Guide ToBecoming a Vet Tech in Washington D.C.
Becoming a licensed or certificated vet tech can be an excellent route to a well-compensated and secure career in the field of veterinary medicine.
In addition, vet techs enjoy a great deal of respect from their coworkers and the general public alike. This is especially true given the high importance many individuals place on the health and comfort of their beloved animal companions.
Vet Techs in Washington D.C.
As the center of the federal government, Washington D.C. has a large number of prosperous families who demand the best possible care for their pets.
In addition, the city is surrounded by a number of densely populated urban regions, providing still more customers for veterinary clinics in the city.
In addition, many government and private research institutions exit in and around the city, providing abundant employment for vet techs who desire to work in laboratories, zoos, or other animal related fields.
This makes Washington an excellent location for those individuals seeking employment outside of the traditional veterinary office, including veterinary assistants.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there were at least 70 full-time vet techs working in the city.
However, this number may be low, due to the fluctuating nature of the job market in the city, which is dependent on government programs and spending levels.
As with the rest of the nation, the BLS estimates that the field will continue to grow at a sustained rate, with the total number of vet tech jobs increasing by at least 52 percent to 2020.
The annual median salary for all vet techs working in Washington D.C. is approximately $35,000. However, this salary rate may very dramatically depending on the vet tech’s employer, level of experience and the field he or she is working in.
In addition, many vet tech careers enjoy substantial benefits, ranging from paid vacation time to excellent medical benefits for the vet tech and their family alike.
Becoming a Vet Tech in Washington D.C.
Washington D.C. does not require the licensure of vet techs who wish to practice within the city. However, obtaining a professional certification can be important for those vet techs wishing to improve their professional options.
In addition, vet techs who may be thinking of moving to another state should be aware that most states do require licensure for all practicing vet techs and having a professional certification can make it easier to become licensed by endorsement in another state.
In most cases, becoming certificated involves the following steps:
- Be at least 18 years of age, and have completed high school or obtained an equivalency degree.
- Complete an accredited veterinary technician program.
- Take and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE).
- Complete all parts of the certification application.
This process is similar to that required by most state licensure boards, although many states will also require that the vet tech candidate pass a jurisprudence exam, in order to ensure that he or she understands the legal rights and responsibilities of the vet tech.
Vet Tech Programs
In most cases, an accredited vet tech program will take about two years to complete on a full time basis. These programs include academic training in the field of veterinary medicine, as well as practical instruction in how to carry out the duties of a veterinary technician. In most cases, the course work will be a combination of academic and hands-on lab work.
In addition to a full-time schedule, most schools offer part-time schedules for those students who cannot attend school on a full-time basis. This can allow working students or those individuals with family care obligations to complete their vet tech program at their own pace.
Distance learning and online programs are available to those students who cannot physically attend the school. In addition, much like a part-time schedule, a distance learning program allows the student to complete his or her course work on a schedule that works for the student’s particular needs. However, some programs have a required lab component that will require the student to be physically present at some points.
It is very important that the vet tech program be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This body is in charge of verifying that all accredited programs meet certain minimum standards of professional and educational excellence. Most importantly, non-accredited programs will not be accepted by most professional or licensing bodies.
Students who have completed their educational work in a foreign program must provide proof that their program is substantially equal to an AVMA accredited program. It may take some time to evaluate a foreign program, and so any student who has attended such a program should be certain to submit their information as soon as possible.
Taking the VTNE
The VTNE is a national examination designed to evaluate the academic and practical skills of individuals seeking licensure as a vet tech.
The VTNE is offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The AAVSB updates the test on a regular basis in order to ensure that it corresponds to the current practice of veterinary medicine.
The AAVSB only allows students to take the VTNE a maximum of five times before requiring remedial education to rectify the deficiencies in the student’s performance.
Because of the added expense and delay that repeating the test will incur, all students should be certain to only take the VTNE when they are confident they understand the material and are capable of passing the examination.
Ultimately, working as a vet tech in Washington D.C. can be a gateway to a secure and well-compensated career.
Not only that, but due to their role in caring for America’s beloved companion animals, vet techs enjoy a great deal of public respect.
Finally, the wide range of government agencies in Washington provide ample opportunities for those vet techs who are interested in a government service career.
Because of this, becoming a vet tech can be an excellent choice, both for newly graduated individuals and those individuals who are seeking to enter a more personally and professionally rewarding career.
Veterinary Tech Schools In Washington D.C.
(note – there may be limited availability of vet tech schools in D.C., but neighboring states like Pennsylvania may have additional education options.)