For animal-lovers in the Green Mountain State, becoming a veterinary technician is one career that helps furry, feathered, and scaly-skinned creatures across the state.
The Vermont Veterinary Technicians Association (VVTA) not only offers voluntary professional certification in the field, but it also boasts an array of continuing education (CE) opportunities to keep these animal healthcare specialists up-to-date on the latest advances in pharmaceuticals, equipment, and procedures which are relevant to the field. Furthermore, the VVTA focuses on enhancing the communication between pet-owners and veterinary workers, in addition to serving as an advocate for people in this important line of work. The VVTA also recognizes a VT Vet Tech of the Year, which is awarded to outstanding practitioners who have acted as “good community citizens” who engage in continued learning.
According to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA 2021), vet techs take on various responsibilities in healthcare settings such as helping veterinarians with a plethora of procedures (e.g., diagnostic imaging, dentistry, laboratory analysis, surgery, immunizations); stabilizing animal patients with basic first aid; monitoring vet vital signs; maintaining supply inventories and sterilization of facilities; assisting with clerical management of offices; and educating people on best practices for animal nutrition and healthcare.
It’s important to note that the scope of responsibilities varies by state of practice. In addition to having voluntary professional credentialing, vet techs in VT enjoy a relatively generous practice environment in their profession. By illustration, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA 2021) reports that in VT, “any person who, in good faith, provides care and treatment to an animal during an emergency shall not be held liable for civil damages by the owner of the animal, unless his or her acts constitute gross negligence or unless he or she will receive or expects to receive remuneration.” By extension, VT vet techs enjoy broader legal protections in their provision of care compared to other US states.
Read on to learn at length about the employment outlook for vet techs in VT and nationwide, as well as how much these animal healthcare professionals can expect to earn and how to pursue voluntary certification through the VVTA.
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|Vermont Technical College||124 Admin Drive, Randolph Center, Vermont, 5061||No||Yes|
Job Outlook for Vet Techs in Vermont
There is a promising job outlook for veterinary technicians in the US and Vermont. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021) anticipated a 15 percent explosion in openings nationwide in this field between 2020 and 2030, much more robust than the average growth projected across all occupations (8 percent). Projections Central (2021) found that openings for veterinary technicians and technologists are expected to increase at an even faster rate (19.1 percent) than what’s anticipated nationally. The projected addition of 90 vet techs in VT is relatively robust given the size of the state.
Furthermore, Vermont Veterinary Technician Association (VVTA) listed employment opportunities for vet techs at numerous veterinary facilities in December 2021, including Shelburne Veterinary Hospital, Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists, Tanneberger Veterinary Hospital, Lamoille Valley Veterinary Services, Sequist Animal Hospital, Rockingham Veterinary Clinic, Ark Veterinary Hospital, and many more.
If the traditional job-seeking websites are any indication, there should be plenty of opportunities in this field in the coming years. By illustration, Indeed (December 2021) posted job openings for vet techs at places such as VCA Animal Hospitals, Waterbury Veterinary Hospital, Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic, and VetCor.
Adding to the employment prospects in the state of Vermont is the possibility of specialization by becoming a veterinary technician specialist (VTS). The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) lists several academies that offer national credentialing in subfields of veterinary technology such as zoological nursing, animal behavior, avian care, clinical pathology, surgery, equine nursing, anesthesia, and many others.
To qualify for credentialing, candidates typically need to submit a resume with experience in one’s subfield; show proof of having completed a qualifying vet tech program; send letters of recommendation; and achieve a passing score on an exam. To discover the various pathways to becoming a VTS, check out the main vet tech specialist careers page.
Vet Tech Salaries in Vermont and Nationally
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2020) found an average annual salary of $37,860 among the 109,490 vet techs employed nationwide. For the 480 vet techs employed in VT, this figure was $35,000. The salaries for veterinary technicians in Vermont were roughly on par with national averages, although it’s important to note that the cost of living in Vermont is also somewhat higher than the national average.
As proof of point, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021) found that VT is the twelfth most expensive state and has especially high costs in housing and utilities. Aspiring veterinary technicians in VT are encouraged to keep this in mind while considering the salary prospects in the state.
In more granular terms, how much do vet techs make around the country and in Vermont? The table below is a comparison of national and state salaries of veterinary technicians.
|Number of veterinary technicians employed||109,490||480|
|Average annual salary||$37,860||$35,000|
|50th percentile (median)||$36,260||$35,090|
It’s important to note that these figures also varied based on the source of data. By illustration, Indeed (December 2021) found an average annual salary of $30,490 among Vermont veterinary technicians, and Payscale—a data aggregator of self-reported salaries in common occupations—found national figures which differed from the BLS.
By illustration, PayScale (December 2021), found the following percentiles nationally:
- 10th percentile: $28,000
- 50th percentile (median): $37,641
- 90th percentile: $52,000
Vet Tech Schools in Vermont
For aspiring veterinary technicians in VT, there is one program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA): the associate of applied science (AAS) degree program at Vermont Technical College.
Vermont Technical College, School Of Agriculture, Plant, And Animal Sciences offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree program in veterinary technology. The program is taught by a certified veterinary technician and two full-time veterinarians providing hands-on experience in over 300 AVMA-required procedures.
Vermont tech’s farm exposes students to horses and dairy cattle and also provides experience to work with cats, dogs, rodents, birds, and reptiles. In this competitive 64-credit vet tech program, students take classes such as zoology; animal care & restraint; animal diseases; anatomy & physiology; laboratory techniques; animal nutrition; pharmacology & toxicology; reproduction & genetics; and veterinary office procedures.
Most notably, there’s a huge array of scholarships open to vet tech students at this school such as:
- Carolyn Ferris Memorial Veterinary Technician Scholarship
- Central Vermont Tractor Club Scholarship
- Edward Allen Pierce Memorial Scholarship
- Green Mountain Dog Club Scholarship
- John D. Bryant Memorial Scholarship
- Lang Farm Scholarship
- Maria Balsam Milone Scholarship
- Vermont Morgan Corporation Scholarship
- Woodstock Dog Club Scholarship
- Welcome Home / Transfer Scholarship
- Degree Completion Scholarship
Also, one measure of a program’s effectiveness is its passing rate on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), the main credentialing exam in the field. For vet tech program graduates at Vermont Technical College, the first-time passing rate among vet tech graduates between 2018 and 2021 was 54.20 percent.
On successful completion of the program, graduates can take up roles such as herd health technicians, surgery technicians, veterinary assistants, dairy farm consultants, and kennel workers.
- Location: Randolph Center, VT
- Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE)
- Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
- Estimated Tuition: Vermont residents ($613 per credit); non-VT residents ($1,172 per credit)
Online Vet Tech Programs for Students in Vermont
In addition to the single on-campus program available to aspiring veterinary technicians in Vermont, there are also ten CVTEA-accredited online programs. These programs typically involve online classes and in-house clinical training which are arranged at approved local sites close to a student’s home.
Penn Foster College based in AZ offers an online associate degree in veterinary technology boasting one of the more affordable tuition rates at $85 per credit. Preparing students for an in-demand career in veterinary healthcare, this self-paced online program allows students to study on their own time and prepares them to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Between 2018 and 2021, 75.86 percent of program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.
The vet tech program curricula include units in animal anatomy & physiology; medical mathematics; clinical pathology; anesthesia for veterinary technicians; surgical nursing for veterinary technicians; clinical parasitology; radiography for vet techs; small & large animal medicine; laboratory animal medicine; and more. The program also includes two clinical externships. Students complete 73 credits to complete their program.
A bachelor of science degree in veterinary technology is also offered by Penn Foster that is specifically ideal for students who have already earned an AVMA-accredited associate degree.
- Location: Scottsdale, AZ
- Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC)
- Expected Time to Completion: Associate degree (16 to 24 months); BS (36 to 48 months)
- Estimated Tuition: $85 per credit
The Purdue University of IN also provides an online associate of applied science (AAS) program in veterinary technology with 27 courses and 18 mentorships to round out didactic training with hands-on experience. The program allows students to gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and information required to practice as veterinary nurses or veterinary techs.
Classes include pharmacy procedures; diagnostic imaging for vet techs; clinical pathology; pharmacology; small animal nursing for vet techs; anesthesia; large animal nursing & health management; laboratory animal health; management topics for vet techs; and parasitology for vet techs. Students complete 70 credits to earn their degree.
Between 2018 and 2021, an incredible 96.4 percent of Purdue’s distance-based program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt, in addition to 82.6 percent of the school’s on-campus vet tech students.
- Location: West Lafayette, IN
- Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA)
- Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
- Estimated Tuition: $270 per credit
To discover the range of web-based training degree programs available in this field, visit the online veterinary technician programs page.
Vet Tech Certification in Vermont
As mentioned above, the Vermont Veterinary Technicians Association (VVTE) provides a voluntary certification in the state for those who wish to become certified vet techs (CVTs).
To qualify, candidates must have graduated from an AVMA-accredited program (i.e., one approved by the AVMA’s aforementioned CVTEA), and passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Additionally, vet techs must pay an annual $50 membership fee.
To maintain this voluntary credential, vet techs in VT must renew every two years following the completion of 18 qualifying continuing education (CE) credits. In addition to in-state CE opportunities posted on the VVTE website, there are other online CE courses available through the following:
- Hill’s Science Diet
Attending an AVMA-Accredited School
Finally, to qualify for certification in Vermont, candidates must have graduated from a program approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities. The CVTEA evaluates the following criteria in its program-approval process, which it lists on its website:
- Institutional accreditation
- Organization & communications
- Physical facilities & equipment
- Resources for clinical instruction
- Library & informational resources
- Faculty & staff
- Outcomes assessment
For a full breakdown of how these are evaluated, visit the CVTEA accreditation standards page.