Becoming a vet tech in Maryland is the ideal job if you enjoy working with animals. Providing a good salary and job satisfaction, veterinary technicians meet plenty of new people in this rewarding job, and provide assistance to animals who are injured or have become unwell. Here are some tips on how to become a vet tech in Maryland, including the steps you can take to improve your chances of securing a job in this field.
How to become a vet tech in Maryland
You will usually need to attend at least two years of college and then pass an examination before you can qualify as a vet tech in Maryland. However, this will depend on the type of vet tech that you want to be. Some vet techs have at least four years of college before they qualify, so you will want to choose a vet tech school that specializes in the type of work that you are looking for. Bachelor and associate degrees are both offered at colleges in the state, and you can combine your studies with a working scheme or internship with a local veterinary practice or animal hospital. Although these internships are not always paid, you will provided with “hands on” experience that you can take with you in your future career.
A vet tech will usually assist a veterinarian in his or her duties in a veterinary surgery. Job duties include giving shots to animals in distress, and administrating medication. You will have to use relevant equipment vital to this position such as x-ray machines, and this specialized job will require several years of experience and training before you can work in an operational capacity. Working as a vet tech is a varied job, and you may find that no two days are the same. You will communicate with the general public, and work with a wide range of different animals and breeds. When you have completed your studies, you may want to specialize in equine medicine, animal dentistry, critical care, internal medicine, or anesthesia.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Maryland veterinary technicians compared to the national annual salaries, all based on the latest May 2013 Occupational Employment Statistics figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
You will have to secure the relevant qualifications if you want to become a vet tech in Maryland. The Veterinary Technician National Exam – a four-hour exam that will test you on you have learned at vet school – will need to be completed before you qualify. The exam covers topics such as surgical preparation, pharmacology, surgical procedures, and animal nursing. This exam will enable you to work in a veterinary surgery in Maryland, or at an animal hospital anywhere in the United States. Once you have completed this exam, you can gain real-world knowledge by undertaking an internship at a local veterinary practice or animal hospital. However, many vet schools in Maryland will encourage you to undertake an internship with a local practice whilst studying for your qualification.
Maryland vet tech schools
There are several vet tech schools in Maryland. Opened in 1978, the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has three campuses in Leesburg, Blackburg and College Park. One of 28 vet colleges in the United States, the VMRCVM is overseen by the University of Maryland and Virginia Tech. The college offers both graduate and post graduate training, and specializes in small animal science, large animal science, pathobiology, and biomedical sciences. The Community College of Baltimore County also offers courses in vet technology, and graduates of the course will earn an AAS degree. Alumni from the program have gone onto have careers in corporate medicine, zoology, veterinary clinics, and private industries. The course will teach students how to provide assistance during an operation, how to communicate with pet owners, and how to administer medication. The University of Maryland, College Park, offers a pre-vet program to undergraduate students, as well as evening classes. Admission to the program will require you securing a good score on the college’s aptitude test.
In addition to these vet schools in the state, NAVTA, or the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, allows individuals to progress in their career whilst still achieving academic credit. Becoming a member of this organization will allow you to network with leaders in the field, and meet people who want to embark on a similar career to you.