Career & Opportunities

How to Become a Veterinary Technologist

How to Become a Veterinary Technologist
Written by Eddie Wood

If you might be interested in how to become a veterinary technologist, then you are on the right blog.

Vet techs assist veterinarians in the diagnosis of animal illnesses and injuries while working under the guidance of a vet tech supervisor.

As part of their duties, they are also expected to care for and handle animals humanely.

Medical testing, dental care, postoperative care, or specialized nursing can all be performed by a veterinary technician.

Read on to know more about how to become a veterinary technologist.

What is a Veterinary Technologist?

There are many opportunities for veterinary technologists if you have an insatiable desire to care for and treat animals with compassion.

In the same way that nurses assist physicians, a veterinary technologist serves as a professional assistant to a licensed veterinarian.

When it comes to animal health care, they can perform more advanced clinical tasks than veterinary assistants and technicians.

As a member of a veterinary team, they treat animals with care and are sensitive to the needs of pet owners.

What is the Job of a Veterinary Technologist, and how Does one Become one?

As registered nurses do for doctors, veterinarians rely on the expertise of veterinary technologists to provide the best care for their patients.

A wide range of procedures are performed, including post-operative care, dental and specialized nursing.

Specializations for veterinary technologists include, but are not limited to, dentistry, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, and zoology.

This is what vet techs do on a daily basis:

1.Keep an eye out for changes in animal behavior and health.

2. Assist animals in need of recovery or injury with nursing or emergency first aid.

3. Monitor the reactions of animals while they are under anesthesia.

4. Gather laboratory specimens, such as blood, urine, or tissue, for analysis.

5. Perform urinalyses and blood counts in the laboratory.

6. Do an x-ray and develop it.

7. Prepare for surgery by gathering surgical supplies and animals.

8. Administer veterinary-prescribed medications, vaccines, and treatments.

9. Collect and keep track of the medical histories of those under your care.

In research-related jobs, veterinary technologists are responsible for ensuring that animals are handled humanely and carefully.

Research projects involving biomedical research, disaster preparedness, or food safety frequently enlist their assistance from these professionals.

Most of the time, they work with veterinarians who specialize in small animals like cats and dogs.

But they can also work with a wide range of other animals, including mice, rats, sheep, pigs, and cattle.

How to Become a Veterinary Technologist

To learn how to become a vet technician, follow these steps:

1.Obtain a High School Diploma or a GED Certificate.

Vet techs are typically well-versed in biology, physiology (if offered), and chemistry, as well as possessing a deep empathy for animals.

Many veterinary technician jobs require on-the-job training, which necessitates familiarity with scientific instruments, testing, and the interpretation of results.

People in this stage of recovery may benefit from volunteering at animal clinics, shelters, or other facilities that treat patients with fur, feathers, or scales.

2. Complete a Veterinary Technology or Animal Science Degree Program that is Accredited (2-4 years).

An accredited veterinary technician education program is recommended regardless of where one lives.

As long as it is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) (AVMA).

Curriculum, student outcomes, quality of facilities, finances, and admissions processes are evaluated by the CVTEA.

An application fee, official transcripts from high school, official test scores (SAT or ACT, and TOEFL for non-native speakers of English), and proof of immunizations and health insurance are generally required by admissions committees at CVTEA-accredited programs.

Letters of recommendation, candidate interviews, and veterinary experience may be required by some programs in order to be considered for a more competitive one.

Veterinary technology programs typically include the following courses:

Physiology and anatomical structure

Anesthesia

Dentistry for animals

Animal  nursing

Toxicology in the clinic

X-rays, MRIs, and

Anatomy and physiology of mammals

Microbiology

Parasitology

Pathology

Pharmacology

Methods of investigation

Management of a veterinary hospital

Calculations in veterinary medicine

Ethics in the practice of veterinary medicine

3. Pass the National Exam for a Veterinary Technician (timeline and state requirements vary).

In the United States, the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) offers this examination, which is known as the VTNE (AAVSB).

Most states in the United States require passing the VTNE in order to obtain a license, certification, or registration as a veterinary technician.

In addition, national law mandates that schools must disclose their three-year, VTNE first-time passing rate among program graduates.

In order to ensure that their program’s past students have met national standards, prospective students should check their program’s pass rate on this exam.

The VTNE exam has a $330 fee. Pharmacology and pharmacology; surgical nursing, dental care, laboratory procedures, animal care/nursing, anesthesia/emergency medicine and pain management are some of the nine areas covered by the exam.

4. Registration with the State is Required (timeline and state requirements vary).

As previously mentioned, the requirements for becoming a certified vet tech vary from state to state.

But generally speaking, applicants must submit official transcripts from a CVTEA-accredited program, VTNE scores, and a fee.

A state examination is also part of the credentialing process in Washington and other states.

A background check, passport photos, or proof of citizenship in the United States are some of the more common requests.

Each state uses a different acronym for veterinary technician certification, such as “certified veterinary technician,” “licensed veterinary technician,” or some combination of these terms (LVT).

Please see the section below or the individual state program pages for more information on the professional credentialing process.

5. Recertification of Prior Learning and Completion of CE Requirements (timeline and state requirements vary).

Vet techs are required to complete continuing education (CE) hours to maintain their professional licenses, registrations, or certifications.

Conferences, publications, presentations, and online courses can be used to meet these requirements.

Each region has its own set of approved CEs. Sections below include a list of every state’s credentialing requirements, agencies, and a list of resources for vet tech CE.

Salary for Veterinarian Technicians

As expected, veterinary technician salaries vary widely by location, industry, specialty, and level of expertise.

For vet techs employed in the US, an annual average salary of $38,250 was found by a Department of Labor affiliate, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2021).

Vet techs’ wages were broken down into the following percentages:

The 10th percentile is $28,370.

$29,810 falls within the 25th percentile.

median (50th percentile): $37,850.

75th percentile: $47,750

Ninety-first percentile: $48,100

2,695 vet techs who responded to the Pay scale’s 2022 survey reported similar pay ranges, which serves as a benchmark for comparison.

10th percentile: $29,500.

median (50th percentile) salary: $39,000

In the 90th percentile, the salary is $55,000

Finally

The mouth of a sleeping dog is gently opened by a veterinary technician, who is a nurse trained to care for animals.

They begin with a series of x-rays to show the extent of the enamel wear that has occurred over time on her two rows of sharp teeth.

She takes notes on what she sees in the diagnostic picture and puts together the patient’s file.

In the event that a dog’s tooth needs to be extracted, this veterinary technician specialist (VTS) can assist the veterinarian.

A vet tech can play a variety of roles in a clinic or animal hospital, and this is just one of them.

About the author

Eddie Wood

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