Animal-lovers in the Green Mountain State might consider becoming a veterinary technician in order to help furry, feathered, and scaly-skinned creatures across the state. The Vermont Veterinary Technicians Association (VVTA) not only offers a 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 2016), 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 2016) 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.
Map of Vet Tech Schools in Vermont
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|Vermont Technical College||1 Main Street, Randolph Center, Vermont, 05061-0500||Yes||Yes|
Accredited Vet Tech Programs 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.
In this competitive vet tech program, students take classes such as zoology; animal care & restraint; animal diseases; anatomy & physiology; laboratory techniques; 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
- Commonwealth Dairy 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
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 2012 and 2015 was an impressive 82.35 percent.
Online Vet Tech Programs
In addition to the single on-campus program available to aspiring veterinary technicians in Vermont, there are also eight CVTEA-accredited online programs. These programs typically involve online classes and in-house clinical trainings which are arranged at approved local sites close to a student’s home.
For example, Penn Foster College based in AZ offers an online associate degree in veterinary technology boasting one of the more affordable tuition rates at $79 per credit. In 2015, this program graduated over 100 students, more than any other program in the country. The vet tech program curricula includes units in animal anatomy & physiology; medical mathematics, clinical pathology; anesthesia for veterinary technicians; surgical assisting; clinical parasitology; radiography for vet techs; small & large animal medicine; laboratory animal medicine; and more. Between 2013 and 2016, 67.75 percent of program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.
Purdue University of IN also provides an online associate of applied science (AAS) program in veterinary technology with 35 courses and 17 mentorships to round out didactic training with hands-on experience. 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. Between 2013 and 2013, an incredible 89.5 percent of Purdue’s distance-based program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt, in addition to 97 percent of the school’s on-campus vet tech students.
To discover the range of web-based training degree programs available in this field, visit the online veterinary technician programs page.
For more information on web-based programs for vet techs, please visit the online veterinary technician programs page.
Job Outlook for Vermont Vet Techs
There is a promising job outlook for veterinary technicians in the US and in Vermont. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015) anticipated a 19 percent explosion in openings nationwide in this field between 2014 and 2024, much more robust than the average growth projected across all occupations (7 percent). Although this figure was slightly lower for Vermont, it was still higher than the average across all fields around the country. CareerOneStop (2016)—a data-analyzing affiliate of the US Department of Labor— found that veterinary technicians and technologists occupy the sixth fastest growing career in Vermont among people with associate degrees. Between 2012 and 2014, they anticipated a 17 percent increase in openings in this profession. The projected addition of 70 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 September 2016, including Green Mountain Animal Hospital, Fitzgerald Veterinary Hospital, Springfield Animal Hospital, Rutland Veterinary Clinic & Surgical Center, Qi Veterinary Clinic , Burlington Emergency & Veterinary Specialists, Country Animal Hospital, Long Trail Veterinary Center, Sequist Animal Hospital, Bear Swamp Veterinary Service, Chelsea Animal Hospital, Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic, Onion River Animal Hospital, Richmond Animal Hospital, and Rutland Veterinary Clinic at Castleton Corners.
Adding to the employment prospects in the state of Vermont is the possibility of specialization by becoming a veterinary technician specialist (VTS). In fact, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) lists a number of academies which 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 become a VTS, check out the main vet tech specialist careers page.
Vet Tech Salary in VT and Nationally
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2015) found that there were 95,790 veterinary technicians working across the country with a mean annual salary of $33,280 or $16.00/hour. In more detailed terms, the BLS reported the following percentiles:
United States (95,790 vet techs employed): $33,280 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $21,890
- 25th percentile: $26,350
- 50th percentile (median): $31,800
- 75th percentile: $38,480
- 90th percentile: $47,410
And in hourly terms, these national salary figures for veterinary technicians translate to:
- 10th percentile: $10.52/hr.
- 25th percentile: $12.67/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $15.29/hr.
- 75th percentile: $18.50/hr.
- 90th percentile: $22.80/hr.
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 2016) found that VT is the tenth 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.
According to the BLS (May 2015), the 360 vet techs in VT had an annual average salary of $33,880, slightly higher than the national average. In more detailed terms, the BLS found the following percentiles for vet techs in VT:
Vermont (360 vet techs employed): $33,880 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $25,060
- 25th percentile: $28,560
- 50th percentile (median): $33,810
- 75th percentile: $38,550
- 90th percentile: $45,330
In hourly terms, these salaries equate to (BLS May 2015):
Vermont: $16.29/hour on average
- 10th percentile: $12.05/hr.
- 25th percentile: $13.73/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $16.26/hr.
- 75th percentile: $18.54/hr.
- 90th percentile: $21.79/hr.
Not surprisingly, these figures varied by source of data. It’s important to note that BLS likely boasts the most comprehensive salary figures across professions due to its relatively high sample size and methods of reporting.
The salaries for vet techs also vary based on area of VT as well. Interestingly, the southern non-metropolitan region of the state boasted the highest salaries in this profession. According to the BLS (May 2015), there were three designated regions in VT with the following numbers of vet techs employed, average salaries and percentiles:
Burlington-South Burlington, VT (180 vet techs employed): $32,430 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $24,550
- 25th percentile: $27,780
- 50th percentile (median): $32,610
- 75th percentile: $37,110
- 90th percentile: $40,140
Southern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area (80 employed): $37,750 avg.
- 10th percentile: $26,420
- 25th percentile: $30,330
- 50th percentile (median): $38,530
- 75th percentile: $45,450
- 90th percentile: $49,340
Northern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area (100 employed): $33,180 avg.
- 10th percentile: $23,970
- 25th percentile: $28,890
- 50th percentile (median): $33,780
- 75th percentile: $37,540
- 90th percentile: $40,960
In hourly figures, the three BLS-designated regions of VT had the following figures:
Burlington-South Burlington, VT: $15.59/hour average
- 10th percentile: $11.81/hr.
- 25th percentile: $13.36/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $15.68/hr.
- 75th percentile: $17.84/hr.
- 90th percentile: $19.30/hr.
Southern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area (80 employed): $18.15/hr. average
- 10th percentile: $12.70/hr.
- 25th percentile: $14.58/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $18.52/hr.
- 75th percentile: $21.85/hr.
- 90th percentile: $23.72/hr.
Northern Vermont Nonmetropolitan Area: $15.95/hr. average
- 10th percentile: $11.52/hr.
- 25th percentile: $13.89/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $16.24/hr.
- 75th percentile: $18.05/hr.
- 90th percentile: $19.69/hr.
|Veterinary Career||Vermont Jobs||Salary Data (BLS, 2015)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Average Salary (Median)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
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:
AVMA Accreditation for Vet Tech Programs
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 11 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.
|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||Vermont does not require its veterinary technicians to become certified with the Vermont Veterinary Technician Association. 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.||Vermont Veterinary Medical Association|