Maine is the easternmost state in the U.S. and only the 42nd most populous. Its rocky coastlines and natural features are home to many types of wildlife, just as its cities are home to many types of people who are more than happy to live apart from the bustle of big cities. Even the most populous city of Portland has just under 67,000 residents, making it less than 1% of the size of New York City.
For people interested in becoming veterinary technicians in Maine, the small population and cities will be something to contend with when seeking out a job. Luckily, despite the Pine Tree State’s small population, there are actually two accredited vet tech programs in the state. A strong education gives new vet techs the foundation they need to pursue this career. Keep reading to find out more about applying to programs in Maine and what exactly accreditation means.
Vet techs in Maine can expect to find employment opportunities throughout the small state. To take advantage of these opportunities, vet techs will need to be licensed with the state. Veterinary technicians in Maine can apply for licensure through the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Continuing education and specialization is also a possibility for vet techs to further their careers. Information on those opportunities, as well as professional support and networking, is available through the Maine Veterinary Medicine Association, which also supports veterinarians in the state. Some specialty areas vet techs may pursue include emergency and critical care, anesthesiology, internal medicine, animal behavior, or dentistry.
Becoming a veterinary technician is a huge step towards a sustainable career that can support yourself and your family for years to come. This particular career path also gives vet techs the chance to do good in their community by providing excellent care to the pets and working animals of Maine.
Map of Vet Tech Schools in Maine
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|University of Maine at Augusta||46 University Dr, Augusta, Maine, 04330-9410||No||Yes|
|York County Community College||112 College Drive, Wells, Wells, Maine, 4090||No||Yes|
Accredited Vet Tech Programs in Maine
Finding the right school in Maine is vital when trying to become a veterinary technician. For licensure purposes, you only want to consider attending a school that offers American Veterinary Medical Association accreditation. This accreditation ensures that a school provides a quality vet tech education to its students that prepares them to begin their professional lives. In Maine, there are two vet techs programs with AVMA accreditation.
The University of Maine at Augusta/Bangor offers an AVMA accredited bachelor of science (BS) degree in veterinary technology. The school has had full accreditation from the AVMA since 2002. Students gain training in many areas, including:
- Animal care and handling
- Mammalian anatomy and physiology
- Clinical lab techniques
In addition to labs throughout the program, students will have two externships during their final semester. They can complete both at a clinic, or do one at a clinic and one at a laboratory. This gives graduate the hands on experience they need to begin their careers, as well as important professional contacts for future employment. Facilities for hands-on learning include labs, kennels, a surgical suite, and a radiological suite. The University of Maine at Augusta has a traveling large animal laboratory that covers practice with equine, sheep, goats, bovine, and pigs. Stressed throughout the program are values such as the humane care of animals, compassion with animals and their owners, and animal and client psychology. Graduates of this program had a first-time pass rate on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) of 76% (2014-2017).
The other Maine program that has been accredited by the AVMA is at York County Community College in Wells, Maine. The 2 year YCCC program culminates in an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. Students may begin the program in fall, spring, or summer, however entering in spring or summer may extend the length of the program. Students learn through a combination of classroom instruction, labs, and external partnerships and clinical practicums. Courses include animal nutrition; veterinary pharmacology; clinical methods; laboratory animal medicine; large animal management; veterinary imaging and dental; veterinary clinical pathology; and more. Learning outcomes include effective oral, written, and electronic communication skills, knowledge of proper medical terminology, demonstration of ethical and responsible behavior, and a commitment to lifelong learning.
Accredited Online Vet Tech Programs
Some students might not be able to take courses at the campus, or may simply feel that online learning is a better option. Fortunately, technology makes online earning easy, and some great online schools are ready to serve students in Maine.
One of the popular options is San Juan College. The college has full AVMA accreditation, and offers students an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. Vet tech courses are 12 weeks long, and general education courses last 16 weeks. Students can begin the program in January, May, or August of each year and all courses are offered in each semester. Courses include vet diagnostic imaging; vet business procedures; vet clinical pathology; vet anesthesia and surgical assisting; vet nursing care; small animal disease and medical therapeutics; and more. In order to demonstrate learned skills for the AVMA requirements, students create video portfolios of learned skills completed under supervision of approved clinical and preceptorship. San Juan College vet tech graduates have an impressive 88.1% first-time pass rate on the VTNE exam between 2015 and 2018.
Another option is Penn Foster. The school has full accreditation and also offers students an associated of applied science degree. Students learn about animal anatomy, animal care for large and small animals, and more. It is important to note that students taking online course will still need to demonstrate real world skills through externships and other clinical experiences in order to find employment. Penn Foster graduates have a 3 year average first-time pass rate on the VTNE of 63.3%.
How to Become a Vet Tech in Maine
Here are common steps to become a certified veterinary technician (CVT) in Florida:
- Step 1: Graduate High School. According to CareerOneStop, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, just 1.8% of veterinary technicians in the U.S. have less than a high school education. High school students that know what career they want to pursue should pay close attention to classes such as biology and chemistry, which will be helpful in further studies and future work. Students may also find it useful and inspirational to volunteer at a local animal shelter or veterinary office.
- Step 2: Complete Accredited Vet Tech Program. Vet techs in Maine must complete a vet tech program before they can apply for licensure. Approved programs must last at least 2 years and must have been either “certified according to the standards adopted by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities or an equivalent program, as determined by the board, and who has passed an examination prescribed by the board.”
- Step 3: Take VTNE. The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a prerequisite for licensure as a vet tech in Maine. Exam scores should be sent directly to the Board of Veterinary Medicine and reported on the licensure application.
- Step 4: Apply for Licensure in Maine. After completing steps 1 through 4, vet techs are eligible to apply for licensure in the state of Maine. License applicants must submit a completed application along with an application fee of $35 and criminal background check fee of $21. Upon approval, the license will be emailed to the vet tech.Veterinary technicians must renew their license annually for a fee of $50.
Strong Demand for Vet Techs in Maine
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Maine currently employs 740 veterinary technicians (BLS, 2017). Vet techs in Maine work in private veterinary practice, animal shelters, and educational facilities. In the U.S., the overall demand for vet techs is expected to grow by 20% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average of all occupations (7%). Things are not quite as optimistic in Maine specifically, but demand in the state is still expected to grow by 14% between 2014 and 2024, according to CareerOneStop. This growth rate means an additional 100 jobs for vet techs in Maine.
As with any occupation, the distinct region or city where one seeks employment can have an impact on job availability as well as salary.
Following is a regional breakdown of where the most vet techs in Maine are employed:
- Bangor: 90
- Portsmouth, NH-ME: 170
- Portland-South Portland: 210
- Northeast Maine: 50
- Southwest Maine: 230
A breakdown of average annual salaries around Maine looks like the following:
- Bangor: $32,340
- Portsmouth: $34,490
- Portland-South Portland: $38,300
- Northeast Maine: $34,020
- Southwest Maine: $33,250
As you can see, salaries do not vary widely around the state, but the Portland area had the highest average annual salary.
Averaging salaries across the state, median pay for vet techs is a bit higher than it is for all state in the U.S., although they level off more quickly. The Maine percentiles are as follows:
- 10th percentile: $26,590
- 25th percentile: $30,320
- 50th percentile: $34,760
- 75th percentile: $38,870
- 90th percentile: $45,280
In the U.S., vet tech salaries for the 103,430 employed are as follows:
- 10th percentile: $22,880
- 25th percentile: $27,430
- 50th percentile: $33,400
- 75th percentile: $39,860
- 90th percentile: $49,350
Professional networking and development is important for veterinary technicians who are just starting out. Groups such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America (NAVTA) and local organizations like the Maine Veterinary Medicine Association offer the opportunity for techs to meet other veterinary professionals, learn about continuing education training and establish a sense of community within the profession.
|Veterinary Career||Maine Jobs||Salary Data (BLS, 2017)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Average Salary (Median)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
Requirements for Certification and School Accreditation in Maine
Before techs can apply for certification, they need to meet certain requirements set forth by the Maine Board of Veterinary Medicine. They must first complete their degree at an approved and certified school that has accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association. After graduation, or when they are nearing graduation, students need to take and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam, which is an exam that tests their basic vet tech knowledge, and have those results submitted to the licensing board. After passing the exam, they will apply to the board for their license. This license needs to be reviewed and renewed each year on September 30.
In Maine, there are no continuing education requirements for vet techs. However, it is still in the best interest of practicing vet techs to keep up with the latest changes and new technologies in the field in order to advance in the vet tech career. Vet techs can look for courses to take or seminars to attend throughout the country. Even reading veterinary journals and maintaining a professional network of other vet techs and veterinarians can help in this pursuit of knowledge.
The vet tech schools in Maine chosen for training need to be approved and AVMA accredited. Before the AVMA grants accreditation, it looks at a school program to make sure it meets or surpasses expected requirements. Some of the things the AVMA looks at during accreditation include:
- Informational resources
Be sure to check to make sure the vet tech school you choose has accreditation. You can then be confident that you will be well trained to provide vet tech care and ready to pursue a career.
|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 are required to complete a criminal background check.||Maine Veterinary Medical Association|