For those who want to become veterinary technicians, it is important to know the required and preferred skills for this position.
Even though it is a rewarding and fulfilling job, the salary is also very important as the job is there to provide you with the money necessary for a normal life.
So, people who are fond of animals and eager to provide them help and support should think twice when deciding whether this is an ideal position for them after they get acquainted with the educational requirements, the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that veterinary technicians meet.
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Veterinary Technician Job Description
A veterinary technician job is not at all naïve as he/she is in charge of all the duties and procedures in a veterinary clinic making it function perfectly.
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Assisting in surgery, doing dental procedures, collecting blood and doing laboratory tests, administering anesthesia or medications are only some of the requirements that veterinary technicians face daily.
It is great that they can choose where they want to work.
The choice can be made among private clinics, military service, veterinary teaching hospitals, laboratories, and zoos.
On the other hand, more job possibilities require higher education, devotion, and eagerness to advance in veterinary science.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Maine
There are many vocational schools in Maine, but when selecting the one for you, special attention should be given to the accreditation arranged by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Only the accredited programs will allow students to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam and get a certificate.
The veterinary technology programs accredited by the AVMA in Maine are:
Educational Requirements for Veterinary Technicians in Maine
Each veterinary technician school has pre-admission requirements including a high school diploma, and finished courses in biology, chemistry, and algebra with at least a C grade.
During the courses, future veterinary technicians will gain knowledge related to both technical and medical side of veterinary science, such as:
- Animal Care and Handling
- Clinical Lab Methodology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Veterinary Microbiology
- Animal Disease
- Surgery and Anesthesia
Another obligation of veterinary technician students is to complete an internship or externship program at a veterinary hospital working with licensed veterinarians and putting their knowledge into practice.
By working under the supervision of a certified physician during the internship as part of their education, technicians gain self-esteem and become prepared for what awaits them once they get into a veterinary premise.
Externship, on the other hand, lasts less and serves as an actual job.
Students have a chance to show their qualities which might lead to permanent employment there.
Maine’s law requires that students have both an Internship and an Externship.
The Internship is done during your third semester and you will need to submit a proof of rabies vaccination, while the Externship is done in the sixth semester when all the coursework is finished.
The Internship or Externship can be performed in various animal hospitals in Maine:
- Maine Veterinary Referral Center
- Maine Coast Veterinary Hospital
- Eastern Maine Emergency Veterinary
- Calais Veterinary Clinic
- Southern Maine Veterinary Care
- Down Maine Veterinary Clinic
- Turner Veterinary Services
- Central Maine Veterinary Hospital
- Portland Veterinary Specialists
Veterinary Technician Examination and License
As it is already mentioned, the only way of getting a certificate is to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.
The exam costs $300 and you are obliged to forward your official transcripts to the AAVSB to be allowed to sit for it.
This is a kind of proof that you have completed an accredited Veterinary Technology program.
Then, you should make an appointment, meaning that you will get an Authorization-to-Test letter from the Professional Examination Service (PES) via e-mail and you go online at the AAVSB website.
The date of the exam should be confirmed with Prometric on their website or via phone at 1-800-869-1100.
The exam is organized by Prometric Licensing and Examination Providers and can be done at two testing locations in Maine.
It consists of 170 multiple choice questions and is done on a computer.
Twenty of the question will not be counted towards the final score.
The questions are based on the following subjects:
- Animal Care and Nursing
- Laboratory Procedures
- Pharmacy and Pharmacology
- Surgical Nursing
- Diagnostic Imaging
- Pain Management/Analgesia
- Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
The exam lasts 3 hours and upon finishing you will get the results on the computer screen.
Your results will be forwarded to the Maine State Board of Veterinary Medicine and you can apply online for the license which costs $50.
Another fee that you will need to pay is a $21 criminal record check.
The license expires each year and needs to be renewed by paying a $50 fee.
The preparation for the exam can be done by taking a look at the VTNE Candidate Handbook.
You can do two online practice tests which cost $45 per attempt.
On the practice test, you are supposed to correctly answer 75 questions in 90 minutes.
Further Veterinary Technician Education
For veterinary technicians interested in advancing their knowledge, there is a chance of becoming members of the American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) or the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
The AALAS offers three levels of certification:
- Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT)
- Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT)
- Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG)
NAVTA’s Committee on Veterinary Technicians Specialties offers advanced training pathways and certification processes on its academies:
- The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists
- The Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians
- The Academy of Equine Veterinary Nursing Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice
- The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians
- The Academy of Veterinary Clinical Pathology Technicians
Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in Maine
The annual salary of a veterinary technician depends on both social and individual factors and varies from place to place.Annual Salary Range:
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Read the full guide: How to Become a Veterinary Technician