How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Maryland

Only those who own pets and treat them like family know how important it is to have someone at the vet’s office who you can talk to, open up to, and who is going to make your pet comfortable before it gets the help it needs.

This is where the vet technician jumps in – it’s the person you count on during those first critical moments once you arrive at the animal healthcare facility.

But there is a lot more to this job than just being there for pet owners: vet technicians fulfill all duties a nurse in human healthcare would, and that goes with many physical as well as mental abilities.

With more and more pet owners in America today, the vet technicians jump in with their role that is practically necessary in every vet ambulance you may happen to stumble upon.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Maryland

Basically, the main job of a veterinary technician is to assist the veterinarian in the same manner a nurse would assist a doctor.

This basically means they assist veterinarians with whatever clinical examinations that may be needed, like:

  • 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
  • taking patient’s body temperature
  • monitoring pulse and respiration
  • addressing injuries and sometimes applying first aid…and all this while basically remaining involved in every aspect of the patient’s well-being.

What’s interesting is that they have literally the same role as nurses do in human healthcare, in the sense that they are also commonly in charge of assisting veterinarians in surgeries.

Their tasks here are to provide proper equipment to veterinarians when they need it, and make sure that the equipment and monitoring devices are working properly.

How to Become One?

If you want to become a vet technician, you will first have to earn a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree of Applied Science.

Specifically for Maryland, this means that you can take the one veterinary technology program Maryland offers in Essex Campus of the Community College and the program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

Once you graduate in Veterinary Technology, you have to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) before you can become a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Maryland.

You’ll also need to take the Maryland State Board Examination to complete your registration.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Maryland

The one accredited program for vet technicians in Maryland, in addition to all general education requirements for all post secondary education programs,  has prerequsites that the future students have to pass the Introduction to Veterinary Technology course (with a grade of “C” or better) and the General Biology course (with a grade of “B” or better).

As far as the Academic Courses go , you can expect some of the following:

  • Pharmacology
  • Introduction to veterinary technology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Parasitology
  • Nutrition
  • Emergency care and first aid
  • Radiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Now, once you’re near the end, your final semester of work experience will be an internship, during which you’ll get valuable clinical knowledge and instructions and upon completing it, you’ll fulfill all requirements and complete your training.

Once this happens, you’ll become a veterinary technician in Maryland, graduated with an Associate Degree in Applied Science (Veterinary Technology).

Tuition and Financial Aid

Normally, you can expect a tuition that shouldn’t cost more than $20,000 for the entire program. Add to this all the additional tuition fees, like books, equipment, insurance and all needed supplies for students, like microscopes, stethoscopes, etc.

Financial aid is less complicated to talk about, since every school program offers the same, traditional financial aid programs that all college students can apply for, 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 for the specific licenses for vet technicians in Maryland, there is The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) which is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Now, in order to qualify for it, you must have a degree from an accredited veterinary technician program, and passing it is required in all states of America in order to work as a registered veterinary technician.

You will have to pay 300$ in order to take the exam at all, and you better prepare for it, because it lasts for three hours and has 150 questions. You need at least 70% in order to pass the exam.

But that’s not all. You’ll also need to take the Maryland State Board Examination if you want to complete your registration.

Licensed Veterinary Technicians that work in Maryland must renew their registration every three years for a fee of $75.

You also must complete a total of 24 hours of continuing education coursework within each three-year registration period in order to be considered for registration renewal.

Getting a Job in Maryland

Once you’re done with educating yourself and passing the additional exams, your next step will be finding a job.

You can do this in many different ways and paths, you can work in a small, private animal clinic, a large animal hospital, a zoo, an animal shelter, a laboratory or in an academic institution.

Whatever path you choose, this list of potential employers in Maryland will help you on your way:

Salaries for a Vet Technician in Maryland

As mentioned before, vet medicine is becoming the coveted job due to the expanding number of pet owners in the US.

More and more people opt for having pets and, taking that into consideration, it’s no wonder that the employment of workers in animal healthcare is expected to grow by 30% by the year 2022.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Baltimore, MD$30,478
Bethesda, MD$32,976
Bowie, MD$32,909
Columbia, MD$30,429
Ellicott City,MD$30,458
Glen Burnie,MD$30,478
Silver Spring,MD$32,978

Final Words

If you decide to become a vet technician, be prepared that you may have a completely different experience than someone else that has gone along the same path as you.

General experience of vet technicians in Maryland is that it’s slowly becoming a coveted profession and you’ll probably gain precious knowledge and combined experience from various animal hospitals and ambulances.

Most vet technicians in Maryland have shared that they’ve also had positive experiences with vet technician education programs.

So, if you live in Maryland and are dreaming of pursuing this, undoubtedly, noble career, don’t think twice – it’s a fulfilling profession with a bright perspective in Maryland.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State