How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Idaho

Being a veterinary technician is a profession for those that have an undying love for animals, a kind heart and compassion for others.

If you have these, you already have the first prerequisite of becoming one.

Don’t forget 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, communicating with people and giving animals a part of your heart even on your worst days is in your job description here.

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

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Idaho

Duties of a vet technician in Idaho are not different than those of a vet technician anywhere else in the world.

A job description of a vet technician is the same as that of a nurse in human healthcare.

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 illness
  • inducing and maintaining anesthesia
  • applying medications, fluids and blood products following the veterinarians’ instructions
  • monitoring pulse and respiration
  • addressing injuries and sometimes applying first aid

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

Of course, you don’t need to work in a private practice once you graduate. You can find work as a vet technician in many other areas, and specialize in the following disciplines:

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

How to Become One?

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

For Idaho, this means you’ll have to attend the College of Southern Idaho that offers a vet technology program with a full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

Once you graduate here, you’ll have to take the VTNE exam (Veterinary Technician National Examination), which is required to become an Idaho veterinary technician.

But that’s not all. In order to become a certified vet technician, you’ll also have to have a passing score of at least 90% on the Idaho Veterinary Technician Jurisprudence Examination.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Idaho

First of all, in order to get admitted to the veterinary program in Idaho, you need to have a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent, as well as minimal scores on Accuplacer assessment tests, SAT, ACT.

As for the actual courses once you’re in the program, there are some that you’ll have to have attended before the program actually starts.

These are classes like English, basic math, biology, chemistry, and communication.

The courses will then progress into more science-based ones, like the following:

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

Some of the classes go with hands-on lab work where you’ll put your theoretical knowledge into practice.

Your final semester will be an internship, during which you’ll work under a supervision of a professional vet.

Usually, veterinary technology programs last from two to three years, and take between 70 and 90 credit hours.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition can cost anywhere between $115 to $325 per credit hour, while out-of-state students pay up to twice that price.

Idaho also works with a so-called “district” system where several counties comprise a district, and if you live out of that district you will pay in-district tuition, and the county in which you reside pays the difference.

Like everywhere else in America, you can apply for traditional financial aid available to all students of Idaho, 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.

However, in Idaho, that won’t be enough in order to work as a registered veterinary technician. No, you’ll also have to have a passing score of at least 90% on the Idaho Veterinary Technician Jurisprudence Examination.

As for the VTNE exam (which is something to buckle up for: it takes three hours to complete it, has 150 questions and costs 300$), bear in mind that you won’t be eligible to take it without a degree from an accredited veterinary technology program.

This is why it’s important that you attend a program that’s accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Getting a Job in Idaho

If you fulfill all of the requirements for a potential employer in Idaho, you’ll find a job easily as a vet technician.

Idaho has numerous job opportunities, so you just have to ask yourself what are your preferences when it comes to working.

Whether it’s a large animal hospital, a zoo, an animal shelter or a private clinic, this list of potential employers will definitely help you:

  • Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA)
  • Idaho Veterinary Hospital
  • All Valley Animal Care Center
  • Ammon Veterinary Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital
  • Banfield Boise
  • Banfield Meridian

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Idaho

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.

Here’s what the statistics say: 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 Idaho:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Coeur D'Alene,ID$35,860
Idaho Fallsm,ID$33,180
Twin Falls,ID$31,924

Final Words

Bear in mind that there are a couple things you should remember before starting your first steps on your way to becoming a vet technician. Here are the most important ones.

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

The second piece of advice to follow is that, while kind heart and compassion for animals are some 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 strength because being a veterinary technician can be challenging at times.

However, if you’ve already decided to become a vet technician, you already know that no amount of challenging times can outweigh the rewarding ones in this business.

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