How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Minnesota

Have you ever thought about how frightened or worried pet owners feel when their pet is in danger or pain?

If you’ve opted for a career in veterinary profession, you probably have thought about this, wondered or maybe even felt this way.

But love towards animals isn’t the only feature you’ll have to have for this job (though it is a major stance).

You’ll need to be able to follow directions, listen and communicate professionally with both the supervising veterinarian as well as the pet owners.

Actually, apart from physical abilities, communicating with pet owners is one of the most important jobs you’ll perform: you’ll have to talk to them professionally but with understanding and kindness.

But, let’s see what else you’ll need to do to become a veterinary technician.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Minnesota

As a veterinary technician, you’ll be in charge sometimes of more important duties like helping in surgeries, and sometimes of less important but by no means insignificant ones like doing administration chores, answering questions, preparing a surgery and sterilizing the equipment after surgeries, among many others.

Don’t forget that you’re also in charge of performing the lab work, collecting urine samples, drawing blood and taking care of animals after the surgery.

If you don’t want to work in a hospital or a private clinic, that’s fine too, and you can specialize in a wide range of areas that the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) provides.

Here are some of them:

  • Animal nutrition
  • Specific species specialization, like canine/feline, avian/exotic, or production animals.
  • Advanced surgical procedures
  • Equine Medicine
  • Behavioral medicine
  • Work in an emergency or critical care
  • Internal medicine, a field where you can choose a sub-category such as: small animal medicine, large animal medicine, oncology, cardiology, or neurology
  • The management and administration of anesthesia for animals
  • Advanced animal dentistry
  • The diagnosis and treatment of animal disease

Now that you’re familiar with your general duties as a vet technician, let’s take a look at the particular steps you have to take in order to become one.

How to Become One?

Let’s list all of your steps in order first. If you plan on becoming a vet technician in Minnesota, you will have to graduate at an accredited vet technology program and earn an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

Though not obliged by law to do this, your chances of working at a serious clinic are minor without proper education and experience

If you want to work as a licensed and registered veterinary technician, you’ll have to attend a veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

For Minnesota, this means attending any of the three colleges which have fully accredited veterinary technology program.

Once you’ve graduated, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), an exam required in order to become a licensed Minnesota veterinary technician.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Minnesota

Naturally, every school has its own prerequisites  that you’ll have to complete before you enroll.

They vary greatly in terms of those prerequisites and you’ll have to get informed about the particular prerequisites for the college you want to go to.

Generally speaking, most of them require a C average or better in high school and many of them require attending some basic courses after high school like biology, chemistry, English and math before you begin with your core subjects.

When the core subjects are concerned, they’ll be more science-focused like the following, which are offered in most programs regardless of the particular college you attend:

  • Biology and Chemistry
  • Clinical Procedures
  • Laboratory Animal Science
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Large and Small Animal Medicine
  • Veterinary Hospital Management
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Animal Disease and Pathology
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Veterinary Imaging
  • Anesthesiology
  • Dentistry
  • Emergency and Critical Care

Most of these colleges have their own labs where you can learn what an internship is, while working under your supervisors.

Then you will venture into an out-of-campus internship that will take place during your final semester, which means you’ll have to work in an actual veterinary clinic, supervised by a veterinarian.

This is where you’ll put all your theoretical knowledge into practice.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition also varies greatly depending on the school you’re going to, but generally speaking, it costs somewhere between of $22,000 and $32,000 – all this including books, fees, and supplies.

You should really check the website of the college you’re thinking of enrolling into for more detailed information about the tuition.

As for financial aid, all the traditional types of financial aid that are available to students across America are also available to students in Minnesota, and you can start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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Licensing and Certification

We’ve already prepared you for the fact that when you’re done educating yourself, you’re still not done with exams!

You’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

It is necessary that you’ve graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program, because if your program isn’t accredited – you can’t take this test.

Don’t expect a piece-of-cake exam, because it takes three hours to complete it, it has over 150 questions and costs 300$.

Luckily for you, this will be the end of your exams, and you will be eligible to start working as a registered veterinary technician.

Your only task will be to renew your certification regularly if you wish to remain certified in Minnesota.

This means paying a $60.00 renewal fee every two years and provide the MVMA with documentation of 10 continuing education creditscompleted within the past two years of each renewal term.

Getting a Job in Minnesota

Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. Now it’s time to find your first job.

This shouldn’t be too complicated or difficult because veterinary technicians, and generally, workers in animal welfare are wanted by a growing number of animal hospitals, private clinics, zoos and animal shelters.

Here’s where you can find a job as a veterinary technician in Minnesota:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Minnesota

If you’re not satisfied with the paycheck you get at the end of a long day, try looking at it this way: there’s a bright future as a vet technician in Minnesota.

According to the the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the employment of workers in animal healthcare is expected to grow by a whopping 30% per year through 2022.

Here are current average salaries of vet technicians across Minnesota.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Eden Prairie,MN$31,522
Saint Cloud,MN$27,442
Saint Paul,MN$31,575

Final Words

Many think that the job of a veterinary technician is easy and not demanding at all, given the fact that the veterinarian is in charge of all important things.

Make no mistake, if you watch just one working day of a veterinary technician you will be in awe of all the difficult tasks that they have to perform, and the physical and mental abilities they have to posses.

Veterinary technicians are essential in animal welfare and seriously involved in the curing process of wounded or ill animals, so if you’ve opted for this profession, know that it’s not only noble, but important too.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State