Veterinary technicians work closely with doctors of veterinary medicine to ensure that clinical procedures in a veterinary practice are manageable. In Missouri, like in most states, anyone wanting to become a veterinary technician must undergo an educational program and fulfill all the requirements to secure employment.
While the state sets some of these requirements, a few are set by potential employers and training programs. It can be hard to keep up with these steps, particularly for those unfamiliar with the process beforehand.
This is why we have provided the guide below to serve as a reference for anyone looking to kick-start their career as a veterinary technician in Missouri in the best possible way.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Missouri
Generally, three key steps are involved in any journey to become a veterinary technician in Missouri. The first is to graduate from an accredited training program; the second is to pass the veterinary technician national exam; and the third is to register with the appropriate state board.
Graduating from an Accredited Training Program
The Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities sets the standards for veterinary technician training programs nationwide. In Missouri, there are currently 4 such programs offering 2-year or 4-year veterinary technology training that results in an associate or bachelor’s degree. Some programs ask for a candidate’s high school diploma or GED to be admitted.
Passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam
Organized by the American Association of Veterinary State Board, the veterinary technician national exam is required by most states nationwide. Typically, candidates who attend accredited veterinary technician training programs will qualify for this exam and would have been prepared through specific courses.
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State Licensure and Certification Requirements
The last step in the three-step requirements for becoming a veterinary technician in Missouri is to obtain state licensure through the Missouri Veterinary Medical Board.
To qualify, candidates must complete an application form and pay an application fee; send official transcripts from an accredited veterinary technician school; send two passport-style photos and their official VTNE scores; and send in a signed employment verification.
Finally, candidates must also pass an examination set by the Missouri State Board with a minimum score of 70%. Once the credential has been issued, candidates must work towards renewing it annually by completing five hours of continuing education.
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Missouri
Aspiring veterinary technicians in Missouri will be glad to know that there are four CBT-accredited programs to consider in the state. We take a look at all of these below.
Crowder College of Neosho offers the first accredited veterinary technician program in Missouri. This 78-credit program allows students to earn an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology. The program is known for its excellent facility, which includes 300 acres of farmland, several barns, and a few kennels for small animals.
Students also receive hands-on training at the Agricultural Science Center with various surgery X-rays and field technology.
At Midwest Institute in Fenton, veterinary technician students graduate with an associate of occupational science degree. This program is rigorous and focuses on teaching hands-on skills such as administering anesthesia, preparing animals for surgery, administering vaccines and medications, and providing emergency care.
Jefferson College is another beautiful destination to receive training as an aspiring veterinary technician in Missouri. The CVTEA accredits the school and boasts excellent instructors and modern facilities. Students become familiar with clinical medicine principles, radiology, applied pharmacology, and veterinary hospital technology. Historically, the school has had a first-time pass rate of 76.36% in the veterinary technician national examination. The program can be completed in 24 months.
Metropolitan Community College
Lastly, aspiring veterinary technicians in Missouri may consider the program at Metropolitan Community College. This program has had an impressive 93% first-time pass rate in the VTNE. Graduates will earn an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology and experience handling over 12 distinct animal species.
Distance-based vet tech programs to consider for residents of Missouri include the veterinary nursing program at Colby Community College and the associate in science program at Saint Petersburg College.
Salary and Career Outlook
In Missouri, the annual average salary for veterinary technicians is $31,875. This figure can be affected by experience, location, and the type of establishment in which a veterinary technician works.
Missouri’s highest-paying cities for veterinary technicians include Kansas City, with an average annual salary of $32,907. This is followed by Weldon Spring, with an average yearly salary of $32,765, and Saint Charles, with an average annual wage of $32,641.
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