How to Become a Veterinary Technician in West Virginia

west-virginia

Job satisfaction: As a trained veterinary technician you will serve as a valuable member of a medical team providing crucial assistance to animals of all kinds.

Featured Programs:

*With nationally accredited online programs available through Penn Foster College and Career School, it’s never been easier to get the training that will help you take the first step towards an entry-level role in veterinary medicine. Penn Foster offers three options that will help you begin your career path assisting veterinarians and caring for animals:

Job Prospects

Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Thousands of new jobs will be created including positions in small pet animal clinics to large animal practices on ranches and farms as well as exotic animal rescue and rehabilitation facilities.

Registered Veterinary Technicians may also find employment in teaching colleges, non-profit organizations, research laboratories, medical specialty clinics, rescue shelters, and in the military and government.

Employment will grow, too, as more veterinarians utilize trained technicians and technologists as they replace lower skilled veterinary assistants.

Veterinary Technician Salaries in West Virginia

Competitive salary: According to PayScale, veterinary technicians earn between $19,939 and $38,855 per year. If you have to work overtime as a vet tech in WV, you could net between $13 and $27 an hour.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for a Veterinary Technician in West Virginia is $31,000 per year.

What Will You Do as a Vet-Tech?

As a Licensed Veteran Technician (under general supervision) your tasks may include:

  1. Administer anesthesia, including induction, intravenous sedation, and maintenance and recovery from anesthesia;
  2. Perform dental prophylaxis;
  3. Establish open airways;
  4. Administer resuscitative oxygen procedures;
  5. Administer resuscitative drugs, in the event of cardiac arrest;
  6. Administer immunizations that are not required by law to be administered by a licensed veterinarian;
  7. Prepare or supervise the preparation of patients for surgery;
  8. Assist the veterinarian in immunologic, diagnostic, medical, chemotherapeutic and surgical procedures; and Perform external suturing

As a Registered Veterinary Technician you may also do (under either general or indirect supervision):

  1. Perform diagnostic imaging;
  2. Perform intravenous catheterization;
  3. Administer and apply medications and treatments by oral intramuscular, intravenous and subcutaneous routes;
  4. Apply bandages;
  5. Perform cardiac and respiratory monitoring;
  6. Perform appropriate procedures to control bleeding;
  7. Apply temporary splints or immobilizing bandages;
  8. Perform ear flushing;
  9. Collect specimens; and
  10. Perform laboratory procedures.

EXCEPTION: A veterinary technician may, without supervision, use emergency treatment procedures when an animal has been placed in a life threatening condition and immediate treatment is necessary to sustain the animal’s life. The registered veterinary technician shall immediately take steps to secure the general supervision of a veterinarian.

Accredited West Virginia Veterinary Technology Programs

There are two Veterinary Technician Schools in West Virginia, both accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Veterinary Technology Coursework

Veterinarian technicians in West Virginia work closely with veterinarians to care and treat many different kinds of animals. Trained and licensed Veterinary Technicians have very good job opportunities. The West Virginia vet tech license is the minimum requirement for all who would like to gain employment as a veterinarian technician.

Your coursework and hands-on training will expose you to a variety of animals including small animals (cat, dogs, ferrets, birds, hamsters); zoo or exhibition animals (lions, tigers, bears and more) and large animals on farms and ranches such as horses, goats, pigs, cattle, llamas and turkeys.

You will also have an opportunity to work with exotic animals like eagles, lizards, snakes, owls, hawks, vultures, eagles, and hawks. Also, lab animals including mice, rats and guinea pigs.

You will take courses such as:

  • Lab Animal Science
  • Veterinary Medical Terminology
  • Animal care and Management
  • Principles of Animal Biology
  • Introductory Zoology
  • Animal Disease
  • Animal Pharmacology
  • Veterinary Office Procedures
  • Animal Control Management
  • Veterinary Clinical Pathology
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Animal Nursing
  • Animal Anatomy & Physiology
  • Advanced Topics in Veterinary Medicine
  • Diagnostic Imaging

The Vet-Tech can also specialize in:

  • Equine Medicine
  • Dental Technician
  • Clinical Pathology
  • Emergency and Critical Care nursing
  • Anesthetist
  • Behavior Modification
  • Zoological and Exotic Animal Medicine
  • Animal Nutrition
  • Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Practice

Education Costs

Student aid, scholarships set up by businesses or private foundations and/or traditional loans may be available to you. For example, the American Kennel Club and the Hartz Mountain Corporation grant annual scholarships specifically for veterinary technician students.

Each Veterinary Technician program in West Virginia has Student Aid information. Also, you can discuss your specific financials needs and your coursework with your Student Guidance Counselor.

Successful completion of this program will grant the student an Associates of Applied Science.

After graduating from a vet tech program in West Virginia, students will be prepared to sit for the national and state licensing boards. Obtaining both of these will allow students to practice in West Virginia as well as other states.

(For List of Accredited West Virginia’s Veterinary Technology Programs click here.)

Requirements to Become a Licensed Veterinary Technician in West Virginia

Veterinarian technicians in West Virginia work closely with veterinarians to care and treat many different kinds of animals. Trained and licensed Veterinary Technicians have very good job opportunities. The West Virginia vet tech license is the minimum requirement for all who would like to gain employment as a veterinarian technician.

After graduating from a vet tech program in West Virginia, students will be prepared to sit for the national and state licensing boards. Obtaining both of these will allow students to practice in West Virginia as well as other states.

The Veterinary Tech Candidate Must:

  1. Be of good moral character;
  2. Have a degree in veterinary technology from an accredited school, approved by the board;
  3. Have passed the examinations required by the board;
  4. Be at least eighteen years of age;
  5. Be a citizen of the United States or be eligible for employment in the United States;
  6. Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
  7. Not have been convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction within five years preceding the date of application for registration which conviction remains unreversed; and
  8. Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction at any time if the offense for which the applicant was convicted related to the practice of veterinary technology or animal abuse or neglect.

(b) A person seeking registration under the provisions of this article shall submit an application on a form prescribed by the board and pay all applicable fees.

(c) A person registered to practice veterinary technology issued by the board prior to July 1, 2010, shall for all purposes be considered registered under this article and may renew pursuant to the provisions of this article.

Testing and Licensing

The Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. To qualify, you must have a degree from an AVMA/WVTA accredited veterinary technician program.

It is essential that you do well on the exam not only to acquire a job as a veterinary technician, but also most states consider a passing score to be a credentialing criterion.

The examination is administered three times a year. There is a $300 candidate fee. If you want to purchase one of the online practice tests there is an additional cost.

The VTNE exam is three hours long and has 150 questions.

Continuing Education for License Renewal in West Virginia

Continuing education is mandatory for renewal of all Registered Veterinary Technicians in West Virginia. A total of 12 approved hours/credits must be completed each year. These courses may be in classrooms, or educational videos, group online activities, lectures, guest speakers, self-study materials and professional seminars or workshops. Documentation proving you successfully completed these credits must accompany your yearly license renewal application.

You can also refer to:

West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine

National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

West Virginia Association of Veterinary Technicians

West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine

Career Opportunities

Your school will have assistance available to you while looking for a job. Also, the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CACVT) has an active job posting page separated into geographic regions.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), an organization that represents and promotes the profession of veterinary technician, has a wealth of resources for you in their website’s Career Center page.

Potential Employers in West Virginia for Registered Vet-Techs

  • State of West Virginia Animal & Plant Industries (Charleston)
  • Saving Animals From Euthanasia (Whitman)
  • South Huntington Animal Hospital (S Huntington)
  • Allegheny Equine (Elkins)
  • Animal Friends-North Central (Morgantown)
  • Animal Urgent Care Center (Wheeling)
  • Southern West Virginia Animal League (Princeton)
  • Mighty Mutt Rescue (Belington)
  • Forever Friends Animal Rescue WV, Inc (Baker)

West Virginia Association of Veterinary Technicians

  • The West Virginia Association of Veterinary Technicians was formed to represent and promote the veterinary technology profession within the state of West Virginia.
  • Encourage professional advancement of registered veterinary technicians.
  • Foster a good working relationship between veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians by working with the West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association.
  • Educate the public about the important role of the registered veterinary technician within the veterinary medical profession.
  • Act as a source of information for registered veterinary technicians throughout West Virginia.
  • Promote positive legislation and to speak for registered veterinary technicians in regards to legislative actions.
  • Provide fellowship and camaraderie between professional veterinary technicians.
  • Promote the humane care of all animals.