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 90,000 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, and may be a good idea for other reasons as well: the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that there will be a much higher growth rate for the vet tech career–20% from 2016-2026–than for all occupations combined (7%). So becoming a veterinary technician can offer stability as well as a worthwhile career helping furry, scaly, and other types of creatures.
Map of Vet Tech Schools in Nevada
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|College of Southern Nevada - Charleston Campus||6375 W. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada, 89146||No||Yes|
|Pima Medical Institute-Las Vegas||3333 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89121||No||Yes|
|Truckee Meadows Community College||7000 Dandini Blvd, Reno, Nevada, 89512-3999||No||Yes|
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 technology. 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 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, 77% of graduates passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) on their first try.
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 classroom training and real-world experiences, and 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 was 75% at the Las Vegas, NV location (2014-2017).
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 two clinical externships for observation and participation in all aspects of veterinary technician practices. The first-time pass rate on the VTNE for Truckee students was an impressive 89% between 2014 and 2017.
Career Outlook for Nevada Veterinary Technicians
The job outlook for vet techs is good, at least according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (May 2017). It estimates job growth for the vet tech occupation to be at 20 percent from 2016 to 2026. This growth is faster than average of 7% for all occupations, and 20,400 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 620 employed vet techs, which includes 420 working in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas. According to CarrerOneStop, vet tech positions in Nevada are expected to increase by 26% between 2014 and 2024, creating an additional 161 positions during that time frame.
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 place to start, primarily because of the higher concentration of jobs there, 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 2018) found that Nevada was number 38 out of the 51 states and District of Comubia 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 2017) reported that there were 103,430 American vet techs with an annual average salary of $34,710 and the following wage percentiles:
- 10th percentile: $22,880
- 25th percentile: $27,430
- 50th percentile (median): $33,400
- 75th percentile: $39,860
- 90th percentile: $49,350
In hourly terms, the BLS vet tech wages equated to:
- 10th percentile: $11.00/hr.
- 25th percentile: $13.19/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $16.06/hr.
- 75th percentile: $19.17/hr.
- 90th percentile: $23.73/hr.
Interestingly, these figures varied by source of data. Payscale (July 2018)—a collector of self-reported wages in various occupations—found the following national salary percentiles among its 463 responding vet techs:
- 10th percentile: $20,000
- 25th percentile: $25,000
- 50th percentile (median): $30,887
- 75th percentile: $39,000
- 90th percentile: $47,000
Of the 5,097 vet techs reporting hourly salaries, here is the breakdown: (Payscale, July 2018) with their wages in hourly terms.
- 10th percentile: $10.00/hr.
- 25th percentile: $12.00/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $14.16/hr.
- 75th percentile: $16.00/hr.
- 90th percentile: $19.00/hr.
In the state of Nevada, veterinary technicians had somewhat higher wages than most of the country. The BLS (May 2017) reported that there were 510 vet techs in ID with an average salary of $27,640 and these percentiles:
Nevada (620 vet techs employed); $37,600 average annual salary
- 10th percentile: $23,960
- 25th percentile: $30,350
- 50th percentile (median): $36,750
- 75th percentile: $45,410
- 90th percentile: $53,530
Translated into hourly figures, the Nevada vet techs made:
Nevada: $18.08/hr. average
- 10th percentile: $11.52/hr.
- 25th percentile: $14.59/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $17.67/hr.
- 75th percentile: $21.83/hr.
- 90th percentile: $25.74/hr.
Not surprisingly, these figures also tended to vary based on 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 2017):
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (420 vet techs employed): $36,370 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $22,820
- 25th percentile: $28,380
- 50th percentile (median): $35,280
- 75th percentile: $44,350
- 90th percentile: $53,250
Reno, NV (150 employed): $39,030 avg.
- 10th percentile: $26,660
- 25th percentile: $32,970
- 50th percentile (median): $38,100
- 75th percentile: $45,590
- 90th percentile: $52,840
|Veterinary Career||Nevada Jobs||Salary Data (BLS, 2017)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Average Salary (Median)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
Accreditation and Certification 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. 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.
Vet techs in training have a certification 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 certified, all applicants need to take and pass the VTNE, as well as the Nevada State take-home jurisprudence exam, and 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.
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|