Vet Tech Schools in Nevada

The Nevada Humane Society’s tag line is “A no-kill shelter, creating a no-kill community.” Since 2007 the mission of the NHS is that of lifesaving and promoting animal welfare, including finding homes and providing care for homeless pets. The NHS moved to a new facility in Carson City in October of 2016 and boasts that more than 100,000 animals have been placed into homes since 2007.

Services include pet adoptions, animal rescue and care, an animal resource center, and low-cost spay and neuter services. Volunteers are welcome and care for animals as well as completing office work and helping with special events. Volunteers can even foster animals in their homes.

If nursing animals back to health and helping veterinarians to care for those animals sounds like a career worth considering, then you might consider becoming a veterinary technician (or vet tech). Researching veterinary technician schools in Nevada is a great place to start.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that there will be a much higher growth rate for the vet tech career—19 percent from 2018 to 2028—than for all occupations combined during the same period (5 percent). Becoming a veterinary technician can offer stability as well as a worthwhile career helping furry, scaly, and other types of creatures.

Read on to discover AVMA-accredited vet tech programs in Nevada, including details on coursework and local salaries.

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
College of Southern Nevada - Charleston Campus 6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada, 89146NoYes
Pima Medical Institute-Las Vegas 3333 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89121HybridYes
Truckee Meadows Community College 7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, Nevada, 89512-3999NoYes

AVMA-ACCREDITED VET TECH PROGRAMS IN NEVADA

Prospective students looking for a vet tech program in Nevada, or outside the state, need to make sure they choose one that is accredited through the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the accrediting body of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Accreditation means that the program meets certain standards and expectations and can successfully train students for a vet tech career.

A list of accredited vet tech schools around the country is provided on the AVMA’s website. There are currently three CVTEA-accredited vet tech schools in Nevada for students to consider.

The College of Southern Nevada-Charleston Campus, in Las Vegas, offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary nursing. The college was the first post-secondary program in the state to have full accreditation from the AVMA, and its courses cover vet tech fundamentals and provide hands-on experiences. Students must demonstrate competency in skills required by the AVMA and state board in order to pass national and state exams.

In addition to general education courses, vet tech courses include an introduction to animal health technology; basic animal nursing; veterinary office and clinical procedures; clinical anatomy and physiology; parasitology; animal nutrition; large animal procedures; and more. Students complete two directed clinical practice courses to gain hands-on skills in veterinary technology. Between 2015 and 2018, 79 percent of graduates passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) on their first try.

The Pima Medical Institute, in Las Vegas, also offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology. The school has full accreditation, so students are able to take the VTNE after graduation or in the months leading up to it, and the program takes just 18 months to complete. This veterinary technician program incorporates a mix of online and classroom-based instruction and real-world experiences. Courses include:

  • Diagnostic imaging
  • Exotic animals
  • Large animal care and nursing
  • Equine medicine and nursing
  • Laboratory animal science
  • Dentistry techniques
  • Clinical surgery and lab
  • Surgical nursing

Students also complete a clinical externship in which they are mentored by veterinary professionals to gain hands-on experience. The first-time pass rate on the VTNE for Pima graduates is not currently available for the Las Vegas, NV campus.

Finally, Truckee Meadows Community College, in Reno, offers another veterinary technician AAS degree. This two-year, 73 credit program prepares students for animal dental cleaning, animal nursing care, diagnostic testing, and much more. Prerequisites include cell and molecular biology lecture and lab, composition, and fundamentals of college math.

Courses for the vet tech AAS degree include veterinary diagnostic imaging; clinical and general pathology; lab animal science and exotics; animal nutrition; veterinary office procedures; pharmacology and toxicology; small animal critical care; and more. Students also complete an advanced clinical practice. The first-time pass rate on the VTNE for Truckee students was an impressive 87 percent between 2016 and 2019.

Those interested in one of the distance-based, CVTEA-accredited programs can visit our online vet tech schools page.

Career Outlook for Nevada Veterinary Technicians

The job outlook for vet techs is good, at least according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS May 2019). The BLS estimates job growth for the vet tech occupation to be at 19 percent from 2018 to 2028. This growth rate is faster than the average for all occupations and 21,100 new vet tech positions could become available if this holds true.

With more jobs becoming available, it may be a good time to pursue a vet tech career. Currently, Nevada has 640 employed vet techs, which includes 420 in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.

While Northern Nevada and rural areas to the east may have opportunities for vet techs, when looking for work, the urban areas are often the best place to start. This is due to a higher concentration of jobs, but also because of the variety of work environments from which a vet tech might choose. Vet techs in the Las Vegas and Reno areas work in a number of different environments, including animal clinics, hospitals, research facilities, zoos, and even casinos that have animals.

Nevada Vet Tech Salary Data

Not only is there a bright career outlook for veterinary technicians in Nevada, but the salary prospects are promising, which goes right along with the cost of living in the state. To illustrate this point, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2020) found that Nevada was number 38 out of the 51 states and District of Columbia for cost of living, boasting particular savings in utilities. Prospective vet techs should keep this in mind while evaluating the following figures.

First, here’s a breakdown of vet tech salaries nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2019) reported that there were 110,650 American vet techs with an annual average salary of $36,670 and the following wage percentiles:

  • 10th percentile: $24,530
  • 25th percentile: $29,080
  • 50th percentile (median): $35,320
  • 75th percentile: $42,540
  • 90th percentile: $51,230

In hourly terms, the BLS vet tech wages equated to:

  • 10th percentile: $11.79/hr.
  • 25th percentile: $13.98/hr.
  • 50th percentile (median): $16.98/hr.
  • 75th percentile: $20.45/hr.
  • 90th percentile: $24.63/hr.
  • Interestingly, these figures varied by the source of data. Payscale (July 2020)—an aggregator of self-reported wages in various occupations—found the following national hourly wage percentiles among its 4,116 responding vet techs:

    • 10th percentile: $12.51/hr.
    • 25th percentile: $13.51/hr.
    • 50th percentile (median): $15.32/hr.
    • 75th percentile: $16.68/hr.
    • 90th percentile: $17.75/hr.

    In the state of Nevada, veterinary technicians had somewhat higher wages than most of the country. The BLS (May 2019) reported that there were 640 vet techs in NV with an average salary of $49,290 and these percentiles:

    Nevada (640 vet techs employed); $49,290 average annual salary

    • 10th percentile: $34,040
    • 25th percentile: $39,270
    • 50th percentile (median): $49,290
    • 75th percentile: $58,650
    • 90th percentile: $65,720

    Translated into hourly figures, the Nevada vet techs made:

    Nevada: $23.71/hr. average

    • 10th percentile: $16.36/hr.
    • 25th percentile: $18.88/hr.
    • 50th percentile (median): $23.70/hr.
    • 75th percentile: $28.20/hr.
    • 90th percentile: $31.60/hr.

    Not surprisingly, these figures also tended to vary based on the region of NV. The Reno area boasted the highest average annual salary figure for vet techs in the state. Here are salary figures and the number employed for the two reported regions in Nevada (BLS, May 2019):

    Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (420 vet techs employed): $50,100 annual average salary

    • 10th percentile: $34,210
    • 25th percentile: $38,750
    • 50th percentile (median): $49,060
    • 75th percentile: $60,160
    • 90th percentile: $70,850

    Reno, NV (140 employed): $46,600 avg.

    • 10th percentile: $34,480
    • 25th percentile: $40,090
    • 50th percentile (median): $46,390
    • 75th percentile: $53,840
    • 90th percentile: $60,730
VETERINARY CAREER NEVADA JOBS SALARY DATA (BLS 2019)
LOW SALARY (10TH %ILE) MEDIAN SALARY (50TH %ILE) HIGH SALARY (90TH %ILE)
VET TECH 640 $34,040 $49,290 $65,720
VET ASSISTANT 1,380 $19,170 $26,640 $35,710

Licensure for Vet Techs in Nevada

The Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has a wealth of links and information for those in the veterinary medical field. Vet techs can find information on the site about how they can apply for a license in the state. To do so, they need to have a degree as a vet tech from one of the vet tech schools in Nevada or another state and graduate from a program that is accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association and pay a $100 application fee.

Vet techs in training have a licensure option as well. As long as they are in their second year of a two-year school, or in their fourth year of a four-year school, they can apply for tech-in-training status. Before being licensed, all applicants need to take and pass the VTNE, as well as the Nevada State take-home jurisprudence exam. They must also supply a letter of recommendation from someone in the field, have all required skills signed off on by the supervising agent, and submit proof of 4,000 hours of clinical experience in a veterinary hospital supervised by a licensed veterinarian.

Check out the State of Nevada Licensed Veterinary Technician Qualification List, which outlines all skills that must be signed off on by the supervising agent of the veterinary technician before they can take the state exam.

Students looking for veterinary technician schools in Nevada should check to make sure the school they choose is AVMA-accredited. This organization has stringent guidelines for granting accreditation and aims to ensure that graduating vet techs have a certain level of competency that they can bring to the job.

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 No Yes Candidates must also complete a child support form and complete a take-home Nevada State Jurisprudence Examination. Nevada Veterinary Medical Association
Rachel Drummond (Writer)

Rachel is a freelance writer, educator, and yogini from Oregon. She’s taught English to international university students in the United States and Japan for more than a decade and has a master’s degree in education from the University of Oregon. A dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioner, Rachel is interested in exploring the nuanced philosophical aspects of contemplative physical practices and how they apply in daily life. She writes about this topic among others on her blog (Instagram: @racheldrummondyoga).