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Georgia Veterinary Technician Schools

The role of the veterinary technician is at once challenging and inherently rewarding. At the heart of that role is providing animal care through handling a diverse range of daily responsibilities. Traditionally speaking, veterinary technicians work in a veterinary office and carry out any number of tasks, from conducting x-rays to collecting lab samples, assisting veterinarians with anesthesia to prepping an animal for surgery.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) revealed that more than 15,000 individuals were employed as vet technicians throughout the southern region of the United States in 2013, including nearly 2,000 in Georgia alone.

Education and degree programs for veterinary technicians

The most characteristic education requirement for employment as a veterinary technician is an associate degree, according to the BLS. Oversight for those degree programs falls to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), an 85,000 member-strong association that represents veterinarians and their interests across the country.

As part of its responsibilities, the AVMA is the central accrediting body for veterinary technician programs. Prospective students should review a school's accreditation before enrolling, ensuring they are attending a program accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). Currently, there are five accredited veterinary technician schools in Georgia.

Coursework varies by school and program, but students may typically encounter topics such as the following:

  • Animal nutrition
  • Laboratory animal science
  • Animal pharmacology
  • Animal health technology
  • Animal anesthesia

Upon graduating from their program and prior to pursuing employment opportunities, graduates must register for and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) that is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

Georgia veterinary technician licensing and certification requirements

Veterinary technicians working in the state are required to be licensed. Licenses are handled by the Georgia Board of Veterinary Medicine. There are four steps to receive a license to practice as a veterinary technician in the state, including the following:

  • Submitting a $50 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Completing an application
  • Registering and passing the VTNE examination
  • Submitting a Verification of Education form to the board

Career outlook for veterinary technicians in Georgia

According to the BLS, the 2013 median salary for veterinary technicians in Georgia was $27,600, which is slightly below the national median salary of $30,500. However, Georgia has a lower overall cost-of-living (92) than the national average, which balances out the lower annual earnings.

Location can also impact potential wages for graduates of veterinary technician schools in Georgia. Vet techs have varied earning power throughout metro areas in Georgia. The table below lists the 2013 average and hourly wages within major metropolitan areas in the state:

Metro Area

2013 Hourly Average

2013 Average Salary

Athens-Clarke County, GA

$13.81

$28,730

Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA

$13.60

$28,280

Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC

$13.72

$28,540

Gainesville, GA

$12.20

$25,380

Savannah, GA

$13.62

$28,330

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2013 Metropolitan Occupational and Wage Estimates

The employment outlook for vet techs in Georgia is positive, according to job data from the BLS. The BLS projects a 33 percent employment increase across the state between 2012 and 2022. In fact, just like Georgia, the nationwide demand for skilled veterinary technicians is expected to drive a 30 percent increase in job openings between 2012 and 2022.

Sources:

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

American Veterinary Medical Association, Accredited Programs, https://www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Accreditation/Programs/Pages/vettech-programs-all-programs-list.aspx#georgia

American Veterinary Medical Association, https://www.avma.org/Pages/home.aspx

Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 Metropolitan Occupational and Employment Wages - Georgia, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oessrcma.htm#G

Bureau of Labor Statistics, OES, Veterinary Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292056.htm

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veterinary Technicians, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-6

Georgia Board of Veterinary Medicine, http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/53/veterinary_medicine_licensure_information

Penn Foster, Veterinary Technician Program, http://www.pennfoster.edu/programs-and-degrees/veterinary-studies/veterinary-technician-associate-degree

Projections Central, Georgia Long-Term Employment Projections, https://www.projectionscentral.com/

Truckee Meadows Community College, Veterinary Technician Program, http://www.tmcc.edu/flipbook/catalog/#vet-tech-aas-ws/z

Veterinary Technician Schools