How to Become a Veterinary Technician in New York

If you see yourself and your future spending all your working day around animals (and people, don’t forget!), well then being a veterinary technician is probably the most rewarding and satisfying job you can get.

But, if you think that your love towards all kinds of animals is enough for you to do this job and enjoy it while doing it – give it another thought.

As a vet technician, playing and caring for animals is not the only thing you’ll do – you’ll also need to perform many unpleasant duties, and there are obligations and responsibilities that go with this job that demand great physical abilities.

Get ready to see what the job of a veterinary technician really entails.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in New York

Despite what people think, a job description of a vet technician is pretty complicated and demanding.

Duties of a vet technician in New York are not different than those of a vet technician anywhere else in the world.

Their daily tasks are providing basic care for pets and non-farm animals, feeding and bathing animals, disinfecting exam rooms, giving medications or vaccinations, ensuring that animals are well prepared for surgery and medical examination, cleaning and sanitizing animal cages and surgical tools during surgeries, and that’s just to name a few.

You might also need to work night shifts, if a veterinary clinic offers overnight accomodation of animals.

But if you don’t want to work in an animal healthcare facility when you finish your education, there are plenty of other things you can specialize in, like the following:

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

How to Become One?

Though you’re not legally obliged to get your education as a vet technician, your chances of getting a job without one are slim.

So the first step you need to take, in order to become a vet technician, is the step of earning an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

For New York, this means you’ll have to attend any of the numerous colleges in this state that offer a vet technology program with a full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

Once you graduate here, you can take the VTNE exam (Veterinary Technician National Examination), which is a very important exam for your further career in most countries across America.

Once you pass the VTNE, you are eligible for licensure in New York.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in New York

If you need detailed information about what each school requires before you apply for their program, the best thing to do is visit each shool’s website for info about its application process.

What most schools agree upon is that you need to have a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent, as well as minimal scores on SATs or ACTs.

As for other requirements each school can have preprequisities that are anything from a background check to a rabies shot.

There are interviews, placement tests, your medical history, vaccinations etc – so you should really visit your school’s website to make sure.

Generally, a high school diploma, GED or the equivalent is required. Some schools require a background check, an interview or placement tests, others require some practical experience working for a veterinarian, and others require certain vaccinations to be up to date and for you to provide a negative TB test.

As for the actual courses once you’re in the program, there are some that you’ll have to have attended before the program actually starts.

These are classes like English, basic math, biology, chemistry, and communication.

The courses will then progress into more science-based ones, like the following:

  • parasitology
  • radiology
  • anatomy
  • physiology
  • pathology
  • surgical nursing
  • large and small animal care
  • pharmacology
  • microbiology

Some of the classes go with hands-on lab work where you’ll put your theoretical knowledge into practice.

Your final semester will be an internship, during which you’ll work under a supervision of a professional vet.

Usually, veterinary technology programs last from two to three years, and take between 70 and 90 credit hours.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition varies widely depending on the college you’re planning on enrolling into, but if you proceed at the recommended pace, tuition and fees for most programs is under $25,000 for four to five semesters.

Add to that additional tuition fees like those for equipment, supplies, books and insurance. For more detailed information about tuition, you should visit each of the schools’ website.

Like everywhere else in America, you can apply for traditional financial aid available to all students of Idaho, if they meet the criteria.

You can apply to almost every financial aid program starting with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Don’t forget to visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs where you can learn more about the types of aid and what might be best for you, including programs for dependents and family members of veterans.

New York also has its own financial aid agency, State Higher Education Services Corporation where you can find out all about many state-sponsored programs for college students.

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Licensing and Certification

We’ve mentioned before that you have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

This is a very important exam, that you’re obliged to take in most American countries if you want to work as a licensed vet technician.

When it comes to the VTNE exam (which is something to buckle up for: it takes three hours to complete it, has 150 questions and costs 300$), bear in mind that you won’t be eligible to take it without a degree from an accredited veterinary technology program.

This is why it’s important that you attend a program that’s accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Getting a Job in New York

There is such a large number of facilities in animal healthcare where you can apply for a job, that there really isn’t any reason to worry.

Veterinary technicians are generally very fast in finding employment, and this is due to the fact that there’s a growing number of veterinary clinics and hospitals because the importance of animal welfare is also growing exponentially.

Here are some of the facilities where you might find employment in New York:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in New York

You’re in for a surprise if you’re a hopeful veterinary technician student in New York, because even though salaries may not be skyrocketing these days for vet technicians, it may not be so in the future.

Here’s what the statistics say: namely, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show their employments is expected to grow by a whopping 30% per year through 2022.

It is important to remember that the number of working hours and the workload of a vet technician also affect their salary.

Here are the average salaries for a vet technician in New York:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Mount Vernon,NY$34,160
New Rochelle,NY$33,872
New York,NY$35,874
Niagara Falls,NY$28,294
Queens Village,NY$35,281
Staten Island,NY$33,265
White Plains,NY$34,167

Final Words

For those that love animals, helping them all day might sound like a dream job, but as any other job, it has its positive and negative sides.

Veterinary technicians have to endure a wide array of tasks, and stand long hours, and that’s just speaking about the physical side of the job.

There’s also an emotional toll this job takes on you, and you should be ready for that.

Do whatever you can to inform yourself as much as possible. You should know a lot about every aspect of this career before you decide to pursue it.

And finally, if you’ve already decided to become a vet technician, you already know that no amount of challenging times can outweigh the rewarding ones in this business.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State