How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Missouri

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Maybe you want to get a job where you can work with animals.

If you live in Missouri, consider becoming a vet tech.

There are some requirements you need to fulfill first, so read on.

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Missouri

You can get a vet tech job in any facility that handles animals:

  • Pet clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Educational institutions

Some of your daily assignments as a vet tech will be:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Request records requests from other vets
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • Help with filling prescriptions
  • Prepping exam and operating spaces
  • Keeping records updated
  • Pay attention to the dietary needs of pets
  • Make sure the animals get enough exercise

You can also choose to volunteer first if you don’t have experience in handling animals.

You can also check out these resources in Missouri:

  • Missouri Veterinary Technicians Association
  • Missouri Veterinary Medical Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life
  • Vetcetera
  • Where Techs Connect

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Missouri

In Missouri, you can become a vet tech with only a high school diploma or a GED.

But, you might have to submit additional paperwork, such as:

  • COMPASS test
  • Proof you are a resident of the state
  • Meeting up with a mentor

Becoming a vet tech means you will first need to get trained.

There are several schools in Missouri where you can get trained as a vet tech.

Then, you can also get the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification for vet techs.

This certification is offered through the NAVTA.

The program you join has to be approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

You can also choose a specialty:

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

You will be able to choose whether you prefer to join a program online or one in person.

However, once the program is over, you will have to take a certification exam.

Some of the subjects you will study in class are:

  • How to identify different breeds
  • Animal anatomy
  • The best ways to administer meds
  • How to administer post-operative care
  • Handling various breeds of animals
  • Medical terminology
  • Handling chemicals

The training programs for vet techs offer hours of theory as well as practice.

The schools that offer vet tech programs in Missouri are listed below.

School Name Address
Jefferson College 1000 Viking Drive Hillsboro, MO 63050
Metropolitan Community College 3200 Broadway Kansas City, MO 64111
Midwest Institute 4260 Shoreline Drive St. Louis, MO 63045
Midwest Institute 964 South Highway Drive, Fenton, Missouri 63026

You will also have to submit:

  • Tuberculosis clearance within a year
  • Tetanus vaccine within 10 years
  • Health insurance
  • A recent criminal background check

Vet tech training programs in Missouri last about 2 years.

You can also get a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

After you finish the training program, you can apply online to get your certification.

In addition, you need to take a certification exam, the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination).

The exam is provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB)

The test lasts for 3 hours and has 170 questions.

Before attending the exam, you need to make an appointment and pay a fee of $300.

You will also have to pay an application processing fee and get your Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

This ATT will be sent by email from the Professional Examination Service (PES).

The topics in the exam include:

  • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
  • Dentistry
  • Pain Management/Analgesia
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal Care and Nursing

Your certification stays current for 2 years, after which it requires renewal.

You will also have to take 5 extra hours of class before renewing it.

You can find out more info about the renewal process from the Missouri Veterinary Technicians Association and the Missouri Veterinary Medical Association.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Missouri

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet techs in Missouri earn $30,880 on average.

Experienced vet techs earn more than the average in this state.

Your annual salary will be higher if you live in regions like Columbia, Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Jefferson City, or Kansas City.

Annual Salary Range:
$18K
$29K
$41K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Kansas City $30,598
St. Louis $30,720
Springfield $29,478
Columbia $30,379
Independence $30,565
Lee's Summit $30,482
O'Fallon $30,470
St. Joseph $30,328
St. Charles $30,553
St. Peters $30,487

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Missouri

After you finish your training program, you will find a job quite easily.

Vet techs are more and more in demand in Missouri, so you can build a stable career in the field.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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