How To Become A Vet Tech In Virginia?
The job outlook for vet techs, both in the state of Virginia and throughout the United States, is excellent and it is expected to improve even further in the near future. If you want to transition into a career in veterinary medicine, or if you are just starting out, then it is important to know that the first step you need to take in this direction is to successfully complete a two-year course of study in veterinary medicine, offered by a Virginia school that specializes in the field, and that has been reviewed and accredited by the AVMA, or the American Veterinary Medical Association.
For enrollment, all applicants must send transcripts from their school, along with their high school diploma or their GED. Students must also take the VTNE exam, or their Veterinary Technician National Exam, and have a score of at least 425 in order to work as vet techs in the state of Virginia.
Vet Tech Schools In Virginia
Virginia has a number of good vet tech schools that have been accredited by the AVMA, as only by graduated from an AVMA-accredited school students will be able to sit for an exam in order to pursue further licensure and work as veterinary technicians in the state. With that in mind, there is the AVMA-approved Blue Ridge community college that is widely known for offering vet tech training programs in the area, and it is actually one of the most appreciated schools of its kind. At the end of the 24 month training program, students will be awarded an Associate’s Degree of Applied Science. The Blue Ridge college offers both on-campus training lessons and long-distance training, for those who are not able to be physically present there.
In addition to this, the community college of Northern Virginia is yet another great school that offers advanced veterinary technician training, and that has also managed to obtain full accreditation from the AVMA. Those who enroll in the Northern Virginia Community College should expect to get a deep insight into everything related to veterinary medicine and all the adjacent fields a good technician must be aware of, ranging all the way from surgically assisting the veterinarian during surgery to client relations, animal nursing techniques and behavior science, the latter being crucial for understanding the animals.
Vet Tech Career Description
If you want to work in the state of Virginia as a veterinary technician, then it is important to be fully aware of the career description. The vet tech is responsible for receiving the animals, looking over their medical history and updating their file, interviewing the owners of the animals and then presenting the information to the veterinarian. These professionals work under the close supervision of a licensed and experienced veterinarian, and they often perform routine tasks such as collecting, processing and testing stool, blood and urine samples for ill animals.
Depending on the work environment and on the specialization of the veterinary technician, the vet tech can choose to work either exclusively with exotic animals and small pets, such as cats, dogs or mice, or he or she can take their career a mile further and work with livestock and other large animals, such as horses. These professionals can choose to improve their expertise and to work in various different fields, from biomedical study and wildlife medication to livestock supervision as well as pharmaceutical vending. It is also important for every veterinary technician to have the necessary physical strength to take care of the animals, to administer the oral and the topical medication prescribed by the veterinarian and then to even euthanize the animal patients that are seriously ill or injured beyond the point of recovery.
Salary and Career Info
The interactive chart above is a visual representation of the annual salary of Virginia 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 And Licensure For Vet Techs In Virginia
Vet techs in Virginia should get their license as soon as they graduate from the AVMA approved school. It is important for each vet tech to study and to be ready for the VTNE examination, which stands for the Veterinary Technician National Examination and which also happens to be the final exam for each vet tech, the one that can make or break your future career in the field. The final license will be granted by the VBVM, or the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine, and you will need to constantly renew your license in order to keep it active. The VBVM will offer you a notification one to two months prior to the date your license is set to expire, so that you will have enough time to prepare for another examination.