Veterinary medicine has become a popular industry to work in over the recent years. This is because people are more interested in ensuring that their pets as well as livestock receive the best care possible. Any well-trained and experienced veterinary professional is therefore likely to find a job within the veterinary industry.
You can begin your career in the veterinary medical field by becoming a veterinary technician. When you become a vet tech, you will be able to assist a veterinary doctor or a team of doctors of that nature. You will be responsible for helping to dispense care and treatment to the animals.
How to become a vet tech in Florida
While Florida vet techs need to be licensed, they are not obligated to get a certification of any kind at this point. However, major industry stakeholders are working to change all that and make certification compulsory.
You should visit the vet tech schools in Florida and enroll in the vet tech program. However, you cannot afford to enroll in any institution. The school you decide to study in must have accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Only then can you be sure that the veterinary technician education you receive is of the highest quality possible.
The main programs usually offer a two-year study associate degree in applied science. You can also opt for a four-year course that enables you to get a bachelor’s degree.
Once you are through with the vet tech program, you need to consider taking an exam courtesy of Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA). The state exam is known as the Florida Practical Exam (FPE) and is offered twice a year. Without taking this exam, you cannot be licensed to work as a veterinary technician in Florida. Ensure that you pass the exam with at least 70%.
You will also need to take the national examination within or outside Florida. This exam is known as the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which is given courtesy of the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. The results, which must be at least 425 must then be submitted to the Florida Veterinary Medical Association before you get your certification.
When you fulfill all the above steps, congratulations! You can now work as a vet tech if you complete 15 hours of continuing education every two years. This ensures that your veterinary technician skills remain current.
Career Description of a Vet Tech in Florida
When you become a vet tech in Florida, you will have a number of roles and responsibilities. All of them are aimed at enabling you to assist veterinary doctors at your work place.
Some of the things you will be expected to do include:
- You can help in caring for the animals brought for treatment.
- You will also be able to examine animals in order to make a diagnosis.
- You will be able to administer medications under the supervision or with the approval of your veterinary doctor.
- You can assist in the treatment of animals that have been brought in. You may also assist in surgeries.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Florida 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 techs in Florida
The most important certifications in the state of Florida for vet techs have been mentioned previously. These include the certifications that come after you take the:
- Florida Practical Exam, which is a state exam
- Veterinary Technician National Exam, which is a nationwide exam
You will also need to take Continuing Education (CE) certifications every two years if you want to retain your vet tech license in Florida. The Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine must approve the CE if it is to be valid.
State Vet Tech Schools in Florida
A number of colleges in Florida offer programs that will allow you to become a vet tech after graduation.
The state schools for vet techs are:
- Miami Dade
- St. Petersburg College
- Eastern Florida State College, previously known as Brevard Community College
The above colleges are the best options because they are all AVMA certified. You can therefore be able to take the VTNE when you graduate from them.
With vet tech schools in Florida offering you the chance to become a veterinary technician, you will be able to achieve your dreams of being one. Since the demand for veterinary medicine services is on an upward trend, getting jobs is going to be much easier as time goes by.