How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Iowa

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How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Iowa

The finishing of high school is the period when young people cannot decide what to choose to continue their education.

If you do not know what to study but you are fond of animals, dedicated and patient, have great physical stamina and eager to provide the help and support to animals in need, then the veterinary technician vocation might be ideal for you.

People who are interested in animal welfare are constantly trying to raise public awareness of veterinary health care issues and their importance in our society.

Veterinary Technician Job Description

The care and protection of animals turned into occupation even more difficult and demanding due to the increasing number of pets and, unfortunately, stray animals.

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Coming to an animal hospital is a stressful situation and the people working there need to be patient and ready to listen and understand the needs and feelings of a terrified pet owner.

Veterinary technicians perform countless demanding responsibilities, some minor interventions are also entrusted to them, as well as laboratory work.

Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Iowa

Unlike many other US states which require the licensure of veterinary technicians to be allowed to work, a veterinary technician in Iowa can be employed even though he/she does not have a license.

The veterinary hospitals want to ensure that every pet owner has access to basic veterinary care, and if you have finished a high school and are attracted to a veterinary technician vocation, you can look for a job in veterinary clinics that employ technicians without certification.

Nevertheless, you can choose to improve your qualifications by entering one of a few veterinary technician programs and gain needed education and certification.

Even though some people can learn the occupation on the job, while helping veterinarians, most veterinarians rather choose to hire people with education who would know what to do in cases of emergency.

That is why these programs prepare you to be able to act properly and making you more self-confident.

Educational Requirements for Veterinary Technicians in Iowa

When choosing the program you should pay attention that it is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) as those unaccredited ones do not make you eligible for the national examination.

The veterinary technology programs accredited by the AVMA in Iowa are:

To enroll in programs, you will need to be a high school graduate with C or better grades, ACT, SAT, or COMPASS scores are usually required, as well as interviews or placement tests.

Only one school requires you to have rabies, influenza and tetanus vaccinations.

Good scores in general courses are also obligatory to be allowed to continue to science-based subjects such as terminology, animal restraint, pharmacology, microbiology, and behavior.

Besides the classroom studies, lab work and internship are crucial and compulsory as you can get the real experience with both small and large animals and put your knowledge into practice.

Iowa’s tuition rates are very affordable unlike in some other states and the costs can be $20,000 including additional fees.

The school determines the tuition and financial aids available to veterinary technician students.

The information can be found on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid website with an online tool that can calculate your financial costs.

The Iowa College Student Aid Commission and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offer various types of financial aid and you can choose what solution might be best for you.

Veterinary Technician Examination and License

As you get the Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology through accredited programs, you become eligible to take the VTNE.

Indeed, you do not have to be registered in Iowa, but a veterinary technician with certification will improve his/her employability and can negotiate his/her salary.

The requirement for becoming registered is to pass the Iowa written exam and finish continuing education consisting of 30 hours every three years to keep your license current.

Job Prospects in Iowa

Job prospects for veterinary technicians in Iowa are numerous and the appropriate candidate who fulfills all the requirements is determined by the employers.

However, it is normal that those with certificates will have priority over those unlicensed ones, as employers can benefit from their skills and knowledge.

As you have become a licensed veterinary technician, your chances of getting a satisfying job are better.

These are some of the veterinary technician employers in Iowa offering possibilities to veterinary technicians and their job offers can be found on:

Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in Iowa

The benefits regarding the personal satisfaction of veterinary technicians are huge, but the salary is rather modest.

The job growth in Iowa influenced the rise in animal health care centers, thus increasing the demand for veterinary technicians.

So, there is the chance that the average annual salary of a veterinary technician may change.

It varies among the major cities and the less paid are veterinary technicians in Waterloo with $ 32 998 per year, while their colleagues in West Des Moines get $ 35 079 annually.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Ames,IA $34,750
Ankeny,IA $35,079
Cedar Falls,IA $31,830
Cedar Rapids,IA $34,568
Council Bluffs,IA $34,511
Davenport,IA $34,476
Des Moines,IA $35,079
Dubuque,IA $34,193
Iowa City,IA $34,283
Sioux City,IA $30,370
Urbandale,IA $35,079
Waterloo,IA $32,998
West Des Moines,IA $35,079

Regional Salary in Iowa

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Ames, IA110$41,770$20.08$63,530$29,660
Cedar Rapids, IA140$37,750$18.15$46,270$30,060
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL170$36,830$17.71$45,890$28,760
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA330$39,040$18.77$47,950$30,660
Dubuque, IA40$37,230$17.9$46,340$30,740
Iowa City, IA40$38,990$18.75$58,100$29,450
Sioux City, IA-NE-SD70$38,860$18.68$46,340$31,150
Waterloo-Cedar Falls, IA110$37,060$17.82$46,170$30,660
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, OCC Code 29-2056, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Veterinary Technician’s Duties

Veterinary technician duties are versatile, as they might be asked to perform both administrative and medical work.

Their first duty is to receive the client and deal with the patient, consult with the veterinarian about the treatment, then, he/she is supposed to work in labs, do some scientific research and deal with blood work and urinalysis.

They also need to possess good emphatic and communication skills when discussing with the pet owners about the health condition of their pets and what to do to improve their condition.

Animal health care clinics and veterinarians themselves entrust them with numerous demanding activities.

USA Veterinary Technicians by State

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