How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Iowa

How to Become a Vet Tech

If you want to work as a vet tech in Iowa, you first need to meet some requirements.

You can learn more about these in the guide below.

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Iowa

Your main job will be assisting the vet in various animal-related tasks.

Some of your day to day tasks will 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 Iowa, you won’t be able to perform surgeries or give medication.

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Iowa

In Iowa, you can get hired as a vet tech directly if you have work experience with animals.

If you are new to the vet industry, you should first get a vet tech license.

This can be done by getting a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree of Applied Science.

This degree is offered through accredited training programs.

Completing a program will take about 2-3 years.

The program approval should be one through the American Veterinary Medical Association.

you can also get a degree in Animal Science with a specialization in vet tech.

You can also get the lab hours you need by attending an internship or an externship.

Check out the following schools for additional info.

School Name Address
Des Moines Area Community College 2006 Ankeny Blvd, Ankeny, Iowa 50023-3993
Eastern Iowa Community College District 306 W River Dr, Davenport, Iowa 52801-1221
Iowa Lakes Community College 19 S 7th St, Estherville, Iowa 51334-2295
Iowa Western Community College 2700 College Rd, Council Bluffs, Iowa 51503-1057
Kirkwood Community College 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52406-2068
Muscatine Community College 152 Colorado Street Muscatine, IA 52761
Northeast Iowa Community College 1625 Hwy 150, Calmar, Iowa 52132-0400
Western Iowa Tech Community College 4647 Stone Ave, Sioux City, Iowa 51102-5199

To enroll in a training program, the requirements are:

  • 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
    • 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

You can pursue a scholarship or work-study if you need your tuition covered.

Classes will include the following or similar topics:

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

You also have to complete 20 hours of practice in an accredited vet site.

During your program, the last semester will be a preceptorship.

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Iowa

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

To get the license, you have to send in:

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

The VTNE has 150 questions and costs $300.

The questions have to be answered within 3 hours.

Your vet tech license requires renewal every 3 years, and you need to meet some requirements.

You will have to take 30 extra hours of education to be allowed to renew your license.

The IowaVeterinary Technician Association (AVTA) is a helpful resource for vet techs in Iowa.

The organization could assist you with your studies and help you find your first job.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Iowa

You may be wondering what are the salaries for vet techs in Iowa, and where you can get hired.

After receiving your license, you can find work in:

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

Some of the most important companies to work for as a vet tech in Iowa include:

  • Creature Comfort Veterinary Center, Iowa City
  • Iowa State University, Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center, Ames
  • Animal Family Veterinary Care Center, Davenport
  • Iowa Veterinary Specialties, Des Moines
  • Animal Emergency Center of the Quad Cities, Bettendorf
  • Humane Society of North Iowa, Mason City

Based on where you live, your education, and your experience you can earn a higher or lower salary.

Usually, you will have a higher salary if you reside in a big city and have some years of experience in the industry.

Annual Salary Range:
$23K
$34K
$46K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Des Moines $34,587
Cedar Rapids $33,981
Davenport $34,085
Sioux City $30,482
Iowa City $33,701
Waterloo $32,494
Ames $34,264
West Des Moines $34,587
Council Bluffs $33,860
Ankeny $34,587

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Iowa

If you need to keep up with industry updates, check out the following resources:

  • Iowa Veterinary Medical Association
  • Central Iowa Veterinary Technician Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life, an online journal for veterinary technicians
  • Vetcetera

READ MORE: How to Become a Vet Tech

State Specific Information

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