How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Texas

taking care of sick pets in texas

When it comes to the well-being 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.

You’re the kind of person who cares about animals and wants to help treat them.

Sadly, there’s not enough vet staff like vet technicians to cater to the rising demand for vet care.

That’s why Texas and other states are always on the lookout for capable newcomers.

So let’s learn together what it is you’ll need to do to become a vet technician in Texas.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Texas

Vet technicians assist vets, talk to and comfort pet owners, and most importantly, help treat animals.

In practice, you’ll be in charge of the following chores and tasks:

  • Providing treatment for routine problems
  • Recording temperature, pulse, and respiration
  • Assisting the vet with physical exams, surgeries, and other procedures
  • Preparing animals and equipment for surgery
  • Performing anesthesia
  • Collecting blood, urine, or stool samples
  • Processing laboratory tests
  • Developing radiographs and X-rays
  • Administering medications and vaccinations
  • Dressing wounds
  • Sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment
  • Monitoring animal conditions

Note, however, that you’ll also do the least pleasant tasks like cleaning after animals and performing euthanasia.

Now that you’re familiar with the general duties, let’s take a look at the steps you have to take 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.

First, you need to graduate from a vet technology program and earn an AAS in Veterinary Technology.

This program must be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.

Once you’ve graduated, take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) for your license.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in Texas

vet technician program in texas

Texas has two colleges offering accredited vet technology programs.

These are Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University.

We recommend that you inquire at each school for application requirements and other prerequisites.

However, generally, they’ll require at a minimum the following:

  • Grade C average or better in high school
  • Have completed basic science-related courses (e.g., biology, chemistry, math, etc.)

The courses are necessary fundamentals to understand the core subjects of the program, which are:

  • 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
  • Anesthesiology
  • Dentistry
  • Emergency and critical care

Aside from that, you can also choose a specialization.

Here are just some of your options:

  • Zoological and exotic animal medicine
  • Internal medicine
  • Dental technician
  • Equine medicine
  • Behavior modification
  • Emergency and critical care nursing
  • Surgery and anesthetist

These schools usually have their own labs where you can apply for internships.

Then you will venture into an out-of-campus internship that will take place during your final semester.

At this stage, you’re given the chance to work in an actual vet clinic supervised by a vet.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Tuition varies, depending on the school you’re going to in Texas.

But generally, it costs somewhere between $22,000 and $32,000.

This amount already includes the books, supplies, and other fees you might need.

For more detailed information, check out the school’s website or call them for inquiries.

As for financial aid, all the traditional types of financial aid are available to Texan students.

And this includes the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

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Licensing and Certification

Before you can work as a professional vet technician, you must take and pass the licensure exam.

Luckily, in Texas, you only have to take one.

That is, the VTNE administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Although you must keep in mind that you must’ve graduated from an accredited program to take this test.

If not, then you can’t take it.

The exam costs $300.

Also, it has over 150 questions, which can take three hours to finish.

If you pass, then you’ll be a registered vet technician.

Note that you must renew your license by completing 10 hours of continuing education annually.

Five of those 10 hours may be taken online.

Getting a Job in Texas

applying as a vet technician in texas

Well, you’ve made it this far; now, you only need to get your first job!

This shouldn’t be too hard as vet technicians are wanted by a growing number of vet facilities.

From animal hospitals to zoos and wildlife centers, your employment options are unlimited.

You can start your job seeking period with these potential employers:

  • Texas Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Centers of America – Texas Branches
    • Bedford Meadows Animal Hospital
    • Oso Creek Animal Hospital & Emergency Center
    • Lakewood Animal Hospital
    • Ben White Animal Hospital
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics located in:
    • Fort Worth PETCO
    • Arlington PETCO
    • Plano PETCO

Salaries for Vet Technicians in Texas

At the moment, vet technicians in Texas enjoy a modest paycheck compared to other similar occupations.

But this shouldn’t discourage you.

Instead, try looking at the growth this profession will experience in the coming years.

Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment level will rise to 15% by 2030.

So you can look forward to more job openings offering higher salaries in this decade.

Here are the current average salaries of vet technicians across Texas.

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Abilene,TX $27,039
Amarillo,TX $27,187
Arlington,TX $28,842
Austin,TX $29,203
Beaumont,TX $28,578
Brownsville,TX $26,120
Carrollton,TX $29,371
Corpus Christi,TX $27,436
Dallas,TX $29,450
Denton,TX $28,924
El Paso,TX $25,932
Fort Worth,TX $28,889
Frisco,TX $29,053
Galveston,TX $29,103
Garland,TX $29,387
Grand Prairie,TX $29,387
Harlingen,TX $25,987
Houston,TX $30,389
Irving,TX $29,450
Killeen,TX $26,666
Laredo,TX $26,230
Longview,TX $26,757
Lubbock,TX $25,815
Mcallen,TX $25,497
Mckinney,TX $29,213
Mesquite,TX $29,418
Midland,TX $25,577
Odessa,TX $25,577
Pasadena,TX $30,279
Plano,TX $29,323
Port Arthur,TX $28,026
Richardson,TX $29,387
Round Rock,TX $29,093
San Antonio,TX $28,877
Temple,TX $26,695
Waco,TX $26,639
Wichita Falls,TX $27,072

Regional Salary in Texas

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Abilene, TX80$32,420$15.59$45,530$22,980
Amarillo, TX150$30,540$14.68$37,080$23,250
Austin-Round Rock, TX1,530$34,620$16.65$45,290$27,480
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX150$32,590$15.67$42,640$23,970
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX100$33,520$16.12$56,140$22,640
College Station-Bryan, TX170$31,010$14.91$42,790$22,610
Corpus Christi, TX150$31,370$15.08$39,190$22,910
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX3,660$34,630$16.65$44,940$27,350
El Paso, TX210$30,560$14.69$39,440$22,320
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX3,070$34,020$16.36$44,870$24,850
Killeen-Temple, TX160$31,180$14.99$37,400$23,270
Laredo, TX50$35,620$17.12$61,320$22,370
Longview, TX120$31,480$15.13$38,830$22,940
Lubbock, TX180$31,310$15.06$37,650$22,630
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX170$31,110$14.96$43,510$22,090
San Angelo, TX50$30,320$14.58$36,870$22,950
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX1,310$33,290$16.01$44,830$23,930
Texarkana, TX-AR40$30,050$14.45$37,020$23,360
Tyler, TX110$30,240$14.54$37,220$22,670
Waco, TX100$33,290$16.01$38,770$23,880
Wichita Falls, TX70$30,000$14.42$36,850$22,660
* 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 believe that a vet technician’s job is easy and not that demanding.

But we both know that simply isn’t true.

Having to take up a heavy workload just to treat animals and comfort pet owners makes this a respected and noble profession.

So if you’re up to the task of spending your working day doing this, then you’re more than qualified to be a vet technician in Texas.

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