People with a passion for animals end a deep-seated desire to make a difference in the lives of pets, and pet owners tend to consider a career as a veterinary technician. If you fall into this category, consider doing the same.
To start as a veterinary technician in Colorado, you must become familiar with the steps most people take to become vet techs in the state. First, you must understand the general steps familiar to aspiring vet techs in all states, followed by the specific steps peculiar only to vet techs in Colorado.
We have provided an in-depth yet concise guide below to get you started.
Related: If you’re considering a career as a veterinary technician in Colorado, it’d be helpful to understand the differences between a veterinary assistant and a veterinary Technician. This comparison will help you decide about your career path and find the best fit for your interests and aspirations in veterinary medicine.
Steps To Become a Veterinary Technician in Colorado
Step 1: Earn a High School Diploma or GED
The ultimate goal of any aspiring veterinary technician in Colorado is to earn a degree from an accredited program and pass the VTNE. But all these will only be possible with a high school diploma or GED.
Not only do postsecondary institutions insist on it, but state licensing boards also do so.
Step 2: Complete in an Accredited Program
Once you have a high school diploma or GED, you may enroll in an accredited program for veterinary technicians. The major body responsible for accrediting veterinary technology programs is the CVTEA (Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities), the primary accreditation body of the American Veterinary Medical Association responsible for approving veterinary technician programs.
To be admitted into a Colorado vet tech school, candidates must send in their high school transcripts, pass a background check, and send proof of immunization.
Step 3: Externship or Work Experience Requirement
Externships are necessary to provide veterinary technicians with the hands-on experience they’ll need to succeed. For this reason, when students complete a veterinary technology training program in Colorado, they often have to complete an externship.
Here, they get to work with actual animals and find out how it feels to work in a real-world clinical setting.
Step 4: The VTNE
The Veterinary Technician National Examination is a worldwide exam that must be taken by all graduates of a vet tech program, regardless of state. Usually, passing the veterinary technician examination is the first step to becoming certified and licensed to practice.
In some states, passing the VTNE is enough to start practicing. However, a few extra steps are needed for vet techs in Colorado, as we’ll see below.
Colorado State Licensure and Certification Requirements
Veterinary technicians in Colorado must obtain proper certification from the Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians (CACVT) before practicing professionally.
To qualify as a certified vet tech in Colorado, candidates must first graduate from an accredited program, pass the VTNE, and pay the certification fee.
Once certified, candidates are free to practice legally for two years before they are required by law to renew their certification.
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Colorado
1. Apex College of Veterinary Technology
Apex College of Veterinary Technology is often one of the first names in any list of Colorado’s top veterinary technician schools. Based in Colorado Springs, the school received its accreditation in 2019 and now offers students the opportunity to earn an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology.
The school boasts of a high VTNE success rate.
2. Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology
Another specialized institution where Colorado residents may earn an associate of applied science in vet tech and begin a successful career, Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology boasts state-of-the-art facilities and experienced instructors.
Students learn key topics such as anesthesiology, veterinary medical chemistry, and technical writing.
3. Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
Students at the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology learn how to become veterinary technicians in an institution that purposely maintains a small class size to keep the ratio optimal.
Graduates leave with an associate of applied science degree and proficiency in key topics such as biochemistry, mathematics, parasitology, introduction to vet technology, and pharmacology.
4. Other Notable Mentions
Other notable programs for aspiring vet techs in Colorado include Colorado Mountain College, Community College of Denver, and Front Range Community College in Larimer.
Related: Are you aspiring to become a Veterinary Technician in Colorado but worried about the cost of education? Explore top scholarships for veterinary technicians to discover various scholarship opportunities that can ease the financial burden. Pursue your passion for animal care without worries about tuition costs.
Colorado Veterinary Technician Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 3,450 veterinary technicians in Colorado earn an annual average salary of $38,200, slightly higher than the national average of $37,868.
Top earners in the state often earn as high as $50,200 per year, while the lowest earners still make at least $27,530 annually.
The Bureau also projects that demand for veterinary technicians between 2019 and 2029 will grow by at least 16%.