In the Cowboy State, veterinary technicians (vet techs) have an abundance of resources to assist them in their important line of work. By illustration, the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA) provides a voluntary WY vet tech certification; continuing education opportunities; advocacy for animal rights; and a scholarship program. Additionally, WVTA offers a comprehensive list of links to groups of interest, including the Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association, the Wyoming State Livestock Board, and the Wyoming Board of Veterinary Medicine.
According to the AVMA, veterinary technicians in WY take on varied tasks in animal healthcare such as assisting veterinarians with complex procedures (e.g., dentistry, radiology, surgery, immunizations, first aid, critical care); restraining animals during physical examinations; collecting and processing laboratory samples (e.g., blood, urine, tissue samples); keeping detailed medical records; maintaining the cleanliness of facilities and surgical equipment; and teaching pet-owners, farmers, and livestock workers about the best practices for animal nutrition. For a practitioner in WY who chooses to specialize and become a veterinary technician specialist (VTS) in an area such as equine nursing or animal behavior, they may enjoy increased responsibilities, higher salaries, and more opportunities for employment in the state.
Becoming a vet tech in Wyoming is simpler than it is in other states. According to the WVTA (2021), veterinary support staff like vet techs are not specifically mentioned in Wyoming’s Veterinary Practice Act. As a result, vet tech certification in the state of Wyoming is voluntary. Although legally, vet techs need no formal training to work in veterinary settings, the WVTA has taken on the responsibility of creating a voluntary certification for vet techs working in the state since 2004.
Much like the requirements of states who do legally require certification, pursuing a voluntary certification in Wyoming requires vet techs to graduate from a program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the program-approval branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In addition, vet techs seeking voluntary credentialing must have passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), and engage in continuing education to keep their certifications up-to-date.
Read on to learn about the thriving employment climate for veterinary technicians in WY and nationally, accredited vet tech programs (on-campus and online), and how to become professionally certified through the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA).
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|Eastern Wyoming College||3200 West C St, Torrington, Wyoming, 82240-1699||No||Yes|
Accredited Vet Tech Programs in Wyoming
The gold standard in program accreditation for vet techs comes from the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), a branch of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). As of April 2021, Wyoming has one AVMA accredited program to help vet techs prepare for entry into the occupation.
Eastern Wyoming College, located in Torrington, offers vet techs the opportunity to enroll in a program that has been AVMA accredited since 1976. This long-standing vet tech institution boasts ample opportunities to work with various animals across state-of-the-art facilities with labs, surgery centers, radiography equipment, and dental units.
Coursework in the 69- to 72-credit associate of applied science (AAS) program includes units in applied principles of chemistry for veterinary technology; medical terminology; pharmaceutical calculations; veterinary office procedures; vet hematology; infectious diseases; diagnostic microbiology; vet parasitology; laboratory & exotic animals; and anatomy & physiology.
The program takes two years to complete. While accreditation is a symbol of the quality and effectiveness of a vet tech training program, an aspiring vet tech can assess program effectiveness by looking at how graduates of that program performed when taking the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) for the first time. 79.4 percent of EWC’s program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt between 2016 and 2019.
Online Vet Tech Programs for Wyoming Students
Although there is only one campus-based veterinary technician program in WY, there are also several accredited online vet tech programs. These programs include a combination of online didactic coursework and in-house clinical training completed at approved preceptor sites close to a student’s home. For residents of more rural regions of Wyoming, attending an accredited distance-based vet tech program may be a viable way to get the education needed to start one’s vet tech career.
For example, the Colby Community College based in Kansas offers an 82-credit online AAS program in veterinary technology with classes such as medical records & veterinary office skills; anatomy & physiology for veterinary technicians; basic nutrition of domestic animals; pharmacology; small animal clinical procedures; veterinary imaging; hematology; and critical care & clinical skills. Between 2017 and 2020, 76.47 percent of CCC’s online graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt. This rate is similar to Colby’s on-campus graduates, whose first-time pass rate came in at 80 percent.
Purdue University provides a part-time, online AAS program for vet techs comprising 27 courses and 18 clinical mentorships. The structured units in this competitive degree program include equine medical nursing; diagnostic imaging; clinical pathology; small animal nursing; anesthesia for vet techs; management topics; and microbiology for vet techs. Between 2017 and 2020, an incredible 95.2 percent of Purdue’s distance-based vet tech graduates and 87.7 percent of its on-campus students passed the VTNE on their first attempt.
Finally, San Juan College of New Mexico also provides an AAS in veterinary technology with unique coursework in vertebrate zoology; genetics; veterinary business procedures; medical therapeutics; emergency & critical care medicine; and large animal clinical assisting. Between 2017 and 2020, an impressive 89.8 percent of SJC’s veterinary technology program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.
To discover the array of distance-based programs available to aspiring veterinary technicians in Wyoming, check out the online veterinary technician programs page.
Wyoming Veterinary Technician Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2020), veterinary technicians and technologists nationwide are expected to see their employment opportunities explode in the coming decade. In fact, the BLS predicts a 16 percent increase in vet tech openings nationwide between 2019 and 2029, a growth rate that is four times faster than the national occupational growth rate of four percent.
According to CareerOneStop (2021), Wyoming is predicted to have an even faster growth rate—between 2018 and 2028, the demand for vet techs is expected to grow by 32 percent. In addition, the vet tech role is expected to be the third-fastest growing occupation for those with associate’s degrees in Wyoming.
Vet Tech Salary in Wyoming and Nationally
How much a vet tech can earn is dependent on various factors like location, experience, specialization, and more. To give a baseline understanding of vet tech earning potential, The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2020) reported that the 109,490 vet techs employed around the country earned an annual average salary of $37,860. The following chart illustrates how vet techs salaries in Wyoming compare to the national averages:
|Number of vet techs employed||109,490||220|
|Average annual salary||$37,860||$33,090|
|50th percentile (median)||$36,260||$32,370|
As it is clear that vet techs in Wyoming make less than national averages, it’s important to point out that people in the Cowboy State also enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to the rest of the country. To illustrate, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021) reported that WY is the twentieth most affordable state in the country. While groceries are just slightly above average in cost, Wyoming residents spend less on housing, utilities, and health than residents of other states. While WY vet tech salaries are lower than national averages, the dollar in WY goes much further than it might elsewhere.
Where Do Wyoming Vet Techs Work?
Veterinary technicians in WY work in a range of environments such as veterinary hospitals, clinics, farms, ranches, animal sanctuaries, pet stores, supply stores, parks, kennels, rescue centers, food inspection facilities, zoos, universities, and other places. In addition to traditional job-hunting websites such as LinkedIn, Monster, CareerBuilder, or SimplyHired, there are specialized veterinary job search engines such as iHireVeterinary. In April of 2021, iHire listed job opportunities through the State of Wyoming, National Veterinary Associates, the Wildlife Society, VCA Animal Hospitals, and ICF International.
As mentioned in the introduction, one way which vet techs in WY may enhance their candidacy for employment or increase their salaries is to become a veterinary technician specialist (VTS). According to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), there are various academies in subfields of veterinary care such as equine nursing, clinical pathology, surgery, zoological nursing, critical care, analgesia & anesthesia, surgery, dermatology, animal behavior, avian nursing, and more. To become certified in one of these subfields, candidates typically need to submit a resume; a vet tech credential; proof of experience in one’s subfield, letters of recommendation, a case portfolio, a passing score on an exam, and an application fee.
To learn more about how to become a VTS, visit the veterinary technician careers page.
|Veterinary Career||Wyoming Jobs||Salary Data (BLS 2020)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Median Salary (50TH %ILE)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
Wyoming Vet Tech Certification
As mentioned in the introduction, certification is voluntary for vet techs in WY, although the credential may be recommended to increase a person’s candidacy for employment and earning prospects.
The current voluntary certification is provided by the aforementioned Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA), which asks its certified veterinary technician (CVT) candidates to submit the following:
- Proof of having graduated from an AVMA-accredited vet tech program
- Copy of WVTA membership
- A successful passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
This credential must be renewed every two years following the completion of at least ten hours of continuing education (CE). There are various online entities that provide web-based CE such as:
- VetMed Team
- National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
Vet Tech Program Accreditation
Finally, as mentioned above, prospective vet techs in Wyoming are encouraged to seek out campus-based or online programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The CVTEA weighs many factors in its program-approval process. On its vet tech program accreditation standards page, it lists the following 11 criteria:
- Institutional accreditation
- Organization & Communications
- Physical facilities & equipment
- Resources for clinical instruction
- Library & information resources
- Faculty & staff
- Outcomes assessment
To learn about these standards in-depth, check out the CVTEA website.