How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Massachusetts

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in the routine and surgical care of animals.
Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in the routine and surgical care of animals. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Veterinary technicians work in animal clinics and hospitals assisting veterinarians in the care and treatment of animals. Technicians are trained to draw blood, perform laboratory tests, collect urine, take skin scrapings, process x-rays and perform many other essential duties. Similar to other medical professions, a certain level of expertise is necessary for individuals who wish to become veterinary technicians in Massachusetts. Although licensure is not mandatory in Massachusetts, individuals can pursue a veterinary technician certification by taking the Veterinary Technician National Exam.

Complete a veterinarian technician program that is accredited by the American or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. A full list of accredited schools is located on the associations' websites. Although you will still be able to work as a technician in Massachusetts without graduating from an accredited program, you will be unable to sit for the VTNE exam and apply for certification in Massachusetts.

Apply to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Applicants must have successfully completed an accredited program and must submit official transcripts with the exam application. Because only official transcripts are accepted, you must submit a request to your school to have the transcripts sent directly to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards. The exam fee is $300.

All veterinary technicians in Massachusetts must pass the AAVSB exam prior to certification. If you fail the test initially, you will need to retake it.

Apply for certification in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts Veterinary Technicians Association. You will need to complete the application form, send documentation of passing the VTNE exam and documentation that you successfully completed an accredited veterinary technician program. If you graduated from a non-accredited program or earned a degree in a related field, you will also need to provide proof of practical, on-the-job experience. All of the necessary application forms are available on the MVTA website.

Maintain certification by taking continuing education courses throughout the year and reapplying for your Massachusetts veterinary technician license each year before Dec. 31. The state requires all veterinary technicians to take at least 12 units of continuing education activities each year. If applicable, six unused credits can be carried over from the previous year.

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