In Arizona, veterinary technicians perform several critical duties in a veterinary practice, such as helping with specific clinical procedures and alleviating the burden of treating patients from being entirely on the veterinarians.
In turn, they are rewarded with an impressive salary, constant demand, and, most importantly, an opportunity to grow and improve themselves through continuing education.
To get started as a veterinary technician in Arizona, interested individuals must follow specific steps to make the journey much more straightforward. We discuss in detail all of these steps below, along with certification requirements, top programs in the state, and possible salary, among others.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Arizona
The steps to becoming a veterinary technician in Arizona are as follows:
In Arizona, the educational requirements to become a veterinary technician include the basic education requirements at the high school level and the actual veterinary technician training at the post-secondary level. For the basic academic needs, candidates are expected to have graduated from high school with a focus on subjects such as anatomy, biology, and chemistry. Those who have yet to graduate from high school may provide their GED results as a replacement.
Veterinary technician training
For the actual veterinary technician training, aspiring vet techs in Arizona are expected to attend a training program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. This makes licensure and career growth a lot easier.
The Veterinary Technician National examination
The Veterinary Technician National Association is a nationwide exam for all veterinary technicians. This examination is mandated in most states and is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Board (AAVSB).
Consider exploring careers with similar paths:
State Licensure and Certification Requirements
Arizona’s state body responsible for licensure and certification is the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. All aspiring veterinary technicians must apply for a a certificate through the board by providing proof of graduation from an accredited program and sending their VTNE scores.
Applicants must also submit their resume, give proof of their US citizenship, and provide three character references. The board also organizes a state exam that costs $150 to apply and is offered thrice a year.
Finally, after receiving their certification from the board, candidates must also renew it every 2 years by completing 10 hours of continuing education.
Learn about licensing and certification in neighboring states:
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Arizona
Five accredited veterinary technician programs in Arizona can be completed on campus. One other accredited program in the state is predominantly online. We take a look at these below.
Mesa Community College
Aspiring veterinary technicians in Arizona looking for a rigorous program dealing with classroom and hands-on training would do well to consider the program at Mesa Community College. By the time they are done, they will leave with an associate of applied science in veterinary technology and proficiency in basic medical sciences, veterinary medical care, and client communication.
Mesa Community College’s veterinary technology program has had a first-time VTNE pass rate of 85.37%.
Pima Medical Institute
At Pima Medical Institute, students can study to become veterinary technicians through the on-campus associate of applied science degree program that can be completed in 18 months.
Three of the state’s five accredited veterinary technician training programs belong to Pima Medical Institute. These are the school’s vet tech programs at Mesa, Tucson, and Phoenix. These programs include 78.5 total credits and comprehensive instructions in veterinary medical terminology, dentistry techniques, exotic animal nursing, and laboratory procedures.
Graduates must work in several veterinary establishments such as clinics, hospitals, laboratories, and wildlife facilities.
Pima Community College
Lastly, aspiring veterinary technicians in Arizona – particularly those in Tucson – can also consider the training program at Pima Community College. This program offers an associate of applied science in veterinary technology degree focusing on real-world application and familiarity with theoretical principles.
Candidates qualify to take the VTNE and work in various institutions and veterinary practices. Topics include clinical pathology, imaging techniques, radiology, and animal behavior.
The program also incorporates two supervised clinical externships for additional hands-on training. Pima Community College’s veterinary technology program has had an 83.7% first-time pass rate in the national examination for veterinary technicians.
Salary and Career Outlook
Veterinary technicians in Arizona earn an annual average salary of $34,379. This value can be significantly influenced by location, among other factors. Currently, the highest-paying cities for vet tech in Arizona include:
- Prescott — $39,524 annual average salary,
- Mesa — $36,059 average yearly salary,
- Scottsdale — $35,807 average yearly salary,
- Peoria — $35,309 average yearly salary,
- Flagstaff — $35,171 average yearly salary.
Veterinary technicians in Phoenix and Tucson earn an annual average salary of $34,717 and $32,266, respectively.