A veterinary technician is a trained assistant whose job is to take care of animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. As a vet tech working in Colorado, you’re expected to be responsible for the following duties:
- Providing assistance to the veterinarian before and after surgical procedures
- Keeping an eye on the animals under the veterinarian’s care and informing him or her of any changes in their conditions
- Administering drugs to the sick and injured animals under the directions of the veterinarian
- Conducting a physical examination on the animals and passing relevant information that will be used by a veterinarian when treating the animal.
- Conducting interview sessions with animal owners with the aim of getting the most accurate information about the animal’s disease or sickness
- Supervising other personnel at the veterinarian’s direction
In addition to the above duties, you’re also expected to clean the animal’s teeth and evaluate various types of medical tests particularly if you’re a specialized vet tech.
How do You Become a Vet Tech in Colorado?
The journey to becoming a certified vet tech starts by enrolling in various vet tech schools in Colorado either for an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree program. It is imperative that you attend a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to ensure that the program you choose to take is accepted by the credentialing authorities. Also, it becomes easier getting employed when you’ve graduated from an accredited veterinary technician school.
Colorado Vet Tech Schools
Some of the veterinary schools in Colorado where you can enroll for vet tech classes include:
Nestled in Colorado Springs, the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology (CAVT), is accredited by the United States Department of Education, the American Veterinary Medical Association and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education.
The college offers an associate’s degree program which is completed in two years. The school also provides a hands-on learning experience to ensure that each student learns skills that will give him or her a competitive edge upon graduation.
Here, the learning programs are geared towards preparing the students for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Students are also taught how to become all rounded vet techs who can offer a high level of professional competency.
The Colorado Mountain College has a reputation of churning out highly trained vet techs. The school is also accredited by the AVMA and offers associate’s degree programs. Their 220 acre farm located at the Springs Valley Campus has facilities that ensures students gain practical experience with both small and large clinical animals in a veterinary setting.
The CMC has won a number of awards including the coveted Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence making it one of the best vet tech schools in Colorado.
At Front Range Community College, students are taught how handle a variety of animals including household pets, exotic animal and birds, as well as lab animals. Their vet tech degree program covers topics such as parasitology, surgical nursing, anesthesia, physiology, anatomy and pharmacology. Once you have passed the VTNE exam, you can apply to become a certified vet tech in Colorado.
The school also offers vet tech certificates on basic laboratory in addition to hands-on learning experience.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Colorado 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.
Certification for Vet Tech in Colorado
Before you become a certified vet tech in Colorado, you must pass the Veterinary Technical National Exam. The exam seeks to evaluate a vet tech’s practical and education proficiency. You must pass with a minimum score of 425 to become a certified vet in Colorado.
Once you have passed the VTNE exam, you must apply for an operating license from the Colorado Association of Veterinarian Technicians (CACVT). You must also present a proof of graduation and qualification to the VTNE . You then pay a fee to the CACVT, and you can now practice as a vet tech.
Renewing the Vet Tech Certification
Vet techs in Colorado are required to renew their certification after every two years. They must also pay a fee to the CACVT and take at least 20 hours of continuing education. In addition, they should ensure that any continuing education is acceptable and verified by the CACVT before the renewal date.
Working as a vet tech in Colorado can be a brilliant career opportunity. However, you need to graduate from accredited vet tech schools in Colorado to enjoy the many benefits that come with this career.