In order to become a vet tech in the state of Maryland, you must complete a two-year accredited veterinary technology program.
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Vet techs in Maryland are employed in both general and specialty veterinary practices, animal shelters, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, pharmaceutical companies, research laboratories, and government agencies. The Maryland Veterinary Technician Association (MVTA) is the state organization that represents vet techs. As a member of the MVTA, you’ll have access to resources, job postings, discounts on continuing education (CE) courses, and networking opportunities.
Becoming a vet tech in Maryland requires completing a credentialing program and passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). In this article, we’ll cover the steps you need to take to earn your Maryland veterinary technician license.
Steps to Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Maryland
Veterinary technicians play an important role in the medical care of animals. They work closely with veterinarians to provide quality care for sick and injured animals. If you love animals and are interested in a career in the medical field, becoming a veterinary technician might be the perfect fit for you. Here’s what you need to do to become a veterinary technician in Maryland.
Complete a Veterinary Technician Program
In order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Maryland, you must first complete an accredited veterinary technology program. These programs are typically two-year associate’s degree programs, although some may be four-year bachelor’s degree programs. During your coursework, you will likely take classes such as animal anatomy and physiology, animal pharmacology, animal nutrition, and clinical pathology. You will also complete a number of hands-on laboratory courses and clinical rotations in order to gain experience working with animals.
Become Licensed in Maryland
Becoming a veterinary technician in Maryland is a process that includes completing an accredited veterinary technology program, passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and then applying for a license with the Maryland Board of Veterinary Examiners.
If you have not yet completed an accredited veterinary technology program, you can find accredited programs at the AVMA website. Once you have completed an accredited program, you will need to pass the VTNE. The VTNE is a national exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). To register for the VTNE, visit the AAVSB website.
Once you have passed the VTNE, you can apply for your license with the Maryland Board of Veterinary Examiners. The Board will require that you submit an application, transcripts from your accredited veterinary technology program, and proof that you have passed the VTNE. The Board may also require that you take and pass a jurisprudence exam. For more information on how to become a licensed veterinary technician in Maryland, please visit the Board’s website.
Maintain Your Veterinary Technician License
In order to maintain your veterinary technician license in the state of Maryland, you will need to complete at least 15 hours of continuing education every year. Of those 15 hours, at least 3 hours must be related to topics in client communication, practice management, or veterinarian-client-patient relationships. The other 12 hours can be related to any other aspect of veterinary medicine. If you let your license lapse, you will need to retake the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to have your license reinstated.
What to Expect After Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Maryland
After completing a veterinary technician program, you will be able to work in a variety of animal care settings. You may find work in a small animal clinic, large animal hospital, or research facility. You will be responsible for providing care to animals and working alongside veterinarians to provide the best possible care for each patient.
In general, the job outlook for veterinary technicians is positive. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of veterinary technicians will grow 19 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.1
There are several reasons for this projected growth. First, the number of pets is increasing. In 2015, there were 89.7 million cats and 74.1 million dogs in the United States, up from 84 million and 69 million in 2010.2 This increase means that more pets will need medical care, which will require more veterinary technicians.
Second, as Baby Boomers age, they are increasingly likely to have money to spend on their pets because they are Empty Nesters with disposable incomes. In fact, 70 percent of pet owners in the United States are over the age of 45, and 36 percent of households include at least one person over the age of 65.3 This trend is expected to continue as the Baby Boomer generation ages.
Third, veterinary medicine has become increasingly complex in recent years, which has necessitated more training for veterinary technicians. Veterinary technicians now perform many tasks that were once performed by veterinarians, such as placing catheters and taking X-rays. As a result of this increased responsibility, employers are requiring applicants to have at least an Associate’s degree from an accredited program.
The average salary for a veterinary technician in Maryland is $32,610 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, salaries will vary depending on a number of factors, such as your level of experience, the type of employer you work for, and the geographic region of the state you work in. For example, vet techs working in metropolitan areas such as Baltimore or Gaithersburg tend to earn higher salaries than those working in smaller towns or rural areas.
Continuing Education for Veterinary Technicians
Vet techs in Maryland are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education (CE) every year in order to maintain their license. CE can be fulfilled by attending conferences, webinars, or other approved events. The Maryland Veterinary Medical Association (MVMA) offers a variety of CE opportunities throughout the year, and many of these events offer discounts for MVMA members.