Veterinary technicians, or vet techs, assist a veterinarian with many different tasks around a clinic. A veterinary technician is the equivalent of a nurse. He/she does patient care, testing, equipment management, and clean up. Vet techs go through either a four year or a two year training program. There are a number of accredited schools in Missouri that offer credited training to become a veterinary technician. Missouri requires vet techs to pass Missouri State Exam and a Veterinary Technician National Exam.
How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Missouri
In order to become a vet tech in Missouri, the first step is to earn a GED or a high school diploma. The next step is to complete a Missouri veterinary technician program that leads to a college/university degree in vet tech or a post high school course in the treatment and care of animals that’s approved by AVMA (The American Veterinary Medical Association). Once you have completed one of these educational requirements, you will be required to sit for two competency examinations, the Missouri State Board Exam and the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Both exams are given once every year and students are only allowed four (4) attempts at passing. Additional attempts are not allowed after the fourth attempt.
What does a Missouri veterinary technician do?
Vet techs are important to ensuring that animal patients at hospitals, clinics, zoos and rescue shelters receive the best possible medical care and attention.
In order to take care for injured or sick animals properly, every veterinarian needs the best available veterinary technician to keep operations running efficiently. As a Missouri vet tech, you will play a big role in administering care to all types of animals in need.
If you choose to become a Missouri veterinary technician, the kinds of tasks you perform on a day to day basis will depend on the kind of facility you work in, however, you will always be helping veterinarian in caring for animal patients. General duties will include:
- Collecting and maintaining patient records
- Taking and developing x-rays
- Giving animals first aid or nursing care
- Observing animal patients for changes in behavior
- Giving medications, treatments, or shots
- Collecting and test lab samples
- Preparing animals for exams as well as surgery
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Missouri 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.
Missouri Vet Tech Certification
Licensing of veterinary technicians in Missouri is mandatory. Candidates must successful complete the State approved training program and pass the required exams. Veterinary technicians who wish to work in research settings can pursue specialty certification through AALAS (The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science). Salaries for certified Missouri veterinary technicians range between 20, 000 dollars to 28,000 dollars.
Vet Tech Schools in Missouri
The state of Missouri has a large number of colleges that offer veterinary technician programs. Students are always advised to choose a college that is accredited with American veterinary Medical Association. This ensures that the college provides quality education and that students should be prepared to enter the veterinary technician field following graduation.
Jefferson Veterinary College offers an associate of applied technology in vet tech, a two year degree program accredited by the AVMA (The American Veterinary Medical Association. The main aim of this program is twofold: it provides the hands on training needed to become a vet tech, and teaches the theory of science and animals health. This is a limited course with only thirty six (36) students accepted for each academic year.
Crowder veterinary college offers an associate degree in applied science for veterinary technology. This is a 79 credit program that takes two-years to complete. This veterinary college has a unique environment for its pre-vet and vet tech programs. There are several corrals and barns, a dog kennel, a small animal kennel and 300 acres of farm land. There are several different kinds of animals right on campus, from large farm animals to small pets. The agricultural science center offers much of the apparatus used in the veterinary technician career. It’s also vital to note that this is a limited program that admits only 16 students for each school year.
The metropolitan college offers an associate degree in applied science in veterinary technology after the completion of a two year program. In order to allow for animal related employment while taking classes, the program offers four days classes per week. This veterinary technician program has been approved since 1975 by AWMA (The American Veterinary Medical Association).