rockford vet tech graduates have a VTNE first-time pass rate of 65 percent (2016-2019).
Joliet Junior College—located in the third highest employing region for vet techs in the nation—boasted an astounding 96 percent first-time pass rate among its graduates on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) between 2016 and 2019.
This is a two-year, 72-semester-hour program, designed for 48 full-time students. Courses include small animal nursing; animal care; clinical pathology; laboratory animals; surgery technology; exotic animal and wildlife management; and more. Also, students are expected to complete two supervised externships in nearby animal clinics and facilities in order to receive hands-on instruction in the fundamentals of the profession. These clinical care courses provide at least 720 hours of clinical experience. Students have the option of choosing day or evening courses and some courses are offered online or in a hybrid format.
Vatterott College-Fairview Heights offers a veterinary technician AAS degree. The program consists of 90 weeks and 94 quarter-credit-hours of classroom instruction and labs, and 24 quarter-credit-hours of general education courses. Students can begin the program every ten weeks.
Courses for this program include veterinary law and ethics; radiology; shelter management; parasitology; animal disease and control; anesthesiology and surgical procedures; animal nursing; and more. The program also includes a career skills course and students complete a veterinary externship at the end of the program. VTNE first-time pass rates were not available for Vatterott.