How to Become a Veterinary Technician in West Virginia

animal care in west virginia

If you’re interested in becoming a vet professional, now is the time to get started in this career.

That’s because the vet field is growing, offering plenty of job opportunities to all.

One path you can consider is being a vet technician in West Virginia.

Read on to learn about this career and how to become one.

Job Description and Duties of a Vet Technician in West Virginia

A vet technician shoulders responsibilities that make them work closely with the vet.

They’re basically the nurses in the vet field!

Under the vet’s supervision, you will:

  • Assist the vet in clinical procedures, especially surgeries
  • Administer anesthesia
  • Deliver resuscitative oxygen procedures and drugs
  • Handle immunizations
  • Prepare patients for surgery and other examinations
  • Perform external suturing
  • Do euthanasia when necessary

Meanwhile, these are the tasks you can do independently:

  • Perform diagnostic imaging
  • Handle intravenous catheterization
  • Administer and apply medications and treatments
  • Monitor vitals such as cardiac and respiratory
  • Provide basic animal care and first aid
  • Collect specimens (blood, urine, or stool)
  • Conduct lab tests and diagnostics
  • Clean up the workstation pre– and post-exams

How to Become One

how to be a vet technician in west virginia

If you want to become a vet technician, you will first have to earn an associate’s degree in vet technology.

This means enrolling in an accredited vet technology program at any of these schools:

  • Carver Career and Technical Education Center and the BridgeValley Community and Technical College​
  • Mountwest Community & Technical College
  • Pierpont Community & Technical College

Then, when you graduate, you will take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

Passing it will make you a licensed vet technician in West Virginia.

Education Required for a Vet Technician in West Virginia

Vet colleges have different admission requirements, and they have a strict enrollment process.

Generally, though, all of them require you to, at a minimum, have:

  • A high school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Completed the prerequisite courses

In the program, you will learn vet courses that enable you to know important details about vet care.

Some of the subjects you’ll study include:

  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Animal care and management
  • Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Animal disease and treatment
  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Introductory zoology
  • Lab animal science
  • Principles of animal biology
  • Surgical nursing
  • Veterinary clinical pathology
  • Advanced topics in veterinary medicine
  • Medical terminology
  • Veterinary office procedures

Here you’ll gain substantial knowledge about the farm and nonfarm animals

And depending on your study preferences, you may also get to study and work with lab animals.

At the end of the course, you will intern at a local vet clinic under the vet’s supervision.

There, you’ll gain real-life experience with the usual works of a vet technician.

Also, you have the option to pursue a vet technician specialization or even an advanced degree.

Both will require additional schooling on your part.

Some of the areas you can become a specialist in are:

  • Equine medicine
  • Dental technician
  • Clinical pathology
  • Emergency and critical care nursing
  • Anesthetist
  • Behavior modification
  • Zoological and exotic animal medicine
  • Animal nutrition
  • Internal medicine
  • Clinical practice

Tuition and Financial Aid

Normally, you can expect to expense around $20,000 to $35,000 for the entire program.

Out-of-state students may have to pay twice or thrice this amount.

Add to this the costs for books, lab supplies, insurance, and general student fees.

For complete information about the tuition, please inquire from your chosen school.

If you need financial help, financial aid programs are being offered to those who qualify for it.

Most of these programs will consider you when you submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

Veterans or their dependents or family members can also avail education benefits.

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to learn what types of aid are best for you.

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Licensing and Certification

If you want to be a Registered Vet Technician in West Virginia, then you must pass the VTNE.

Regulated by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, this exam costs $300 and consists of 150 questions.

You need at least a 70% score in order to pass the exam.

Once you’ve obtained your license, you’re required to renew it every year by completing 8 continuing education hours.

At least four of those hours must be from a classroom or webinar scientific education approved by the state board.

Getting a Job in West Virginia

finding a vet technician job in west virginia

With education and license acquired, you can now start looking for a job.

You can work in any vet facility of your choice, from a private clinic to the academe.

To help you out, here’s a list of potential employers you might want to consider:

  • West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association
  • VCA Dudley Avenue Animal Hospital
  • West Virginia Pet Hospitals
    • Cheat Lake Animal Hospital
    • Town and Country Animal Hospital
    • Valley West Veterinary Hospital

Salaries for a Vet Technician in West Virginia

With the rapid development of the vet field, it’s no surprise that vet technicians are now in demand.

And this demand resulted in vet facilities competing for your attention so you can become part of their vet team.

One way they do this is by offering highly competitive salaries.

Here are the average annual salaries in some of the places in West Virginia:

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Charleston,WV $27,006
Huntington,WV $26,185
Morgantown,WV $28,954
Parkersburg,WV $26,328
Wheeling,WV $28,954

Regional Salary in West Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Charleston, WV70$33,640$16.18$47,340$22,880
Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH140$30,280$14.56$39,180$22,440
Wheeling, WV-OH50$34,580$16.63$47,840$23,460
* 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

Vet technicians help vets cure animals, giving them the proper treatment so they can get better.

You have heavy responsibilities that make you a significant member of the vet team.

That’s why you must invest in your skills and knowledge to become an excellent vet professional.

USA How to Become a Vet Tech by State