Become a Vet Tech in Iowa
Nationwide, the need for veterinary technicians will grow faster than overall employment in the coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that by 2016, employment for vet techs should grow by about 36 percent. According to the BLS, salaries for veterinary technicians fall into the $19,770 to $41,490 range. The mean annual wage is $29,850, while the mean hourly wage is $14.35. In Iowa, veterinary techs have earnings that are about the same as the national averages.
How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Iowa
- To be accepted into one of the online or campus based Iowa vet tech programs, you will need to be a high school graduate; having a GED may be acceptable. Good courses to take in high school include basic math, biology, and chemistry. Training in computer skills is helpful. Having good writing skills is also important. Being a volunteer at an animal shelter is an excellent way to gain experience caring for animals.
- Vocational high schools in Iowa often have tracks for animal science; graduating from such a program is good preparation for being admitted to a veterinary technician program. Courses in allied health are an acceptable alternative to animal science.
- In Iowa, veterinary technicians do not need to be certified or registered. However, employers much prefer to hire trained veterinary techs who are registered with the state.
To become a veterinary technician registered with the Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine (www.iowaagriculture.gov), you must meet three requirements:
- You must complete two years of training in animal technology or as a veterinary technician at an accredited school. A degree is not necessary if the program is a four-year program.
- You must achieve a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) given by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aasvb.org).
- You must pass the Iowa Veterinary Technician Examination. The purpose of this exam is to test your knowledge of state regulations and practice requirements.