Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Delaware
The field of veterinary technology is currently an excellent choice for Delaware residents. The state possesses a growing and vibrant veterinary care sector, providing assistance to private pet owners and businesses alike. Due to this, veterinary technology is an increasingly attractive career for those individuals seeking a well paying and rewarding job.
Becoming a Vet Tech in Delaware
Delaware requires all vet techs to be licensed by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. The requirements for licensure include successfully completing an approved program of veterinary technology, passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and submitting an application to the board.
Vet Tech Programs
Veterinary technology programs instruct the student in the practical and academic aspects of being a vet tech. The program’s courses include studies on veterinary medicine, pharmacology, disease and other subjects that a vet tech will need to know in order to properly perform his or her duties.
In most cases, a vet tech program will take approximately two years for a full-time student to complete. Most programs also offer part-time and distance learning programs for students who are unable to attend regular classes. Part-time classes are often scheduled in the evenings or on the weekend in order to better suit the schedules of students who are currently employed. Distance learning classes allow students to attend most classes online, which can be essential for students who have difficulties commuting to school on a regular basis. However, depending on the program, some courses may include lab or practical experience components that require all students to be physically present.
All vet tech programs must be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). AVMA accreditation demonstrates that the program adheres to rigorous standards of educational excellence. Most vet tech programs are evaluated on a regular basis and students should make certain that any program they consider is one that is currently accredited.
After completing a vet tech program, the candidate must take the VTNE. This is a comprehensive exam prepared by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The AAVSB has designed the exam to test the candidate’s practical and academic qualifications in the field of veterinary technology. Among the subjects tested by the VTNE are the following:
- Pharmacy and pharmacology practices.
- Diagnostic imaging techniques.
- Surgical and surgical assistance procedures.
- Animal care and nursing.
- Laboratory Procedures.
In order to pass the VTNE, the student must have a score of 425 or higher. While it is possible for students to retake the test, the AAVSB will not usually allow a student to take the test more than five times. Other restrictions also apply and the AAVSB may place specific requirements on individual students as a condition for retaking the test. For this reason, it is wise to only take the VTNE when the candidate feels confident he or she can pass it.
Licensure by Reciprocity
Finally, if the candidate has a current license in another state, he or she can submit that information in order to be licensed by reciprocity, where Delaware accepts that the candidate has already completed all requirements needed to practice as a vet tech. This does not free the candidate from having to obtain a Delaware license, but does eliminate the need to enter a vet tech program or take the VTNE.
License Renewal and Continuing Education
The vet tech must renew his or her license ever two years. In addition to paying the renewal fee, the vet tech must complete 12 hours of approved continuing education every two years. In order to ensure that the continuing education hours comply with state requirements, the vet tech should make certain to obtain the current standards for acceptable continuing education courses.
The Benefits of Becoming a Vet Tech
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) currently estimates that the field of veterinary technology will enjoy robust growth, with the number of jobs increasing by 52 percent between 2010 and 2020. In addition, the annual median wage enjoyed by vet techs in Delaware is over $34,000, which is considerably higher than the national median wage. Furthermore, due to the number of job openings, new vet techs will continue to enjoy robust career and salary opportunities. As a result, the field of veterinary technology will continue to be an attractive option for individuals seeking a secure and personally rewarding career.
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