Along with a wide-open avenue for career growth, veterinary technicians in Virginia enjoy an impressive salary and several employment opportunities. To help individuals in the state get started in the profession, we have provided below the steps to create a successful career as a veterinary technician in Virginia and the possible licensure requirements and certification alternatives.
To cap it all up, we have included some of the best vet tech training programs to enroll in and the projected salary for veterinary technicians in Virginia.
Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in Virginia
Below are all the steps involved in becoming a veterinary technician in Virginia.
1. Fulfill the high school requirements
In high school, veterinary technicians are expected to have strong grades in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and any other relevant subjects offered. Those who do not have a high school diploma may also provide a GED equivalent to secure admission into a training program.
2. Obtain training from an accredited institution
Training for a vet technician in Virginia must be obtained from a training program accredited by the American Medical Veterinary Association. Candidates may attend these programs for two or four years, depending on whether they want to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree.
Virginia has three accredited veterinary technology training programs: Blue Ridge Community College, Northern Virginia Community College, and Tidewater Community College. We will examine these programs in more detail in the upcoming sections.
3. The veterinary technician national examination
Organized every year within three months, the veterinary technician national examination tests aspiring vet technicians in pharmacology, laboratory procedures, and diagnostic imaging.
State Licensure and Certification Requirements
After fulfilling high school requirements, graduating from an accredited training program, and passing the VTNE, the next step is to become licensed by the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. To acquire these licenses, candidates must fill out an application and send it to the board with transcripts of their time in an accredited training program. They must also forward the official test results from the VTNE.
Once a license is issued, it must be renewed every year through six hours of continuing education credits.
Learn about Veterinary Technician licensing and certification in neighboring states:
Top Veterinary Technician Schools in Virginia
Three veterinary technician schools in Virginia are accredited by the AVMA’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. We take a look at what all three have to offer below.
Northern Virginia Community College
Students accepted into the veterinary technology program at Northern Virginia Community College will graduate with an associate of applied science degree and proficiency in theoretical and clinical topics needed to succeed. The school offers both on-campus and distance learning formats, so everyone is well-catered for.
The program consists of 68 credits that can be completed in 24 months for the on-campus student and 36 months for the online distance-based student. Topics include animal behavior, clinical pathology, laboratory procedures, and dentistry.
Blue Ridge Community College
Located in a beautiful area of Virginia close to Charlottesville, Blue Ridge Community College offers aspiring veterinary technicians in the state an opportunity to earn an associate of applied science degree through a 72-credit program.
This program comprises 72 credits spanning various topics such as surgical nursing, clinical practices, small-animal and large-animal nursing, animal diseases, and radiology. Those who choose the on-campus option will complete their program in 2 years or five semesters, while those who decide the distance option will complete their programs in 36 months.
Tidewater Community College
Lastly, aspiring veterinary technicians in Virginia may also consider receiving their education at Tidewater Community College in Virginia Beach. The expected completion time is 6 semesters with a lot of focus on flexibility so that vet assistants who are already working can still obtain their education without interfering with their work.
They will have to complete 63 credit courses, including topics in Introduction to Laboratory Procedure, Animal Pharmacology, anatomy, and Physiology. The program also provides hands-on training through laboratory procedures three to four days per semester.
Consider exploring veterinary technician schools in neighboring states:
Salary and Career Outlook
The annual salary for veterinary technicians in Virginia is $ 41327 – a figure 12% higher than the national average. This figure is more pertinent for veterinary technicians in the midpoint of location, experience, credentials, and the type of establishment they work in.
For vet technicians at the lower end of these factors, the annual average salary is usually closer to $ 30,392, while those who fall in the upper back are the ones who earn the most in the state. They tend to make as high as $56,197.
As for the highest paying cities for veterinary technicians in Virginia, they include Vienna, with an annual average salary of $47,783, Richmond with $47,076 Leesburg, with $46,373, Fairfax with $45,341; and Springfield, with an average yearly salary of $45,295.