Veterinary Technician Schools in Maryland


For animal lovers in Maryland–the Old Line State–there is a wealth of volunteering, educational, and advocacy opportunities to support creatures great and small.

In fact, the Maryland SPCA finds homes for roughly 2,400 needy pets annually and offers much-needed vaccinations, treatments, and surgery. The spay and neuter clinic provides low-cost services and performs over 6,000 surgeries annually. Since 20 percent of the pets which arrive at SPCA annually have wandered away from their homes, the organization strives to locate pet owners and ensure that microchips or ID tags are up-to-date. Finally, SPCA impressively offers a Kibble Collection program, which provides hundreds of meals-on-wheels and fresh kitty litter to clients in need. With an incredible 94 percent live-release rate, this Baltimore-based agency is one of the most impactful animal welfare groups nationwide.

One way to become involved in this important line of work is to become a registered veterinary technician (RVT). The Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners provides a detailed list of skills expected in vet techs, which include maintaining detailed medical records; actively communicating with clients; assisting with patient examinations, emergency procedures, and surgeries; collecting lab specimens to diagnose common conditions; analyzing lab specimens with scientific equipment (e.g., urinalysis, cytology, microbiology, hematology, blood chemistry); taking diagnostic images such as radiographs; monitoring anesthesia during treatments; performing basic first aid and nursing to a range of animal patients; possessing knowledge of animal nutrition; assessing dental health and assisting with treatments; recognizing strange animal behavior; and having a working understanding of pharmacology. Additionally, the Maryland Board details the scope of practice for veterinary technicians in the state.

Interestingly, Maryland (MD) has relatively strict rules of practice regarding the conduct of vet techs and specifies that vet techs may not diagnose, give prognoses, prescribe substances, perform surgeries, or give any treatments without instruction from a licensed veterinarian. They may provide some services under the guidance of a vet such as administering anesthesia; applying casts; extracting teeth; suturing surgical skin; and accessing Schedule II controlled substances. Also, in emergency conditions, MD vet techs may administer first aid or follow a vet’s written protocols.

To discover the bright career outlook for veterinary technicians in MD and to learn about accredited programs and professional certification, please read on.

Map of Vet Tech Schools in MD

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
The Community College of Baltimore County - Essex Campus 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, Maryland, 21237NoYes

Occupational Demand for Vet Techs in Maryland

There is expected to be an explosion of job openings for veterinary technicians nationwide. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2022) anticipates that opportunities in this field will swell 20 percent between 2021 and 2031, much faster than the average growth projected in all occupations during that time (5 percent). According to Projections Central (2023), vet techs in Maryland can anticipate occupational growth of 9.4 percent between 2020 and 2030.

These animal healthcare professionals are employed in a range of environments, including veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, clinics (general and specialty), kennels, farms, laboratories, biomedical research facilities, zoos, aquariums, universities, governmental organizations, and animal welfare agencies. While some may be called upon to work normal business hours, others may be asked to work weekends, holidays, or evenings according to the needs of their patients.

Aspiring vet techs are encouraged to use traditional job search sites such as iHireVeterinary, Monster, Simply Hired, and LinkedIn to secure employment in this field. Additionally, Indeed (June 2023), provides an active list of opportunities at local employers in MD such as the Charles River Laboratories, Banfield Pet Hospital, Upper Marlboro Veterinary Hospital, Veterinary Emergency Group, EverVet Partners, and Mission Veterinary Partners, to name a few. Also, the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association provides job postings as well as continuing education (CE) opportunities and resources for those interested in veterinary occupations.

Finally, vet techs in MD who wish to specialize in a particular field would be well served to research the societies and academies—some with professional credentialing opportunities—of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). Popular subfields include nutrition, animal behavior, critical care, clinical pathology, zoological medicine, and anesthesia.

For more information about how to become a veterinary technician specialist (VTS), please visit the main veterinary technician page.

Vet Tech Salary in Maryland

Maryland boasts salaries that are higher than the national average. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics (May 2022), the 118,750 vet techs across the nation earned an average annual salary of $40,770. The 2,360 vet techs working in Maryland earned $42,050 per year, roughly 4 percent more than the national average.

Knowing that the need for vet techs is going to continue to climb in Maryland and nationwide, here are the salary prospects for vet techs nationally and in Maryland according to the BLS (May 2022):

United States Maryland
Number of vet techs employed 118,750 2,360
Average annual salary $40,770 $42,050
10th percentile $29,000 $29,470
25th percentile $34,510 $35,390
50th percentile (median) $38,240 $38,720
75th percentile $46,740 $48,820
90th percentile $54,680 $57,760

Luckily for vet techs in Maryland, salaries generally come in equal to or greater than the national averages. According to the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2023) this higher-than-average reality may result from the relatively high cost of living in Maryland. Maryland is the seventh most expensive place to live in the United States, with housing being particularly costly.

VET TECH 2,360 $29,470 $3872 $57,760
VET ASSISTANT 2,370 $30,400 $37,580 $48,430

Accredited Vet Tech Programs in MD

In Maryland, to become a registered veterinary technician (RVT), a person must have graduated from a two or four-year program in veterinary technology or a related field, preferably one accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The CVTEA is the main program approval body established by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

To gain entry to an associate program in veterinary technology, typical requirements include sending official high school transcripts, completing specific secondary school coursework (e.g., biology, chemistry, Algebra), submitting proof of health insurance and immunizations, writing a personal statement, passing a test (particularly the TOEFL for non-native speakers of English), and paying an application fee. Some programs may even call for candidate interviews, experience working with animals, or letters of recommendation.

The Community College of Baltimore County – Essex Campus

There is currently one program accredited by CVTEA in Maryland: the Essex Campus of the Community College in Baltimore. Essex offers a 65-credit associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. Students in this program will learn to perform several duties associated with animal care, such as assisting in an operating room, clinical laboratory procedures, administering medications, establishing patient imaging protocols, educating owners to better understand their pets’ problems, and supervising total patient care.

Courses in this 65-credit program include veterinary medical terminology; veterinary anatomy & physiology; animal nutrition; companion animal disease & pathology; pharmacology & toxicology; veterinary imaging; and more. This rigorous program also includes general education coursework, laboratory sections, and an internship at local facilities to let the student experience some hands-on training and gain the skills needed to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

Students in this program must have rabies immunizations, proof of health insurance, have a current Tetanus booster, and buy uniforms. The program begins in the Fall of each academic year. Essex graduates have an above-average first-time pass rate on the VTNE of 86 percent (2019-2022).

  • Location: Rossville, MD
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Five semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: In-county ($122 per credit); out-of-county ($241 per credit); out-of-state ($242 per credit)

Online Programs for Vet Techs

Since there’s only one AVMA-accredited program in MD, some students may find it difficult to attend an in-state program. Others may have to schedule restraints due to familial or other types of commitments. Luckily there are currently several online CVTEA-accredited vet tech programs. These programs generally offer coursework online and have students complete their clinical sessions at approved local facilities such as veterinary hospitals and private practice clinics. While there, a licensed veterinarian can progressively sign off on skills attained.

Dallas College

One distance-based vet tech program is offered through Dallas College (Formerly Cedar Valley College) of Lancaster, TX. Dallas College—which has had AVMA accreditation since 1978—teaches students through multimedia coursework in a flexible schedule. Students can begin in the fall, spring, or summer and take one or more courses per semester as their schedule permits.

Courses are delivered through multimedia that combines videos, web assignments, textbooks, and in-clinic exercises supervised by a preceptor whose duty is to verify the completion of assignments, exercises, and exams. Preceptors act as mentors to help and tutor the student and must be a veterinarian, veterinary technician, or licensed as an RVT, LVT, or CVT.

Some of the courses in this program include veterinary office management; anesthesia & surgical assistance; and veterinary technology. Between 2019 and 2022, 72 percent of students passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) on their first attempt.

  • Location: Dallas, TX
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Two years
  • Estimated Tuition: Dallas County residents ($79 per credit); out-of-county residents ($135 per credit); out-of-state/out-of-country residents ($200 per credit)

Purdue University

Additionally, Purdue University offers a competitive associate of applied technology (AAS) degree in veterinary nursing. With 27 courses (46.5 credits) and 18 clinical mentorships (18.5 credits), Purdue’s program is arguably one of the most comprehensive. In addition to these courses, students must complete a college-level, three-credit English Composition course, and a two-credit elective. The program comprises 70 credits.

Some of the web-based classes include anatomy and physiology for veterinary technicians; clinical pathology for veterinary technicians; parasitology for veterinary technicians; small animal nursing for veterinary technicians; principles of techniques and sterilization; large animal nursing and health management for veterinary technicians; introduction to ophthalmology, dermatology & oncology; dentistry for veterinary technicians; anesthesia for veterinary technicians; and diagnostic imaging for veterinary technicians.

Mentorships include large animal medical nursing, equine medical nursing, parasitology & microbiology, clinical pathology, and small animal diagnostic imaging.

Interestingly, the first-time pass rates on the VTNE differed between on-campus and online students in veterinary technology, but both were very high. At Purdue, 84.9 percent of the on-campus students passed the test on their first attempt between 2019 and 2022, while 92.1 percent of online students passed their first time.

  • Location: West Lafayette, IN
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Three years
  • Estimated Tuition: $270 per credit

For a detailed look at distance-based veterinary technician programs, please check out the online vet tech programs page.

Registration for Vet Techs in Maryland

In the state of Maryland, there is some flexibility with how veterinary technicians get registered. To become a registered vet tech (RVT), candidates can take one of three routes with the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SBVME), the main credentialing organization for this field in the state:

  • For graduates of an AVMA-accredited program: send proof of having graduated from an AVMA-accredited veterinary technician program
  • For graduates of a non-AVMA program: send an official transcript from an associate degree program in addition to proof of certain coursework (six college-level classes), work experience (10,000 hours), continuing education (24 hours), and a Technician Skills Assessment signed by a licensed veterinarian
  • For residents of other states: send a vet tech certification, licensure, or registration from another state and a letter of good standing

For all three groups, candidates must also successfully pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and the Maryland State Board Examination—a jurisprudence examination regarding the local scope of practice within MD. Additionally, all candidates must complete an application, send a 2” x 3” photograph, and pay an application fee.

These registrations are valid for three years and to renew, vet techs must send a letter of good standing and a resume and complete eight hours of approved continuing education (CE) annually. This is a total of 24 hours of CE per registration period.

Vet Tech Program Accreditation

As mentioned above, although graduating from an accredited program is optional for vet tech registration in MD, it may be advisable. First, it is generally a prerequisite for credentialing in most states. Second, it can enhance the employment options of a vet tech. And lastly, it is typically a prerequisite to taking the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), the main credentialing exam in this field nationwide.

The predominant program accreditation body for vet tech schools is the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), a group established by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The CVTEA evaluates many aspects of a school and program in its approval process, including institutional accreditation, student outcomes, admissions processes, curricula, quality of facilities, availability of student support, and other factors. For details on vet tech program accreditation, please check out the CVTEA website.

Jocelyn Blore (Chief Content Strategist)

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as an English teacher and freelance writer. After stints in England, Japan, and Brazil, she settled in San Francisco and worked as a managing editor for a tech company. When not writing about veterinary technology, nursing, engineering, and other career fields, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor.