How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Florida

pet and owner at the vet clinic

Aspiring vet technicians have bright prospects in Florida.

That’s thanks to the rising number of pet owners willing to spend more in the vet field.

Of course, there are certain qualifications you must have, particularly physical and mental abilities.

So let’s take a look at the steps you need to take on becoming a licensed vet technician in Florida.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Florida

If you wonder what a vet technician’s job looks like, think of a nurse in a human hospital.

Just like how a nurse assists the doctor, you assist the vet in clinical examinations.

You’re in charge of attending to animals the moment they step into the clinic.

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

  • 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 per the vet’s instructions
  • Taking the pet’s body temperature
  • Monitoring pulse and respiration
  • Addressing injuries and applying first aid

How to Become One

Now, let’s get to what you need to do to be a vet technician in Florida.

Firstly, you need to graduate from an accredited program by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

So far, only the University of Florida received this accreditation in the state.

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

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Florida

vet technician education in florida

A vet technician career is a science-based profession.

So the prerequisite and core courses you’ll attend are also heavily science-based.

For the prerequisite courses, you’ll mainly complete the learnings in some of the following:

  • Biology
  • Basic math and sciences
  • English
  • Computer skills

And in the program, you’ll take the following subjects:

  • 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 into practice what you’ve learned in class.

In the last semester, you’ll have an internship at a local vet clinic.

There, you’ll learn what a vet technician’s work looks like in reality.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Vet technician programs in Florida have affordable tuition.

It’s usually charged per credit hour, with an average of 70 to 75 credit hours for the entire program.

For more info on the tuition, you’ll have to visit the school’s website.

If after checking you find that you can’t afford it, you can avail of financial aid.

Be sure that you’re eligible for that scholarship, grant, or loan before applying.

Visit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid for more info and application submission.

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Licensing and Certification

As mentioned, after you graduate, you’ll have to take the VTNE.

It’s an exam you take to become a licensed vet technician in the U.S.

Do note that only those who graduated from an accredited program can take the VTNE.

So make sure you’ve enrolled in an accredited program.

This licensure exam costs $300.

It contains 150 questions that you need to finish in three hours.

Once you’ve secured your license, you will maintain this designation every two years.

The renewal will require 15 continuing education credits.

Getting a Job in Florida

Once you become a licensed vet technician, you can choose where you want to work.

Whether it’s a large animal hospital or a small clinic, plenty of job opportunities await you in Florida.

Keep in mind, though, that it’s up to the employer whether to hire you or not.

To help you get ahead of the job hunt, here are some of the potential employers you can apply at:

  • Veterinary Centers of America – Florida Branches
    • Gulf Bay Animal Hospital
    • Wiles Road Animal Hospital
    • Hollywood Animal Hospital
    • Cabrera Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospitals located in:
    • Lakeland
    • Kissimmee
    • Orlando
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics located in:
    • Palm Beach Gardens Petco
    • North Miami Petco
    • Naples Petco
    • Vero Beach Petco

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Florida

salary of vet technicians in florida

Vet technicians have good job prospects in Florida and across the U.S.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics even projected a 15% employment growth for it from 2020 to 2030.

Thanks to pet owners, the vet field developed rapidly, capable of offering more jobs with competitive pay.

Here are the average annual salaries for vet technicians across the state:

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

Regional Salary in Florida

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL340$39,120$18.81$48,170$29,150
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL230$37,240$17.91$47,190$29,230
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL200$34,700$16.68$44,480$27,280
Gainesville, FL200$37,290$17.93$48,300$28,630
Homosassa Springs, FL100$33,700$16.2$45,760$27,220
Jacksonville, FL950$37,520$18.04$47,290$28,650
Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL210$36,890$17.74$47,500$28,850
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL1,990$40,440$19.44$50,410$30,140
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL190$39,760$19.12$49,130$30,010
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL410$38,360$18.44$48,000$29,780
Ocala, FL220$34,800$16.73$46,590$27,420
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL1,060$38,080$18.31$48,000$29,220
Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL320$37,390$17.98$49,800$28,870
Panama City, FL70$34,540$16.61$45,900$28,020
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL260$36,940$17.76$48,170$28,020
Port St. Lucie, FL220$36,910$17.75$47,150$28,960
Punta Gorda, FL80$37,600$18.08$49,470$28,130
Tallahassee, FL250$35,600$17.12$46,050$26,780
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL1,730$38,010$18.28$47,500$29,320
* 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

Yes, love and care for animals is an excellent characteristic to have as a vet professional.

But don’t also forget to invest in knowledge and skills to be able to provide quality vet care services.

Remember, you have an animal’s life in your hands waiting for treatment until they can go back to good health.

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