It’s a common occurrence that high school graduates want to continue their education, but just do not know what to study nor which path in life to choose.
If you’e found yourself in this situation, you happen to be fond of animals and are thinking of devoting your life to the noble goal of helping them, then you might consider the profession of a veterinary technician.
What’s more, you’ll have no problem finding your spot under the veterinary profession sky.
Recently people have been sucessfully raising public awareness of veterinary health care issues, which lead to the improvement and to many work possibilities for anyone wanting to help animals.
It’s true that there are many “downsides” to this job, but for a true animal lover, they are merely issues you’ll have to prepare yourself to.
Everything else can be categorized as sheer joy of helping those in need.
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Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in Vermont
Veterinary technicians are specifically trained and licensed to perform procedures on animals, of course, supervised by a licensed veterinarian.
This means they have their hands full during their work day.
They are the ones that look after the animals in clinics, animal hospitals, zoos and animal shelters, as soon as they’re admitted to the facilities.
Still, one of the most important aspects of being a vet technician is knowing how to talk to other animal lovers and pet owners and show that you understand them, most of all.
Apart from this, you’ll need to be able to spen many hours on your feet, assisting veterinarians with everything from the moment a pet walks into the clinic to the moment they walk out.
Your main duties may include the following tasks:
- handling of pets
- pharmacy and laboratory tasks
- diagnostic imaging
- legal issues
- veterinary computer programs
- hospital maintenance
- drawing blood and taking blood pressure
- processing laboratory tests including blood and urinalyses
- developing radiographs
- providing treatment for routine problems
- dressing wounds
- operating electrocardiographic equipment
…and many, many others.
How to Become One?
The best way to get going on your way to become a veterinary technician is with your education!
Although you don’t have to have any college education in order to work as a vet technician in some facilities, you should know that the serious clinics don’t offer jobs to those without proper education.
Education of a vet technician lasts two to three years, and after you graduate you will earn an Associate’s degree in Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.
In order to do that, you’ll have to attend a course accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
For Vermont, this means enrolling into the one college in this state that offers accredited programs for veterinary technicians.
After you graduate, you’ll be eligible to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination).
Only after you do all this, and pass the VTNE will you be able to work as a licensed veterinary technician in Vermont.
Education Required for a Vet Technician in Vermont
One of the fortunate things for you, as a future veterinary technology student, is that Vermont has as at least one college that offers an accredited program for veterinary technicians.
This means you won’t have to travel to another state in order to get your education.
What schools require as prerequisites varies widely, but, for example, a vast number of them requires a C average or better score in high school.
Most of them require you to take some general education courses like biology, chemistry, English, computer skills, communication, and math before you may actually start atteding the program.
As for the program once you start attending classes – the courses will be more science based and focus more on veterinary medicine.
Here are some of the subjects you’ll attend:
- animal nursing
- practice management and many other.
Of course, lab work will be incorporated in your program, so that you can get some practical knowledge of what you learn in theory.
Your last semester will be a chance for you to put that knowledge into practice, because it will mostly be an internship, where you will work under the supervision of a professional registered veterinarian.
You can also specialize in the following areas, if you’re intereted in working somewhere other than private clinics:
- 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 additional education, like a four-year veterinary technology degree, or a degree in a related area like animal science.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition for veterinary technology programs is mostly affordable, as is in most countries in America, while for out-of-state students, it can be up to two or three times higher than for in-state students.
Either way, you should visit your future school’s website for more detailed information on tuition.
As for financial aid, you can always apply to traditional financial aid benefits (like grants, scholarships, loans, veterans benefits) that are accessible to all college students across the country, starting with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
You also have the option of Veterans benefits. Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website for all the information.
Veterans benefits usually include programs for dependents and family members of a veteran.
Licensing and Certification
Becoming a certified veterinary technician in Vermont isn’t easy – here or elsewhere!
First, you’ll need to graduate from a program accredited by the the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities?
Here’s why: if the program you graduated from isn’t accredited, you can’t take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), which is an exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.
And you need this one in order to work as a licensed vet technician in Vermont.
It’s an exam that takes three hours to complete, has 150 questions and in Vermont costs $130, so come prepared!
After you pass the VTNE exam, you’ll be certified as a vet technician in Vermont!
In order to keep your license current, the Vermont Veterinary Technician Association requires you complete 18 hours of continuing education every 2 years including 18 hours of Online Continuing Education Courses.
Getting a Job in Vermont
After you finish all your additional exams, your next step is finding a job, and this is your last step before you start your career.
Luckily for you, this isn’t too hard for veterinary technicians, since there are so many facilities and hospitals that are always looking for new veterinary hopefuls that know what they’re doing.
Here are some of the potential employers waiting for you in Vermont:
- VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
- Vermont Animal Hospitals
- Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center
- Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists
- Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic
- Peak Veterinary Referral Center
Salaries for Vet Technicians in Vermont
For those starting out as vet technicians it might seem, especially at the beginning, that their salaries are not satisfying, but there’s good news in your future.
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, so your job prospects are bright!
Here are current average salaries of vet technicians in Vermont.
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As a vet technician, don’t be discourage by the fact that people only perceive the less important duties of a your job, like administrative work, answering phone calls and meeting and greeting the patient and their owner.
Also, if you’re having doubts and questions about the nature of this job, you too need to know that being a vet technician is not only that.
A wide range of your responsibilities and duties includes all the difficulties that you will have to face, regarding both the animal and even more their concerned owners.
So, if you look at this job from all sides, you’ll see that by no means is this an easy job. But if and when you do become a vet technician, you’ll see that it’s as fulfilling as it gets.