Have no fear if you’re hopeful to become a vet technician in Georgia – there are five veterinary technology programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
If you love working with animals and people alike, have no problem working extra hours, walking and operating on their feet, and a knack for talking to people and showing compassion, then this really is a job for you.
The career of a veterinary technician is slowly becoming a coveted one in the USA, with the increasing number of pet owners each year, so that’s an added value for someone who’s decided on becoming one.
Now let’s see what this job has in store for you!
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Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Georgia
Basically, everywhere in the world, the duties of a vet technician are the same: you’ll have all the responsibilities you would think a vet’s right hand man would have.
Vet technicians take care of everything the vet might need, and there are some things they have to take care of all by yourself, without the supervision of the attending vet.
Here are some of your future duties as a vet technician:
- record keeping
- emergency care (applying first aid to an animal)
- taking their body temperature and handling their bodily fluids or discharge
- taking their pulse
- taking x-rays
- applying medications, fluids and blood products following the veterinarians’ instructions
- patient communication
- administering anesthesia
There are two rather unpleasant duties you’ll also have to assist in or be in charge of, and these are cleaning after animals and administering or assisting in euthanasia.
However, you don’t need to work in a private practice, although the demand is highest in this area. You can also find work in the following areas:
- Internal Medicine
- Emergency and Critical Care
- Zoological Medicine
- Clinical Practice
- Clinical Pathology and many more.
How to Become One?
Georgia is well equipped with colleges that have programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
You’ll need to graduate in one of these in order to get an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.
Now, when you do that, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) exam, which is required in order to work as a licensed veterinary technician.
Education Required for a Vet Technician in Kansas
The conditions you have to fulfill before you apply to the colleges that have veterinary technician programs vary.
You’ll have to visit their websites for more information about the admission.
One thing is in common for all of them, though, and it is that they all require that you have a high school diploma, GED, or acceptable home school equivalency.
Some of them allow you to take some prerequisite courses while still in high school, and some require you to take a rabies vaccination, an essay, an interview or high scores on tests like SAT, ACT or Compass.
As for the actual programs and classes you’ll attend, most of them will require some prerequisite courses you may not have had the chance to attend in high school, like math, communications, biology, chemistry, humanities, or physical science.
If you haven’t taken those required by your program, you’ll have to attend them before you apply.
The course work doesn’t differ much from those in most other states. The subjects will be heavily science based like the following:
- large and small animal medicine
- practice management
- veterinary economics
- exotic animals
- clinical skills, etc.
All in all, it will take you somewhere between two to three years to become a graduate with an Associate of Science degree in Registered Veterinary Technology.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Most accredited programs in Georgia have tuition rates of around $100 per credit hour. Count in the additional fees like the equipment, insurance, lab costs, and uniforms.
Out of state tuition can be up to two to three times higher. Georgia has reciprocity agreements with some of the neighboring states.
One of the most popular programs in Georgia is the HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) program.
This program provides help to students that meet their criteria, and has a scholarship program.
If you’re a Georgia student, you can also get financial aid assistance in the state agency called Georgia Student Finance Commission.
Almost all financial aid applications require you to start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
Here, you’ll find out what types of aid are available and for which you meet the criteria.
Just be careful, because not all schools participate in federal student loan programs, so be thorough and check the financial aid information twice on the website of the school in which you are interested.
Licensing and Certification
As mentioned before, after you graduate, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) exam.
The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is an exam regulated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards and is necessary for you to become a licensed vet technician in Georgia. Only those graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program can take the test.
Be prepared, though, because it’s no picnic. This exam lasts for three hours, has 150 questions and costs 300$. After you pass, you can work as a licensed veterinary technician in Georgia.
The Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine handles licenses of veterinary technicians. In order to keep your license current, you need to complete ten hours of continuing education every two years, five of which may be completed online.
Getting a Job in Georgia
Once you’re done with competing your education, you can safely start looking for a job in Georgia, and it really shouldn’t bee too difficult.
Namely, there’s a growing number of facilities you can work in, and there’s a variety of options for you, because you can choose any path for yourself, like working in an animal shelter, veterinary hospital, clinic or a zoo.
And here are the facilities where you might find your first job in Georgia:
- VCA Animal Hospitals
- Banfield Pet Hospital
- Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
- Located in Alpharetta Gardens Petco
- Located in Atlanta Petco
- Located in Peachtree City Petco
- Located in Buford Petco
Salaries for Vet Technicians in Georgia
In general, the veterinary field of work is becoming a coveted one, with more and more pet owners in America each year. This means, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, that the employment workers in animal healthcare will grow up to a whopping 30% a year through 2022.
Here are the average salaries in cities across Georgia:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Whether you’re an animal lover or just interested in animal medicine, you should know that the love of animals or medicine, though definitely a prerequisite, is definitely not enough to enjoy this very challenging profession.
You have to ask around and do your homework surfing through internet, informing yourself about what this career will require from you.
Take into consideration all the extra hours, physical and emotional toll it will have on you, and if you still think this is exactly what you should do in the future, than be sure that there’s no profession more fulfilling than that of a person helping those in need.