Is going to school to have the vet tech degree worth it?

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Qathe in Kennesaw, Georgia

26 months ago

I have been thinking of going back to school to get the two year degree, but how much do vet techs with these degrees make? I don't want to go through the trouble and expense if I would do so only to be making $10 an hour or less. I know many clinics here use techs without the degree so they can pay less. I see online where some techs are making $30,000-$40,000 a year but how many actually do earn that much? Only those at zoos or highly specialized fields? Or do you have to be in a state where techs HAVE TO have the degree to be certified and work as vet techs? Thanks much! Also, if one is older (40s) does it make a difference in getting scholarships or jobs, or even getting admitted to a vet tech program?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

26 months ago

In GA, they can't use "techs" without degrees because veterinary technicians must be licensed in GA. sos.georgia.gov/plb/veterinary/app_info.htm sos.georgia.gov/acrobat/PLB/laws/07_Veterinary_43-50.pdf
Those who do not meet the requirements to be licensed are veterinary assistants. "(b) A veterinary assistant must clearly identify himself or herself as such in order to ensure that he or she is not mistaken by the public as a licensed veterinarian. This may be accomplished, for example, by the wearing of an appropriate name tag. Any time the veterinary assistant’s name appears in a professiona setting his or her status must e shown as 'veterinary assistant.'"--from GA's government website

The pay rate varies depending on the type of practice you work in and even from practice to practice. Experience and skill will also affect pay rates. Specialty practices, very large practices and government jobs will typically pay more than small private practices. The average for credentialed veterinary technicians in 2011 was $31K a year, nationally. In 2010 in the Southeast, credentialed technicians earned $42K on average per year. (Other areas earned significantly lower pay rates and affect the national average.) You can likely get a more definite number for GA through the state veterinary technician association. digital.dvm360.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/firstline_201208/index.php?startid=6#/8
veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/firstline/article/articleDetail.jsp?id=735930&pageID=2

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Diane Blake in Atlanta, Georgia

26 months ago

Cindy is right,
Pay will vary from practice to practice and of course your skill will be an important factor down the line. I work for Athens Technical College and we have 2 year Veterinarian Tech program that offers placements after certification. Most the techs I have kept up with over years went on to averaging around 30-35k/yr depending on the placements that were available in GA. As far as scholarships for 40 and older there are other options. Try looking for grants for individuals in your age group and there are also financial aid options. In my personal opinion I say go for it. Around 85 percent of the students I have seen come through our program received placement and 75 percent of them are still currently in the field. In conclusion do your own research, take notes and do what is best for you. If you have any more questions feel free to give us a call- 124

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