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What is the best training for becoming a hirable veterinary technician? What types of ongoing training or certifications are necessary to be an effective veterinary technician?

What do non-traditional career paths look like?

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Barry in Bellwood, Pennsylvania

95 months ago

all the kings horses and all the kings men can't help you get ahead,unless you are willing to go that extra mile.

don't talk how good you are, just do it! without complaning or patting yourself on the back.

I've been doing it for 16yrs and after all this time I still work my butt off.
back in NY I worked alone for 9 years did the work of 3 people,and never complained once.

now I command top $$$ and I'm not even a CVT,but will be in less than 2 years.

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crystal in Charlotte, North Carolina

85 months ago

Barry in Bellwood, Pennsylvania said: all the kings horses and all the kings men can't help you get ahead,unless you are willing to go that extra mile.

don't talk how good you are, just do it! without complaning or patting yourself on the back.

I've been doing it for 16yrs and after all this time I still work my butt off.
back in NY I worked alone for 9 years did the work of 3 people,and never complained once.

now I command top $$$ and I'm not even a CVT,but will be in less than 2 years.

Will on line school help in the long run, and which should I apply to first? I love the work and am not turned off by all the long hours.

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crystal in Charlotte, North Carolina

85 months ago

Hell Barry, What would be a great on line school to enroll in to begin to gain experience. I am not turned off bt long hours or hard work..Thanks

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Janetta in Kernersville, North Carolina

84 months ago

I have 6 years in the field and have graduated from a seated program in Sanford NC. I now work in Emergency Trauma/ICU dept. School gave me the insight of why things are done and some knowledge of how to do my job. I have met many on the job Techs that surpass my knowledge insome things but lack other knowledge like UA's and doing a manual blood smear. I enjoyed the seated program because it gave me the opportunity to talk to my peers from all over the state and we helped each other in the learning. NC requires RVT's to obtain 12 hours of CE every 2 years to maintain licensure.

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Sunny in Cary, North Carolina

84 months ago

Janetta in Kernersville, North Carolina said: I have 6 years in the field and have graduated from a seated program in Sanford NC. I now work in Emergency Trauma/ICU dept. School gave me the insight of why things are done and some knowledge of how to do my job. I have met many on the job Techs that surpass my knowledge insome things but lack other knowledge like UA's and doing a manual blood smear. I enjoyed the seated program because it gave me the opportunity to talk to my peers from all over the state and we helped each other in the learning. NC requires RVT's to obtain 12 hours of CE every 2 years to maintain licensure.

did you go to CCCC for the seated program? do you have any idea what vet tech's are paid? ive checked in the cccc program recently but don't know what to expect. you see different salary info all over. thanks!!

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Janetta in Kernersville, North Carolina

84 months ago

Sunny in Cary, North Carolina said: did you go to CCCC for the seated program? do you have any idea what vet tech's are paid? ive checked in the cccc program recently but don't know what to expect. you see different salary info all over. thanks!!

I did go to CCCC for the tech program. It is a very intense program but they teach you alot. They have their own colony of dogs and cats that the students rehab and are then put up for adoption. You never intentionally hurt an animal to learn a procedure. They also have 5 cows and get 5 horses for the large animal classes. there is a rodent and rabbit semester as well.and there is alot of field trips for other experiences. It is a great program. As far as salaries it really depends on where you work and in what aspect. Specialty/Emergency and research seem to pay more than private practice hospitals. The other factor is location. you will earn more in the larger cities than you will in a rural area. One thing that always gets overlooked when talking about pay scales is the benefits. if you are getting insurance,uniform allowance, and paid CE, it needs to be included as part of your salary. I have seen pay scales from 8.00 to 13.00 an hour and thats for new technicians. The best thing to look at is if it is the right place for you. None of us are in this for the money. You can earn top dollar and hate the work envirement which can lead to early burnout.

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Sunny in Cary, North Carolina

84 months ago

Thank you so much for your input! I know what you mean about the money!! My heart is in it for the animals. I volunteer with animial rescue and I have enjoyed that so much that it makes me want to do more with them. I just need to make sure I can pay some of the bills. :) Well, I really appreciate you telling me about the school program. I didn't realize I would have that much hands on involvment with animals during the program, that is awesome! Well, good luck to you and again, thank you for the feedback!

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--- in Edmonton, Alberta

83 months ago

I don't know what is wrong with people working as vet techs. but most of them are very rude and uncivilized. As to dog owneer, they are equally disgusting. If I liked meeting weird people, I would be psychiatrist:). No kiddin', in a lot of cases dogs are ok, but their owners need serious treatment. Needless to say, they are hopeless..

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Lola in Newport News, Virginia

81 months ago

I graduated from the premier on-line veterinary technician course @ Northern Virginia Community College. My mentor at the time insisted the school use a colony of dogs or cats for anesthesia, not her patients, but that was not available. So it took near the last half of the 3 year program for her to let up and I learned how to intubate, and venipuncture the vet/kal but it was not proficient enough for other vets after I left my mentor's practice.
Today I am out of a job because I am not proficient enough in those skills. I am at loss because I was looking for another mentor. My recent strengths learned were in the lab: reading urine sediment without staining, FNAs, and blood smears.
I think after all my experiences, the best training to be a hirable veterinary technician is change. Don't be afraid to change. Every vet hospital has their mission. If you agree to theirs, then you are hirable. Ask questions every day if you are heading towards their mission. If not, then change.

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Carrie in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota

79 months ago

--- in Edmonton, Alberta said: I don't know what is wrong with people working as vet techs. but most of them are very rude and uncivilized. As to dog owneer, they are equally disgusting. If I liked meeting weird people, I would be psychiatrist:). No kiddin', in a lot of cases dogs are ok, but their owners need serious treatment. Needless to say, they are hopeless..

Are you a tech?

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marie in Roanoke, Virginia

71 months ago

I am getting ready to graduate from tech school and I was wondering if anyone could help me with what I should ask for as far as a starting salary? I have a number of years experience working in animal hospitals (prior to going to tech school). If you cannot recommend a salary can you tell me some good ways to find out? And is it reasonable for me to expect that I will at least make the average pay in an area?

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snowy in Saint Paul, Minnesota

70 months ago

I got a job working for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota as a Vet Tech, starting pay was $19.30 - not a tradition tech job, and it is a 70 mile commute to work but with my car(35mpg camery) I only have to fill up twice a week. After 90 days my pay rate is increased to $21.00 an hour. I graduated from vet tech school earlier this year btw.

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Pafoua in Minneapolis, Minnesota

32 months ago

snowy in Saint Paul, Minnesota said: I got a job working for the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota as a Vet Tech, starting pay was $19.30 - not a tradition tech job, and it is a 70 mile commute to work but with my car(35mpg camery) I only have to fill up twice a week. After 90 days my pay rate is increased to $21.00 an hour. I graduated from vet tech school earlier this year btw.

Hi! I was wondering if you still work at this place?

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Jenna in Raleigh, North Carolina

20 months ago

--- in Edmonton, Alberta said: I don't know what is wrong with people working as vet techs. but most of them are very rude and uncivilized. As to dog owneer, they are equally disgusting. If I liked meeting weird people, I would be psychiatrist:). No kiddin', in a lot of cases dogs are ok, but their owners need serious treatment. Needless to say, they are hopeless..

I'm sorry, you must have went to a crappy animal hospital ;) I'm a registered vet tech and I'm sweet at pie 24/7 to dogs, cats, exotics, and humans alike!

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

20 months ago

The vast majority of states require that you be credentialed (typically licensed) to work as a veterinary technician and the most common pre-requisite for credentialing is completion of an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program and passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam. There are just a few states that allow you to become credentialed as a veterinary technician based upon job experience or a related degree program. You would need to check with the credentialing board in the state you are in to determine if you are in one of those less than a dozen states. (Laws vary from state to state.)

Each state also sets it's own laws on requirements for renewal of veterinary technician credentiales, but they typically require a set number of hours of approved continuing education. Veterinary continuing education that is RACE approved or that is approved by your state credentialing agency is necessary in the vast majority of states to meet the requirements for renewal of credentials.

www.aavsb.org/VTNE/eligibility%20for%20first%20timers

So, you need to check with your state's credentialing agency to see what the requirements are where you live. They aren't exactly the same from state to state. Nor do credentials granted in one state transfer to another state. You still have to meet the requirements in the new state and apply for credentials in the new state.

Contact your state veterinary technician association. They are a great resource for determining what school to attend, finding out the requirements in your state, helping to network to get any required experience in a clinic before starting a veterinary technology program or to find a mentor/preceptor for the clinical part of earning a degree in veterinary technology.

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