Veterinary technology is a good career choice for people who love animals. Prospects vet technicians in Montana should pursue their dream wholeheartedly since the job is quite rewarding and fun. Moreover, there is high demand for professionals in this field as well as many schools offering training programs.
What it takes to be a vet-tech in Montana
The State of Montana requires one to have at least an associate’s degree in vet tech in order to start working. This implies that one must undertake a bachelor’s or associate’s degree program from a vet school accredited by the AVMA.
Various schools have different requirement for enrollment. The most common requirements include GED or high school diploma, GED or high school transcripts, SAT or ACT score, submission of the admissions letter, rabies vaccine college placement tests and first year orientation.
In addition to the above requirements, there are some general education requirements which are necessary when taking a program the field of veterinary medicine. Some of these requirements may be listed in the placement tests while others may be included in the GED or high school transcripts. The requirements include general microbiology, fundamental of speech, politics or history, computer applications, chemistry in health sciences, English composition, general biology and intermediate algebra.
Students who satisfy all the requirements are enrolled in a vet tech program that can either take two or four years. The programs take place in both classroom and laboratory or clinical settings. Students must also complete an externship or internship before graduation. The students are taught and trained on different courses that include animal science, laboratory animal technology, farm animal health, electronic and radiology procedures, veterinary technology clinical experience, clinical pathology, animal care and sanitation, veterinary anatomy, vet hospital technology, companion animal technology and an introduction to vet science.
Students who complete vet tech programs earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in animal science. Graduates are required to pass the VTNE, in order to get certified and start working as veterinary technicians in Montana. They have only 5 opportunities to take the VTNE. Those who fail the VTNE for the fifth try are required to seek permission from the AAVSB.
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Vet-tech schools in Montana
Prospects veterinary technicians in Montana may feel disappointed since the state of Montana has no traditional veterinary technology schools. All hope is however not lost since there are many online schools that accept students from Montana. In addition, there are state schools that offer pre-vet program that prepares students for admittance into vet school in neighboring states.
The online schools have distant learning programs that combine both lab and class work. Theory courses are taught online while lab sessions are carried out at various schools to give students practical skills. There is also a compulsory internship at the end of the course where students are supervised by qualified veterinarians to get the necessary on-the job training, skills and experience.
Prospects veterinary technicians in Montana can enroll in the following online veterinary schools, St. Petersburg College, Northern Virginia Community College, Cedar Valley College, Purdue University, Penn Foster College, Animal Behavior College, Kaplan University and Ashworth College.
Veterinary technicians perform various duties depending on the nature of vet practice they are working in and the level of experience. Some of the common tasks performed by veterinary technicians include:
- Interviewing pet animal owners to get critical information for the veterinarian
- Assisting the veterinarian in surgical procedures- This includes preparing animals for surgical procedures, providing the surgical tools and monitoring the recovery of the animal.
- Providing initial emergency care to critically injured animals to stabilize them
- Supervising other employees such as volunteers, clerical workers and veterinary aides
- Administering the medication prescribed by the veterinarian- This includes reporting to the veterinarian how the drugs are working
- Doing Clerical jobs- The vet tech may do carry out some clerical tasks such as recording and updating the patient history of the animals they have treated.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Montana 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.
The state laws of Montana don’t require vet techs to be certified to start practicing. Nevertheless the Montana Big-Sky Veterinary Technician Association provides certification to vet techs working in Montana. Graduates who pass the VTNE exam with an acceptable score can apply for veterinary technology certification in Montana. This implies that the certification requires one to have completed an approved veterinary technology program with a given pass mark on the VTNE.