How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Alabama

How to Become a Vet Tech

Many veterinary technicians in Alabama used to be vet assistants.

This is not the only way to become a vet technician though.

Read on to find out more about the occupation and the requirements you have to meet for it!

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Alabama

A veterinary technician is highly involved in the healthcare of an animal and works under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Their common duties include:

  • Administering medications
  • Taking x-rays,
  • Processing tissue samples,
  • Assisting in surgery and emergency care
  • Performing lab tests
  • Teeth cleaning,
  • Electrocardiography,
  • Bandaging,
  • Wound cleaning,
  • Maintaining detailed and accurate records
    • Of meds, supplies, patients

In Alabama, these professionals are not allowed to perform surgeries nor to prescribe meds.

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Alabama

If you already worked as a vet assistant, you may already meet the requirements for this job.

Those who are entirely new to the field need to first earn a license.

However, things are not that easy, as, before that, one needs a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree of Applied Science.

This degree has to be earned from an accredited training program and lasts for at least two years.

The accreditation must be from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Another acceptable degree is in Animal Science with a specialization in veterinary technology.

Field training is a must for future vet techs, and this can be achieved through an internship or an externship.

Check the schools below for more details.

School Name Address
James H Faulkner State Community College 1900 US Hwy 31 S, Bay Minette, Alabama 36507-2698
Jefferson State Community College 2601 Carson Rd, Birmingham, Alabama 35215-3098
Ross Medical Education Center-Huntsville 930 Old Monrovia Road, NW, Huntsville, Alabama 35806-2509
Tuskegee University Kresge Center, 3rd Floor, Tuskegee, Alabama 36088-1920

Enrollment in one of these schools usually requires:

  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Having a high school diploma or GED
  • Minimum a grade of C in these subjects: biology, English composition, math, basic computer science, psychology, humanities, and public speaking
    • Future students must complete these classes right before enrolling in the degree program
  • 2 letters of recommendation
    • One of them must come from a veterinarian
  • Health insurance
  • Buying a medical malpractice policy
  • 360 hours of previous practical experience

If you find the tuition to be too high, see if you qualify for a scholarship or work-study among other solutions.

The curriculum for the degree has topics similar to these:

  • Introduction to veterinary technology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Emergency care and first aid
  • Pathology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Radiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Parasitology
  • Toxicology
  • Nutrition

Most classes require at least 20 hours of practice in an approved clinical site.

Additionally, the last semester is usually a preceptorship.

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Alabama

Veterinary technicians in this state are licensed by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

To earn this license, you’ll need:

  • An application form
  • Proof you graduated from the training program described earlier
  • To pay a fee
    • $300 for the exam
    • $100 for the license
  • Score at least 70% on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)

For the VTNE, you’ll have 3 hours to answer 150 questions.

Your license has to be renewed every year in Alabama.

For this, you’ll also have to continue your education by completing 8 hours.

The Alabama Veterinary Technician Association (AVTA) is the main resource for vet techs in this state for finding employment and continuing education courses.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Alabama

One can’t decide if they really want to work in a field without knowing some details related to the employment.

This means knowing who the potential employers are and the possible salary they’ll earn.

Veterinary technicians work for:

  • Private clinical practices
  • Zoos
  • Veterinary teaching hospitals
  • Rescue centers
  • Wildlife or exotic animal rehabilitation centers
  • Humane societies,
  • Research facilities,
  • Feedlots,
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Here are some of the best companies to work for as a vet tech in Alabama:

  • Lee County Humane Society
  • Auburn University Veterinary Teaching Hospital
  • Advanced Veterinary Care of Vestavia (Birmingham)
  • Banfield Pet Hospital (Montgomery)
  • Northside Veterinary Hospital (Cullman)
  • Dothan Animal Hospital

There are many factors influencing your salary, including your past experience in the field and the city you work in.

Annual Salary Range:
$23K
$33K
$45K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Birmingham $33,845
Montgomery $32,057
Huntsville $33,816
Mobile $33,090
Tuscaloosa $33,514
Dothan $31,582
Auburn $32,260
Decatur $32,783
Madison $33,816
Florence $30,826

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Alabama

Use these resources to keep you updated with news and changes related to the field:

  • Alabama Association of Veterinary Technicians
  • Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Association
  • Alabama Veterinary Medical Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
  • Veterinary Career Network

READ MORE: How to Become a Vet Tech

State Specific Information

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