From someone not
a vet tech looking in from the outside...
That piece of paper is magical at the doors it may open, the salary it can help you command, the respect you garner, the things you are legally allowed to do.
So, what do you do if you ever need/want or must change jobs?
Experience is one thing, sure...and important.
Having that licensing certificate though puts you ahead of other job candidates, a few levels up in payscale and opens doors toward other career parallel lines would never be a possibility otherwise.
Since we don't know what our future can bring..having the opportunity to better myself and my career = money earned I would do the course of study and own that license.
As for your relationship...it may put some strain to it, but ...but if it is meant to be then that relationship will also weather the time apart, be stronger and you each will appreciate the relationship and what you each bring into that relationship more.
2 hours away is do-able for seeing each other on a weekend. Only a hour away if you meet half way for a quick dinner, movie or time spent together...
Phones still work, skype or whatever you use you can still communicate...
If you really want a degree you will make the extra effort to attain it period.
I can tell you where I am grew up the difference in LVT or not was huge... about $15,000 more a year difference is not
small potatoes. So, about $300 a week more gross salary...
The respect given to a good LVT.... in the vet group my small animals were clientele of you could see it, smell it and taste it how they had a professional attitude and authority in how they carried themselves.
Don't get me wrong, the other staff were knowledgeable, but there were limits on what "legally" they could do, and sorry, but there is a difference in knowledge that schooling gives you you just don't have.
I say go for it and have doors open for you no matter where your future life may take you because of a piece of paper.