Becoming a veterinary technician is one of the most exciting career choices for those of who love animals. It is an opportunity to do what you love and live your passion.
For those who live in the state of Ohio, there is an organization dedicated to helping those pursue this line of work and be successful, the Ohio Association of Veterinary Technicians.
They explain that vet techs wear many hats. They could be accurately described as nurses or dental hygienists, surgical assistant, or behavior specialist.
Those who enter this profession find that each day brings new challenges and exciting work, and technicians are needed in a variety of industries meaning there are a variety of job openings.
Veterinary technicians can work in veterinary clinics, zoos, pharmaceutical companies, research, and more! If this sounds like an appealing career to you, we encourage you to read more to learn about your options.
Veterinary Technician Schools in Ohio
One of the first questions many people ask is how to become a vet tech. The first step is to earn a degree from an accredited vet tech program. There are a variety of accredited vet tech schools in Ohio, offering both two and four year degrees depending on whether you enroll full time or part time.
With the majority of the programs, you will be working towards an associate’s degree. Occasionally, however, there are some schools where you can earn a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Schools offering programs include:
- Columbus State Community College: Around since 1963, there are two year degrees in more than 50 areas, and options are available for students who may want to do two years at the community college and transfer to a four year institution to finish a full bachelor’s degree.
- Cuyahoga Community College: This community college offers many opportunities of four year institutions such as student clubs and tutoring programs.
- Stautzenberger College: Stautenberger is recognized for their ability to provide Occupational Associate’s Degrees, meaning much of the education provided includes hands on training.
- University of Cincinnati, Raymond Walters College: This school offers rolling admission, meaning you can enroll throughout the year, and has open admission, so anyone with a high school diploma can attend.
- The Vet Tech Institute at Bradford School: The Vet Tech institute allows you to jump in feet first, working with animals from the first day, and graduating in sixteen months.
Each of those programs offers a ‘start from scratch’ approach, and is designed for those who would like to begin working in veterinary medicine. There are also a number of vet tech programs designed for those already working in veterinary facilities and cannot take time off of work to go back to school, but would also like to get certified.
These online, distance learning vet tech programs often take longer to complete, and may require you to work closely a veterinarian or veterinary technician to complete the certification. Distance learning programs are offered at:
- Cedar Valley College
- Purdue University
- Saint Petersburg College (formerly called Saint Petersburg Junior College)
Carefully weigh your options and needs when deciding what type of program would fit you and your goals best, then speak to admissions counselors at a couple of the schools to learn more.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician In Ohio
To become certified in the state of Ohio an individual must complete an accredited program, followed by taking the licensing exam and register with the state licensing board. Once you have completed a degree with one of the accredited vet tech schools in Ohio, you need to prepare to take the board exam.
The exam is given three times a year, by computer, during one month periods: November to December, March to April, and July to August. Documentation and preparation must be done ahead of time, however, so by sure to follow the American Association of Veterinary State Boards website closely.
They have very strict rules concerning windows of application and who is eligible to take the exam. Once you have been accepted to take the exam in a particular window, you must complete it during that time or you may forfeit your registration fee of $300.
Once you pass your board exam with a score of at least 75.0, you then contact the state of Ohio licensing board to register as a vet tech. They will receive and review your exam results, and conduct a criminal background check.
Once that clears, you will receive a certificate that can be framed. Throughout your career, licenses must be renewed by March 1 in odd number years to keep current. The state does not allow any grace period following March first. Keep in mind that once a license has been outdated for four years, it is no longer able to become current through a simple renewal process.
To qualify for renewal, a technician must complete at least ten hours of continuing education. Continuing education can come from a variety of sources, with up to four of the ten hours coming from nonscientific sources, such as journals or computer training.
The field of veterinary technology offers many exciting opportunities for people grow, learn, and be passionate about their field. It is an opportunity to help people and animals and make a difference in the world.
It may appear to be an overwhelming amount of work to reach your goal of certification, but there are helpful organizations to help guide you and offer support along the way. Once you reach the end, you will know it was all worth it. Take the time to review your options and speak with some schools about your goals and requirements.
Discuss with some places of employment you would love to work with and see what their requirements are for hire. With a veterinary technology degree and certification, you have the opportunity to have a career you can take pride in, and not just a job needed to pay the bills.