A veterinary technician job is good for those people who would not mind spending all working days around animals and cooperating with the team of people interested in their welfare.
Hugging cats and patting dogs is not enough to earn a decent salary, as playing and caring for animals would not be the task of a veterinary technician.
Before deciding to get into this demanding field, you need to take into consideration the various roles that a veterinary technician has in a typical veterinary clinic and all the obligations and responsibilities that this job is followed with.
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Veterinary Technician Job Description
A veterinary technician works in a veterinary hospital, shelter or clinic and the more reputable hospital, the greater are demands and duties.
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Veterinary hospitals are of equal significance as the human hospitals and veterinary technicians are considered equally important as nurses.
They support veterinarians, provide basic care for animals, give them medications or vaccinations.
In a veterinary clinic where animals can stay, veterinary technicians have to work night shifts, do some fieldwork and might even work on holidays and weekends.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Maryland
The increasing number of jobs available for veterinary technicians in Maryland attracts more and more young people to enter this field.
Besides a high school diploma, formal post-secondary education is necessary to become a Licensed Veterinary Technician.
This is only possible through the program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association(AVMA).
The veterinary technology program accredited by the AVMA in Maryland is the Essex Campus of the Community College.
Educational Requirements for Veterinary Technicians in Maryland
Certain prerequisites that are obligatory before enrolling the program are:
- C grade or higher on an Introduction to Veterinary Technology course,
- B grade or higher on a General Biology course.
The curriculum in most veterinary technician schools focus on the same subjects:
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Animal Nutrition
- Animal Disease and Pathology
- Pharmacology and Toxicology
- Clinical Laboratory Procedures
- Veterinary Surgical Procedures
- Large Animal Disease
- Veterinary Imaging
- Veterinary Hospital Management
- Laboratory Animal Science
The program lasts four semesters and the internship is done during the last one.
An Internship is compulsory before graduation as they prepare you for your future job.
By leaving a good impression at the animal facility where you finish your internship, you can get employment after licensure.
To be allowed to start the internship, you need to finish all your coursework and fulfill the prerequisites:
- a rabies immunization,
- a Tetanus booster within the past 5 years,
- proof of health insurance, and
- buy your uniform.
The Internship can be done in the following hospitals in Maryland:
- Frederick Road Veterinary Hospital
- Catonsville Animal Hospital
- Westview Animal Hospital
- Arbutus Veterinary Hospital
- Howard County Animal Hospital
- Dunloggin Veterinary Hospital
- Doc Side Veterinary Medical Hospital
- Boston Street Animal Hospital LLC
- Light Street Animal Hospital
Veterinary Technician Examination and License
The Maryland State Board requires the passing of the national examination to be allowed to work.
The exam is organized by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
First, you need to forward your official transcript to the AAVSB, register at the AAVSB website, choose the testing window and location in which you would like to take your VTNE.
The testing windows are available three times per year:
- March 1st to March 31st (application deadline is February 1st),
- July 15th to August 15th (application deadline is June 15th),
- and November 15th to December 15th (application deadline is October 15th).
The application for the exam is done online and you have to pay the $300 fee.
Once you get an Authorization-to-Test (ATT) letter from the Professional Examination Service (PES) which will include all the instructions about the application, you can call the PES via phone at 1-866-744-4724, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AAVSB does not issue your Veterinary Technician license and the Prometric Licensing and Examination Providers are in charge of the examination.
You are supposed to confirm the date and location of your examination with Prometric either online or by phone: 1-800-869-1100.
Another requirement is to bring your government-issued ID to the testing center when you come to take the test.
The preparation for it can be done by going through the VTNE Candidate Handbook.
The AAVSB website also offers two practice tests which cost $45 each and you are given 90 minutes to correctly answer 75 questions.
The actual test lasts 3 hours and has 170 multiple-choice questions.
Once you do the exam, you can see the results on the computer.
Twenty of the multiple-choice questions are ‘test questions’ and will not be counted in your final score.
The results will be forwarded to the Maryland Department of Agriculture.
The application form can be found online at the Maryland Department of Agriculture and you should fill it, make a copy of your transcript or diploma and submit it with a 2” x 3” photograph taken within the past six months.
The application fee is $85.
You will need to read Maryland’s laws and regulations regarding Veterinary medicine and technology as you will be tested the laws related to Veterinary Technology.
After the licensure, you are supposed to choose a specialty and NAVTA and AALAS offer additional courses.
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) membership costs $ 50 annually and the passing of the courses allows you to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist.
The American Association of Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) membership costs $ 35 annually and offers three specialist levels:
- Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT)
- Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT)
- Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG)
The license must be renewed every three years for a fee of $75and you are supposed to finish 24 hours of continuing education.
The additional education can be achieved at:
- AVMA accredited veterinary colleges,
- lectures and courses provided by national or regional meetings of the AVMA,
- continuing education programs are given or arranged by the AVMA,
- and some online continuing education programs.
Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in Maryland
The salary of a veterinary technician is relatively low, but Maryland belongs to those states that have higher salaries in comparison with some other states.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
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