Vet Tech Schools in Tennessee

Choosing to work with animals could be a great career move. If you love animals and want to make sure that they are happy and healthy, starting a career as a vet tech might be a good choice for you. The vet tech schools in TN have the courses and classes that students need to get started in the field, and to help train students to be eligible to sit for the Veterinary Technical National Exam. Since the number of vet tech jobs becoming available in the U.S. are expected to be on the rise, an education from one of the vet tech schools in TN could help set you on your way.

Map of Vet Tech Schools in Tennessee

Website Url main address online program Avma Accredited Grads
Volunteer State Community College 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066-3188NoYes31
Chattanooga State Community College 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37406-1097Noyes30
Lincoln Memorial University 6965 Cumberland Gap Pky, Harrogate, Tennessee, 37752-9900NoYes22
Columbia State Community College 1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, Tennessee, 38401NoYes21
Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis 550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105-3604NoNo11
IPEDS Grads Data(2012), AVMA Data (2014).
* Probationary, ** Planned Closure, *** Closure .

Outlook for Vet Techs in Tennessee

The outlook for the field of vet techs is very bright. According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth in the field is projected to increase by 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, potentially leading to 25,000 new jobs during this time. This growth is considered faster than average by the BLS. In Tennessee, as of 2012, there were 1,620 vet techs working in the state. The majority of the techs were working in the areas that have the higher populations: the Nashville and Davidson area had about 400 techs and Chattanooga had about 100 employed vet techs.

Students considering vet tech schools in TN will want to know about potential pay. The BLS shows that, as of 2012, vet techs working in Tennessee earned mean annual wages of $27,330. Those who have degrees and licenses to work in the state can look for jobs in a number of settings including:

  • Labs
  • Large animal hospitals
  • Private vet clinics
  • Research facilities
  • Zoos

The Tennessee Veterinary Technicians Association has been around since the 1970s, and offers all kinds of information to its members. This includes info on continuing education, available jobs, and the rules, regulations, and legislation regarding work as a vet tech.

Veterinary Career Tennessee Jobs Salary Data (BLS, 2014)
Low Salary (10th %ile) Average Salary (Median) High Salary (90th %ile)
Vet Tech 1,580 $20,460 $28,080 $40,420
Vet Assistant 2,020 $17,460 $23,300 $32,850

Finding Great Vet Tech Schools in TN

Students looking for a quality school in TN to help them become a vet tech have some great choices available. It’s important for students to choose vet tech schools in Tennessee that have AVMA accreditation. This accreditation means they should be eligible to sit for the national vet tech exam, which they need to pass to seek licensing in Tennessee.

One of the available vet tech schools in TN is Chattanooga State Community College that offers an associate of applied science degree. The school has provisional accreditation from the AVMA, having only received its initial accreditation in 2008.

Columbia State Community College has full AVMA accreditation and offers an associate in applied science degree. The school teaches students the skills they need to work in the field of vet tech medicine.

Lincoln Memorial University could be a good option as well. The school, in Harrogate, offers both an associate of science and bachelor’s of science degree in veterinary medical technology. The school has full accreditation, and some of its program courses include:

  • Animal anatomy
  • Intro to veterinarian technology
  • Lab procedures
  • Veterinary terminology

Another of the available vet tech schools in TN is Volunteer State Community College. The school has provisional accreditation, which began in 2013, and offers an associate of applied science degree. The school has a relatively new program for vet techs in the state, but covers the various areas that techs need to graduate and be eligible to take the national exam.

Understanding the Importance of Accreditation and Licensing for Vet Techs

The only vet tech schools in TN that anyone should consider are those that have accreditation from the AVMA. These schools are vetted by the AVMA to be sure that they provide students with the tools and the knowledge needed to do well on the national exam. The AVMA examines a number of different areas at a school when deciding whether to grant accreditation. Some of these things include:

  • Curriculum
  • Equipment and facilities
  • Faculty
  • Finances
  • Informational resources
  • Institutional accreditation
  • Students

If you do not have a quality school with AVMA accreditation, you may not be able to sit for the national exam. It can prolong the wait for you to become a vet tech. Always research the pros and cons of the vet tech schools in Tennessee you are considering.

Once a student graduates or is nearing completion of a degree from an accredited school, he or she can take the national exam. This exam needs to be passed before a student can begin the application process for licensing in the state. To apply for the license, students should go to the Tennessee Department of Health.

The Veterinary Board meets throughout the year to go over the rules and regulations and to conduct regular business. The health department website offers information on educational programs, continuing education, and license renewal. Practitioners should be familiar with their site and the rules that have been set as guidelines for the field.

Vet Techs Must Be Licensed to Practice Licensed Vet Techs Are Called Licensing Requirements Additional Resources
Graduate from an AVMA-Accredited Program Pass the VTNE Additional Requirements
Yes LVT Yes Yes Applicants in Tennessee must also pass a criminal background check; submit proof of citizenship; and get one letter of recommendation from a licensed veterinarian. Tennessee Veterinary Technician Association
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-12 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University. He presently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his family and their black maltipoo.