Vet Tech Schools in Virginia

Finding a great career that has potential room for growth, as well as stability and good pay is something that can be done through the occupation of vet tech. Anyone with an interest in the medical field and animals is in luck. They could go to one of the veterinary technician schools in Virginia and receive their degree in a rapidly growing field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts strong job growth, and many postsecondary schools are ready to serve students as well. Some popular options include Blue Ridge Community College and Northern Virginia Community College, which both provide students with programs to get started in this career.

Website Url main address vet tech & assistant grads (2012)
Blue Ridge Community College 1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia, 24486-0080 71
Northern Virginia Community College 4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, Virginia, 22003-3796 48
Notes:2012 vet tech graduate data from IPEDS (2013).
Schools that offer at least one vet tech or vet assistant program online

Outlook for Veterinary Technicians in Virginia

The vet tech occupation is hot right now, and it seems as though this trend will continue. According to 2012 data from the BLS there is some great news. Jobs for vet techs are expected to increase 30 percent nationwide from 2012 to 2022, and this job growth is considered faster than average. Vet techs working in the state also earned mean annual wages of $37,330, which are above the nationwide average for vet tech pay.  The areas around Richmond, Virginia Beach and Norfolk have the highest concentration of employees in the field. Richmond and the surrounding area had employment numbers for vet techs that reached about 390, while Virginia Beach and Norfolk had 240.

Those who have an interest in attending vet tech schools in VA will find quite a few different employment opportunities in the state. Many of the jobs will be in areas with high populations, but it’s possible to find work in other areas, too. Some of the different types of employers looking for techs include privately owned clinics, large animal hospitals, labs, and zoos.

The Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians is a great resource for techs in the state. Once you’ve graduated, passed your exams, and received your license, it may be a good idea to join. The association offers networking, continuing education, and up-to-date information on the field. It often has conferences, too, including a Fall Conference that features speakers and classes.

Find Quality Veterinary Technician Schools in Virginia

Virginia has quite a few great schools with vet tech programs. When a prospective student is looking at veterinary technician schools in Virginia, they should ensure that the school has accreditation, ideally through the AVMA. Completing the courses at an AVMA-accredited school means that you should be prepared to sit for the exam that you need to take to seek licensure.

Blue Ridge Community College near Weyers Cave offers a vet tech program allowing students to work toward an associate of applied science degree. On-campus learning, as well as distance learning are two of the program options. The college has full accreditation from the AVMA and features courses that include:

  • Intro to animal science
  • Intro to veterinary technology
  • Clinical practices
  • Surgical nursing

Northern Virginia Community College offers distance learning and on-campus learning as well. Students will be able to seek an associate of applied science degree from the school, which also has full accreditation from the AVMA. Students can sit for their national exam after they graduate, and take classes offered at the college that include:

  • Animal nursing techniques
  • Behavior
  • Client relations
  • Surgical assisting

In addition to looking for programs on campus, many students may find that going to school online is a better option. One of the schools to consider for this option is San Juan College, which offers a vet tech program that helps students prepare for work in the real world. The school has had accreditation from the AVMA since 2006, and allows students to work toward an associate of applied science degree. Students should be eligible to sit for their national exam when they graduate.

Importance of Accreditation and Licensure in VA

Students will want to check that the school that they choose to attend has accreditation with the AVMA. This regulating body ensures that schools offer the right tools and training for students to be able to enter the field after passing their Veterinary Technician National Examination. It is well worth the time to find a school that has a good reputation and that has accreditation. The AVMA looks at a number of different things when granting accreditation including:

  • Curriculum
  • Facility
  • Institutional accreditation
  • Library
  • Resources
  • Staff

Students should always make sure they choose an accredited school in good standing. Those who attend schools without accreditation may not be able to take the national licensing exam.

The Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine regulates those practicing in veterinary medicine, including vet techs, and offers applications for licenses on their site. The Board offers online licensing, as well information about the laws and rules of veterinary medicine. The Board will send out renewal notices 45 to 60 days before the expiration date of a license. Vet techs can then renew online, or they can request a written form. The current cost of a license in VA for vet techs is $30. If they are late in renewing this license, the cost is $15 more. Those who are coming from another state can contact the Board about options for transferring their license.

Barry Franklin (Editor)

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