How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Florida

If you live in Florida and you’re dreaming of becoming a part of a veterinary profession, look no further, cause the prospects for you are bright in this state!

Generally speaking, becoming a vet technician in America means looking to find a job in a coveted profession, as there are more and more pet owners, and with that the jobs in the veterinary field are aplenty.

Your dreams to become vet technician and your undying love for animals can be put to good and they are definitely needed prerequisites on this road – but don’t forget all the physical and mental abilities you need to own in order to become one!

So, let’s take a look at all the steps you need to take on the road to becoming a registered veterinary technician in Florida!

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Florida

As for 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.

This basically means that you’ll have to assist in many clinical examinations, and you’ll be in charge of attending animals (and their owners) from the moment they step into the clinic to the moment they leave.

Here are some of your obligations as a vet technician in a private practice in Florida:

  • 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

There’s also the added part of the most important duty you’ll have: assisting the veterinarian in surgeries and helping them with whatever is needed.

You’ll be expected to supply the vet with the equipment they might need and make sure everything is working properly.

How to Become One?

Now, let’s get to the most important part – the actual steps you need to take to become a registered veterinary technician in Florida.

First and foremost, you need to graduate from an accredited program by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). 

In Florida, this means attending one of the eight colleges that offer accredited programs in veterinary technology.

Some of them have initial accreditation and some have full accreditation, but either way you will be graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology,

After you’ve done this, you’ll have to take the VTNE exam, for which you’ll be eligible only when you become a graduate from an accredited program.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Florida

Now, if you’ve decided that you want to become a vet technician, you probably already know that it’s a science based profession – and so are the subjects you’ll need to attend.

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

As for the subjects you can expect once you’re in the program, these will be based on science and medicine and more vet-focused, like the following:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • terminology
  • nursing skills
  • small and large animal diseases
  • radiology
  • anesthesiology
  • parasitology
  • hematology
  • clinical skills

There will also be lab work where you can put to use what you’ve learned in theory classes.

Your last semester will be an internship at one of your local vet clinics, where you can combine your theoretic and practical knowledge and apply them on actual animals, as well as learn what it’s like to be a vet technician on a day-to-day basis.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition is mostly affordable for vet technician programs in Florida. It is charged per credit hour, with an average of 70 to 75 credit hours for the entire the program.

If you’re interested in more info on the tuition, you’ll have to visit each of the schools’ websites to find out everything you need to know about the costs.

Like everywhere across the country, traditional financial aids are available for Florida students too, and you can apply for any of them, if they meet the criteria.

You can apply to almost every financial aid program starting with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Popular Degree Programs

Licensing and Certification

As we’ve mentioned before, after you graduate, you’ll have to take the VTNE test, and here you’ll find out more about it.

The VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) is an exam you have to take in order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Florida.

This is why it’s so important that you’ve graduate from an accredited program, because only those with a degree from an accredited vet technology program are eligible to take this test.

The VTNE exam isn’t easy though – it contains 150 questions, lasts for three hours and costs 300$.

You’ll need fifteen continuing education credits as well as a renewal every two years in order to maintain the certification.

There are two certification bodies in Florida, the Florida Veterinary Technicians Association, and the Florida Veterinary Medical Association.

Getting a Job in Florida

Once you become a certified veterinary technician, cleared for work, you can choose where you want to work.

Whether it’s a large animal hospital or a small clinic, there are many opportunities for you in Florida.

Keep in mind, though, that as with any employer, it is only up to them who they’re going to give the job to, but those with certification always have a much better chance.

So here are some of the potential employers in Florida:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Florida

If you made it this far, you already know that this is a job with a good perspective in Florida.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of workers in animal healthcare is expected to grow 30% per year through 2022.

This is probably due to the fact that there is an increasing number of pet owners in America every year.

Here are the average salaries for vet technicians across Florida:

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boca Raton,FL $36,148
Bradenton,FL $34,432
Brandon,FL $35,022
Cape Coral,FL $34,241
Clearwater,FL $34,653
Daytona Beach,FL $32,989
Fort Lauderdale,FL $35,793
Fort Myers,FL $34,241
Gainesville,FL $33,149
Hialeah,FL $35,204
Hollywood,FL $35,793
Jacksonville,FL $34,969
Melbourne,FL $32,981
Miami,FL $35,522
Orlando,FL $34,617
Palm Bay,FL $32,981
Pembroke Pines,FL $35,160
Pensacola,FL $33,018
Pompano Beach,FL $35,793
Port Saint Lucie,FL $34,346
Saint Petersburg,FL $34,694
Sarasota,FL $34,657
Spring Hill,FL $34,589
Tallahassee,FL $33,054
Tampa,FL $35,022
West Palm Beach,FL $35,851

Final Words

What you should remember, if you’re dreaming about becoming a vet technician in Florida, is that, apart from loving animals and having a kind hart and a knack for science, you’ll need many more skills.

The first ability you’ll need is communicating with pet owners and knowing how to talk to them, offer them hope or not give them false one.

Apart from that, you’ll need some physical abilities, like patience to be on your feet for a large portion of the day, as well as concentration and focus during important surgeries – after all, there’s a life in your hands.

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.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Technician by State