So, you want to become a licensed vet tech? Here’s what you need to know. First and foremost, you’ll need to complete a formal education program at an accredited institution.
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In order to become a licensed veterinary technician, you must complete a veterinary technician program and pass a state-administered exam. Although certification is not required, it may give you an edge when seeking employment. Licensed veterinary technicians often work alongside veterinarians in animal hospitals and clinics, providing nursing care and performing diagnostic tests and clinical procedures.
The Educational Path
The educational path to becoming a licensed vet tech typically starts with the completion of a 2-year associate’s degree from an accredited community college or technical school. Some students choose to complete a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, but this is not required for licensure in most states. Once you have completed your coursework, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become a licensed vet tech.
The Certification Process
There are several steps you must take to become a licensed veterinary technician (LVT). First, you must complete an accredited veterinary technology program. After you graduate, you must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have passed the VTNE, you will be eligible to apply for state licensure.
The certification process begins with completing an accredited veterinary technology program. There are many different schools across the country that offer accredited programs, so it is important to do your research to find the best fit for you. Once you have enrolled in an accredited program, you will need to complete all required coursework and clinical rotations. Upon completion of your program, you will be eligible to take the VTNE.
The VTNE is a 3-hour, computer-based exam that consists of 170 multiple-choice questions. The exam covers a range of topics, including animal nursing, pharmacology, medical calculations, surgical nursing, anesthesia, imaging techniques, diagnostic procedures and more. To help prepare for the VTNE, many students choose to use review courses and study guides.
Once you have passed the VTNE, you will need to apply for state licensure through the Board of Veterinary Medicine in the state in which you plan to work. Each state has different licensure requirements, so it is important to check with your state board for specific requirements. In most states, licensure requires passing a jurisprudence exam and completing a certain amount of continuing education credits every year.
After completing these steps, you will be a licensed veterinary technician and can begin your career working with animals!
The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) administers the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). The VTNE is a computer-based test that consists of 200 multiple-choice questions. The test covers the following content areas:
-English and communications (20 questions)
-Anatomy and physiology (44 questions)
-Animal nursing (43 questions)
-Laboratory procedures (39 questions)
-Pharmacology and pharmacy (54 questions)
You can register for the VTNE online at the AAVSB website. The registration fee is $350, and you will need to create an account with the AAVSB before you can register.
Maintaining Your License
You must renew your credential every two years and complete at least 20 hours of continuing education (CE) during each renewal period. The majority of states recognize licenses from other states, so you may not have to retake the certification exam if you move. To find out about specific state requirements, contact the state veterinary board where you wish to practice.
The Future of Veterinary Technology
In May 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released data showing that there were 83,300 vet techs employed in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom population ages, there will be an increase in demand for veterinary services. In addition, better public awareness of the importance of preventive medical care for pets should result in increased demand for veterinary services.