How to Become a Vet Tech in Colorado

Considering a career as a veterinary technician in Colorado? Here’s what you need to know about the education and licensure requirements to make your dream a reality.

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Introduction

A veterinary technician is a vital member of the animal health care team. This professional provides direct patient care under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A typical day for a veterinary technician may include taking patient histories, collecting samples for laboratory tests, performing diagnostic radiographs, administering medications, and assisting in surgery. Many colleges across the country offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in veterinary technology. Earning one of these degrees is the first step to becoming a licensed veterinary technician in Colorado.

The Educational Requirements

In order to become a vet tech in Colorado, you will need to complete a two-year associate’s degree program at a veterinary technology school that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). There are currently four AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs in Colorado: Arapahoe Community College, Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology, Colorado State University and Pima Medical Institute-Denver.

Each of these schools offers a different program, so it is important that you research each one carefully to find the one that best meets your needs. Once you have completed your associate’s degree, you will be eligible to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). This exam is required for licensure in Colorado and most other states.

The Exams You Will Need to Pass

In order to become a certified veterinary technician in the state of Colorado, you will need to pass two exams: the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and the Colorado Jurisprudence Examination (CJE).

The VTNE is a comprehensive, five-hour exam that tests your knowledge of all aspects of veterinary medicine. It is offered year-round at testing centers around the country. You must apply and pay a fee to take the exam, and you will need to achieve a score of 475 or higher to pass.

The CJE is a multiple-choice exam that tests your knowledge of Colorado’s veterinary practice act and related rules and regulations. It is offered twice yearly, in March and September, at testing centers around the state. You must apply and pay a fee to take the exam, and you will need to achieve a score of 70% or higher to pass.

The Training You Will Need to Complete

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Colorado, you will need to complete a veterinary technology program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). There are currently only two AVMA-accredited programs in Colorado: Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and Arapahoe Community College.

Both of these programs will require you to complete a certain number of academic coursework and clinical rotations. Once you have completed the program, you will then need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to earn your license.

The specific training requirements may vary slightly between programs, so it is important that you consult with the school of your choice to get more specific information. However, all programs will require you to complete coursework in subjects such as anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, and medical ethics.

You will also need to complete clinical rotations in both large and small animal facilities. These rotations will give you hands-on experience working with animals and completing tasks such as taking X-rays, drawing blood, administering medication, and more.

The Certification You Will Need to Obtain

In order to work as a veterinary technician in the state of Colorado, you will need to obtain certification through the Colorado State Board of Veterinary Medicine. The Board offers two types of certification: Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) and Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT).

To be eligible for certification, you must have graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program and passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have met these requirements, you can apply for certification through the Board.

The Board will then review your application and, if everything is in order, issue you a certificate. Once you have been certified, you will need to renew your certificate every two years. The process for renewing your certificate is similar to the process for obtaining certification; you will need to submit an application and pay a fee.

If you let your certification lapse, you will need to retake the VTNE in order to reactivate your certification. Therefore, it is important that you keep your certification up-to-date.

The job outlook for vet techs in Colorado

Vet techs in Colorado earn a median wage of $17.33 per hour, or $36,040 annually. Employment of vet techs in Colorado is expected to grow much faster than average, at a rate of 19% from 2016 to 2026. This means that an additional 1,700 vet tech jobs will open up in the state during that time period.

The Salary You Can Expect to Earn as a Vet Tech in Colorado

As a veterinary technician in Colorado, you can expect to earn an annual salary of $33,500. This is slightly lower than the national average salary for vet techs, which is $35,250. However, Colorado is an excellent state in which to start your career as a vet tech. The cost of living is relatively low and there are many opportunities for advancement.

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Colorado, you must first complete a two-year accredited program. Once you have completed your coursework, you must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have passed the VTNE, you will be eligible to apply for a license from the Colorado Board of Veterinary Medicine.

Once you are licensed, you will be able to find employment in a variety of settings, including private veterinary clinics, animal shelters, and zoos. There is a growing demand for veterinary technicians in Colorado, so now is an excellent time to start your career in this field.

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