Veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania play a huge role in strengthening and preserving the bond between pets and their owners. They also ensure that veterinarians stay calm but have a sound option to delegate important clinical and administrative tasks.
We have provided the comprehensive guide below to help aspiring vet techs in Pennsylvania begin their careers on the right path. It contains everything you’ll need to know, such as the steps involved in starting a vet tech career in Pennsylvania, the top schools in the state, and the certification requirements, among others.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Pennsylvania
Below is a typical route to becoming a veterinary technician in Pennsylvania.
Step 1: High School Requirements
For veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania, the journey begins in high school. Before they can gain admission into a veterinary technician school, they must acquire a high school diploma or GED. They must also have taken biology, chemistry, and algebra classes to enhance their candidacy.
Step 2: Complete an Accredited Vet Tech Program
Aspiring veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania enroll in a 2-year or 4-year training program to prepare for the veterinary technician national examination. For their training to be valid, attending an institution accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association is also advisable. Usually, graduates of this program get to live with either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree.
Step 3: pass the veterinary technician national examination
The national examination for veterinary technicians is mandatory for all veterinary technicians nationwide. The exam tests candidates’ knowledge in 11 veterinary technician Fields and is compulsory for licensure and certification.
State Licensure and Certification Requirements
The next step after the above deals with certification and licensure. The body concerned for veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania is the Pennsylvania State Board of Veterinary Medicine. All that is needed to be certified by the board is to pass the veterinary technician national examination and send your scores.
After becoming certified, the technicians in the state must also work towards renewing their certification every 2 years by completing 16 hours of continuing education.
Learn about veterinary technician licensing and certification in neighboring states:
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania has 11 veterinary technician programs that the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities accredits. They include the following.
Pennsylvania Western University
Pennsylvania Western University in California, Pennsylvania, offers an associate of applied science veterinary technology degree program that can be completed in 24 months. Through the program, students get to learn, under experienced instructors, key topics such as radiography, animal physiology, veterinary pharmacology, and more. The school also prepares candidates extensively for their Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Institute of Medical and Business Careers
The Institute of Medical and Business Careers is accredited on an institutional level by the Accreditation Bureau of Health Education Schools. The school offers a veterinary technology program that can be completed in 18 months and maintains a purposefully small class size consisting of no more than 25 students.
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center
Lancaster County Career and Technology Center offers another notable destination to receive veterinary technician training in Pennsylvania. The program can be completed in 21 months and includes 74 credits. Students graduate with an associate degree and expertise in veterinary practice management, veterinary anesthesia, and nutrition dentistry.
Lehigh Carbon Community College
The veterinary technology program at Lehigh Carbon Community College offers an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology and is organized in conjunction with Northampton Community College. The program comprises 68.5 credits with a historical first-time VTNE pass rate of 83%.
Other notable destinations for CVTEA-approved veterinary technician programs in Pennsylvania include Johnson College, offering an associate of applied science degree; Manor College, offering an associate of science degree; and Pittsburgh Career Center, offering an associate in specialized technology degree. The Vet Tech Institute has campuses in four different cities across the country.
Aspiring veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania can also receive their veterinary technician training at Wilson College, Harcum College, or the VTI Career Institute.
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Salary and Career Outlook
An aspiring veterinary technician in Pennsylvania can expect an annual average salary of $33,774. This figure is the average for all vet technicians in Pennsylvania, but some can earn much higher. In contrast, some can reach below the figure thanks to experience level, location, credentials, and more.
Those who earn the most in the state earn an annual average salary of up to $46,597, while those in the bottom 10% still earn an average yearly salary of $24,479.
The highest-paying cities for veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania include Pittsburgh, with an annual average salary of $39,084; Norristown, with an average annual wage of $38,787; and Philadelphia, with an average yearly salary of $37,951.