"I'm really interested in the zoo specialty. What should I be doing?"

            Fantastic! Thank you for your interest. This may seem evident, but if you aren't employed in a zoo, the most
            important step is to get yourself a zoo tech job. If you are already employed at a zoo, see our "Helpful Hints"
            section below to get started on the right foot.

"Can I apply for the exam if my required 10,000 hours work experience will be met at the exam date but not at the application deadline?"
            No. All requirements must be completed at the time you submit your application packet.

"Before I got my zoo job, the practice I worked in saw exotic species. Can I use those hours toward the work experience requirement?"
            No. Although you gained valuable knowledge (always beneficial), the 10,000 work hours required are
            accumulated while employed, full time, at a zoo* (as a credentialed vet tech). No internship hours.

            {*"Outside" and/or referral zoological services do not qualify.}

"I work in an aquarium. Can I apply for the exam?"
            Not at this time. An aquarium is not considered a zoological institution for AVZMT. But stay tuned, our goal is to
            create an aquatic track for our water loving colleagues in the future.

"I want to apply for the test but the Case Reports are stressing me out. Do you have a sample report I can review?"
            Not at this time. BUT we have created an optional Mentor Program for those ready to submit their 'email of
            intent'. This program will assist candidates through the application/exam process.

Helpful Hints for Application Preparation

  • Start early! This application is a representation of years of work experience. Starting to compile the information early, even before the required minimum work experience is met, will be helpful to expedite completion of the application.
  • Don't apply until you're ready! The minimum required work experience is 5 years (full time); however, applicants should strongly consider logging a few additional years before applying. This area of specialization is vast, and the more work experience an applicant has, the stronger their application and base knowledge in the field of zoological medicine will be. This will increase the likelihood of application acceptance, and their subsequent successful completion of the specialty examination.
  • Pay close attention to deadlines and don't procrastinate. Completing the application is very time consuming and will take several months. It is recommended that the applicant begin completing their final application forms 6-8 months prior to the application deadline; be sure to fill out the corresponding forms for the year they are applying.
  • Be thorough! Read through the application requirements carefully and follow all written instructions. Be sure to include all required supplemental documentation. Omission of any required documentation will result in application rejection.
  • Include a strong representation of your advanced skills throughout all of the required documentation for your application packet. All the parts of the application should tie together and complement one another. It should be a detailed compilation of your advanced skills, work experience, and technical knowledge. Your application should not just demonstrate your variety of technical skills, but it should also demonstrate the use of these skills on a wide variety of species.
  • Have a support system in place. An additional set of eyes to review your application packet for spelling/grammatical errors, missing documentation, form completion, etc. is an invaluable resource. The application is intricate, attention to detail is of the utmost importance (not to mention, a reflection of an advanced vet tech).
  • Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, applicants should not look at the application packet as simply "a bunch of forms to fill out". The application is a representation of you and your years of hard work in the field of zoological medicine. It is the tool to demonstrate to the Credential Committee, you are an advanced veterinary technician, deserving of a seat at the zoo specialty examination. Think about it, is an application packet containing spelling errors, incomplete forms, and missing documentation a representation of an advanced veterinary technician?...

Mentoring Program

After emailing the NOTIFICATION OF INTENT to submit
an application, AVZMT will provide the applicant contact
information of the Mentorship Coordinator. It will be the
responsibility of the applicant to initiate contact if they
would like to participate in the program. The official mentor
program is only available to those candidates eligible to
submit their application within that calendar year.

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