How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Connecticut

A job in a veterinary profession is for those that have an undying love for animals, a kind heart and compassion for others.

If you have these, you’re already done with the first prerequisite of becoming a vet technician.

You also have to possess certain physical and mental features (though the physical ones are just something you develop and get used to over the years) in order to perform this job like a pro.

Standing on your feet all the live long day and having to offer hope, compassion and a huge chunk of understanding, even on your worst days is in your job description here.

So if you still see yourself in this field, hop on and let’s take a look at what you’ll need to become a vet technician in Connecticut.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Connecticut

If you’re looking for a paralel for a vet technician in human health care, look no further than a doctor’s nurse.

The job duties of a vet tech are similar to those of a nurse, and as one, you’ll be expected to assist the vet during every step, from the admission of an animal into a healthcare facility to the moment of its release.

Let’s take a look at some of the duties that will fall into your job description:

  • record keeping
  • restraining animals
  • anesthesia
  • taking x-rays
  • taking their blood pressure or their body temperature
  • performing all kinds of analyses of the animal’s bodily fluids and discharge
  • physical examinations that lead to further diagnostics of the disease or ilness
  • inducing and maintaining anesthesia
  • applying medications, fluids and blood products following the veterinarians’ instructions
  • monitoring pulse and respiration
  • adressing injuries and sometimes applying first aid

All this, as well as, of course the most important duty – assisting the vet during surgeries.

Here is where you’ll make sure the vet has each instrument and equipment working properly and you’ll be in charge of handing the parts of the equipment to the vet whenever he needs them.

Of course, this applies to those that want to work in a private practice.

There’s a bunch of areas you can find work in once you graduate that have nothing to do with private practice.

Vet technicians are wanted in the following fields and branches:

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

Taking that into consideration, you can also specialize in various disciplines as a vet tech, such as:

  • Anesthetist
  • Equine
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Dental Technician
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition

How to Become One?

In order to become a vet technician, the first and most essential step you need to take is earn an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

This means you’ll have to attend veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

For Connecticut, this means you can attend the veterinary technology program in three colleges: the Middlesex Community CollegeNorthwestern Connecticut Community College or Norwalk Community College.

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), an exam required in order to become a licensed Connecticut veterinary technician.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Connecticut

Vet technician programs last somewhere around two years, and once you finish your education from an accredited program for veterinary technology, you’ll earn an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

If you decide you want to advance toward a degree in veterinary technology or veterinary medicine, some of the course work can be transferred.

In Connecticut, you’ll need some prerequisites in order to apply, like a high school diploma or GED, and if you have some experience working at a vet’s clinic – all the better.

You are also required to get a rabies vaccination for higher level courses.

Now, before you get admitted, some course work will be required: these are subjects like basic biology, chemistry, math, and introductory computer skills.

During your first year, the program will include courses such as communication, math, social science, behavioral science, and humanities, and the studies will then progress into more specialized courses.

Here are some of the specialized courses you’ll attend during your education at an accredited veterinary technician program:

  • parasitology
  • radiology
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pathology
  • surgical nursing
  • large and small animal care
  • pharmacology
  • microbiology

Farm calls and field trips are also included within your education, to enhance your clinical experience.

Your final semester will be an externship, which basically means working in an animal hospital or facility where you will learn what it means to work as a vet technician from day to day and you’ll put all your theoretic knowledge into practice.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition fees in Connecticut vary a lot, and a school’s website is where you can find information about that particular program fees.

Apart from the tuition fees, you should count in the additional fees of learning equipment (like books, stethoscopes, telescopes and other lab props and supplies) as well as other general student fees like insurance and student center fees.

Like every other school, Connecticut 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

As mentioned before, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Bear in mind that you can’ take this test without a degree from an accredited veterinary technology program, so this is why it’s important that you attend a program that’s accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The exam is no picnic either, because it takes three hours to complete it, and it has 150 questions.

Taking the test will cost you $300, and only when you pass the VTNE exam, will you be able to work as a licensed veterinary technician in Connecticut.

Getting a Job in Connecticut

Once you’ve successfully completed your training, it’s time to start looking for your first job!

This shouldn’t be too big of a concern, concidering the fact that there are more and more veterinary clinics and facilities, eager to start working with new veterinary technicians full of knowledge.

Here are some of those potential employers in Connecticut:

  • VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
    • VCA Bristol Animal Hospital
    • VCA Valley Animal Hospital
    • VCA Foxon Animal Hospital
    • VCA Plainfield Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital.
    • Waterbury
    • North Haven
    • Norwalk
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
    • Located in Avon Petco
    • Located in Danbury Petco
    • Located in North Haven Petco
    • Located in Stratford Petco

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Connecticut

Being a vet technician in America means opting for a career with an excellent perspective, because the workers in vet profession are becoming increasingly wanted and will be even more wanted in the future: namely,  the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show their employments is expected to grow by a whopping 30% per year through 2022.

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

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
East Hartford,CT$39,361
New Britain,CT$39,306
New Haven,CT$40,033
New London,CT$38,942
West Hartford,CT$39,361
West Haven,CT$40,033

Final Words

There are two important things you should adhere to before venturing into this noble career.

First and foremost, you should buckle up and do whatever you can to inform yourself as much as possible. You should know every aspect of this career before you decide to pursue it.

The second thing you should know is that, while kind heart and compassion for animals is one of the most important prerequisites for this career, love of animals is not enough for you to enjoy this job.

You need to load up on patience, perseverance and strenght because being a veterinary technician can be challenging at times.

But if you find that this is the best profession for you, the challenging times will be no match for the fulfilling moments that helping those in need brings.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State