When it comes to the wellbeing of animals, there are two types of people: those that don’t care about this topic all that much, and those that passionately do.
If you fall under the second category, you have the first prerequisite for being a potential vet technician.
If you’re the kind of person that cares about animals and is interested about helping them in general, you should definitely consider a career as a veterinary technician.
Surprisingly enough, the number of people interested in veterinary science and medicine is lower than the amount of work in veterinary clinics and hospitals, and so there’s always work for those who want to learn and help.
So, if you’ve opted for a career in veterinary profession, you won’t have difficulties finding a job, but let’s see what it is you’ll need to do to become one first.
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Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Texas
Veterinary technicians in Texas (and anywhere else for that matter) are in charge of helping the veterinarian constantly, of making the pet owners feel welcome and understood and finally, and most impotantly, of helping the animals as much as is within your power.
This, in practice, means that as a vet tech, you’ll be in charge of the following chores and tasks:
- providing treatment for routine problems
- recording temperature, pulse and respiration
- assisting the veterinarian with physical exams
- preparing animals and equipment for surgery
- assisting with surgeries and other medical procedures
- performing anesthesia
- collecting blood, urine or stool samples
- processing laboratory tests
- developing radiographs and x-rays
- administration of medications
- dressing wounds
- sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment
- vaccinating animals
- observing the habits and condition of animals
Them there are the least pleasant tasks of cleaning after the animals and performing euthanasia.
Now that you’re familiar with your general duties as a vet technician, let’s take a look at the particular steps you have to take in order to become one.
How to Become One?
To make it easier for you, we’ll list in order all of the steps to become a vet technician in Texas.
If you plan on becoming a vet technician in Texas, you will have to graduate at an accredited vet technology program and earn an Associates’ of Applied Science degree in Veterinary Technology.
If you want to work as a licensed and registered veterinary technician, you’ll have to attend a veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
Texas has as many as ten colleges that have accredited veterinary technology programs.
Once you’ve graduated, you’ll have to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), an exam required in order to become a licensed Texas veterinary technician.
Education Required for a Vet Technician in Texas
When it comes to requirements before applying into the mentioned schools that offer accredited programs for vet technicians, you should know that every school has its own prerequisites that you’ll have to complete before you enroll.
Because Texas has so many schools, they vary greatly in terms of those prerequisites and you’ll have to get informed about the particular prerequisites for the college you want to go to.
Generally speaking, most of them require a C average or better in high school and many of them require attending some basic courses after high school like biology, chemistry, English and math before you begin with your core subjects.
As far as the core subjects go, they’ll be more science-focused like the following, which are offered in most programs regardless of the particular college you attend:
- Biology and Chemistry
- Clinical Procedures
- Laboratory Animal Science
- Surgical Procedures
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Large and Small Animal Medicine
- Veterinary Hospital Management
- Animal Nutrition
- Animal Disease and Pathology
- Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Veterinary Imaging
- Emergency and Critical Care
Most of these colleges have their own labs where you can learn what an internship is, while working under your supervisors.
You can also choose what you want to specialize in, and here are just some of your options:
- Zoological and Exotic Animal Medicine
- Internal Medicine
- Dental Technician
- Equine Medicine
- Behavior Modification
- American Association of Zoo Keepers
- Emergency and critical care nursing
- Surgery and Anesthetist
Then you will venture into an out-of-campus internship that will take place during your final semester, which means you’ll have to work in an actual veterinary clinic, supervised by a veterinarian.
This is where you’ll put all your theoretical knowledge into practice.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition also varies greatly depending on the school you’re going to, but generally speaking, it costs somewhere between of $22,000 and $32,000 – all this including books, fees, and supplies.
You should really check the website of the college you’re thinking of enrolling into for more detailed information about the tuition.
As for financial aid, all the traditional types of financial aid that are available to students across America are also available to students in Texas, and you can start with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Licensing and Certification
When you’re done educating yourself, you’re still not done with exams!
Here are several next steps you have to take before you’re done:
It is necessary that you’ve graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program, because if your program isn’t accredited – you can’t take this test.
Don’t expect a piece-of-cake exam, because it takes three hours to complete it, it has over 150 questions and costs 300$.
Luckily for you, this will be the end of your exams, and you will be eligible to start working as a registered veterinary technician.
Now, your only remaining job will be to renew your license regularly by completing 10 hours of continuing education annually, 5 hours of which may be taken online.
Getting a Job in Texas
Well, you’ve made it this far! Now you only need to get your first job!
This shouldn’t be too complicated or difficult because veterinary technicians, and generally, workers in animal welfare are wanted by a growing number of animal hospitals, private clinics, zoos and animal shelters.
Here’s where you can find a job as a veterinary technician in Texas:
- VCA (Veterinary Centers of America).
- Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
- Fort Worth PETCO
- Arlington PETCO
- Plano PETCO
Salaries for Vet Technicians in Texas
Though at the beginning you may not be satisfied with the paycheck you get at the end of a long day, try looking at it this way: there’s a bright future for you as a vet technician in Texas, even though it doesn’t look that way at the beginning.
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.
Here are current average salaries of vet technicians across Texas.
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
It is important to raise public awareness about the importance of a vet technician’s job, because people far and wide believe that this job is easy and not demanding at all.
If you were to sit and watch just one working day of a veterinary technician, and see the amount of daily tasks and responsibilities they have, as well as the difficulties they face each day, you would understand how important, involved and invested they are in a pet’s wellbeing.
This is why all future veterinary technicians should know that this profession is not only noble, but also very important.