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Veterinary Technician Schools in Alabama - AL

Whether providing support to a pet that is ill or assisting a veterinarian that is helping to birth a foal, veterinary technicians have many different responsibilities on the job, all of which are important in providing effective animal care. These responsibilities range from collecting blood and urine samples to administering medications prescribed by a veterinarian and taking x-rays, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov). The BLS also notes that there are more than 84,000 vet techs employed in the U.S. and demand for their services is likely to grow so that, by 2022, nearly 110,000 people could be employed in the country in the occupation.

Alabama veterinary technician schools coursework and programs

An associate degree in veterinary technology is typically needed to seek entry-level employment in the field, according to the BLS. There are more than 200 programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) across the country, including eight new ones just approved in May 2014. Graduation from an accredited program can be essential to seeking eventual certification and licensing in Alabama, so students may want to be sure they attend an AVMA-accredited program.

Students should also know that four-year degrees in veterinary technology do exist, providing leadership instruction, but there are none accredited in Alabama, according to the AVMA. Required vet tech courses in Alabama will vary by program and school, but in general students take many of the same types of courses no matter what school they attend. Sample courses for students enrolled in veterinary technician school in Alabama could include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology of Mammals
  • Animal Diseases and Immunology
  • Anesthesia and Diagnostic Imaging
  • Clinical Procedures and Pathology
  • Vet Tech Emergency and First Aid

Clinical hours will also most likely be a part of any program. These are usually necessary to gain hands-on skills in the vet tech field and give students experience working under the supervised care of a vet tech or even veterinarian. When students are done with their vet tech program, they may wish to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). This exam is accepted for licensing purposes in many states, including Alabama, but students should be aware there are limited test taking windows available every year.

To become licensed as a vet tech in Alabama, students do need to pass the VTNE with a score of at least 70 percent or pass another approved exam by the state and be a graduate of an AVMA-accredited program or other approved program. Once obtained, a vet tech license in Alabama does need to be renewed on an annual basis, for which a minimum number of continuing education hours are typically required.

Finally, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in American (NAVTA) has several academies that offer certification in specialized vet tech areas, ranging from dentistry to emergency care and surgery. Vet techs interested in care in any niche vet tech fields may want to pursue one of these NAVTA vet tech certifications.

Veterinarian technician career overview

According to the BLS, the national median hourly wage for veterinarian technologists and technicians working across the U.S. was $14.66 as of May 2013. These wages were slightly lower in Alabama, however, at a median rate of $13.47 per hour, but students enrolled in Alabama veterinary technician schools should be aware that the cost of living is lower in the state compared to elsewhere in the country.

Job growth for veterinary technicians and technologists working in Alabama is expected to be much faster than average, at 33.1 percent, from 2012 to 2022, according to Projections Central. This is even faster than the job growth of 30 percent predicted nationwide by the BLS for the occupation during the same time. In fact, from 2012 to 2022, 25,000 new vet tech positions could become available nationwide, providing new graduates with various employment opportunities in animal care services, research and studies, and even in colleges and universities.

Sources:

Alabama, Projections Central, http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTermAlabama Veterinary Practice Act, Alabama Veterinary Technical Association, http://www.alabamavettech.com/alabama-practice-act-lvt-regulations.html

Congratulations to AVMA CVTEA's newly accredited veterinary technology programs, American Veterinary Medical Association, https://www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Accreditation/Programs/Pages/Newly-Accredited-Veterinary-Technology-Programs.aspx

Cost of Living Data Series, Second Quarter 2014, Missouri Economic Research and Development Institute, http://www.missourieconomy.org/indicators/cost_of_living/

Specialties, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, https://www.navta.net/specialties/specialties

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292056.htm

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Alabama, Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_al.htm

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, January 8, 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm

Veterinary Technology, Jefferson State, http://www.jeffstateonline.com/programs/veterinary-technology/veterinary-technology-vet/

VTNE, American Association of Veterinary State Boards, https://www.aavsb.org/vtne/

Veterinary Technician Schools