Every veterinary clinic or establishment is complete with the presence of a veterinary technician. Thanks to their undeniable importance, vet technicians in Illinois and nationwide continue to enjoy a significant boost in demand.
If you are an aspiring veterinary technician in Illinois looking for the best way to start your career, you have come to the right page. Below, we provide information on creating a veterinary technician career in Illinois.
We also provide other essential details such as licensure & certification requirements, top programs, potential salary, and more.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Illinois
All Illinois veterinary technicians must be certified through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The following are the steps involved in doing so.
Step 1: Finish High School
Along with a high school diploma or GED, most successful veterinarians have biology, chemistry, and anatomy foundations. This will be important when it’s time to gain admission into a training program – and secure employment.
Step 2: Enroll in an Accredited Vet Tech Program
Veterinary technician programs teach aspiring vet techs everything they need to know to be successful on the job. While choosing a program, it is essential to consider accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Currently, a handful of schools in Illinois fulfill the requirement. We take a look at some of them in the next section.
Step 3: Veterinary Technician National Examination
The Veterinary Technician National Examination tests candidates’ knowledge in veterinary technician topics such as surgical nursing, pharmacology, and diagnostic imaging. It is required to qualify for certification.
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State Licensure & Certification Requirements
After completing the High School and postsecondary training requirements and passing the VTNE, the next most important step in becoming a veterinary technician in Illinois is to apply for certification through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. To do so, candidates must send in their official transcripts from the accredited training school, their VTNE results, and their application fee.
Veterinary technician certification in Illinois must be renewed every two years through 15 hours of continuing education.
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Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Illinois
The Committee accredits five veterinary technician programs in Illinois on the veterinary technician education and activities arm of the American Veterinary Medical Association. We’ll take a look at what they each have to offer below.
Black Hawk College
Black Hawk College is one of Illinois’s top destinations for veterinary technician training. Here, students can earn an associate’s degree in applied science in veterinary technology. They will also be prepared for life as a veterinary technician by going through topics ranging from veterinary procedures to animal healthcare, pharmacology, anesthesia, and surgical preparation. The American Veterinary Medical Association accredits the school. The program can be completed in 24 months.
Candidates looking for another incredible destination to acquire veterinary technician skills in an institution approved by the AVMA may consider the program offered by Parkland College in Champaign. The school has an impressive 94.37% first-time pass rate in the Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Joliet Junior College
At Joliet Junior College, aspiring veterinary technicians can learn in an institution with an 88% VTNE first-time pass rate. The program lasts for 2 years and includes 68 semester hours. The focus topics include clinical pathology, wildlife management, animal care, and small animal nursing. Students must also complete two externships under the supervision of veterinarians before they can graduate. Along with this, the facility also provides hands-on training of its own.
Other Notable Mentions
Other notable destinations where students can acquire high-quality veterinary technician training from an accredited institution include Rockford Career College, offering a two-year associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology, consisting of 114.5 credits, and Vet Tech Institute at Fox College, offering an 18 months associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology program at Tinley Park campus. This program consists of 72 credits.
Salary and Career Outlook
Aspiring veterinary technicians in Illinois will be glad to know that the annual average salary for vet techs in the state is $35,881 and can get as high as $51,881. Entry-level vet techs in the state often start with an annual average salary closer to $24,816.
Along with their experience level, other factors contribute to determining how much a veterinary technician earns in Illinois. These include location specialization, credentials, type of employer, and more.
Concerning location, Aurora is the highest paying city to be a veterinary technician in Illinois. This is followed by Chicago, Lincolnshire, Lisle, Burbank, Oswego, and East Dundee.