How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Maine

You’re dreaming of becoming a veterinary technician in Maine? That’s a good dream 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.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Maine

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.

How to Become One?

In order to become a vet technician, the first step you’ll need to take is get an Associates of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

For Maine, this means being admitted to the one accredited college in Maine with accredited programs for veterinary technicians in Maine that offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

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 Maine. Bear in mind you can take the exam only if you’ve graduated from an accredited program.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Maine

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.

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, and this is known as an internship.

Your final semester will actually be an externship 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.

Here are some of the veterinary clinics and hospitals where you can do your externship in Maine:

  • Maine Veterinary Referral Center
  • Maine Coast Veterinary Hospital
  • Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary
  • Calais Veterinary Clinic
  • Southern Maine Veterinary Care
  • Down Maine Veterinary Clinic
  • Turner Veterinary Services
  • Central Maine Veterinary Hospital
  • Portland Veterinary Specialists

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition for the accredited vet technology program in Maine are somewhere along the lines of $7,500 annually and twice that much 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.

Once you pass the VTNE, your results will be forwarded to the state board of your choice and only then will you be eligible to complete further procedures for licensing.

You can find a Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) application form online at the Maine State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Getting a Job in Maine

You’ve finished your education successfully and now you’re ready to find a job!

Well, it shouldn’t be a problem, as there are always available jobs for workers in animal healthcare.

Your only decision at this point should be whether you want to work in a large animal hospital or a smaller animal clinic.

Whatever you decide, this list of potential employers in Maine will help you:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Maine

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 Maine:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
South Portland,ME$29,618

Final Words

Just a couple more words before you take your first steps on this very important path.

It is important 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 Maine.

All the info you can get may be very helpful –  and even more beneficial for you than you know.

Don’t forget to build up your communication skills with people as you go along – 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.

If you can master all these skills, while still maintaining your ability to love animals unconditionally – you will certainly be an excellent veterinary technician.

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