At times, high school graduates may not know which career path to choose.
If you’re one of them, then maybe you can consider a career in the vet field if you love to work with animals.
So how about becoming a vet technician in Oregon?
It has good job prospects with good pay, so you’ll have no problems finding employment in the future.
Make no mistake; there are also downsides to this job.
But for a true animal lover wanting to help provide quality vet care, these are mere issues easily solvable.
So let’s learn what a vet technician’s job entails and how you can become one in Oregon.
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Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Oregon
Vet technicians are specially trained to perform procedures on animals under the supervision of the vets.
You’re the one who looks after the animals in the vet facility as soon as they’re admitted.
The moment they come in, you must show understanding and compassion when talking to pet owners.
Remember, they’re in distress and they turn to you to alleviate their worries.
You must also be prepared to be on your feet all day when helping the vet deliver vet care.
Here are some of the duties entrusted to you:
- Handling of pets
- Pharmacy and laboratory tasks
- Diagnostic imaging
- Legal issues
- Veterinary computer programs
- Hospital maintenance
- Drawing blood and taking blood pressure
- Providing treatment for routine problems
- Dressing wounds
- Operating electrocardiographic equipment
How to Become One
In every career, investing in your education is vital for your career advancement.
Learning to be a vet technician and earning your associate’s degree takes two to three years to complete.
It’s best that you enroll in a school or course accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
So far, only Oregon State University has this accreditation.
If the school is not within your locality, there are accredited online vet tech programs you can avail of.
After you graduate, you’ll be eligible to take the following licensure exams:
- Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
- Oregon Jurisprudence Exam/Regional Disease Test (JPE/RDT)
If you pass, you’ll become a Certified Vet Technician (CVT) in Oregon.
Education Required for a Vet Technician in Oregon
What vet schools require as prerequisites varies widely.
But many of them require a C average or better scores in high school or general education courses, namely:
- English and communication
- Computer skills
Note that you must complete them before you can get admitted to the program.
As for the vet tech program, the courses you take include the following:
- Animal nursing
- Practice management
Of course, lab work will be incorporated into your program so that you can get hands-on experience.
Later, you’ll go through an internship at a local vet facility where you’ll work closely with the vet.
Under their guidance, you’ll experience what it’s like to work as a vet technician.
On another note, you can specialize in other vet technician areas and not be just limited to working in practice.
- Animal nutrition
- Clinical practice
- Clinical pathology
- Equine medicine
- Dental technician
- Emergency and critical care nursing
- Internal medicine
- Behavior modification
- Zoological and exotic animal medicine
Or you can pursue further education, like a four-year vet technologist degree or other relevant courses.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition in Oregon is mostly affordable.
But for out-of-state students, it can cost up to two or three times higher.
That’s why you should visit the schools’ websites for more detailed information about it.
As for financial aid, you can always apply for federal or state grants, scholarships, loans, etc.
Most students will submit a request through Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Veterans and their family members can also avail themselves of educational benefits.
Simply visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for information and inquiries.
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Licensing and Certification
Becoming a CVT in Oregon is no easy task.
Once you’ve earned your degree, you will take and pass two exams to obtain your license.
- Oregon JPE/RDT
The thing is, you can only take them if you’ve graduated from an accredited school/program.
There’s no proper order when taking these exams.
You can take the VTNE first or the Oregon JPE/RDT first.
VTNE costs $300 and consists of 150 questions that you have to complete in three hours.
Meanwhile, the Oregon JPE/RDT is an open book exam with a fee of $75.
Here, you must attain a passing rate of 95% for JPE and 100% for RDT.
Once you’ve received your license, you’re required to renew it every two years.
You can do this by completing 15 hours of continuing education.
Getting a Job in Oregon
Vet technicians in Oregon shouldn’t worry too much about job hunting.
That’s because many vet facilities are always looking for newcomers to add to their roster.
Of course, even if you have an easy time job hunting, your employment still lies on the employer’s decision.
Nevertheless, we want to help you find potential employers who badly need your skills.
Here are some of them:
- Veterinary Centers of America – Oregon Branches
- Jackson Animal Hospital
- Delta Oaks Animal Hospital
- Laurelhurst Animal Hospital
- Salem Animal Hospital
- West Linn Animal Hospital
- Banfield Pet Hospital in Bend
Salaries for Vet Technicians in Oregon
Salaries in Oregon may be modest now, but that won’t be the case in the future.
Vet technicians are slowly becoming in demand.
In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a 15% employment growth from 2020 to 2030.
This means that the job prospects look bright, with more competitive salary offers.
Here are the current average annual salaries in Oregon.
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Becoming a vet technician requires a set of knowledge and skills to have a successful career.
Plus, the more enhanced and polished these are, the more capable you will be in providing quality vet care services.
Not to mention the trust the vet and the rest of the vet team will place on you.
It’s by no means an easy job, but this doesn’t erase the feeling of fulfillment you get in every animal you see get back in health.