Steps to Become a Veterinary Technician in New Hampshire

The job prospects for a certified veterinary technician in New Hampshire are new-hampshireexcellent. The 2012 Occupational Outlook Handbook of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that employment of veterinary technologists and technicians was expected to grow 30% per year through 2022. New Hampshire has a higher than average share of employment nationwide.



Why Become a New Hampshire Vet-Tech

The career of a veterinary technician (vet tech) has good employment prospects, allows you to work with animals (and the public, depending on the job), pays well, and has many career possibilities. The education can be attained in under three years at a modest cost. When you are graduated with an Associate’s Degree, you can be part of a professional network of vet techs nationwide.

Whatever the capacity of the veterinarian (private practice, research, etc.), a vet tech essentially fulfills the role of animal nurse in that facility. Your education will prepare you to assist in surgery and emergency care, take x-rays, administer anesthesia and medications, perform dental and laboratory procedures, keep records, and participate in client education and practice management. You will study all these procedures and acquire these skills to be used in the care of laboratory mice, companion animals, livestock, and exotic species.

Most vet techs work in private practice, but jobs can be found in veterinary teaching hospitals, zoos and exotic animal facilities, livestock and large animal production, research facilities (private and public), feed manufacturing, military service, pharmaceutical sales, and humane and rescue organizations.

Veterinary technologists and technicians can also specialize in these disciplines:

  •  Dental Technician
  • Anesthetist
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Equine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Pathology

(Click here for more information on these academic specialties.)

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Application Process to Become a Veterinary Technician

The best education, and the best beginning to your career, is found at one of two New Hampshire schools with a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). To find a school with an accredited program in New Hampshire, click here.

Every program requires at least a high school diploma, GED, or the equivalent. If your high school education was not strong in the sciences (math, biology, chemistry), some prerequisite courses are required before application. Test scores on ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer might be required; so too is an interview. Admission is competitive, based on GPA, work experience, and test scores. Each school’s website has detailed information on admission requirements, procedures, and deadlines.

What You Will Study

All programs require prerequisite courses to be completed before the vet tech core courses can begin. These focus on preparation for the future courses and include English, composition, math, chemistry, psychology, social sciences, or foreign language. The fewer of these preparatory courses you take in high school or college, the more you must take before beginning the vet tech program. One of New Hampshire’s schools allows for taking courses for “dual credit,” in which you can apply course credits taken for the vet tech program to transfer to a four-year program later on.

The core courses focus specifically on the skills and knowledge you need to be a vet tech: anatomy and physiology, terminology, parasitology, hematology, pharmacology, radiology, anesthesiology, animal diseases, small and large animal nursing, animal restraint, and practice management. One program has a fairly extensive elective section from which you can study classes that interest you for your future job, including canine learning theory, animal population medicine, dairy herd management, equine lameness, and animal nutrition and breeding.

Some classes have an accompanying laboratory/practicum to provide hands-on experience in acquiring certain skills. In the final semester, you are placed in a clinical internship during which you will gain more hands-on experience in learning the day to day workings of a veterinary technician.

Tuition and Financial Aid in New Hampshire

Tuition and fees for the vet tech programs in New Hampshire are higher than the national average, ranging from approximately $20,000 to $35,000.

Most students require some financial aid. All the traditional types of college financial aid are available to vet tech students, including veterans benefits. All financial aid begins with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA website takes you through the process of studying the types of aid available and choosing the right option for you.

Visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to learn more about the types of veterans aid and what might be best for you. These include programs for dependents and family members of a veteran.

Every school’s website has comprehensive information on tuition and financial aid. Time spent there planning your education is very well spent.

The website for the New England Board of Higher Education has information on the many types of financial aid resources in the region.

After You Graduate

In two to three years, you will be graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology, and you will be eligible to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) required to become a certified veterinary technician in New Hampshire. Only graduates from an accredited program are allowed to take the VTNE, which is why it is important you attend a school with an accredited program.

Certification is not required to work as a vet tech in New Hampshire, but your career will be more rewarding and profitable if you become certified. The process is not difficult and requires only an application and completing 12 credit hours of continuing education every year to remain current. Visit the New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association for more information.

Job Prospects and Potential Pay for New Hampshire

The job prospects for veterinary technologists and technicians in New Hampshire are very good. According to the May 2013 BLS data, the average pay throughout the state was $32,160.

Regional average pay (click the radio button for One occupation for multiple geographical areas, then find Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, 292056):

Haverhill-North Andover-Amesbury, MA-NH NECTA Division     $34,910
Lowell-Billerica-Chelmsford, MA-NH NECTA Division     $37,010
Manchester, NH     $29,950
Nashua, NH-MA NECTA Division     $31,950
Portsmouth, NH-ME     $33,480
Rochester-Dover, NH-ME     $32,330
Other New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area     $31,270
Western New Hampshire nonmetropolitan area     $33,160

How to Find a Job as a Vet-Tech

Start looking for a job the moment you decide to become a vet tech. Use all your contacts gained in previous work experience, during your labs and on-site visits, and in your internship. Some schools’ websites have job postings. The websites listed below have job listings for vet techs. Also, an internet search for “veterinary technician jobs in New Hampshire” will provide leads.

New Hampshire Veterinary Medical Association

New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association

National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)

Veterinary Career Network

Vet Tech Life, an online journal for veterinary technicians

Vetcetera, a listing of national, state and specialty veterinary technician associations

Where Techs Connect, a job source connecting veterinary technicians with employers