Veterinary technicians in North Carolina work side-by-side with veterinarians to provide care for animals and pets. Compared to doctors of veterinary medicine, there is quite a limitation to what a veterinary technician can do.
However, they still perform essential duties, as they can also carry out several clinical procedures.
Below, we look at everything an aspiring veterinary technician in North Carolina will need to know to begin their careers on the best possible path. Among other things, we’ll discuss the steps involved in the process, the educational requirements, licensing requirements, possible certification, and more.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in North Carolina
Below are the steps involved in becoming a veterinary technician in North Carolina.
- Step 1: Graduate from an accredited training program.
There are five training programs in North Carolina for veterinary technicians accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Most of these programs offer either a 2-year associate degree program or 4 years bachelor’s degree. We take a look at them in the next session.
- Step 2: Pass the veterinary technician national examination.
Administered by the American Association of Regional State Boards, the VTNE national examination tests a veterinary technician’s knowledge of critical concepts in the field. Nearly all states require veterinary technicians to pass this examination before beginning their careers.
- After these two steps are complete, the next important milestone is to apply for licensure through the state board. We discuss more on this below.
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State Licensure & Certification Requirements
The state board responsible for licensing veterinary technicians in North Carolina is the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Board ( NCVMB). To become licensed, vet techs in North Carolina must apply for the state exam offered three times a year. The exam consists of 50 questions and requires a 75% passing score. Once a license is issued, candidates must work towards renewing this credential every two years by completing 12 hours of continuing education credits.
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in North Carolina
There are five accredited veterinary technician programs in North Carolina. We take a look at them below.
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College
The Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is a popular destination for aspiring veterinary technicians in North Carolina, thanks to its comprehensive coursework and excellent instructors. The school offers students the opportunity to earn an associate of applied science degree through programs that can be completed in 6 semesters.
Central Carolina Community College
Central Carolina Community College is another beautiful destination for veterinary technician training in North Carolina. The program can be completed in two years and is located in Sanford. Students are taught topics such as animal physiology, anatomy, laboratory techniques, and veterinary pharmacology. The school has had a VTNE first-time pass rate of 89%.
Nash Community College
At Nash Community College, aspiring veterinary technicians in North Carolina can learn in laboratory classrooms and about clinical topics relating to their duties once they secure employment. Graduates leave with an associate in applied science degree and are usually versatile enough to work in various fields, including research, diagnostic, laboratories, veterinary clinics, zoos, and other pertinent destinations.
Cape Fear Community College
Located in Castle Hayne, Cape Fear Community College offers students the opportunity to kickstart their veterinary technician careers on the right path through a 76-credit veterinary medical technology program. The program touches upon crucial topics such as animal preparation, examination, equipment, and medications. The program can be completed in 24 months.
One thing that sets Gaston College apart from the rest is the school’s emphasis on hands-on training both on campus and in true externships. The veterinary technology program here can be completed in two years and qualifies students for an associate of applied science degree. The program also maintains a purposefully small class size of at most 40 students.
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Salary and Career Outlook
In North Carolina, veterinary technicians earn an annual salary close to the national average. This figure of $32,782 can be improved upon by optimizing factors such as location, experience, and specialization.
Those who do so successfully earn as high as $44,930 in annual average salary. Those who fail to optimize these factors may earn around $23,919 – the average yearly salary for the lowest-earning veterinary technicians in the state.
Sorting by location only, vet technicians in Matthews are the highest paid in the state, with an annual average salary of $38,069. Other high-paying cities for veterinary technicians in North Carolina include:
- Charlotte – with an average yearly salary of $35,575,
- Chapel Hill - $34,102,
- Wilmington - $31,830,
- Raleigh – $31,712.