How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Florida

How to Become a Vet Tech

There are many pet owners and animal lovers in Florida and as such veterinary technicians are in high need.

If you want to become a vet tech in Florida, then continue reading!

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Florida

One of the first things to know is that these professionals will always work under supervision.

They usually receive tasks like the following:

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

You should know that you won’t be able to do these tasks:

  • Prescribing medicine
  • Surgeries

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Florida

In Florida, those working in the veterinary field don’t need to be licensed, except if they’re veterinarians.

However, it’s a good idea to undergo training, earn a degree and then become licensed.

This way, you become a better candidate for a position, have better career opportunities, and even earn more.

These are the degrees you can earn for this occupation:

  • Associate‚Äôs Degree of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology
  • B.S. in Veterinary Technology

The programs issuing an AAS last for about 2 years and those for a BS last for 4 years.

Each school has different admission requirements.

You’ll usually be asked for:

  • An application
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • A rabies vaccine
  • Some previous experience working in a vet clinic
  • To have an interview with a program faculty member

Oftentimes you’ll have to complete a series of classes before you start your academic year:

  • Basic biology,
  • Chemistry,
  • Math,
  • Introductory computer skills

These are the schools you can consider for your education as a veterinary technician.

What you must pay attention to is that the school has an accredited program.

School Name Address
Aparicio-Levy Technical College 10119 East Ellicott Street, Tampa, Florida 33610
City College-Hollywood 6565 Taft Street, Hollywood, Florida 33024-4045
Daytona State College 1200 W. International Speedway Blvd., Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
Eastern Florida State College 1519 Clearlake Rd, Cocoa, Florida 32922
Hillsborough Community College 39 Columbia Drive, Tampa, Florida 33606-3584
Marion County Community Technical and Adult Education Center 1014 SW 7th Rd, Ocala, Florida 34471-3172
Miami Dade College 300 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, Florida 33132-2204
Pensacola State College 1000 College Blvd, Pensacola, Florida 32504-8998
St Petersburg College 6021 142nd Ave N, Clearwater, Florida 33760-2822
Sanford-Brown Institute-Ft Lauderdale 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33309
Sanford-Brown Institute-Jacksonville 10255 Fortune Parkway, Suite 501, Jacksonville, Florida 32256
Westside Tech 955 E Story Rd, Winter Garden, Florida 34787-3733

You’ll probably fin the tuition rather high at some of these schools, but keep in mind that you look into grants and scholarships to help you pay.

These classes are a must for future vet techs:

  • Behavioral science,
  • Communication,
  • Math,
  • Social science
  • Humanities
  • Introduction to veterinary technology
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Emergency care and first aid
  • Pathology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Radiology
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology
  • Parasitology
  • Toxicology
  • Nutrition
  • Surgical nursing
  • Large and small animal care

Depending on the school you choose, the number of practice hours you must complete will vary.

For instance, you have to accumulate 750 contact hours at the Aparicio-Levy Technical College in their vet tech program.

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Florida

As we already mentioned, you don’t have to be licensed to work as a vet technician in Florida.

If you decide to take this step, you have to do so within a year of graduating.

Like elsewhere, licensing means having to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)

For this exam you need:

  • An application form
  • Proof you graduated from the training program described earlier
  • To pay some fees
    • $300 for the exam
    • $100 for the license
  • A score of at least 70%

You must answer 150 questions in 3 hours.

You must keep your license up-to-date every 2 years, by completing 15 continuing education credits and paying a fee.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Florida

Knowing some of the employers you can apply for a job with, can be really helpful when choosing a career.

Below you can see the types of practices hiring vet techs:

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

If you want to work for some of the best vet practices in Florida, we list them below:

  • Southeast Veterinary Referral Center/The Pet Emergency Room, Miami
  • Central Animal Hospital, St. Petersburg
  • Best Veterinary Emergency Treatment and Specialties, Jacksonville
  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Miami
  • Save the Chimps, Inc., Fort Pierce

As far as salary goes, experience and location are quite important if you want to earn more.

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Florida

Use the websites of these organizations to help you further your vet tech career in Florida:

  • Florida Veterinary Technician Association (FVTA)
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA)
  • Vetcetera,
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life,
  • The American Society of Veterinary Dental Technicians (ASVDT)
  • Veterinary Technician Anesthetist Society (VTAS)
  • The Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT)

READ MORE: How to Become a Vet Tech

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