Veterinary Technician Schools in Michigan

While there aren’t any wolverines remaining in Michigan, the Wolverine State still boasts plenty of veterinary services and career opportunities for animal-lovers. For example, the Michigan Humane Society provides services for tens of thousands of animals annually. Since 2010, this estimable organization has found homes for 100 percent of the healthy dogs and cats in its care and it aims to achieve guaranteed placement of all treatable animals as well. Established in 1877, this is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, working to end pet homelessness, reunite lost pets with owners, and advocate against animal cruelty.

Becoming a veterinary technician in Michigan is a high-growth career prospect for people interested in animal healthcare. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), vet techs have a number of job responsibilities such as restraining animals during common procedures; assisting veterinarians with the administration of anesthesia, dental procedures, surgeries, or diagnostic imaging; processing laboratory samples; sterilizing medical equipment; and monitoring the health condition of animal patients. Some vet techs choose to specialize and hone their skills in areas such as clinical pathology, equine medicine, dermatology, rehabilitation, behavior, livestock, marine animals, radiology, and other subfields of the discipline. AVMA (2016) adds that the scope of practice for vet techs varies by state. In Michigan, there are no regional restrictions specified for veterinary technicians and assistants. Furthermore, veterinary personnel aren’t liable for civil damages when things go wrong, barring special circumstances. The relatively relaxed governing of the profession in this state allows vet techs to take on greater responsibilities. That said, to practice as a vet tech in MI, a person must be a licensed veterinary technician (LVT).

How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Michigan

So how does a resident of the Great Lakes State pursue this in-demand career? Here are the typical steps to becoming a vet tech in MI:

Map of Vet Tech Schools in Michigan

School WebsiteUrlmain addressonline programAvma Accredited
Baker College of Cadillac9600 E 13th St, Cadillac, Michigan, 49601-9600NoYes
Baker College of Clinton Township34950 Little Mack Ave, Clinton Township, Michigan, 48035NoYes
Baker College of Flint1050 West Bristol Road, Flint, Michigan, 48507-5508NoYes
Baker College of Jackson2800 Springport Rd, Jackson, Michigan, 49202-1290NoNo
Baker College of Muskegon1903 Marquette Ave, Muskegon, Michigan, 49442NoYes
Baker College of Port Huron3403 Lapeer Road, Port Huron, Michigan, 48060NoYes
Macomb Community College14500 E Twelve Mile Rd, Warren, Michigan, 48088-3896NoYes
Michigan State University220 Trowbridge Rd, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824NoYes

Career Outlook for Vet Techs in Michigan

Luckily for veterinary technicians in Michigan and beyond, this is a high-growth career. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2015) projects that openings in this field will swell 19 percent across the US between 2014 and 2024, much more robust than the growth expected of all occupations during that time (7 percent). With the anticipated addition of 17,900 vet tech positions nationwide, there will be employment opportunities for these trained professionals in the years to come.

So how much do veterinary technicians typically earn annually across the country, and how do these figures compare with Michigan’s? According the the BLS (2014), vet techs nationwide have the following salary percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $21,390
  • 25th percentile: $25,740
  • 50th percentile (median): $31,070
  • 75th percentile: $37,590
  • 90th percentile: $45,710

For comparative purposes, Payscale (2016)—an aggregator of self-reported salary data in common professions—found that its 327 responding vet techs had similar salary ranges:

  • 10th percentile: $21,000
  • 25th percentile: $25,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $30,914
  • 75th percentile: $40,000
  • 90th percentile: $49,000

The BLS (2014) found that the average annual salary for vet techs nationally was $32,350, somewhat higher than Michigan’s mean salary in this field at $31,460. It’s important to note, however, that for the 2,830 vet techs in MI, the cost of living is substantially more affordable. By illustration, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2015) reports that MI was the ninth cheapest state in the US with savings especially in housing costs.

Here is a more granular look at the salary percentiles among veterinary technicians in MI (BLS 2014):

  • 10th percentile: $20,590
  • 25th percentile: $25,510
  • 50th percentile (median): $30,670
  • 75th percentile: $36,880
  • 90th percentile: $43,750

Not surprisingly, these figures tend to vary by region of the state as well. There’s good news for residents of Michigan’s capital Lansing, which boasts the highest wages among its 160 vet techs compared to the rest of the state. Here are the salary percentiles among the 14 designated metropolitan regions of MI (BLS 2014):

Ann Arbor, MI: 150 vet techs employed 

  • 10th percentile: $23,710
  • 25th percentile: $27,330
  • 50th percentile (median): $33,380
  • 75th percentile: $41,950
  • 90th percentile: $47,090

Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, Metropolitan Division, MI: 470 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $22,980
  • 25th percentile: $26,680
  • 50th percentile (median): $31,230
  • 75th percentile: $37,520
  • 90th percentile: $44,240

Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Metropolitan Division, MI: 1,440 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $18,800
  • 25th percentile: $25,560
  • 50th percentile (median): $31,780
  • 75th percentile: $37,250
  • 90th percentile: $43,700

Flint, MI: 80 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $23,040
  • 25th percentile: $25,460
  • 50th percentile (median): $27,810
  • 75th percentile: $30,150
  • 90th percentile: $37,380

Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI: 250 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $22,550
  • 25th percentile: $26,130
  • 50th percentile (median): $30,410
  • 75th percentile: $36,030
  • 90th percentile: $39,710

Holland-Grand Haven, MI: 60 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $25,560
  • 25th percentile: $26,920
  • 50th percentile (median): $29,170
  • 75th percentile: $32,450
  • 90th percentile: $37,020

Kalamazoo-Portage, MI: 210 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $18,700
  • 25th percentile: $21,520
  • 50th percentile (median): $26,870
  • 75th percentile: $35,170
  • 90th percentile: $41,060

Lansing-East Lansing, MI: 160 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $26,050
  • 25th percentile: $30,030
  • 50th percentile (median): $37,330
  • 75th percentile: $47,350
  • 90th percentile: $58,990

Monroe, MI: 60 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $20,160
  • 25th percentile: $22,290
  • 50th percentile (median): $26,830
  • 75th percentile: $33,330
  • 90th percentile: $37,240

Saginaw-Saginaw Township North, MI: 30 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $21,170
  • 25th percentile: $27,190
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,670
  • 75th percentile: $38,410
  • 90th percentile: $45,300

Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Metropolitan Division, MI: 970 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $17,890
  • 25th percentile: $24,550
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,010
  • 75th percentile: $37,150
  • 90th percentile: $43,300

Northeast Lower Peninsula, Nonmetropolitan Area, MI: 40 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $21,700
  • 25th percentile: $23,950
  • 50th percentile (median): $26,900
  • 75th percentile: $30,070
  • 90th percentile: $46,660

Northwest Lower Peninsula, Nonmetropolitan Area, MI: 40 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $26,060
  • 25th percentile: $28,220
  • 50th percentile (median): $32,380
  • 75th percentile: $38,770
  • 90th percentile: $46,120

Balance of Lower Peninsula, Nonmetropolitan Area, MI: 190 vet techs employed

  • 10th percentile: $21,940
  • 25th percentile: $25,250
  • 50th percentile (median): $28,390
  • 75th percentile: $32,100
  • 90th percentile: $36,980

Vet techs in Michigan can seek employment in a range of environments, including veterinary hospitals, animal clinics, sanctuaries, kennels, research labs, farms, aquariums, zoos, and other facilities. Although some vet techs work regular business hours, due to the nature of providing animal healthcare, some may be asked to work weekends, evenings, or holidays according to the needs of patients.

The Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT)—a professional organization for vet techs in MI—offers a wealth of services such as a quarterly newsletter, access to continuing education, networking opportunities, mock exams for licensing, and scholarships. MAVT also maintains an active job post page with openings at places such as Dowagiac Animal Hospital, Livonia Veterinary Hospital, the Cat Practice of Birmingham, Mid-Michigan Veterinary Hospital, Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, and Gaide Veterinary Hospital, to name a few. Additionally, the Michigan Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) provides a continually updated list of job openings at facilities such as Mid-Michigan Veterinary Hospital, Bellaire Animal Hospital, and Howard City Veterinary Services.

Veterinary CareerMichigan JobsSalary Data (BLS, 2014)
Low Salary (10th %ile)Average Salary (Median)High Salary (90th %ile)
Vet Tech2,830$20,590$30,670$43,750
Vet Assistant1,770$17,540$23,870$37,680

Accredited Vet Tech Degree Programs in Michigan

Although application requirements vary for vet tech programs in MI, admissions committees generally call for official high school transcripts with proof of specific coursework (e.g., biology, chemistry, algebra, English); test scores (SAT or ACT, and TOEFL for non-native speakers of English); a background check; proof of immunizations and health insurance; and an application fee. At this stage, it also may be advisable to pursue voluntary or internship work at an animal healthcare facility as more competitive vet tech programs prefer candidates with some experience.

In MI, there are currently eight campus-based programs accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) main accrediting body for vet tech programs. For more information on accreditation, please visit the section below.

Michigan State University (MSU) offers a CVTEA-accredited bachelor’s of science (BS) program in veterinary technology, giving students the fundamentals of the field such as animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, nursing, and laboratory procedures. This 120-credit program has advanced instruction in pharmacology, hospital procedures & communication,  biochemistry & nutrients, and preventative healthcare. Between 2013 and 2015, an astonishing 98.33 percent of MSU’s graduates passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) on their first attempt. Please note that a minimum of 80 verifiable hours of veterinary experience is required to apply to the BS program. Additionally, MSU provides a five-semester certificate of completion option in veterinary technology for applicants who already have associate or bachelor’s degrees.

Macomb Community College of Warren provides a CVTEA-approved associate of applied science (AAS) in veterinary technology with classes such as small animal diseases, pharmacology for veterinary technicians, radiology, and a capstone research project. Macomb reports an impressive 92.6 percent passing rate on the VTNE between 2012 and 2015.

Baker College, which has several locations throughout Michigan, hosts an associate of applied science (AAS) program in veterinary technology. With specialized instruction to prepare students for both the VTNE and Michigan vet tech licensing exam, Baker’s curriculum includes coursework in animal surgical procedures, radiology, veterinary pathology, laboratory & exotic animals, and general education requirements. An astounding 100 percent of Baker’s graduates at the Cadillac, Jackson, and Muskegon campuses passed the VTNE on their first attempt between 2013 and 2015.

Some aspiring vet techs—particularly those living in rural regions of MI—may find it difficult to attend on-campus classes. Others may have familial or other types of time commitments which necessitate some flexibility in scheduling. For these students, there are currently nine CVTEA-accredited, distance-based programs. These typically involve the completion of web-based coursework in conjunction with approved local internships in veterinary settings. For instance, the prestigious Purdue University based in Indiana hosts an online associate degree in veterinary technology. Students learn through a rigorous combination of 17 clinical mentorships and 35 targeted courses such as anatomy, physiology, lab animal health, principles of anesthesia, and imaging. From 2012 to 2015, 79 percent of Purdue’s distance-based students passed the VTNE on their first try, while 94 percent of the campus-based students did.

For more information on distance-based programs in veterinary technology, please visit the online veterinary technician programs page.

Licensing for Vet Techs in MI

As mentioned above, prospective vet techs in MI must apply for state licensure through the  Michigan Board of Veterinary Medicine. Michigan’s Department of Licensing & Regulatory Affairs (LARA) reports that to qualify for state licensure, a candidate must submit official transcripts from a veterinary technology program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA)—a branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)—as well as pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), pay a $105 application fee, complete a criminal background check, and take the Michigan Veterinary Technician Examination. The state exam is offered each June at Michigan State University (MSU).

Initially, the Michigan vet tech license must be renewed within the first four months to one year. Thereafter it must be renewed every two years.

Finally, Michigan State University (MSU) offers a list of test-prep and professional resources to aspiring vet techs:

Vet Tech Program Accreditation

As mentioned above, to qualify for licensure as a vet tech in Michigan, a candidate must graduate from a program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the program approval agency created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This programmatic accreditation institution evaluates several factors in its process such as program finances, admissions procedures, program curricula, quality of facilities & equipment, student outcomes, and other relevant variables. For a full description of how vet tech programs are evaluated, please visit the CVTEA webpage.

Vet Techs Must Be Licensed to PracticeLicensed Vet Techs Are CalledLicensing RequirementsAdditional Resources
Graduate from an AVMA-Accredited ProgramPass the VTNEAdditional Requirements
YesLVTYesYesApplicants are required to pass a Michigan Veterinary Technician Examination; submit a background check; and get fingerprinted.Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians
Barry Franklin (Editor)

Barry is the Managing Editor of VetTechColleges.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He presently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and their black maltipoo.