It has become increasingly difficult for an individual to get a dependable and well-paying job due to the existing economic climate. However, by becoming a veterinary technician, you have an excellent opportunity of launching into a secure and well-paying career. Being a vet tech can be your first job or a transition from a different sector of employment.
There are numerous job opportunities for veterinary technicians in the State of North Carolina. Some of these opportunities are available in local veterinary clinics while others are in large scale farming businesses. As a vet tech, you will get a rewarding and secure career, whether by taking care of farm animals or pets. In the recent past, there has been increasing need to offer world-class medical care to animals and pets. Most people consider animal companions and pets as important members of the family who deserve good medical care and attention. For this reason, there is increased demand for vet techs in North Carolina.
How to become a Vet Tech in North Carolina
Prospective vet techs in NC are required to complete a four or two year program at an institution accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). The AVMA has the sole mandate of ensuring that all accredited vet programs are up to date and they meet the set standards of quality. Once a candidate has graduated from a vet tech course, he/she is required to take and pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination). This exam is administered by the AVMA to test the candidate’s understanding, knowledge and proficiency in veterinary science.
After competing and passing the VTNE, prospective vet techs in NC must sit for the Veterinary Technician State Exam administered by the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board. To qualify to be a vet tech in NC, a candidate must score at least 70. This examination focuses mainly on the candidate’s understanding of laws in NC and how they influence his/her duties as a vet tech.
Vet Tech Schools in North Carolina
When searching for vet schools in North Carolina, prospective students should ensure they choose a school accredited by the AVMA. Only students who graduate from accredited vet schools can take both the state and national exam. Some of the accredited vet tech schools in North Carolina include:
- Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College – This vet tech school offers an associate degree in applied science. Students take several courses including animal nutrition, animal husbandry and breeds, veterinary diseases, veterinary lab techniques, large animals and veterinary pharmacology.
- Central Carolina Community College – The school offers an associate degree in applied science and the students learn animal anatomy, animal breeds, animal care, sample collection as well as veterinary terminology.
- Gaston College – Based in Dallas, Gaston College offers an associate degree in applied science. Coursework at the college includes animal anatomy, small and large animal species, specimen collection and preparation of animals and vet equipment.
- Animal Behavior College – This school offers affordable and hands-on vet tech training. Grooming Instruction, Veterinary Assistant and Certified Dog Trainer Instructor Course are some of the programs at the school.
- Penn Foster School -This institution offers a Veterinary Assistant course.
A vet tech course prepares a student for several roles including:
- Administering drugs to animals by using the appropriate technique. The vet tech should also be in a position to explain to the animal owner the best way to administer medication to an animal.
- Collecting, preparing and storing biological samples using the most effective and safest techniques.
- Stabilizing and administering first aid to animals with critical injuries.
- Assisting the veterinarian in preparing animals for surgery. A vet tech helps the veterinarian before, during and after surgery. The vet tech can assist by preparing tools or the surgical area or by preparing the animal for surgery.
- Examining the animal and recording vital information for use by the veterinarian
- Restraining frightened, injured or ill animals so as to protect the individuals in the clinic. While restraining the animal, the vet tech should handle it in a way that does not compromise its comfort.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of North Carolina 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.
After graduating from a vet school and passing the relevant exams, a student can obtain a license that allows him/her to practice in North Carolina. To be licensed and certified, the vet tech must:
- Provide proof of graduation from an accredited vet tech school
- Provide the scores for the necessary tests
- Pay licensing fee