How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Nebraska

vet exam with the vet and vet technician

Even those with the strongest hearts can’t bear to see their beloved pets injured or ill.

As someone interested in becoming a part of the vet field, you’ll encounter situations that’d make you emotional.

It’s why love for animals and empathy are important qualities to have in a vet staff.

Although emotionally taxing, this job does give you a sense of fulfillment in seeing your patients healthy once again.

So if you’re ready to face these kinds of situations, then here’s how you can be a vet technician in Nebraska.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Nebraska

Vet technicians play an important role in an animal care facility.

Your duties will be tightly connected with communication with pet owners and empathy towards them.

In addition, you’re the vet’s right-hand man.

Vets trust you to assist and help them perform vet exams and procedures, especially surgeries.

You anticipate and take care of everything they might need in the course of the procedure.

Of course, you won’t have to be with the vet all the time.

You have other duties that you can do independently.

Here are some of them:

  • Record-keeping
  • Cleaning after animals
  • Emergency care and first aid
  • Monitoring pulses, blood temperature, etc.
  • Taking x-rays
  • Applying medications, fluids, and blood products
  • Patient communication
  • Administering anesthesia

Of all your duties, the one that’ll take an emotional toll on you most is assisting in euthanasia.

Working as a vet technician, you’ll most likely work in private practice.

However, you have other options, especially when you take up a specialization.

If you do, you can work in:

  • Internal medicine
  • Emergency and critical care
  • Zoological medicine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical pathology
  • And many more

How to Become One

working as a professional vet technician

To be a vet technician, you must earn an associate’s degree in vet technology at an accredited school.

Unfortunately, Nebraska has no college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

But you can still enroll in a course through:

After you graduate, take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) for your license.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Nebraska

For most schools, admission requirements and prerequisites are more or less the same but with significant variations.

You’ll have to visit their websites for more specific information about it.

The one they have in common is their requirement for a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Other requirements may or may not include the following:

  • Submit an essay
  • Go to an interview
  • Passing or high scores on SAT, ACT, COMPASS, or ASSET

In regards to prerequisites, these can be:

  • Basic courses (biology, chemistry, math, etc.)
  • Past experience in the vet field (at least eight hours)

Some colleges will allow you to take the courses while in high school.

But don’t worry if you haven’t taken them then.

You can always complete these basic courses before your admission.

Once you’ve successfully enrolled, you’ll take and learn these subjects:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Biology
  • Radiology
  • Anesthesia
  • Large and small animal medicine
  • Pathology
  • Practice management
  • Veterinary economics
  • Exotic animals
  • Surgery
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical skills
  • And many others

Some courses include lab work at in-campus laboratories where you can do hands-on practice.

Later, you’ll do an internship at a local vet clinic to get real-life experience in the life of a vet technician.

All in all, it takes two to three years to graduate with an associate’s degree.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition fees are very affordable in Nebraska, though they can rise if you take more time to finish the program.

Two-year programs cost less than $20,000, including books, fees, and supplies needed.

Tuition, however, is higher for out-of-state students.

Luckily, there are federal and state financial aids available for you.

Nebraska’s Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education lists all state-sponsored aids and scholarships.

For federal financial aid, send in a request first to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

You can also research here what types of aid are available and for which you meet the criteria.

Educational benefits are also given to veterans and their family members.

Simply visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for inquiries.

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Licensing and Certification

licensed vet technician in nebraska

Unfortunately, you’re still not done with exams.

But the good news is you’re almost there!

You only have to take the VTNE for your professional license as a vet technician.

The American Association of Veterinary State Boards will only allow students who graduated from an accredited program to take the test.

And passing it is no easy feat.

It has 150 questions and lasts for three hours.

You’ll pay $300 for the exam fee.

If you pass, you can then apply for a license from the state board for a fee of $100.

You’re also required to apply for license renewal every two years with 16 hours of continuing education.

Getting a Job in Nebraska

Vet technicians in Nebraska shouldn’t worry about finding a job.

Though the employers are the ones that make the final hiring decision, generally speaking, there’s a place for everyone.

Here are some of the vet facilities that might become your employer in the future.

  • Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Centers of America – Nebraska Branches
    • MidWest Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center
    • Animal Medical Center of Omaha
    • 80 Dodge Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospitals located in:
    • West Maple
    • Oak View
    • Papillion

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Nebraska

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 15% growth in employment levels from 2020 to 2030.

That’s thanks to the increasing demands of pet owners for good, quality vet care services.

As such, they’re willing to spend more for it, resulting in more job openings with competitive pay.

Here are the average annual salaries in cities across Nebraska:

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Bellevue,NE $28,031
Fremont,NE $27,600
Grand Island,NE $27,457
Hastings,NE $27,457
Kearney,NE $27,457
Lincoln,NE $27,843
Norfolk,NE $24,400
North Platte,NE $26,632
Omaha,NE $28,031

Regional Salary in Nebraska

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Lincoln, NE100$37,030$17.8$48,450$27,870
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA260$37,750$18.15$47,760$28,620
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2056, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Final Words

Many people may believe a vet technician’s job is easy and not that significant.

But don’t let their words sway your decision to become part of the vet field.

It’s your dream to help animals in need, so be firm and work hard toward this career.

Remember, you’re the vet’s right-hand man.

You work alongside them in restoring animals to good health.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State