Maryland is an incredible place to practice as a veterinary technician. Not only do vet techs in the area enjoy great demand and wonderful institutions to work in, but the salary is also impressive and the path to getting started is as straightforward as they come.
As with any other occupation in any other state, there are a few crucial pieces of information that anyone looking to become a veterinary technician in Maryland has to be familiar with. These include the specific state requirements concerning certification and licensing, the top programs in the state, and potential salary, among others.
All of these topics and more are discussed in detail below.
Steps To Become a Veterinary Technician in Maryland
The process for becoming a veterinary technician in Florida can be divided into four overarching steps:
- Possess a high school diploma or GED,
- Enroll in an accredited training program,
- Obtain real-world experience,
- Pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Possess a High School Diploma or GED
A high school diploma is quite valuable when starting a career as a veterinary technician in Maryland. Among other things, it prepares students for the basic topics such as biology in mathematics and reading that are central to more advanced vet tech topics.
High school students who plan to pursue a career in veterinary technology may also take advantage of that moment to acquire foundational experience by visiting animal shelters or working part-time in an animal daycare.
Enroll in an Accredited Training Program
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits vet tech programs. It does this through a special association chapter called the CVTEA - Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
Students are encouraged to enroll in CVTEA-accredited institutions because they set high standards for their approved programs. Additionally, CVTEA accreditation is also needed for certification and licensure.
Once you secure admission into an accredited program, you will have to spend two years obtaining rigorous training before you can graduate and move on to the next step.
Obtain Real-World Experience
The next step to becoming a registered veterinary technician in Maryland after graduating from a training program is obtaining real-world, hands-on clinical experience by going through an externship.
It is also possible to obtain this training while you’re in college. Some programs require a specific amount of clinical training before students can graduate. They are expected to fulfill this requirement by interning at an approved veterinary clinic or related animal establishments.
Pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination
Lastly, graduates of accredited veterinary technology programs nationwide are expected to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (often with a school of around 70%) before they are allowed to practice professionally.
The Veterinary Technician National Examination is organized by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), and registrations are opened three times a year.
Veterinary Technician Licensure and Certification Requirements in Maryland
The Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners is responsible for the state’s licensure and registration of vet techs.
Among other things, they require proof of graduation from a CVTEA-accredited vet tech program, or official transcript, proof of work experience, and continuing education for those who graduated from a non-accredited program.
Registration is valid only for three years, after which it has to be renewed by submitting proof of good standing and completing 8 hours of continuing education.
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Maryland
1. The Community College of Baltimore County
The Essex campus of the Community College of Baltimore County is the only destination in Maryland where aspiring veterinary technicians can enjoy a CVTEA-accredited program. The program contains 65 credits and can be completed in two years.
2. Dallas College
Students who wish to consider an alternative to the above may consider enrolling in the distance-based program offered by Dallas College in Lancaster, Texas. The CVTEA accredits the program and provides enough flexibility and convenience through video lectures and web assignments combined with in-clinic exercises supervised by a preceptor.
Veterinary Technician Salary and Job Outlook in Maryland
As a veterinary technician in Maryland, you can expect to earn an annual average salary of $36,167. This is almost the same as the national average salary of $37,860.
Vet techs in Maryland who fall into the top ten percent of earners earn an annual average salary of $49,247, while those who fall into the bottom ten percent of earners take home a yearly average of $26,561.
Maryland’s highest-paying cities for vet techs include Olney, Catonsville, Annapolis, and Towson, with annual average salaries of $44,280, $39,427, $38,524, and $35,052, respectively.
As for the job outlook, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 15% increase in demand for veterinary technicians between 2020 to 2030.