With the number of pets and pet owners in the country growing incredibly rapidly, it has become virtually impossible for veterinarians to deal with patients independently.
To make life easier for these professionals and ensure that pets in the country get the treatment they deserve, veterinary technicians take up a supplementary role wherein they can perform specific clinical duties in a veterinary practice.
Because they can do more than just observe what the veterinarians are doing, veterinary technicians in Massachusetts must acquire many skills through rigorous training. Below, we look at what aspiring veterinary technicians in the state need to do to start their careers.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Massachusetts
The following is a path to kick-starting a career as a veterinary technician in Massachusetts.
Step 1: High School graduation
An aspiring veterinary technician in Massachusetts is expected to have graduated from High School. If offered, it is also advisable to take subjects such as chemistry, biology, and anatomy.
Step 2: Graduating from a veterinary technology program
To acquire actual veterinary technician training, candidates must enroll in a veterinary technician program that usually takes 2 to 4 years to complete. Most importantly, candidates must enroll in an accredited program to obtain certification.
Veterinary Technician Training Accreditation
The American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities accredits veterinary technician programs. Usually, several programs in Massachusetts are certified by the CVTEA. We discuss more on them below.
Step 3: Pass the veterinary technician national exam
All aspiring veterinary technicians in Massachusetts must apply for a VTNE and pass before being certified.
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State Licensure & Certification Requirements
All of the steps above, including graduating from an accredited program and passing the VTNE, will contribute to an aspiring veterinary technician in Massachusetts obtaining their state certification. The board responsible for doing so is the Massachusetts Veterinary Technicians Association (MVTA).
To qualify, the board asks the candidates to submit the official application and send in their official transcripts from the veterinary technician program. Applicants must also pay a $65 application fee and a $50 fee to renew their certification yearly.
Those who graduated from a non-accredited program may also receive certification through special provisions.
Learn about veterinary technician licensing and certification in neighboring states:
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Massachusetts
There are five accredited veterinary technician programs in Massachusetts. Below is a breakdown of each.
Holyoke Community College
At Holyoke Community College, aspiring veterinary technicians in the state can start their careers through a two-year associate of applied science program. The program focuses on animal patient handling, medications, laboratory procedures, and documentation.
The program had a 78.13% VTNE pass rate between 2018 and 2021.
North Shore Community College of Danvers
North Shore Community College of Denver is another extraordinary institution where you can receive veterinary technician training in Massachusetts. The program offers an associate of applied science degree and includes 64 credits.
Among the focus topics are legendary mathematics, anesthesia, dentistry and radiology, medical terminology, veterinary parasitology, and theriogenology.
Mount Wachusett Community College
In Gardner, veterinary technician students at Mount Wachusett Community College must complete a 73-credit program and a 120-hour internship rotation. The classroom sessions include veterinary pharmacology, clinical procedures, dentistry, radiology, veterinary nursing, and animal behavior.
Massasoit Community College
Massasoit Community College is another beautiful destination to receive veterinary technician training from an accredited facility. Students can graduate with an associate of applied science degree focusing on veterinary anatomy, microbiology, physiology, pathology, and clinical methods.
The program has had a historical 80.65% VTNE first-time pass rate.
University of Massachusetts - Amherst
The Mount Ida campus of the University of Massachusetts Amherst offers a four-year bachelor of science program for aspiring veterinary technicians in the area. Students of this program get to dive into the world of veterinary technology through classroom topics such as veterinary microbiology, diagnostic imaging, and parasitology, among others.
After two years of classroom instruction, students must complete 2 years of hands-on training at the Mount Ida campus veterinary technology facility.
Salary and Career Outlook
As an aspiring veterinary technician in Massachusetts, you may look forward to earning an annual average salary of $40,705 - 11% higher than the national average.
As an entry-level technician, you may have to start with an annual average salary closer to $28,978. As the location is crucial in determining a veterinary technician’s salary, you may also want to consider working in the most favorable cities.
Currently, these include Plymouth ($44,999), Boston ($44,767), Somerville ($43,076), South Weymouth ($42,518), and Dorchester ($42,090).