What is the Veterinary Technician
National Examination (VTNE)?

The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is an examination designed to evaluate entry-level veterinary technicians' competency to practice and to become credentialed. Successful completion of the VTNE is required for licensure in most states and Canadian provinces.The VTNE is owned and administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

In order to take the VTNE, you must be a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) accredited veterinary technology program or a program approved by the regulatory board governing your jurisdiction. Before you take the exam, you must also submit an application to the AAVSB.


  • Multiple-choice
  • 150 actual exam questions and 20 pilot questions (pilot questions are used for future exams and do not count towards your score)
  • Computer-based
  • Three-hour time limit

The exam is offered three times per year in the spring, summer, and winter. For exact dates, visit www.aavsb.org/vtne.

This VTNE includes nine major areas of focus (called domains):

  1. Anesthesia
  2. Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
  3. Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  4. Pain Management/Analgesia
  5. Dentistry
  6. Laboratory Procedures
  7. Diagnostic Imaging
  8. Animal Care and Nursing
  9. Surgical Nursing

Within each domain are task area statements (specific goal-directed actions) and knowledge area statements further defining what a successful tester should know. The Veterinary Technician National Exam Candidate Information Handbook provided by the AASVB includes more detailed information and isis the official resource for information about the VTNE, it's content, administration, eligibility, application, registration, scheduling, testing centers, and scores.

The Veterinary Technician National Exam Candidate Information Handbook provided by the AASVB is the official resource for information about the VTNE, VTNE content, VTNE administration, VTNE eligibility, VTNE application, VTNE registration, VTNE scheduling, preparing for the VTNE, taking the VTNE, VTNE testing centers, and VTNE scores.

You can find the Candidate Handbook at aavsb.org/vtne-overview/the-online-application.

Having trouble figuring out the process? Send us an email and we'll try to help!

Tips for Passing the VTNE®

For tips on taking and passing the VTNE®, check out The Savvy VetTech blog.

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