Alaska, like many other states, has a few basic requirements for schools to be qualified to provide veterinary technician programs. The main requirement is that the school by accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, or the AVMA. This organization evaluates the curriculum offered by individual programs and decides whether or not it is sufficient to provide thorough education; if it is, then the school will receive accreditation. While schools do not have to have accreditation to offer a program, any education received from a school that lacks it will not be as valid.
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Veterinary Technician Schools in Alaska Licensing & Accreditation Requirements
To become a certified and licensed vet tech in Alaska, students need to complete either a two year or a four year degree program. The two year programs offer the most basic in education; for more specialized fields of veterinary work, a four year degree is required. This degree must be obtained from an accredited school. After getting a degree, students must then pass the VTNE, a comprehensive exam which tests all aspect of skill related to veterinary work. The passing score for this exam is a 425. The exam can be taken more than once, but the AVMA places a restriction on the number of times someone can take the test.
Alaska requires that a potential vet tech provide three letters of recommendation. These letters have to be notarized, and at least two must come from certified doctors or vets. This means it’s a good idea to build professional contacts early on.
Salaries for Certified Vet Assistants in AK
Because there is a lower demand for veterinary technicians in Alaska compared to other states, the salaries are not quite as high. An RvT Vet Tech might make only $13,000 per year, while a registered veterinarian technician can make as much as $38,000. Depending on the location of the establishment and the population of the surrounding area, salaries can vary. Vet techs who work on an entrepreneurial basis are more likely to find financial success than those who work for an already established location.
The salary can be affected by a vet tech’s experience, as well. A beginning technician is not as likely to make a high wage as someone who has worked in the field for years.
Job Outlook for Vet Techs in Alaska
Despite the demand for the job, Alaska has a small population. This means the growth potential for vet techs in the state is not as high as it would be elsewhere. More than half of the vet techs in the state work in Anchorage. There is an estimated 30% growth in the number of vet tech jobs by 2022, which is a smaller amount compared to other states.
Candidates can increase their potential for finding work by specializing in a specific area of veterinary medicine rather than trying to be a general practitioner. This not only provides job security, but also adds a valuable skill to the community.