In the Cowboy State, veterinary technicians (vet techs) not only enjoy a relatively liberal scope of practice in their profession, but they also have an abundance of resources to assist them in their important line of work. By illustration, the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA) provides a WY vet tech certification; a trove of relevant educational materials (i.e., the Pet Medical Library), continuing education opportunities; advocacy for animal rights; and a scholarship program. Additionally, WVTA offers a comprehensive list of links to groups of interest, including:
- Wyoming Veterinary Medical Association
- Wyoming State Livestock Board
- Wyoming Board of Veterinary Medicine
- Therapeutic Techniques Certificate Program in Canine Rehabilitation
The American Veterinary Medical Association (2016) outlines the expectations in the vet tech career as it’s practiced in Wyoming. Although vet techs nationwide aren’t permitted to diagnose illness, prescribe medications, or perform surgeries, an unlicensed veterinary professional in WY “may provide immediate treatment under emergency situations in order to sustain life or prevent further injury in the absence of a licensee.” In the Equality State, veterinary technicians enjoy an unusually broad scope of responsibilities, and as of September 2016, vet tech certification through the WVTA is voluntary.
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 and opportunities for employment in the state.
Read on to learn about the thriving employment climate for veterinary technicians in WY and nationally, including information about accredited vet tech programs (on-campus and online) and how to become professionally certified through the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA).
Map of Vet Tech Schools in Wyoming
|School Website||main address||online program||Avma Accredited|
|Eastern Wyoming College||3200 West C St, Torrington, Wyoming, 82240-1699||No||Yes|
Wyoming Veterinary Technician Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015), veterinary technicians and technologists nationwide are expected to see their employment opportunities explode in the coming decade. In fact, the BLS predicts a 19 percent increase in vet tech openings nationwide, although other data sources suggest this might not be as robust in Wyoming. As proof of point, CareerOneStop (2016)—an organization affiliated with the Department of Labor—reported that among people with associate degrees, vet techs in WY are expected to occupy the sixteenth fastest growing career in the state with a projected six percent increase in jobs between 2014 and 2024.
Vet Tech Salary in Wyoming and Nationally
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2015) reported that there were 95,790 vet techs employed around the country with an annual average salary of $33,280. Here is a breakdown of the salary percentiles for American veterinary technicians:
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
When these national figures are translated into hourly terms, they equate to:
United States (95,790 vet techs employed): $16.00/hour average
- 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.
Before transitioning into a discussion of salaries for vet techs in Wyoming, it’s important to point out that people in the Cowboy State enjoy a relatively low cost of living compared to the rest of the country. To illustrate, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2016) reported that WY is the fourteenth most affordable state in the country, boasting particular savings in housing and utilities. Readers are encouraged to keep this in mind while evaluating the following WY vet tech salaries.
Interestingly, the veterinary technician salary averages tended to vary not only by region within the US, but also by source of data at well. In fact, Indeed (2016) reported that vet techs in Wyoming had an annual average salary of $24,000, a figure lower than that provided by the BLS (May 2015), which reported that the 200 vet techs in WY had an annual average salary of $29,670. It’s important to note that the BLS figures in general are considered more reliable because they draw from a larger sample size.
In more detailed terms, the BLS (May 2015) reported the following salary percentiles for vet techs in Wyoming:
Wyoming (200 vet techs employed): $29,670 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $21,370
- 25th percentile: $24,910
- 50th percentile (median): $28,330
- 75th percentile: $32,990
- 90th percentile: $40,080
Translated into hourly figures, these equated to:
Wyoming: $14.26/hour average
- 10th percentile: $10.27/hr.
- 25th percentile: $11.98/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $13.62/hr.
- 75th percentile: $15.86/hr.
- 90th percentile: $19.27/hr.
The salary figures for veterinary technicians in WY also varied by region within the state. There are currently three BLS-designated regions in the Equality State which offer differing salaries for veterinary technology professionals BLS May 2015):
Cheyenne, WY (30 vet techs employed): $28,200 annual average salary
- 10th percentile: $21,360
- 25th percentile: $23,950
- 50th percentile (median): $27,900
- 75th percentile: $32,550
- 90th percentile: $36,690
Southwest Wyoming Nonmetropolitan Area (50 employed): $26,760 avg.
- 10th percentile: $18,690
- 25th percentile: $21,710
- 50th percentile (median): $25,830
- 75th percentile: $29,750
- 90th percentile: $39,920
Central-Southeastern Wyoming Nonmetropolitan Area (40 employed): $28,290 avg.
- 10th percentile: $21,290
- 25th percentile: $23,730
- 50th percentile (median): $27,450
- 75th percentile: $30,670
- 90th percentile: $38,340
For those who prefer the regional WY vet tech salaries in hourly figures:
Cheyenne, WY (30 vet techs employed): $13.56/hour average
- 10th percentile: $10.27/hr.
- 25th percentile: $11.52/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $13.41/hr.
- 75th percentile: $15.65/hr.
- 90th percentile: $17.64/hr.
Southwest Wyoming Nonmetropolitan Area (50 employed): $12.86/hour avg.
- 10th percentile: $8.99/hr.
- 25th percentile: $10.44/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $12.42/hr.
- 75th percentile: $14.30/hr.
- 90th percentile: $19.19/hr.
Central-Southeastern Wyoming Nonmetropolitan Area (40 employed): $13.60/hour avg.
- 10th percentile: $10.24/hr.
- 25th percentile: $11.41/hr.
- 50th percentile (median): $13.20/hr.
- 75th percentile: $14.74/hr.
- 90th percentile: $18.43/hr.
Where Do WY 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 (Sept. 2016) which posted opportunities at facilities including the Avenues Pet Clinic. The Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WVTA) provided additional openings at employers such as the Stock Doc and the Frontier Veterinary Clinic.
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, 2015)|
|Low Salary (10th %ile)||Average Salary (Median)||High Salary (90th %ile)|
Accredited Vet Tech Schools 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). To qualify for an AVMA-accredited program, candidates must typically submit the following:
- High school transcripts
- Proof of having completed prerequisite courses (e.g., chemistry, algebra, English)
- Personal statement (500-600 words)
- Proof of health insurance and/or vaccinations
- Background check
- Application fee
Additionally, for aspiring vet techs whose first language isn’t English, they may be required to submit TOEFL scores. It may also be recommended at this stage for candidates to get some experience working in a veterinary healthcare setting to enhance their candidacy for a vet tech program.
As of September 2016, there was one associate of applied science (AAS) program in veterinary technology with AVMA accreditation available at Eastern Wyoming College of Torrington. With three faculty veterinarians and accreditation since 1976, this longstanding program 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 this 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. One way to measure the effectiveness of a vet tech program is a common student outcomes measure: the first-time passing rate among program graduates on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), the main credentialing exam in this profession. Impressively, 90.5 percent of EWC’s program graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt between 2013 and 2016.
Online Vet Tech Programs
Although there is only one campus-based veterinary technician program in WY, there are also eight accredited online vet tech programs. These programs include a combination of online didactic coursework and in-house clinical trainings which are completed at approved preceptor sites close to a student’s home. Especially for residents of more rural regions of Wyoming, attending an accredited distance-based vet tech program may be a viable option.
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 2013 and 2016, 46 percent of CCC’s graduates passed the VTNE on their first attempt.
Purdue University provides a part-time, online AAS program for vet techs comprising 35 courses and 17 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 2013 and 2015, an incredible 89.5 percent of Purdue’s distance-based vet tech graduates and 97 percent of its on-campus students passed the VTNE on their first attempts.
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 2013 and 2015, 86 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 Vet Tech Certification
As mentioned in the introduction, certification is voluntary for vet techs in WY as of September 2016, although the credential may be recommended to increase a person’s candidacy for employment and earning prospects. Additionally, the laws may change in coming years, as the Wyoming State Legislature introduced legislation in 2013 which would have made registration mandatory for vet techs
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
- 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 which provide web-based CE such as:
- VetMed Team
- National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
- Veterinary Support Personnel Network
- Veterinary Learning Systems
- On the Floor @Dove
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 & informational resources
- Faculty & staff
- Outcomes assessment
To learn about these standards in depth, check out the CVTEA 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||Wyoming does not require its veterinary technicians to become certified with the Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association (WyVTA). 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.||Wyoming Board of Veterinary Medicine|