Veterinary technician examining cat

Guide to Veterinary Technician Societies

By Natalie Winzer, iHire, LLC

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America’s (NAVTA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties (CVTS) created and continues to maintain a list of approved societies that are “for individuals interested in a specific discipline of veterinary medicine that must represent a distinct and identifiable specialty, supported by an existing veterinary specialty.” Below are a number of societies to consider joining based on your areas of expertise and/or interest.

Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (SVBT)

SVBT promotes humane and scientifically based behavior management techniques through continuing education (CE). Professional-level membership (open only to licensed veterinary technicians) includes voting rights, the ability to serve on committees and the Board of Directors, and eligibility for scholarships and discounts. Additionally, professional-level members have access to the SVBT newsletter, forum, and free/discounted webinars, reception and annual meeting attendance, and internship opportunities. Student and subscription memberships are also available.

The American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians & Assistants (AAEVT)

A sister organization of the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), AAEVT is open to veterinary technicians, assistants, support staff, and students with an interest in equine care. Perks include newsletter subscriptions, priority notification of CE events, members-only employment database and library, discounts on conference fees, books, and publications, and eligibility to hold office and apply for scholarships. In addition to an annual convention, AAEVT hosts a Fall Symposium and Anesthesia CE Day. An online Equine Certification Program through Animal Care Technologies (ACT) is also offered.

The American Association of Rehabilitation Veterinarians (AARV)

AARV is a national association of veterinary professionals dedicated to excellence in physical therapy and rehabilitation. Veterinarians, veterinary interns/residents, veterinary technicians, allied health professionals, and students may join to stay current on the latest research in rehabilitative care, network, contribute to legislative and regulatory discussions, attend the AARV annual meeting, and receive discounts on rehabilitation equipment and supplies. AARV also publishes Model Standards for Veterinary Physical Rehabilitation Practice.

Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT)

Founded in 1981 with 29 members, AZVT has grown to comprise 400+ zoo technicians from around the world. Promoting/improving professional standards, collaborating with fellow zoo professionals, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas/methods, and educating the public are a few of AZVT’s objectives. Members have access to job listings, scholarships, grants, the AZVT newsletter, and CE opportunities such as the annual conference. Membership categories include active, associate, subscribing, and institutional.

Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society (VECCS)

Veterinarians, technicians, students, practice managers, and others who are engaged and/or have a special interest in emergency and critical care are welcome to join VECCS. Members receive the bi-monthly Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care and its IOS app, facility certification guidelines, first access to new papers, free webinars, discounted event registration fees, and inclusion in forums and public listings. VECCS maintains a job board as well as resume database.

The Society of Laboratory Animal Veterinary Technicians (SLAVT)

SLAVT is a network of laboratory animal technicians focused on enhancing animal welfare, sharing best practices, and achieving professional development through CE. Professional, student, and associate memberships are available. SLAVT is affiliated with the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), which hosts an annual conference and runs the technician certification program.

If you are interested in pursuing a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) designation, check out NAVTA’s approved list of academies that certify veterinary technicians in behavior, clinical pathology, dermatology, emergency and critical care, nutrition, and other areas.


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