Becoming a New Hampshire Vet Tech
Modern veterinary care is becoming increasingly important in the United States. In addition to pet owners who demand the best of care for their beloved companion animals, improving animal health and welfare standards make it increasingly important that livestock and production animals receive the best possible veterinary care.
Because of this, New Hampshire veterinary technicians are enjoying excellent professional opportunities.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in New Hampshire
Although New Hampshire does not require a license to practice as a veterinary technician, most businesses and organizations prefer to hire trained vet techs.
In addition, many groups will hire certificated vet techs in preference to those vet techs who have not obtained certification.
In general, becoming a trained vet tech involves the following steps:
- Completing a program of study at an accredited school.
- Passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
- Obtaining certification from the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association.
Vet Tech Programs
Vet tech programs are generally offered by community colleges, vocational institutions and some universities. These programs focus on training the student in the academic and practical skills they will need to effectively assist veterinarians in providing high quality animal care. In most cases, a vet tech program will take approximately two years for a full-time student to complete.
These courses are a mixture of classroom instruction and laboratory work. In some cases, the school may allow the students to work with veterinary professionals in caring for injured or ill animals in order to fully develop their veterinary skills.
Many schools also offer part-time schedules for those students who cannot attend classes on a full-time basis. This can be useful for students who are currently working or who have family obligations that prevent them from attending classes on a traditional schedule. Additionally, some schools offer distance learning or online options, allowing students to complete some coursework from home.
It is very important that the student ensure that his or her program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This body ensures that all accredited institutions have demonstrated that they adhere to strict educational standards. Furthermore, the AVMA also ensures that accredited veterinary technology programs are up to date with the current state of veterinary medicine. Attending an accredited program is especially important for students who may move to another state, as many states will not accept non-accredited veterinary technology programs.
The VTNE is the national examination for veterinary technicians and is designed to evaluate the candidate’s academic and practical qualifications to work as a vet tech. Although not required in New Hampshire, many states require a passing score on the VTNE before they will issue a license to a vet tech. In addition, becoming a certificated vet tech also requires a passing score on the VTNE.
Becoming Certificated in New Hampshire
While New Hampshire does not require licensure or certification for vet techs, obtaining certification can dramatically improve a vet tech’s employment options.
In addition to improving the probability of finding employment, many businesses will compensate certificated vet techs at a higher level than non-certificated employees will. Because of this, the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association offers certification services in order to identify highly qualified vet techs.
In addition to its other benefits, certification may make it easier for a vet tech to obtain a license in those states that require their vet techs to be licensed. In many cases, a state may allow certificated vet techs to obtain licensure by endorsement, rather than requiring them to repeat the educational and examination requirements for licensure.
Certificated vet techs must renew their certification every year. In addition to paying the renewal fee, the vet tech must provide proof that he or she has attended at least 12 approved continuing education units. This is to ensure that certificated vet techs remain current in their veterinary education. In some cases, the vet tech’s employer may partially or fully compensate the vet tech for obtaining the required continuing education.
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Career Options in New Hampshire
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that there are at least 660 vet techs working in New Hampshire, with an annual mean wage of over $32,000. This compares very favorably with vet techs who are employed in other states. In addition, the BLS estimates that the field of veterinary technology will increase by at least 52 percent between 2010 and 2020. When coupled with employee attrition due to retirement and other factors, this ensures that new veterinary technicians will continue to be in high demand for the foreseeable future.
Becoming a vet tech in New Hampshire is an excellent career choice in today’s job market. In addition to the professional benefits of being a vet tech, this field is highly regarded by fellow veterinary professionals and the public alike. In fact, becoming a vet tech is both a personally and professional satisfying decision for those seeking a career in America’s growing veterinary care sector.