How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Virginia

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How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Virginia

Veterinary Technician Job Description

Due to the fact that there is a great demand in Virginia for veterinary professionals to care for animals, the job prospects continue to show strong growth.

It is good to know that this type of medical care requires a higher number of veterinary techs with training, education, and experience, as veterinarians tend to replace those without qualifications with licensed vet techs.

The veterinary technician is an essential member of the veterinary medical team and he/she performs numerous duties under the direct and indirect supervision of a veterinarian.

The vet tech has medical duties, including general care and nursing of animals, assisting the vet in administering medications and preparing prescriptions, handling the initial examination at intake, and many more, while at the same time he/she needs to carry out is daily communication with patient’s owners and work with documentation.

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Accredited Virginia Veterinary Technology Programs

If your aim is to become a licensed vet tech in Virginia, you must graduate from a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Among 220 qualified schools nationwide there are two schools in Virginia offering a total of four AVMA-accredited programs:

One of them is Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) in Weyers Cave.

The school offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology and it features both on-campus learning and a distance education option.

Both programs include courses such as anatomy and physiology of domestic animals; laboratory techniques; clinical practices; applied veterinary surgical nursing; animal diseases and microbiology and students can gain excellent knowledge through lab work in two labs available at the school as well as a surgery, radiology suite, a treatment area, and small and large animal facilities.

The on-campus program takes five semesters or two years to complete.

Students are required to complete an externship during the summer between the first and second years which includes 350 hours of veterinary hospital work.

The Blue Ridge Community College distance education option is for Virginia residents only or those who are engaged in a preceptorship in the state of V.

It is not listed on the CVTEA-accredited distance-based learning programs page.

Students are obliged to work a minimum of 20 hours in a veterinary hospital preceptorship during the entire three-year program.

In addition, campus visits include at least three, all-day labs that typically take place on Fridays.

Online courses are delivered twice a week for a total of about six hours per week.

When it comes to the equipment, students who are enrolled in the online program must have a web camera-equipped computer with high-speed internet access a live connection is mandatory.

Northern Virginia Community College-Loudoun (NOVA) in the Potomac Falls area also offers an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology.

Also, you can choose to enroll in on-campus or distance-based learning formats.

The on-campus program is full-time and takes two years to complete.

It covers five semesters, including a summer semester.

On the other hand, the online program is part-time and takes three years to complete.

It is AVMA-accredited just like the on-campus program and online students must make a minimum of two to three visits to the Loudoun Campus per semester.

Furthermore, they must work at least 20 hours per week in a veterinary practice, supervised by a licensed veterinarian, for the entire three-year program.

Tidewater Community College offers an associate of applied science (AAS) in veterinary technology at their Virginia Beach campus.

It is worth mentioning that this program is designed for professionals who are already veterinary assistants working a minimum of 20 hours per week.

This is a 63-credit six-semester program during which students must participate in all-day labs three to four days per semester for study and testing.

In addition, students will be expected to complete 13 credit hours of general education courses prior to being admitted to the vet tech program.

Students who want to become Vet Techs in Virginia can look outside the online options listed above can consider other online vet tech program options as they are numerous in the USA.

School Name Address
Blue Ridge Community College 1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia, 24486-0080
Northern Virginia Community College-Loudoun 21200 Campus Drive, Sterling, Virginia, 20164-8699
Tidewater Community College 121 College Place, Norfolk, Virginia, 23510
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Requirements to Become a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Virginia

In order to practice as a veterinary technician in Virginia, one must be a licensed professional, so we offer you the typical path to becoming a vet tech in Virginia:

You will need to graduate from high school and possess a love of animals. You need to have strong grades in natural sciences classes such as biology, chemistry, and anatomy so as to have more chances of success in this field, and if you have extra experience volunteering through local animal hospitals, clinics, and shelters and letters of recommendation to prove that, you should not worry about your enrollment into a vet tech program in Virginia.

The next step is the completion of an associate or bachelor’s degree program accredited by the American Medical Veterinary Association which might take two to four years.

After graduation, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) that tests the knowledge of aspiring veterinary technicians in nine primary domains of expertise.

If you pass the exam successfully, you can get licensed by the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine.

So as to apply for the license, you are supposed to fill out an application, send your transcripts as proof of having graduated from an AVMA-accredited program, and send your VTNE test scores.

Job Prospects and Veterinary Technicians’ Average Annual Salary in  Virginia

You would be glad to know that there are many promising job options for prospective veterinary technicians in Virginia, being that the number of openings in VA expected to increase by 30 percent.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2019), there are currently 2,100 of these animal healthcare professionals employed in the state, and their average salary ranges from $29062 to $41037.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Virginia Beach $33,690
Norfolk $33,128
Chesapeake $33,140
Richmond $35,318
Newport News $33,013
Hampton $33,013
Alexandria $39,000
Portsmouth $33,128
Roanoke $32,547
Lynchburg $32,459

Regional Salary in Virginia

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA110$45,610$21.93$60,020$30,210
Charlottesville, VA110$43,330$20.83$51,050$31,310
Harrisonburg, VA40$43,040$20.69$49,960$31,100
Richmond, VA400$42,780$20.57$49,740$30,490
Roanoke, VA110$39,510$18.99$46,850$29,220
Staunton-Waynesboro, VA70$39,740$19.11$47,630$29,610
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC550$41,190$19.8$47,890$29,730
Winchester, VA-WV30$36,590$17.59$47,970$25,350
* 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.

USA Veterinary Technicians by State

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Earn your accredited, affordable Veterinary Technician Associate Degree online with Penn Foster!

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