Veterinary Technician Training Requirements And Programs In Pennsylvania

Today, being able to provide high quality care for America’s beloved companion animals is more important than ever before. With a growing number of veterinary care clinics of all types and sizes, the need for skilled veterinary technicians is rapidly growing.

Because of this, pursuing a career in veterinary technology can be an excellent decision for those individuals interested in working to ensure that pets and livestock alike receive the best possible veterinary care.

The Duties and Responsibilities of a Vet Tech

As a veterinary professional, the vet tech has a wide range of duties. In most cases, a vet tech will be working under the overall supervision of a licensed veterinarian, although some states allow vet techs to independently perform some duties such as vaccinations.

Among the most common duties Pennsylvania vet techs perform include the following:

  • Assisting the veterinarian before, during and after surgical procedures.
  • Conducting the initial physical examination of a newly admitted animal.
  • Interviewing the owners of pets or other animals in order to determine the reason for the visit, and relaying that information to the vet.
  • If an injured or ill animal is brought to the practice, the vet tech will administer emergency first aid in order to stabilize the animal’s condition until a veterinarian can provide treatment.
  • Supervising veterinary assistants, volunteers and clerical staff in order to ensure the best possible treatment for any animals that are currently being treated.

Vet techs must also be very detail oriented and conscientious in the performance of their duties. Vet techs must be able to effectively communicate with their supervisors, coworkers and the public. Finally, a veterinary technician must behave in a sympathetic and professional manner when working with the distraught owners of injured or ill pets.

Becoming a Vet Tech in Pennsylvania

Only vet techs licensed to practice in Pennsylvania can legally work in the state. In order to obtain a license, the vet tech candidate must complete the requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine. In order to obtain this license, a vet tech candidate must complete an authorized course of study and pass the VTNE.

Vet Tech Programs

A veterinary technology program involves both academic and laboratory course work that provides the student with a comprehensive education in order to prepare them for a vet tech career. Most vet tech programs require about two years of full-time study before completion. However many schools offer part-time and distance learning options, in order to accommodate students who cannot attend school on a full-time basis.

All vet tech programs must be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), in order to be accepted by the state. The AVMA ensures that an accredited vet tech program adheres to high standards in its curriculum and teaching methods. Any prospective student should make certain to verify that their program is currently in good standing with the AVMA, in order to ensure that their classes will count towards obtaining a vet tech license.

The Veterinary Technician National Examination

The VTNE is a national exam that is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The VTNE is designed to accurately evaluate the student’s academic and practical skills in the field of veterinary technology. In order to pass the VTNE, a student must be able to obtain a score of at lest 425.

While it is possible to retake the VTNE, the AAVSB reserves the right to impose extra requirements on candidates that appear to be having difficulty with the test. In addition, a student who retakes the VTNE will have to pay the application fee for every new attempt. For this reason, it is best that the candidate only take the VTNE when he or she is fully prepared to pass the test.

Upon passing the VTNE, the student may then apply to the Board, in order to obtain a license to practice as a vet tech in Pennsylvania. In addition to proof of graduation from an approved program and the VTNE score, the candidate must also provide a Social Security Number in order to be eligible for licensure.

The Benefits of Becoming a Pennsylvania Vet Tech

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) there were over 3,100 veterinary technicians employed in Pennsylvania in 2011, with a median annual salary of over $32,000. This is actually higher than the national median wage of just under $30,000. In addition, with a wide variety of urban and rural zones, Pennsylvania vet techs can seek out a range of specific careers, depending on their personal preference.

The field of veterinary technology offers a wide range of careers with excellent economic and professional opportunities. As an important part of America’s veterinary care sector, veterinary technicians enjoy a great deal of professional and public respect, making this career ideal for individuals seeking to contribute to their local communities. This makes a career in veterinary technology ideal, both for newly graduated students and individuals seeking to transition to a more secure and rewarding career.

Pennsylvania Veterinary Technician Training

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