How to Become a Veterinary Technician in North Carolina

When it comes to animals, there are two types of people: those that consider animals as parts of their families and those that consider this a major exaggeration.

The first group finds animal hospitals and clinics to be of the same importance as human healthcare facilities.

They also know what it means to be able to rely on a worker in these facilities, on someone who is there to understand and share a kind word.

More often than not a visit to the vet is a stressful situation for both pets and their humans, which is why a veterinary technician plays a significant role in any clinic or animal hospital.

So if you’re capable of offering this kind of support to other people, while taking care of animals too, then the profession of  a veterinary technician might be the right one for you.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in North Carolina

As a veterinary technician in North Carolina, you’re definitely going to be expected to perform various jobs related not just to the animals, but a bunch of administrative jobs like scheduling appointments, keeping and updating records, cooperating with other veterinary facilities among many others.

Apart from all of this, your duties will be to tend animals and perform all of the less important tasks that go with making the animals better.

These tasks are  keeping animals clean, sterilizing operating rooms, as well a the equipment before and after surgeries and lab work.

Here are some of the things you’ll perform and, more importantly, learn how to do:

  • applying anethesia
  • keeping records of patients
  • working in a lab
  • taking x-rays
  • restraining and helping with animals
  • assisting during surgeries

You’ll encounter this situation further on in your career, but you should know right at the beginning that, as a veterinary technician, you’ll have more obligations than most people would ever think a vet technician has!

How to Become One?

If you want to become a vet technician, our first advice is – get ready for a bunch of steps to get there!

The first and most essential thing you’ll need is  an Associate’s of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.

You might not need this degree to work in some clinics but if you want a serious career in veterinary field, a degree from an accredited program is a necessity.

The next thing you’ll need to do is take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) , which is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, as well as the North Carolina State exam.

You can work as a registered vet technician in North Carolina only if you successfully pass both of these tests.

Oh, and don’t forget you can take the VTNE exam only if you’ve graduated from an accredited program for vet technicians!

Education Required for a Vet Technician in North Carolina

You already know the importance of graduating from an accredited veterinary technician program (just think of the VTNE exam that you can take only after an accredited program!)

For North Carolina, this means that you can enroll in any of the four colleges that exist in this state, and they all have programs with full accreditation.

Full accreditation means that the program is fully accredited because it has met all the criteria of the CVTEA.

Now, as for the actual curriculum when you start your program, it’s mostly science focused, given the fact that, well, veterinary field is a science.

Some of your courses will be the following:

  • Parasitology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Nursing
  • Veterinary math
  • Microbiology
  • Veterinary math
  • Hematology
  • Terminology
  • Radiology
  • Dentistry
  • Courses related to individual animals

Don’t worry about the lab work, most colleges have on-campus laboratories where you can practice working with real animals under the supervision of your instructors, and this is known as an on-campus internship.

Your final semester will be an off-campus internship, or an externship at a real clinic or a hospital, where you’ll work under the supervision of a professional vet and learn what it’s like to be a veterinary technician on a day-to-day basis.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Sometimes tuition can be quite expensive, but it’s usually not so for veterinary technicians.

Tuition varies greatly depending on the college in North Carolina you opt for.

Generally speaking, though, for your entire education that can last anywhere from 18 months to two years, sometimes even three, you’ll have to cash out somewhere between $6,000 and $30,000 for tuition fees.

Don’t forget that you’ll have to add about $2,000 to $3,000 for books and lab supplies.

Living and transportation expenses are not included in this estimate.

As for financial aid, that’s easier to discuss.

You can visit the websites of each of the North Carolina colleges with these programs: they all have Student Aid information that you can use.

Most of the traditional college financial aids that are available to all students across  America are available in North Carolina too.

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Licensing and Certification

Well, you’re near the end of your program, now what?

It’s not the end of your exams, unfortunately! Now you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) as this is the case in most states in America, if you want to work as a licensed veterinary technician.

This is an exam regulated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Don’t let your guard down just because you’ve graduated: this exam lasts three hours, has 150 questions and costs $300.

Only those who graduated from an accredited program can take this test.

After this, you’ll be eligible to take the North Carolina State exam, which is also necessary if you want to work as a registered technician.

Getting a Job in North Carolina

You made it! You’re done with all exams and finally you can work as a licensed vet technician. What next?

Congrats, the only thing left to do is find your first job.

This shouldn’t be a difficult adventure, though, because veterinary technicians are wanted in many animal hospitals and clinics, so you won’t have a hard time finding work.

Here are some of your potential employers in North Carolina that may offer you a job:

Salaries for Vet Technicians in North Carolina

As for salaries vet technicians get – they’re not bad either, and in the future, they’re going to get higher, so there’s really no reason to worry, though you might get discouraged in the beginning.

With more and more pet owners every year, being a vet technician is a job with a good perspective as they’re becoming increasingly wanted.

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

Take a look at the average vet technician salaries in North Carolina.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Chapel Hill,NC$28,191
High Point,NC$28,504
Rocky Mount,NC$28,237
Winston Salem,NC$28,403

Final Words

What’s important to know, apart from the upsides of the job – which are spending your days with animals, hugging them, petting them etc, is that there are some downsides to it, like seeing and treating pets with injuries, or illnesses, or worst of all having to perform euthanasia on them.

This is why it is important to keep in mind that this job is not all pets and hugs.

You should also remember you’ll be expected to perform a whole bunch of things that require physical capabilities and strength like standing for hours or carrying heavy animals.

This shouldn’t stop you on your way, because we’re sure that with the certificate you get after graduating and passing all your exams, you’ll also get the self-esteem and self-confidence you need to become a part of this noble career.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State