Students with keen interest in veterinary and love animals may pursue a career in vet tech. It is a rewarding and exciting job with a positive market outlook. Such students must attend vet tech schools where they are trained how to work with animals and take care of them. The career is fun and everyday offers something new.
How to become a vet tech in Kentucky
Becoming a vet tech in Kentucky requires one to attend a vet tech program approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Prospects students should take courses in mathematics, biology and chemistry in high school. These courses act as useful prerequisites as they form the basis for what will be covered during the training.
Training – There are several accredited schools and institutes that offer vet tech training programs in Kentucky. A two year vet tech training program earns a student an associate’s degree, which is the minimum certification and licensing requirement in Kentucky. Students are trained in veterinary anatomy, physiology, animal nursing, handling diseases and nutrition. They also do courses related to office practices, surgical techniques, radiography and lab techniques.
The role of a vet tech depends on the employer, level of education and the industry.
Veterinary technicians perform a wide range of tasks which are usually delegated by a veterinarian. They can draw blood, take specimens from the animal, prepare them for examination, dispense medication and advice animal owners among other skilled assignments. Some veterinary technicians may utilize electronic health software packages to record patient history and feed it into a computer.
Career opportunities in Kentucky
The Bureau Labor Statistic estimates that the statewide annual salary is $26,770. Some regions such as Lexington, South Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area had salaries higher than the average, while other such as West Central and West Kentucky nonmetropolitan had the least salaries.
Inexperienced technicians tend to work at low-paying jobs before getting the basic experience which is required by most employers. Vet techs with associate’s degree usually work in animal hospitals and clinics while those with a bachelor’s degree may be employed in animal drug and feed makers, sample-analysis labs, diagnostic labs and biomedical research facilities.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Kentucky 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.
Veterinary technicians get certified in Kentucky after attending an approved vet tech program and passing the American Veterinary Medical Association. The vet tech program must be approved by the AVMA. Students who pass the VTNE test are then required to begin employment with the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners. The job is usually done under direct supervision of a registered veterinarian in Kentucky. Kentucky laws need vet techs to have good moral character. Consumption of illegal substances, crime guilty and working under the influence of alcohol may put your certification at risk.
Vet tech schools in Kentucky
There are many veterinary schools in Kentucky that offer both bachelors and associates degree in veterinary technology. Most of them are located in large cities such as Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort. The AVMA has approved three schools in Kentucky, although prospect vet techs from Kentucky can enroll in distance learning programs in approved schools outside Kentucky. The schools include;
- Murray State University– It is located in Kentucky State. It offers a 4-year bachelors degree program in veterinary technology. It is situated at the Animal Health Technology Center where students are trained in health care for swine, exotics, sheep, beef, horses, lab animals, cats and dogs. It mainly focuses on research and diagnostic techniques for both small and large animals.
- Morehead State University– It is located in Morehead, Kentucky. The Department of Agricultural Sciences offers both bachelors and associates degree. Students undertaking veterinary technology programs develop skills and take courses that improve their understanding of various animal nursing and care techniques. Clinical animal training is carried on actual patients and completed at the Derrickson Agricultural Complex, Equine Education and Health Center and MSU Vet Tech Small Animal Teaching Hospital.
- Brown Mackie College– It offers a veterinary associates degree in Louisville. Students cover various competencies that include training in basic office procedures and nursing skills. There is a wide range of topics that include medical imaging, administration of anesthesia, lab procedures, pre-operative and post-operative care, drug administration, grooming, examination of animals, animal behavior and safety.