Becoming a Vet Tech in South Carolina
Today’s veterinary medical sector is continuing to enjoy sustained growth. With many families considering the health of their companion animals to be vital, the importance of high quality and available vet care is greater than ever. Because of this, becoming a licensed South Carolina veterinary technician is an excellent career choice for many individuals.
Vet Techs in South Carolina
As a state with a mixture of rural and urban regions, South Carolina has a variety of employment options for qualified veterinary technicians. In addition to the need for veterinary care for pets, there is a large commercial farming and ranching sector that requires effective care for its livestock.
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that veterinary technician jobs will continue to expand at a rate well above average through 2020. As of 2011, South Carolina employed over 1,000 vet techs with a median annual wage of nearly $30,000.
Becoming a Vet Tech in South Carolina
Vet techs are licensed by the South Carolina Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (SCBVME). The Board has established the following requirements for those wishing to qualify as a veterinary technician:
- Complete a vet tech program at an institution that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
- Verification that the individual has passed the Veterinary Technicians National Examination (VTNE).
- Passage of the South Carolina vet tech jurisprudence exam.
- Verification of licensure in those states, if any, where the candidate is already licensed to practice as a vet tech may substitute for the VTNE, depending on the nature of the license.
Vet Tech Programs
A vet tech program is a program that instructs the candidate in the academic and practical aspects of a vet tech’s duties. In most cases, a full-time student will complete his or her program in about two years. For those individuals who cannot attend a full-time program, many institutions offer part-time classes, often scheduled in the evenings or on weekends in order to accommodate working students. Finally, some schools also allow online programs that can allow the student to complete most of the program while working from home, which is extremely useful for those individuals who find traveling to school difficult.
All approved vet tech programs are accredited by the AVMA. This organization ensures that the program and faculty meet strict professional standards and are capable of providing the students with an effective education in the field of veterinary technology. Schools are periodically reviewed by the AVMA, so a student should ensure that his or her school is currently accredited by the AVMA.
Taking the VTNE
The VTNE is a comprehensive exam that all aspects of the vet tech’s academic, professional and practical skills. The VTNE is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The AAVSB regularly revises the VTNE so that it remains up to date with the modern state of veterinary medicine.
In order to pass the VTNE, the candidate must score at least 425 on the test. While a candidate can repeat the test, a candidate cannot repeat the test more than five times without specific approval by the AAVSB. Furthermore, the AAVSB reserves the right to demand that the candidate fulfill other requirements before he or she retakes the test. For this reason, candidates should be certain that they are fully prepared before taking the VTNE.
The State Exam
The jurisprudence exam is not focused on the candidate’s professional qualifications, but their understanding of how South Carolina law impacts the practice of veterinary technology. This test is administered by the SCBVME, and the candidate must pass it in order to be licensed to practice in the state. This test can be retaken if the candidate fails to pass it.
Becoming a vet tech opens a variety of promising career and salary options. In addition, the field of veterinary medicine is one that allows the vet tech to become a respected member of the community as he or she works to assist families who need to care for their beloved companion animals. No matter the location or type of practice, veterinary technology is a personally and professionally rewarding career choice.
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