You’re dreaming of becoming a veterinary technician in Hawaii?
Well, this is a great thing, because a career of a vet technician is extremely rewarding and fulfilling, albeit challenging and at times difficult.
Vet technicians are also looking at a bright future because their profession is slowly becoming a wanted one, given the fact that there’s an increasing number of pet owners in America each year.
Your education will, no doubt, prepare you for all the situations where your knowledge is needed, but you should know that the job of a vet technician will require a lot of physical as well as mental and emotional preparedness.
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Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Hawaii
The job of a veterinary technician is akin to that of a nurse in a human hospital. Once you graduate, take all the tests you need and become a licensed vet technician, you’ll be prepared to assist the veterinarian with whatever he/she needs.
Your job will be to work with animals as well as people, and take care of a wide array of issues: from technical things like keeping records and admitting animals into the unit, to assisting the vet during animal treatments.
You’ll also have some unpleasant duties like cleaning after animals, and the most dreadful one, assisting in euthanasia.
There is also a number of duties that will be expected of you without the supervision of a professional veterinarian, but you’ll also be in a position to assist during surgeries.
There’s a bunch of possibilities for you as vet technicians are wanted in many other branches and areas, though private practice is where the highest demand for vet technicians is.
You can specialize in various disciplines as a vet technician, such as:
- Internal Medicine
- Emergency and Critical Care
- Zoological Medicine
- Clinical Practice
- Clinical Pathology, etc.
How to Become One?
In order to become a vet technician, the first step you’ll need to take is get an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.
For Hawaii, this means being admitted to the Windward Community College and attending their accredited veterinary technician program.
After that, you’ll need to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) , which is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.
Only if you pass the test can you work as a registered vet technician in Hawaii. Bear in mind you can take the exam only if you’ve graduated from an accredited program.
Education Required for a Vet Technician in Hawaii
In order to get admitted into the veterinary technician program, you will have to have completed at least ten credits of core courses (anatomy and physiology, computer skills, laboratory skills, and animal nursing).
They are required for the Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting, with a grade of C or better, as well as three credits of general education courses.
These general education courses are basic math, composition, speech, or psychology. It usually takes students around two semesters to complete this.
You’ll also need two letters of recommendation as well as proof that you’ve had some previous veterinary-related work experience. You will also be interviewed where the interviewer will determine your abilities and general aptitude to attend this program.
As for the physical prerequisites, here’s what you’ll have to do:
- get a tuberculosis clearance within the past twelve months
- get tetanus vaccination with the past ten years
- have a health insurance
- and a criminal clearance check.
And that’s not all. You’ll have to work during the summer after your acceptance to the program, and take at least one course from the aforementioned veterinary technology core courses.
As for the actual course work, once you’re in the veterinary technician program, it takes a minimum of two more semesters.
Your courses will include dentistry, pharmacology, anesthesiology, exotic and lab animal procedures, clinical procedures, and surgical nursing.
You’ll also have hands-on experience in labs where you’ll put your theoretic knowledge in practice.
Your final semester will actually be an internship at a local clinic where you’ll work supervised by a professional veterinary and learn what it’s like to be a veterinary technician on a day to day basis.
You can take some of the classes online. If you’re not in a position to commute to the campus, you can take the AVMA accredited Distance Learning Veterinary Technology Programs to complete your education.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for the accredited vet technology program in Hawaii is approximately $8,000, and twice that price for out-of-state students.
Add to that about $2,000 to $3,000 for books and lab supplies. Living and transportation expenses are not included in this estimate.
As for financial aid, visit the websites of each of the schools: most of the traditional college financial aids are available to students attending the vet tech programs. You can start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website.
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Licensing and Certification
Once you earn your degree, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) as this is the case in most states in America.
This is an exam regulated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. And it’s no picnic, either: it lasts three hours, has 150 questions and costs $300.
Only those who graduated from an accredited program can take this test, so that’s why it’s important that your veterinary technology program is accredited.
In Hawaii you don’t have to be licensed in order to work, but attending an accredited school and passing the VTNE will help you in other ways.
For example, landing a top job will be much easier and it may come in handy if you move to another state that does require credentialing.
Getting a Job in Hawaii
Upon finishing all the courses and the additional exams you have to take, you can start looking for a, hopefully, good job.
There are many animal clinics and hospitals that would be happy to have you work for them and some of them are these:
- VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
- Animal Clinic of Honolulu
- Ali’i Veterinary Hospital
Salaries for Vet Technicians in Hawaii
Another good news if you live in America and want to become a vet technician: there will be plenty of job opportunities for you!
We already mentioned there are more and more pet owners every year, so being a vet technician means having a job with a good perspective.
But, have we mentioned that, statistically, their employment will increase in the years to come?
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 Hawaii:
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We are rooting for you on your way to become a vet technician! Just a couple more words before you take your first steps on this path.
Remember to ask around thoroughly about all the aspects of this job, as well as all the information you can get about your accredited program in Hawaii.
All the info you can get is welcome – it can be more beneficial for you than you know.
One last thing – don’t forget to build up your communication skills with people – as this is as important part of being a veterinary technician as any!
Talking to pet owners, offering them hope or not giving them false one is a very important skill for workers in animal healthcare.
So if you think you can master all these skills, while still maintaining your ability to love animals unconditionally – go for it! Nothing’s in your way.