As the first U.S. state to establish a government separate from Great Britain in January 1776, New Hampshire has a great deal of history. Further, its New England location gives it spectacular seasonal changes from frigid, snowy winters to beautiful, colorful autumns. The Granite State is the 9th least populous state, and aspiring veterinary technicians (vet techs) should note that most veterinary technician jobs in the state are concentrated in large metropolitan areas – Nashua, Manchester, and Portsmouth.
Luckily, New Hampshire is also quite small, coming in at 5th smallest by land area. This means that for those vet techs that do find jobs, it is pretty likely that the job will be nearby. New Hampshire vet techs should expect to look for work at one of the many private veterinary clinics in the state, or may find work at a veterinary surgical center, an educational laboratory, or an animal shelter, working to treat and protect homeless animals.
New Hampshire veterinary technicians can apply for certification through the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association (NHVTA). While the NHVTA is not an official government organization offering licensure, certification is strongly encouraged for those vet techs that want to work in New Hampshire. It is also possible to apply for a reciprocal certification if you are certified or licensed in another state.
In addition to certification, vet techs can find professional camaraderie and important information about continuing education opportunities through the NHVTA. Keep reading for further information about how you can become a vet tech in New Hampshire and what employment opportunities you can expect to find.
Map of Vet Tech Schools in New Hampshire
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|Great Bay Community College||320 Corporate Dr, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, 03801-2879||No||Yes|
|University of New Hampshire||46 College Road, Durham, New Hampshire, 3824||No||Yes|
Accredited Vet Tech Programs in NH
Getting into a great school is important because the right education is a strong launching pad for a successful and sustainable career. The best way to recognize a high quality veterinary technician program is to find one that has earned its accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This accreditation ensures that a school is properly training vet techs for the field and giving them the knowledge and skills they will need, including clinical skills and hands on training opportunities. As of August, 2018, there are two campus-based accredited schools in New Hampshire, as listed below.
Great Bay Community College (formerly New Hampshire Technical College), in Portsmouth, has full accreditation from the AVMA. The school offers an associate of science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology to those who graduate from its vet tech program. The expressed goal of the program is to provide students with a “comprehensive academic foundation emphasizing technical skills, integrity, and professionalism.” Students gain hands-on experience while they work at local animal hospitals during their clinicals. Courses in the program include:
- Nursing care
- Surgical assisting
- Veterinary anatomy and physiology
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Veterinary pharmacology
- Veterinary practice law
- veterinary emergency medicine
- Small animal behavior
The 3-year VTNE first time pass rate for graduates from Great Bay Community College was 61% between 2014 and 2017.
The University of New Hampshire College of Life Science and Agriculture also offers a two year Veterinary Technology AAS degree. As of 2016, the program has earned Initial Accreditation from the AVMA, which simply means that they have earned accreditation in the last 5 years. The on-campus program in Durham offers a wide range of experiences to its students, including:
- Reading animal behavior, and handling animals safely
- Large animal behavior and handling techniques
- Anesthesia and surgical assisting
- Small animal dentistry
- Animal nursing
- Laboratory procedures
- On-campus large animal experience
- Client communication, euthanasia, grief counseling, and medical ethics
Students must complete an internship in addition to program courses and labs. The first-time VTNE pass rate for the U of New Hampshire was 42% between 2014 and 2017.
While the above are the only two CVTEA-accredited on-campus schools offering a vet tech program in the state, students still have other options to consider, such as online schooling, where it is equally important to seek out programs with AVMA accreditation.
One well-known school with an online vet tech program is Purdue University, which offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree. It has AVMA accreditation and beginning Fall 2017, consists of 27 courses and 18 clinical mentorships. Courses in this program include introduction to ophthalmology; imaging for vet techs; anatomy; clinical pathology; microbiology for vet techs; small animal nursing; pharmacology; principles and techniques of sterilization; introduction to ophthalmology, dermatology, and oncology; and more. Purdue has an impressive first-time VTNE pass rate of 88.5% for it’s online program and 100% for it’s on-campus program in Indiana (2013-2016).
Penn Foster College is another name in online training for vet techs. It also has AVMA accreditation, and it too offers an associated of applied science (AAS) degree. The school offers courses including anesthesia for veterinary technicians; surgical nursing; clinical parasitoloty; radiography; small and large animal medicine; animal nutrition, reproduction, genetics, and aging; and much more. The 3-year, first-time pass rate on the VTNE for Penn Foster graduates was 63.3% (2014-2017).
How to Become a Vet Tech in New Hampshire
The following outline is the most common path that vet techs take on the way to their new career. However, it should be noted that not all vet techs will follow the exact same steps or timeline. Starting a vet tech career in New Hampshire at any point in your life can be an exciting and rewarding experience.
- Step 1: Graduate High School
Duration: 4 years
According to CareerOneStop, which is a site sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor, just 1.8% of veterinary technicians in the U.S. do not have a high school education, which means vet techs should be sure to graduate or obtain a GED as soon as possible. Current high school students who are working towards the vet tech career will want to focus on classes like biology and chemistry to have the best chance of succeeding at the next level of their education. Furthermore, high school students who are not quite sure they want to be vet techs may find it useful and inspirational to volunteer at a local animal shelter or veterinary office.
- Step 2: Complete Accredited Vet Tech Program
Duration: 2 to 4 years
In order to eligible for vet tech certification in New Hampshire students must complete an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program. Generally, these programs take two years to complete and culminate in an Associate of Applied Science degree.
- Step 3: Take VTNE
The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a prerequisite for New Hampshire certification. After graduation, vet techs must take the VTNE exam and apply for certification within 5 years. If two years elapse before the exam is completed, aspiring vet techs must provide evidence of continuing education during that 2 year period. If 5 years elapse between the time the vet tech takes the exam and the time she applies for certification, she must take the exam again.
- Step 4: Apply for Certification Through NHVTA
After completing an accredited program and passing the VTNE, new vet techs are eligible to apply for vet tech certification through the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association (NHVTA). Vet techs who are certified in another state may apply for certification through the NHVTA’s reciprocity program.Vet techs must earn 12 continuing education credits each year to maintain certification. If certification lapses, vet techs may apply for amnesty and pay a reinstatement fee of $75 to renew certification.
Strong Demand for Vet Techs in New Hampshire
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), New Hampshire currently employs 860 veterinary technicians (BLS, 2017). Vet techs in New Hampshire work in private veterinary practice clinics and veterinary surgical centers, animal shelters, and also 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 which is 7% (BLS, 2017). In New Hampshire, however, growth is expected to be even better, with an estimate of 21% growth between 2014 and 2024 according to CareerOneStop, and is the 4th fastest growing career in New Hampshire for those with an associate’s degree.
As with any occupation, the distinct region or city in New Hampshire where a vet tech works can have an impact on job availability as well as salary.
Following is a regional breakdown of where the most vet techs in New Hampshire are employed: (BLS, 2017)
- Nashua, NH-MA NECTA Division: 110
- Manchester: 140
- Portsmouth, NH-ME: 170
- Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: 140
- Dover-Durham, NH-ME: 110
- West Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: 110
- Southwest New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: 40
- Northern New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: 40
A breakdown of median annual salaries around New Hampshire looks like the following:
- Northern New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: $34,530
- Southwest New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: $34,620
- Portsmouth, NH-ME: $34,490
- Nashua, NH-MA NECTA Division: $35,340
- Manchester: $38,810
- West Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: $30,630
- Dover-Durham, NH-ME: $32,500
- Central New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area: $31,070
As you can see, the highest concentration of jobs does not always correlate with the highest salaries. The Portsmouth area reported the most vet techs employed, while the Manchester 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., but overall the salaries are comparable. The New Hampshire salaries are as follows: $34,330 average annual salary (BLS, 2017)
- 10th percentile: $23,920
- 25th percentile: $28,020
- 50th percentile: $34,050
- 75th percentile: $40,600
- 90th percentile: $47,150
In the U.S. as a whole, vet tech salaries are as follows: $34,710 average annual salary
- 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 aforementioned NHVTA 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||New Hampshire Jobs||Salary Data (BLS, 2017)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Average Salary (Median)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
Accreditation and Certification Information for New Hampshire Vet Techs
New Hampshire does not strictly require any licensure or certification for veterinary technicians, but it is a good idea for students to obtain certification through the NHVTA. Certification through this association helps employers to know that a vet tech has a certain level of knowledge, skill, and professionalism, which in turn makes it easier for those vet techs to find work. Vet techs who have certification in another state that matches or exceeds the requirements of New Hampshire can apply for reciprocity for their certification. Vet techs need to renew their certification annually and pursue continuing education credits. They need to have 12 credits annually. The credits do not stack, so earning more than 12 in a single year will not carry over into the next year. Check with the association about the types of CE that are accepted and ensure a course has NHVTA approval before enrolling.
By choosing campus-based or online vet tech schools in NH with AVMA accreditation, graduates can be assured of a quality education that will help them find the veterinary technology job of their dreams. With the right foundation, aspiring vet techs can easily pursue a career and find fulfillment working with animals and veterinarians.
|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|
|No||CVT||Yes||Yes||New Hampshire does not require its veterinary technicians to become certified with the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association (NHVTA). At least two years of education in a vet tech program is generally a requirement for most employers. Taking the VTNE upon graduation may still be advisable for those candidates interested in being employable in other states.||New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association|