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Veterinary technicians care for a wide range of animals in a veterinary or laboratory setting. Their responsibilities include:

  • Providing nursing care and emergency first aid
  • Administering anesthesia to animals
  • Collecting laboratory samples for testing
  • Administering medicine
  • Taking x-rays and running diagnostic tests
  • Tracking animal's medical histories

Although state requirements for veterinary technicians vary, the state of Texas does not require these workers to become licensed unless they want to use the designation Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). In order to earn this designation, students should complete their program of study at one of the veterinary technician schools in Texas, then apply for and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). After passing the exam, students can apply for licensure.

Fast Facts for Veterinary Technicians in Texas

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the state of Texas boasts the highest number of veterinary technologists and technicians in the nation, with 8,870 employed in this profession in 2014. The following Texas regions are home to the bulk of these workers:

  • San Antonio - New Braunfels: 1,030
  • Austin - Round Rock - San Marcos: 810
  • Dallas - Plano - Irving: 1,340
  • Fort Worth - Arlington: 1,040
  • Houston - Sugar Land - Baytown: 1,990
  • El Paso: 200
  • McAllen - Edinburg - Mission: 90
  • Brownsville - Harlingen: 80
  • Corpus Christi: 140
  • Killeen - Temple - Fort Hood: 140

Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Texas

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, veterinary technologists and technicians in Texas earned a median annual wage of $28,530 in 2014, which works out to an hourly wage of $13.72. Meanwhile, the national median annual wage for this profession was $31,070 in 2014.

Nationally, the industries who paid out the highest annual mean wages for these workers in 2014 are as follows:

  • Management of Companies and Enterprises: $56,050
  • Federal Government: $49,940
  • State Government: $43,240
  • Local Government: $42,350
  • Scientific Research and Development Services: $41,110

Texas Veterinary Technician Schools


Blinn College

Blinn College is a two-year, public school located in Brenham, with a busy veterinary technology program aimed at preparing students for this career. Blinn College boasted an enrollment of 18,850 in 2014, plus reasonable tuition and fees of $2,136 for in-district students. Although only 5 percent of Blinn College students graduated outright from the school in 2012, 47 percent transferred to a four-year school.


Cedar Valley College

Located in Lancaster, Texas, Cedar Valley College reports an enrollment of 6,759 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 26:1. As a two-year, public school, Cedar Valley College offers Associate degrees and certificate programs. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year averaged out to $1,665 for in-district students, and the graduation rate was 7% for the 2011-2012 school year. The percent of students who transferred out was 34 percent that same year.


Lone Star College

The Lone Star College System offers a wide range of certificate and Associate programs, including veterinary technology, to nearly 70,000 students. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year averaged out to an affordable $1,504, and the graduation rate was 10 percent for 2011-2012. That year, another 19 percent of students transferred to a four-year school.


McLennan Community College

Located in Waco, Texas, /McLennan Community College offers a wide range of two-year degrees and certificate programs, including veterinary technology. During the 2011-2012 school year, the overall graduation rate was 18 percent, and 21 percent of students transferred out. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year averaged out to $2,760 for in-district students.


Midland College

Students who pursue a degree in veterinary technology will enjoy plenty of company at Midland College. With an enrollment of 4,618 students, the school offers four-year degrees, two-year degrees and career certificates. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year were $2,970 for in-district students, and the graduation rate was 20 percent for the 2011-12 school year. However, 31 percent of students transferred out to a four-year school that year as well.


Palo Alto College

Palo Alto College is a two-year career institution with in-district tuition and fees that averaged out to $2,088 for the 2014-15 school year. Enrollment was 8,376 in 2014. The overall graduation rate was only 18 percent for the 2011-12 school year, but that's because 15 percent of students used their credits to transfer to a four-year school.


Pima Medical Institute - Houston

Pima Medical Institute in Houston had an enrollment of approximately 993 students in 2014, plus a roster of degree programs that includes both Associate degrees and career certificates. Tuition and fees for the 2014-15 school year averaged out to $11,734. Meanwhile, the overall graduation rate for the 2011-12 school year was 66 percent.


The Vet Tech Institute of Houston

As an institution of veterinary technology, the Vet Tech Institute of Houston focuses on offering Associate degrees in this field of study. Tuition and fees were $14,120 for the 2014-15 school year. For the 2011-12 school year, however, the graduation rate was only 29 percent.


Vista College

Vista College offers several campuses across Texas, including locations in Killeen, Amarillo, College Station, Longview, El Paso and Lubbock. In addition to veterinary technology degrees, Vista College offers a wide range of two-year and certificate programs. For the 2014-15 school year, tuition and fees averaged out to $15,425.


Metro Areas Rated for Salary and Popularity

Region

Employment per 1,000 Residents

Annual Mean Wage in 2014

San Antonio - New Braunfels

1.13

$27,320

Austin - Round Rock - San Marcos

.91

$28,490

Dallas - Plano - Irving

.60

$28,980

Fort Worth - Arlington

1.12

$30,600

Houston - Sugar Land - Baytown

.70

$29,110

El Paso

.70

$22,950

McAllen - Edinburg - Mission

.36

$31,190

Brownsville - Harlingen

.57

$28,730

Corpus Christi

.76

$25,670

Killeen - Temple - Fort Hood

1.10

$26,400

Expert Q&A

To learn more about Texas Veterinary Technician schools and what they offer students, we reached out to David Sessum, Veterinary Technology Program Director at Blinn College.

What are some of the unique issues that vet techs face in the state of Texas?

Texas has recently changed the title from Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) to Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT). Becoming an RVT was optional, whereas to use the term LVT, you must be licensed in Texas by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. This change has allowed and will allow the profession and a licensed veterinary technician to perform more tasks at different levels of supervision to benefit a veterinarian and the veterinary practice at which an LVT is employed. This is unique to Texas because the change to LVT was spearheaded by RVTs at the time who had a hand in the legislative action necessary to promote this change.

Another issue is the general public not understanding the title of the person who is working with their pet or livestock. The term vet tech is very generic and has been used as a vague term for all employees of a veterinary hospital. In Texas, you have Licensed Veterinary Technicians, who are two-year graduates of an American Veterinary Medical Association-credentialed program and successfully passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and the state exam administered by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. A Certified Veterinary Assistant is an on-the-job trained and educated staff member who has successfully completed the Texas Veterinary Medical Association's certification exam. A veterinary assistant is a staff member with no formal education, only on-the-job training.

What is the greatest benefit of practicing this field within the state of Texas?

New and future legislation will allow LVTs to do more in a veterinary practice at different levels of supervision, so this is a great time to be in the veterinary profession as an LVT. The greatest benefit is that veterinarians are working with LVTs to mold veterinary medicine where it is beneficial to both parties, and it is allowing educated professionals to stay in the field much longer than they currently are.

How will the job of a vet tech change in the next 10 to 20 years?

Veterinary medicine is a dynamic profession, so it's always changing. In 10-20 years, you could have a position similar to a physician's assistant who assists the veterinarian with a lot more tasks in a practice. In the United States, pets are part of the family, and the educated consumer will depend even more upon a practice that utilizes educated professional staff.

How does your school prepare vet techs for the changing landscape of this profession?

Blinn College encourages membership in the state technician association. Our students also graduate with knowledge and skills to successfully pass state and national board exams, but also have the technical skills that allow them employment anywhere they choose after graduation. Blinn College is the only program to have a memorandum of agreement with the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, so our students are exposed to the latest treatments and technology utilized in Veterinary Medicine. Our tuition is also significantly less than other proprietary veterinary technology programs, so our students are able to obtain their education affordably, successfully pass board exams, and gain employment at a clinic of their choice.

Sources:

  1. College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics, https://nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?s=TX
  2. Interview with David Sessum of Blinn College
  3. Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, http://www.veterinary.texas.gov/lvt.php
  4. Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, http://projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
  5. May 2014 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_tx.htm
  6. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-1
  7. Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), American Association of Veterinary State Boards, https://www.aavsb.org/vtne/
  8. Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2014, Bureau of Labor Statistics, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292056.htm
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2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

School Name
Campus
Highest Award
Enrolled
Lancaster
Associate
4,834
Houston
Associate
43,518
The Woodlands
Associate
39,756
Waco
Associate
8,079
Midland
Bachelor
5,739
San Antonio
Associate
7,662
Alpine
Masters
2,717
Austin
Associate
825
Weatherford
Associate
4,544

Job Popularity in Metro Areas for Vet Techs

The map below shows job statistics for the career type by metro area, for Texas. A table below the map shows job popularity and salaries across the state.

Metro Areas Rated for Popularity for:
Vet Techs

Listed below are metro areas ranked by the popularity of jobs for Vet Techs relative to the population of the city. Salary data was obtained from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, BLS.gov

Metro Area
Jobs
Annual Median Salary
Austin-Round Rock 1220 $27,470
Abilene 50 $27,690
Amarillo 100 $26,500
Beaumont-Port Arthur 130 $29,510
Brownsville-Harlingen 100 $30,290
College Station-Bryan 280 $31,780
Corpus Christi 180 $26,180
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 2780 $32,450
El Paso 180 $28,330
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 1770 $29,090
San Angelo 50 $21,680
San Antonio-New Braunfels 1120 $29,150
Longview 70 $31,550
Lubbock 90 $28,230
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission 110 $31,360
Midland N/A $30,710
Killeen-Temple 100 $23,460
Sherman-Denison 60 $28,730
Tyler 100 $26,330
Victoria N/A $32,280
Waco 100 $26,000

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