How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Missouri

Veterinary medicine is developing more and more in today’s world, with a growing number of pet owners and a growingly positive public attitude towards animals.

This means more jobs for anyone ready to work hard in gaining necessary education and ready to work with animals.

Namely, the statistics show that their employment will be more and more coveted as the years go by, with the increasing number of pet owners in America.

This alone, (provided that you already have an undying love for animals), should be enough to make you take the first step towards this career.

This job, like every other, has its upsides and its downsides, but if you take a firm grip of it and power through the minor inconveniences, you’ll enjoy it immensely.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Missouri

Even though proper veterinary education is not required by law in order to be a veterinary technician, your chances of working in a serious environment without it are miserable.

You’ll be, at least, required to have some kind of a basic high school education in order to perform those less important jobs of a vet technician like taking care of administrative issues or administering medication.

This is because a job of a vet technician is not a piece of cake at all, and not anyone can do it.

You’ll basically be the closest assistant to the vet, or rather his or her right hand man.

This means you’ll be in charge of technical things like keeping records of patients through clinical testing and analyses, taking blood pressure and body temperature to assisting the veterinarian in surgeries.

And yes, cleaning up the premises too.

As a vet technician, you can also specialize in the following:

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

How to Become One?

Students that want to go to college and attend an accredited program for veterinary technicians in some states can’t do it because their states don’t have colleges that support such programs.

Luckily for you, Missouri isn’t one of those states! So what you need to do first,  if you want to become a vet technician in Missouri, is graduate at an accredited vet technology program and earn an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

What’s important is that the veterinary technology program has to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

For Missouri, this means enrolling into any of the four 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 Missouri veterinary technician.

In the state of Missouri, you also have to take the Missouri state exam required for licensure as a vet tech.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Missouri

As for the specific requirements each school has, you will have to search for detailed information on each of these schools’ websites.

They have different prerequisites and requirements but they all usually agree on one thing: you need to have a high school diploma, GED, or the equivalent.

That’s pretty much the most important requirement.

As for other prerequisites, they vary depending on the school and can include letters of recommendation, scores on tests such ACT or SAT, and previous experience working under the supervision of a vet or at least observing them.

A vast number of colleges will require that you’ve attended some basic courses after high school like biology, chemistry, English and math so you might need to pass those before you beginning with your core subjects.

As for them, you’ll attend more science-focused subjects like the following, which are offered in most programs regardless of the particular college you attend:

  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pharmacology
  • parasitology
  • chemistry
  • pathology
  • microbiology
  • hematology
  • radiology

It won’t be all science – you’ll have some social subjects as many schools require a few electives to be chosen from humanities, computer skills or psychology.

Lab work will also be incorporated in your student program.

Your final semester will be an internship, where you’ll have to work in an actual veterinary clinic, supervised by a veterinarian.

Here, you’ll put all your theoretical knowledge into practice, and learn more about the day-to-day aspects of being a vet technician.

You can expect to graduate from a veterinary technician program in two to three years.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Usually, tuition for these accredited programs is affordable. In Missouri, it costs from $10,000 to $33,000 for the entire program.

There is the added expense you’ll have for books, equipment, supplies and other additional fees, and you can always count on various financial aids.

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

Missouri  also has its own aid programs and more info on them can be found on the website Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Among them is a very popular program called the A+ scholarship, which can help financially with a significant part of your educational costs.

There are also the federal programs helpling veterans, dependents and family members, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Popular Degree Programs

Licensing and Certification

You’re not done with your education until you take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), which is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

It is important 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 something easy, because it takes three hours to complete it, it has 150 questions and costs 300$.

The state of Missouri also requires you to take the Missouri state exam if you want to work as a registered veterinary technician.

Only when you pass these two exams, can you proceed to finding your first job.

Getting a Job in Missouri

You’re there! About to find your first job! In Missouri, veterinary technicians should have no doubts or worries when it comes to this.

There is a huge place in the market for veterinary technicians and other workers in animal healthcare, and they are constantly seeked for by the animal healthcare facilities.

Here is a list of potenital employers in Missouri that might help:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Missouri

Though their paychecks are not exactly skyrocketing, if you want to be a vet technician, you’re looking at a bright future in Missouri.

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, with a higher expected rate in Delaware.

Here are current average salaries of vet technicians across Missouri.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Blue Springs,MO $29,032
Chesterfield,MO $29,018
Columbia,MO $28,902
Florissant,MO $29,144
Independence,MO $29,111
Jefferson City,MO $28,653
Joplin,MO $28,353
Kansas City,MO $29,142
Lees Summit,MO $29,032
O Fallon,MO $28,954
Saint Charles,MO $29,034
Saint Joseph,MO $28,866
Saint Louis,MO $29,192
Saint Peters,MO $28,970
Springfield,MO $28,590

Final Words

That’s it! You’ve seen all the steps you need to take on your way to establish your career of a vet technician.

Our first piece of advice is – continue on informing yourself!

It is extremely important, before you get going, that you ask around and surf the internet thoroughly for information.

Regardless of the career you’ve chosen – you have to be fully informed before you’re sure this is the profession you want to pursue.

And if you find that it is the path for you, know that this career has its highs and lows, but you probably already know that the highs outweigh the lows any time of day.

 

USA How to Become a Veterinary Technician by State