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.

Website Url main address vet tech & assistant grads (2012)
Volunteer State Community College 1480 Nashville Pike, Gallatin, Tennessee, 37066-3188 31
Chattanooga State Community College 4501 Amnicola Hwy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 37406-1097 30
Lincoln Memorial University 6965 Cumberland Gap Pky, Harrogate, Tennessee, 37752-9900 22
Columbia State Community College 1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, Tennessee, 38401 21
Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis 550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, Tennessee, 38105-3604 11
Notes:2012 vet tech graduate data from IPEDS (2013).
Schools that offer at least one vet tech or vet assistant program online

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.

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.

Barry Franklin (Editor)

Barry joined publisher Sechel Ventures as partner in 2013 and, along with running the business, edits content for VetTechColleges.com.