How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Alaska

How to Become a Vet Tech

Vet technicians have basically the same job as nurses.

If you want to do your best to help animals be healthy, read on about the process of becoming a veterinary technician in Alaska!

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Alaska

One of the first things to know about vet techs is that their work is supervised by veterinarians.

They usually receive duties such as:

  • 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

Despite these many duties, these professionals are not allowed to perform surgeries, nor are they allowed to prescribe meds.

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Alaska

Many vet techs used to be veterinary assistants or volunteers in the field.

These individuals held these positions to meet the requirements for the license without which they cannot work.

Before the license, all candidates must earn a degree, like the Associate’s Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.

The American Veterinary Medical Association didn’t accredit any programs in Alaska for this degree.

However, there are several alternatives for you to consider, that we’ll present below.

Enroll in a Distance Educational Program

There are several schools across the nation that offer distance education programs for those who cannot attend classes in person.

The downside of this option is that students are in charge and responsible to figure out and set up:

  • Their schedule,
  • Their classwork,
  • The prerequisites,
  • The clinical visits,
  • The tests

Classes are usually held online either as recordings or through webcams.

This option is particularly useful for those who want to work with large animals.

Make Use of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Program

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) is an agreement between 15 states.

This agreement allows students to attend a university from one of the member states for a lower fee compared to other out-of-state students.

You can find veterinary technician programs through the website of the WICHE, however, not all of them are accredited.

To see all the available programs, look for the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) section.

Combine the Above Two Options

This solution sounds like a no-brainer for some, and you can definitely do this.

By choosing this option you have the possibility of getting the required education at the lowest possible price.

You can even attend some education at the Alaskan colleges that do have related programs and that you can see below.

School Name Address
University of Alaska 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, Alaska 99508
University of Alaska 505 South Chandalar Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-7500

Keep in mind that you will have to complete an internship of sorts, to accumulate the hands-on experience needed before you get employed.

It will also be your responsibility to know about how each university proctors the exams for those in the distance learning programs.

What you should know is that you can also obtain a Bachelors’s degree that is about 2 years longer than the Associate’s Degree program.

To be accepted in any vet tech program, you usually have to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have 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
    • These classes are generally completed right before enrollment.
  • Health insurance
  • Buying a medical malpractice policy
  • 360 hours of previous practical experience

Once enrolled, you will be studying these topics:

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

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Alaska

As a veterinary technician in Alaska, you need a license from the Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

To get this license, you need:

  • An application form
  • Proof you graduated from the training program described earlier
    • You can substitute with notarized proof of 2 years of work experience.
  • To pay a fee of $50 To the Department
  • 3 letters of recommendation
    • Two of them must come from licensed veterinarians.
  • To pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
    • You need a score of at least 70%.

What you need to know is that only accredited programs are accepted for this exam.

The VTNE lasts for 3 hours and has 150 questions.

The license has to be renewed every year in Alaska.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Alaska

It’s important to know where will you work after getting licensed and how much you’ll earn.

these are the practice you can find a job at:

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

Salaries are influenced by a number of factors, including your location.

Annual Salary Range:
$27K
$40K
$54K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Anchorage $39,757
Juneau $39,403
Fairbanks $39,593
Wasilla $39,221
Sitka $38,867
Ketchikan $38,867
Kenai $39,221
Palmer $39,221
Bethel $39,221
Kodiak $39,221

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Alaska

Vet technicians in Alaska use these resources to help them in their careers:

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

READ MORE: How to Become a Vet Tech

State Specific Information

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