4 AALAS Certifications and How You Can Earn Them

How AALAS Certification has Benefited Me

Types of AALAS certifications

The AALAS offers three different levels of certification for laboratory animal technicians, determined by the level of expertise. Labs may require that their lab animal technicians and assistants become certified. At a higher level, the AALAS also offers a certification for laboratory animal resource managers. Heres a list of the different certifications offered by the AALAS, along with some information about the various criteria and requirements:

Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT) certification

Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) certification

Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG) certification

Certified Manager of Animal Resources (CMAR) certification

The highest level of certification that the AALAS offers is the CMAR certification. This is for people who are interested in laboratory animal resource management. For those who want to manage an animal shelter, veterinary hospital or research lab, this is the certification for you. The CMAR certification is a program divided into three different exams. AALAS offers a Management Training Manual that serves as a textbook and can help you prepare for your CMAR certification exams. The three different exams required for this certification are:

Previously, the Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) administered the CMAR exams. Although the AALAS has updated its program and now administers new exams for this certification, they still accept the ICPM exams that they used before for the CMAR certification. Therefore, if youve taken one of these exams or have already begun studying for them, you can still get your CMAR certification that way. To take those exams, apply directly through the ICPM website. The ICPM also offers study materials, both printed and digital, to help you prepare for the exams. The ICPM exams are:

What is the AALAS?

The AALAS is an organization of professionals from around the world who work in education, government organizations and private companies. The organization works to make sure researchers care for laboratory animals and treat them humanely. They also want to ensure that the research that helps both animals and people can continue without harming animals.

AALAS does many things, including providing educational materials, producing scholarly journals, promoting humane laboratory animal research and acting as an open forum for laboratory animal experts and others to communicate and exchange ideas and information. Another primary objective of the AALAS is to provide certification programs for those interested in becoming laboratory animal technicians and managers. AALAS offers several certifications, depending on the level and interest of the person getting certified.

How to get an AALAS certification

Here are six steps to take to get certified by the AALAS:

1. Determine which certification you want

Because the AALAS offers several certifications, the first step is to choose which one youd like to get. First, decide if you want to be an assistant lab animal technician and take the ALAT certification exam, a lab animal technician with the LAT exam or a lab animal technologist with the LATG certification. You can also decide if you want to pursue a management role. Then, you can begin preparing for your chosen exam accordingly.

2. Get the appropriate education level

Since even those who dont have a high school diploma or GED can take the AALAS certification exams, you can qualify with any education level. Y our level of education affects how much lab animal experience you require to take the exam. The more education you have, the less experience you require. Consider how much education you have and if youd like to pursue a degree before you take your exam.

3. Get relevant experience working with laboratory animals

Once you know how much experience you require to qualify for the exam—usually between six months and three years—you can get a job or internship working with animals. Consider applying or volunteering at a local veterinary school or clinic, an animal hospital, pet store or research lab that works with animals. You might do such duties as caring directly for animals, cleaning cages, preparing food or medication and doing research.

4. Apply for the certification exam

Once youve nearly finished your required lab animal experience period, you can apply for the certification of your choice. Check the AALAS website for all necessary information. They offer a Technical Certification Handbook that explains the details of the test. You can fill out an application, sign up for your test, reserve your test date and pay any fees.

5. Study the materials

Begin preparing for the exam. The AALAS website offers a document that shows what the exam entails. You can download this document and study the different topics that the exam includes. Each person has a certain “Authorization to Test” period, so make sure you take your exam in the allotted time or reschedule your test date.

6. Take the exam

The last step before you get certified is to take and pass your exam. The Technical Certification Handbook also presents a list of recommendations for the day of your test. Bring your “Authorization to Test” letter and a valid picture ID with you. If you take the exam by computer rather than the pencil-and-paper test option, you can find out if you passed right away. Youll receive the official results by mail within three weeks after your test date, and your certification arrives with them.

Please note that none of the organizations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.


What is AALAS certification?

The AALAS Technician Certification Program sets professional standards for the advancement of laboratory animal science. This program was developed to recognize professional achievement and provide an authoritative endorsement of a technician’s level of knowledge in laboratory animal technology.

Does Alat certification expire?

Certification is the credential you earn by passing the ALAT, LAT, or LATG exam. The AALAS Technician Certification Registry demonstrates training and education beyond your certification. Once you pass a technician certification exam, that certification is yours for life.

What does AALAS stand for?

The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) is a membership association of professionals employed around the world in academia, government, and private industry who are dedicated to the humane care and treatment of laboratory animals, as well as the quality research that leads to scientific gains …

How long is an Alat test?

Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT)

Those with an AA need six months of experience. The test is two hours, 120 questions, and is mostly focused upon animal husbandry, health, and welfare.

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