How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Alabama

vet care for animals in alabama

If you’ve ever had a pet, you know how helpful it is to have someone with you at the vet’s office.

Someone who can calm you down, make your pet comfortable, and educate you about what’s going on.

That’s where the vet technician jumps in.

You’re the person clients count on during those moments in the vet facility.

The vet technician’s role is even more crucial with the growing need for vet care nowadays.

If you’re interested, read on to learn what a vet technician does in Alabama.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Alabama

Just because the vet carries most of the work doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities.

In essence, the vet technician will assist the vet in the same manner a nurse would assist a doctor.

You’ll help out in the clinical procedures and perform tasks not limited to:

  • Physical examinations that could lead to further diagnostics of the disease or illness
  • Inducing and maintaining anesthesia
  • Applying medications, fluids, and blood products per the vet’s instructions
  • Taking patient’s body temperature
  • Monitoring pulse and respiration
  • Addressing injuries and applying first aid
  • Providing the appropriate equipment and tools to the vet
  • Ensuring all equipment and tools work properly

In cases of emergency, you must decide on the first aid treatment as soon as the animal arrives at the vet facility.

How to Become One

working as a vet technician in alabama

To be a vet technician, you need to earn an associate’s degree in vet technology.

It’s important that you enroll in a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

In Alabama, there are three schools currently holding this accreditation.

  • Auburn University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Jefferson State Community College (distance education program only)

After earning your degree, you will take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).

Passing it would mean you’ve earned a professional license to legally work in the vet field.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Alabama

Before enrollment, schools will require you to complete prerequisite courses on subjects like:

  • Biology
  • Math
  • Psychology
  • Humanities

Note that your grades in these courses shouldn’t be below “C.”

If you fail a subject, you’ll retake it.

Failing a second time will be subject to rejection and dismissal of your application.

Other admission requirements are as follows:

  • 360 hours of practical vet field experience
  • Two letters of recommendation, with one given by a vet
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Copy of medical malpractice policy purchased from Jefferson State Community College

Once you’ve successfully enrolled, you’ll learn vet-related subjects such as:

  • Pharmacology
  • Introduction to vet technology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Parasitology
  • Nutrition
  • Emergency care and first aid
  • Radiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Most of these courses are a combination of theory and lab practice.

In these courses, you’re required to spend about 20 hours working at an approved vet facility.

Then, in your final semester, you’ll undergo preceptorship.

It’s a practical and training experience where a vet volunteers to be your mentor and supervisor.

During this preceptorship, you’ll get valuable clinical knowledge and instructions.

If you enrolled in an online vet tech program, you will need to work at least 20 hours a week.

At times, you may be expected to travel places if you want to meet this requirement.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In Alabama, tuition is charged per credit hour.

In-state students can pay $10,944, while out-of-state students pay up to $19,532.

Like every other school, Arizona schools offer traditional financial aid to college students.

Apply online at the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

There are also scholarships available given by the following associations:

  • Alabama Veterinary Medical Association
  • Alabama Veterinary Technician Association
  • Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Association
  • Madison County Veterinary Medical Association

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Licensing and Certification

obtaining professional license id for vet technicians in alabama

Vet technicians will take the VTNE if they want to professionally work in the vet field.

To qualify for this exam, you must have earned a degree from an accredited vet tech program.

Then, send in your exam application to the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

You’ll have to pay the following fees:

  • $100 for the application
  • $300 for the VTNE

The exam has 150 questions and lasts for three hours.

You need at least 70% to pass the exam.

Plus, renewal is a must wherein you need eight hours of continuing education.

Getting a Job in Alabama

Everyone’s hoping for a good job with good prospects.

Luckily, the state has many vet facilities that would be happy to have you work for them.

Some of them are:

  • Alabama Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Centers of America – Carriage Hills Animal Hospital and Pet Resort
  • Riverview Animal Clinic

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Alabama

Today, vet technicians are slowly becoming popular career options among young people.

It’s thanks to pet owners more than willing to pay more for quality vet care services that the vet field’s growing rapidly.

And this growth resulted in more job openings and higher salaries for all.

Below, you’ll find the average annual salaries across Alabama.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Auburn,AL $32,626
Birmingham,AL $34,239
Decatur,AL $33,376
Dothan,AL $32,131
Florence,AL $31,384
Gadsden,AL $34,042
Georgiana,AL $32,273
Huntsville,AL $34,428
Madison,AL $34,428
Mobile,AL $33,689
Montgomery,AL $32,564
Prattville,AL $32,564
Tanner,AL $33,506
Tuscaloosa,AL $34,121

Regional Salary in Alabama

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Auburn-Opelika, AL200$39,660$19.07$49,050$24,060
Birmingham-Hoover, AL480$32,470$15.61$39,350$22,810
Daphne-Fairhope-Foley, AL90$31,330$15.06$38,250$22,800
Decatur, AL50$31,410$15.1$38,110$22,730
Dothan, AL40$29,920$14.39$36,440$22,720
Florence-Muscle Shoals, AL40$29,990$14.42$36,180$22,560
Huntsville, AL230$32,750$15.74$39,920$23,180
Mobile, AL110$32,150$15.46$38,170$22,890
Montgomery, AL130$31,520$15.16$42,540$22,120
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2056, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Words

Not everyone will have the same vet field experience.

You’ll acquire knowledge and skills unique to your situation.

Over time, you’ll gain more of them, polishing the skills you have extensively.

As a result, this will make you a well-rounded vet technician capable of providing good vet care services.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State