How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Massachusetts

How to Become a Vet Tech

Do you want to work surrounded by both people and animals?

Becoming a veterinary technician in Massachusetts could be the right job for you!

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Massachusetts

No matter the facility you work for, you’ll be supervised by a licensed veterinarian.

They’ll assign you tasks similar to these:

  • 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

The following are not part of your duties:

  • Performing surgeries
  • Deciding on a treatment plan

The Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure does explain which duties can be performed by a veterinary tech without supervision from a superior.

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Massachusetts

Massachusetts doesn’t require vet technicians to earn a license, but doing so is a good idea.

The license can help you get hired faster, earn more, and have more career options to choose from.

For the license, you first have to enroll in a degree program of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology.

It can be either at the Associate’s level complete in about 2 years or at the Bachelor’s level that takes some 4 years to complete.

What you have to pay attention to is for the program to have accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

All the programs will have you complete a proctorship or a practice period at an approved veterinary clinic.

Depending on the program, you’ll have to complete from one internship period and up to four.

The schools below have the programs to get you started in your new career!

School Name Address
Becker College 61 Sever St, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-2165
Berkshire Community College 1350 West Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201-5786
Holyoke Community College 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040
Mount Ida College 777 Dedham Street, Newton, Massachusetts 02459
North Shore Community College 1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923-0840

Enrollment comes with some requirements, usually specific to each school.

It’s common to be asked for:

  • Age of 18 years old
  • A high school diploma or GED
  • 2 letters of recommendation – one from a licensed veterinarian
  • A health insurance
  • Buy a medical malpractice policy
  • 360 hours of previous practical experience
    • It can even be a volunteering position in a vet’s office.

Before the start of the first semester, you’ll usually need to complete these classes

  • Biology,
  • English
  • Math,
  • Basic computer science,
  • Psychology,
  • Humanities

You might be required to obtain at least a grade of “C” in these classes.

Once your academic year starts, you’ll study:

  • 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 Massachusetts

One of the first things to know about the license is that you cannot obtain it without graduating from the AVMA program.

To obtain your license, you’ll need:

  • An application form
  • Official transcript from the school you attended
  • To pay some fees
    • $300 for the exam
    • $100 for the license
  • Score at least 70% on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)

This test has a duration of 3 hours and 170 questions.

It is organized at the Prometric testing centers across the state, and you’ll have to register for it and then wait for the Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

MVTA Certification

The Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association (MVTA) also issues certifications for future vet techs.

For this credential you need:

  • An application form
  • Proof you passed the VTNE
  • Application fee – $50
  • Official school transcripts

You’ll become a member of the MVTA and you’ll have to renew your certification every year for a fee of $35 after you completed some continuing education courses.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Massachusetts

Knowing some of the employers and salaries in advance is a good thing.

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

The biggest facilities for vet techs in Massachusetts are:

  • New England Animal Medical Center, West Bridgewater
  • New England Pet Hospice and Home Care, Sudbury
  • Massachusetts SPCA, Boston
  • The Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Medford
  • Boston Veterinary Clinic, Boston
  • Massachusetts Veterinary Referral Hospital
  • Bulger Animal Hospital
  • Massachusetts Animal Medical Center

Salaries are overall higher in this state.

Annual Salary Range:
$27K
$38K
$52K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boston $40,352
Worcester $37,713
Springfield $37,157
Cambridge $40,352
Lowell $39,038
Brockton $38,787
New Bedford $37,748
Quincy $40,352
Lynn $40,352
Fall River $37,748

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Massachusetts

You can use the sites of these associations to stay informed on any updates in the field:

  • Massachusetts Veterinary Medical 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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