Veterinary technicians help to diagnose and care for injured or sick animals as well as assist their owners in proper pet health maintenance. Their furry patients range from domestic pets to farm animals, and they must know the anatomy and characteristics of each animal in their care. To gain this knowledge and hands on experience veterinary technicians often attend professional education programs and work in animal hospitals under the supervision of licensed veterinarians. Here are some details about the education and licensing requirements for those seeking to become veterinary technicians in Virginia as well as certain facts about the career’s employment potential.
Find Accredited Veterinary Technician Schools in Virginia
The veterinary technician field is highly specialized, and schools offering accredited training packages in Virginia are limited. Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) are the two most well-known schools offering veterinary technician instruction. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) is the accreditation authority for veterinary technician, assistant and veterinary medical doctor degree programs. Both NVCC and BRCC offer AVMA accredited Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology degrees in full and part-time formats. Students can expect to take classes about animal nursing techniques, radiography and laboratory procedures. The part-time program is offered in a distance learning format for students who currently work in the veterinary field. Those who want to broaden their educational options often enroll in online schools that may offer comprehensive courses and more flexible schedule choices. These students must keep in mind that their course work may not include the more rigorous laboratory and field work exercises prevalent at traditional schools. When choosing any veterinary technician program, students should make sure that the curriculum is accredited by AVMA.
How to get Certified in Virginia
Veterinary technicians in Virginia are required to be licensed to practice their profession, but they are not required to take a certification exam to gain the designation. Veterinary technicians need only fill out the state’s application for a license and acknowledge the state’s regulations that govern the profession to be licensed. The Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine issues these licenses and regulates professionals in the field of veterinary medicine practicing in the state. Veterinary technicians who were licensed in other states may fill out verification forms that will allow them to practice in Virginia.
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Virginia
Veterinary technicians working in Virginia had a median annual salary of $37,330 in 2012 which is about 23 percent higher than the recorded national median salary for the profession. The demand for the job in Virginia is considered high which is the basis for the increase in salary for those practicing the profession in the state.
According to statistics gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment outlook for veterinary technicians in Virginia in upcoming years is good. The areas of Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Richmond showed the highest employment numbers, and employment is expected to keep growing in the near future.
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