Become a Vet Tech in Massachusetts
Nationally, the need for veterinary techs is projected to grow faster in coming years than overall employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), by 2016, employment for vet techs will increase by about 36 percent. Based on BLS statistics, salaries for veterinary technicians are in the range of $19,770 to $41,490 annually. The national mean hourly wage is $14.35, while the mean yearly wage is $29,850. Veterinary techs in Massachusetts have earnings that are roughly equal to the national average.
Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Massachusetts
- The first step toward enrolling in one of the online or campus based Massachusetts vet tech programs is to graduate from high school; the GED may sometimes be accepted. While still in high school, look for courses in basic biology, math and chemistry. Having good computer and writing skills is a plus. To gain working experience with animals, consider volunteering at an animal rescue center or working after school as an assistant at a veterinarian's office.
- In Massachusetts, there is currently no state licensing requirement, although legislation to require licensing is under consideration and may be adopted in the future. Veterinary technicians may choose to be certified by the Massachusetts Veterinary Technicians Association (www.massvta.org). Employers in the state prefer to hire trained veterinary techs who have graduated from an accredited program and are certified by the MVTA.
To become a technician certified by the MVTA, you must meet these requirements:
- All candidates for certification must pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (www.aavsb.org).
- You must have a degree from a training program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (www.avma.org).
- If you don't have degree from an accredited program, you can apply college and on-the-job training toward certification. One route is to pass the VTNE, have an associate’s degree from an unaccredited program or a bachelors degree in animal or biological sciences and one year of full-time employment as a veterinary tech.
- You can also become certified by passing the VTNE, having an associates degree in animal or biological sciences and three years of full-time practical experience as a veterinary technician.
- If you haven't completed a degree, you can become certified by passing the VTNE, having 18 semester hours of college training in animal or biological sciences and five full years of employment as a veterinary technician.Even if you have no college training, you can be certified if you pass the VTNE and have eight years of full-time employment as a vet tech.