The field of veterinary technology is highly critical to the functioning of any veterinary practice. The area is also held to a very high standard. All aspiring individuals wishing to pursue a career in it must fulfill specific educational requirements before starting.
The same is true for Tennessee as it is for other states.
To that end, we look below at the steps involved in becoming a veterinary technician in Tennessee. We also examine possible certification and licensing requirements, along with the top programs in the state, before providing an overview of the potential salary that an aspiring veterinary technician in Tennessee can look forward to during their career.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Tennessee
The following is a straightforward pathway to becoming a veterinary technician in Tennessee.
Complete an accredited training program.
One of the most critical steps in becoming a veterinary technician in most states is to complete a training program that the AVMA accredits. In Tennessee, accreditation is essential because it leads to professional licensure. Luckily, the state has many training programs that fulfill this requirement. We take a look at some of them below.
Pass the veterinary technician national examination.
The veterinary technician national examination tests aspiring veterinary technicians in 11 areas of proficiency, including pharmacology and laboratory procedures. Candidates must secure a passing score of 425 to practice professionally in Tennessee.
Become licensed and secure employment.
After passing the VTNE, the next step in becoming a veterinary technician in Tennessee is to obtain a license from the state board and send employment applications. We discuss more on the licensure and certification requirements below.
State Licensure & Certification Requirements
In Tennessee, licensure is a must for veterinary technicians and is carried out by the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. The board asks for the following requirements before a license can be given.
- Candidates must pass the VTNE and send in their results.
- Candidates must send in a notarized application.
- Candidate must send in the application fee.
- Candidates must send in two passport-style photographs and proof of their United States or Canadian citizenship.
- Candidates must send in the official transcripts from an accredited program.
- Candidates must pass a criminal background check.
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Tennessee
The following are some notable veterinary technician training programs in Tennessee for interested individuals in the state to consider.
Chattanooga State Community College
At the Chattanooga State Community College, aspiring veterinary technicians in Tennessee may pursue their dreams through a veterinary technology degree program lasting for five semesters. Courses include medical terminology, pharmaceutical calculations, anesthesia, and clinical pathology. The program contains 66 credits and an opportunity to receive hands-on training through supervised internships in neighboring veterinary clinics and hospitals.
Chattanooga State Community College graduates had a first-time pass rate of 84% in the veterinary technician national examination between 2019 and 2022.
Columbia State Community College
Another excellent CVTEA-approved destination to receive veterinary technician training in Tennessee can be found at Columbia State Community College. Here, students learn everything they need to succeed on the job through a 21-month, 73-credit program.
Another notable feature of this program is that it maintains a purposefully small class size of 30 students, so the instructor-to-student ratio is always optimal. Along with the classroom training, students will also get the chance to acquire hands-on training from medical facilities during the final semester of the program.
Austin Peay State University
Located in Clarksville, Austin Peay State University offers a bachelor of science program in agriculture that includes 120 credits and can be completed in four years. Aspiring veterinary technicians in the state can kick-start their careers by taking this program focusing on veterinary technology.
By graduating, students will have acquired in-depth skills in veterinary nursing, pharmacology, clinical experience, laboratory procedures, veterinary terminology, animal nutrition, and pathology.
In 2021, the school had an impressive 100% first-time pass rate in the national examinations for veterinary technicians.
Other notable destinations for high-quality veterinary technician training in Tennessee include Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, the University of Tennessee-Martin in Martin, and Vol State Community College in Gallatin.
Candidates looking for an online accredited option may consider the training programs at Colby Community College and Purdue University.
Choose nearby states for the same career:
Salary and Career Outlook
The annual average salary for veterinary technicians in Tennessee is $29,971. Technicians in the top 10% of salary earners take home around $41,096, while those in the bottom 10% take home around $21,858.
The following are the highest-paying cities for veterinary technicians in Tennessee:
- Nashville — $35,477 annual average salary,
- Franklin — $33,578 yearly average wage,
- Memphis — $31,982 average annual wage,
- Piperton — $30,769 average yearly salary,
- Murfreesboro — $30,733 average annual wage.
Consider exploring nearby states with comparable salaries: