It is very important to emphasize the difference between a veterinary assistant and veterinary technician.
While veterinary assistants are not required to be licensed, a veterinary technician has to possess a certificate to be allowed to work.
The required education for becoming a vet technician starts from classes, training to complete a course and taking the test.
All this is necessary because skills for the position of a veterinary technician are numerous and they require being familiar with standard practices and procedures within the veterinary field.
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Veterinary Technician Job Description
Being more educated and skilled, veterinary technicians are of great help when assisting veterinarians.
They can work full or part-time, night shifts, weekends or holidays, depending on the facility.
Today, animals are treated as people and the veterinary sector is growing rapidly augmenting the difficulties that technicians meet.
Which facility they work for determines whether they will be working with small animals or dealing with wild animals and reptiles.
Veterinary technicians have various issues to take care of such as administration, record keeping, answering animal owners’ questions and advising them, assisting in surgery among many other daily activities.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Hawaii
The number of veterinary technicians grows faster than most other occupations.
Hawaii is a state which requires that future veterinary technicians attend a vocational school or college with a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities.
The qualifications that you need to possess before enrolling the program are to have completed ten credits of core courses, like anatomy and physiology, computer skills, laboratory skills, and animal nursing required for the Certificate of Achievement in Veterinary Assisting, with a grade of C or better, and three credits of general education courses such as basic math, composition, speech, or psychology.
You will be asked to provide two letters of recommendation proving your work experience and come to an interview to define your capacity for the veterinary technician program.
Other obligations after you have been accepted in the program are a tuberculosis clearance within the past twelve months, a tetanus vaccination with the past ten years, health insurance, and a criminal clearance check as well as one course from veterinary technology core courses.
Educational Requirements for Veterinary Technicians in Hawaii
The veterinary technology program accredited by the AVMA in Hawaii is at Windward Community College.
The veterinary technician program focuses on the following subjects:
- lab procedures,
- surgical nursing.
Your classwork is followed by an internship at local clinics to exercise your skills and gain experience working with real animals.
For those people who are not able to come to school, there are accredited AVMA accredited Distance Learning Veterinary Technology Programs to complete the education online.
The graduation earns you a degree of an Associate in Science in Veterinary Technology and qualifies you for the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination).
The exam is designed to test your veterinary technician knowledge achieved during the classes through 150 questions.
Hawaii is the state that does not oblige veterinary technicians to be licensed, but your chances of getting a top job as a veterinary technician are higher if you possess it as employers will rather hire a person with than without a license.
Tuition is approximately $8,000 without additional fees.
Out of state students have to pay $16,000.
Financial aid is available for veterinary technician students in Hawaii and all the information about qualification and application can be found on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website.
Other Hawaiian organizations that help students are the University of Hawaii Opportunity Grant, Native Hawaiian Tuition Waiver, Hawaii Second Century Scholars, and the State Higher Education Loan.
Job Prospects in Hawaii
Even though Hawaii does not require a license, other states do, and you should possess it if you have passed the accredited education.
Once you get the license, it is important to maintain it and the following organizations can help you keep current:
- National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
- Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association
- Hawaii Veterinary Technician Association
The job prospects for Hawaii veterinary technicians are great.
You should start searching for a job in an aquarium, a zoo, a ranch, a dairy, and clinics once you are in the final year of your schooling.
There is an increasing number of animal hospitals in Hawaii meaning that the demand for new veterinary technicians is rising, too.
The better you have done on your courses and the achievement of the license gives you the greater chances of getting a job quickly and without too many difficulties.
The employer and his/her staff determine who will be employed.
The websites where you can find potential veterinary technician employers in Hawaii are:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Veterinary Career Network
- Vet Tech Life.
Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in Hawaii
As it is the case in any other occupation, the annual salary of a veterinary technician cannot be exactly determined because different levels of experience, number of working hours and work setting make the salary vary.
In Hawaii, it starts from the lowest one in Kahului estimated at $ 37 802, reaching $38 058 in Ewa Beach.
The increasing number of clinics in Hawaii and their availability might lead to changes in salaries.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Veterinary Technician’s Duties
The tasks that a veterinary technician performs are various, starting from the easiest and not so demanding ones like receiving patients and record-keeping, managing client histories to more serious tasks that require knowledge such as assisting the veterinarian in all his/her work, providing wound care, dealing with emergency cases or radiology.
Even though they cannot diagnose the illness or perform surgery, they are involved in all those processes and take a significant part in it.
Their responsibilities are versatile and make their job an exciting and challenging experience no matter whether they work in private and public clinics, research institutions, zoos, public health organizations or diagnostic laboratories.