Veterinary technicians work with veterinarians to diagnose and treat animals’ illnesses and injuries. A growing field, veterinary technicians (or “vet techs”) must complete specialized postsecondary training and pass a certification exam before they can practice.
In Arizona, many colleges offer degrees for veterinary technicians. These schools are primarily located in greater Phoenix and in Tucson. Most degrees take two years to complete. Schools with vet tech training programs include community colleges and medical institutes. For example, Pima Medical Institute features a vet tech program at all three of its locations. Carrington College offers training programs in its Phoenix, Tucson and Mesa locations.
How to get Certified in Arizona
In order to become a working vet tech in Arizona, you must graduate from an accredited training program. The American Veterinary Medical Association oversees all veterinary schools and programs, so you should check that your chosen school carries AVMA accreditation before enrolling. In addition to passing all of your classes, you must also pass both the national and state certification exam. The nationwide exam, known as the VTNE, and the Arizona-wide exam are typically held twice per year, both at the end of summer and at the end of the calendar year. However, test-takers must apply to sit the exam a few months in advance. Upon receiving results of a ‘pass’, you will be qualified to begin work as a vet tech in the state of Arizona.
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Arizona
In Arizona, the mean salary for a veterinary technician was $28,710 in 2013. The mean hourly pay was $13.80. By contrast, the mean annual wage for vet techs throughout the United States was $31,760 the same year. The mean hourly wage, throughout the US, was $15.27. The highest paid regions in Arizona for vet techs are on the eastern side of the state, where mean wages range from 30k to 33k annually. By contrast, Tucson and Flagstaff are among the lowest-paid areas, with annual salaries averaging between 23k and 28k.
Between 2012 and 20122, vet tech employment is expected to grow by 30 percent countrywide, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “much faster than average.” However, an increasing graduation rate from vet tech schools is expected to create greater job competition in coming years. Arizona has relatively many veterinary technicians, with one of the highest employment quotients in the nation in the Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale region. The employment quotient refers to the total number of vet techs in the area. In addition, Prescott has one of the highest concentrations of vet techs of any metropolitan area, when population is taken into account.
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