How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Arizona

If you live in Arizona and are looking to find a career in a veterinary profession, look no further, cause the prospects for you are bright in this state!

Generally speaking, it is recommendable to become a vet technician in America, as there are more and more pet owners, and with that the jobs in the veterinary field are aplenty.

This is where your wish to become a vet technician and your undying love for animals can be put to good use – but don’t forget all the physical and mental abilities you need to own in order to become one!

Let’s dive into all the steps you need to take on the road to becoming a successful veterinary technician!

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Arizona

If you’re wondering how the job of a vet technician looks like, just think of a nurse in a human hospital – well, it’s like that only with animals. In practice, this means that you’ll have to assist in many clinical examinations, like:

  • performing all kinds of analyses of the animal’s bodily fluids and discharge
  • physical examinations that lead to further diagnostics of the disease or illness
  • inducing and maintaining anesthesia
  • applying medications, fluids and blood products following the veterinarians’ instructions
  • taking the pet’s body temperature
  • monitoring pulse and respiration
  • addressing injuries and sometimes applying first aid

Don’t forget the most challenging part of being a vet technician: you’ll have to assist the veterinarian in surgeries, helping with whatever is needed, like supplying the vet with the equipment and making sure everything works properly.

Now, you don’t have to work in a private practice once you become a vet technician. There are plenty of possibilities and vet technicians are wanted in the following branches and areas:

  • rescue shelters
  • humanitarian organizations
  • military service
  • zoo facilities
  • exotic animals facilities
  • teaching
  • livestock production
  • pharmaceutical facilities
  • pet food industry etc.

How to Become One?

Now that you’re acquainted with the duties of a vet technician and all the places where you can work once you become one, it’s time to learn the steps to actually becoming a vet technician in Arizona.

The best way to do this is to attend a school with an accredited program by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

And here’s where you can find a school with an accredited program, and it is very important that the program you enroll in is accredited because of the VTNE exams that you must take after you graduate in order to become a licensed vet technician.

Only those who graduated from an accredited vet program can take a VTNE exam. Bear in mind that the distance education program that Arizona offers is accredited, too.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Arizona

The only on-campus programs in Arizona are in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, but there is one school that has a distance education program.

The thing about this distance education program is that you only make periodic visits to the actual facility throughout your education.

The rest of the program is attended online and you can make your own schedule.

If you’re thinking of becoming a vet technician, you probably already know that it’s a science based profession, so it only makes sense that the subjects you’ll have to master are all heavily based on science.

In fact, there are some subjects that are prerequisites to starting an actual program, and these subjects are usually English, biology, basic math, sciences, or computer skills.

Once you start with a vet program, you can count on subjects based on science and medicine, like the following:

  • physiology
  • veterinary economics,
  • terminology
  • parasitology
  • radiology
  • hematology
  • anesthesiology
  • animal restraint
  • wound care
  • large and small animal nursing

Of course, there are many classes that will require actual hands-on practice and lab work, where you will gain the much needed experience and you’ll get a sense of how it is to be on your feet for a large portion of the day.

Your last semester is usually an internship which means you will be working in a regional clinic or a facility and combine all your knowledge with practice and learn more about the everyday tasks of a vet technician.

There is one school in Arizona that has an actual former vet clinic that was donated to the program.

Apart from that, it has a huge animal facility where students have an on-campus access to large animals.

It is extremely rare for an accredited program to have an actual clinic where students can learn.

Tuition and Financial Aid

In Arizona vet programs, tuition is charged per credit hour, and you can expect most programs to cost less than $15,000 (these are in-state costs, while out of state tuition can cost up to three times more).

Like every other school, Arizona programs offer traditional financial aid that all college students can apply for, if they meet the criteria. You can apply to almost every financial aid program starting with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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Licensing and Certification

Like we’ve mentioned before, after you’ve earned your Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology, you have to take a VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) exam in order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Arizona.

But you’re not done here.

After that, you have to pass the state exam administered by the Arizona State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, and only after you do this can you register as a certified vet technician in Arizona.

And if you want to keep your certification current, you’ll need ten continuing education credits every two years.

Getting a Job in Arizona

Once you’ve completed all there is to complete in order to become and work as a veterinary technician, you’ll start to look for a good job with a perspective.

Here are some of the potential employers that have been known to look for new hopefuls in veterinary technology in Arizona:

  • Arizona Veterinary Medical Association – the website which is a resource for current job openings in Arizona regarding veterinary field.
  • Veterinary Centers of America with a few of the VCA locations in Arizona such as:
    • VCA Mesa Animal Hospital
    • VCA El Mirage Animal Hospital
    • VCA Paradise Valley Emergency Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital, just to mention a few.

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Arizona

In America, being a vet technician is a job with a good perspective, seeing as they’re so wanted, and will become even more so, since, as we mentioned before, workers in animal healthcare will be needed more and more in the years to come.

Here are the average salaries for a vet technician in Arizona.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Lake Havasu City,AZ$37,304
Sierra Vista,AZ$33,383
Sun City,AZ$35,917

Final Words

What you should remember, if you’re dreaming about becoming a vet technician in Arizona, or anywhere else in America, is that loving animal is not enough to make you a good vet technician.

You’ll need many more skills, the crucial one being having communication skills and knowing how to talk to the animals’ owners.

It is very important that you’re sensible and know when to offer some hope and understanding to them.

Apart from that, you’ll need some physical abilities, like patience to be on your feet for a large portion of the day, and being concentrated and focused during important surgeries.

But if you’ve decided to venture into this profession, one thing is certain – you’ll have a very noble goal to go back to every day – saving the lives and helping the innocent.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State