How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Illinois

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There are many ways in which you can work with animals, and one of them is being a vet tech.

If you live in Illinois, you can start your career after getting the right training.

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Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Illinois

After you become a vet tech, you will work daily with animals under the supervision of a vet.

Some of your day to day tasks will be:

  • 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 Illinois, you won’t be allowed to perform surgeries or administer any meds.

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Illinois

In Illinois, you can find a job as a vet tech without receiving trained if you have some work experience.

If you are new to the field, you need to get a vet tech license.

This can be accomplished by pursuing a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree of Applied Science.

This degree is provided by many accredited training programs.

Finishing a program will take about 3 years or less.

The program accreditation should be done through the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Or, you can apply for a degree in Animal Science with a specialization in vet tech.

Clinical practice requirements can be met by attending an internship or an externship.

Take a look at the schools below for additional info.

Top 10 Schools in Illinois

School NameAddress
Black Hawk College26230 Black Hawk Road Galva, IL 61434
Fox College18020 Oak Park Ave. Tinley Park, IL 60477
John A Logan College700 Logan College Road, Carterville, Illinois 62918-2500
Joliet Junior College1215 Houbolt Rd, Joliet, Illinois 60431-8938
Kaskaskia College27210 College Rd, Centralia, Illinois 62801
Parkland College2400 W Bradley Ave, Champaign, Illinois 61821-1899
Rend Lake College468 N Ken Gray Pky, Ina, Illinois 62846
Rockford Career College1130 S. Alpine Rd., Suite 100 Rockford, IL 61108
Shawnee Community College8364 Shawnee College Rd, Ullin, Illinois 62992
Southeastern Illinois College3575 College Road, Harrisburg, Illinois 62946

To enroll in a training program, you need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Complete these classes: biology, English composition, math, basic computer science, psychology, humanities, and public speaking
  • 2 letters of recommendation,¬†preferably from a veterinarian
  • Have health insurance
  • Buy a medical malpractice policy
  • Pass an interview
  • 360 hours of previous practical experience

You can also get a scholarship or work-study if you cant pay for your tuition.

Classes will focus on the following topics:

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

You also need to finish 20 hours of practice in an approved animal facility.

The last semester of your program will most likely be a preceptorship.

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Illinois

Vet technicians in Illinois are certified by the Illinois State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

To get the license, make sure to submit:

  • An application form
  • Proof you graduated from the training program described earlier
  • To pay a fee
    • $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 you will have to pay a %3oo fee.

There is also a limit of 3 hours.

Your vet tech license needs to be renewed yearly and has some requirements.

You will have to take 15 extra hours of education to be allowed to renew your license.

The Illinois Veterinary Technician Association (AVTA) is a good resource for vet techs in Illinois.

The association could help you continue your studies and at least find an entry-level position.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Illinois

You are probably wondering how much are vet techs making in this state, and how the hiring process works.

After getting your license, you can easily work for any of the following:

  • 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 biggest companies to work for as a vet tech in Illinois, are:

  • Banfield Pet Hospital, Aurora
  • Pets Are Worth Saving (PAWS), Chicago
  • Northern Illinois Cat Clinic, Libertyville
  • Veterinary Specialty Center at Illinois, Chicago
  • University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Urbana
  • Animal Emergency Clinic of Champaign, Champaign

As a rule, you will receive a higher salary if you already have some experience in the industry.

Your salary will also be higher if you live in a big region.

Annual Salary Range:
$32K
$38K
$45K

Average Salary of Veterinary Technicians in Illinois

City NameSalary
Chicago$39,319
Rockford$36,499
Aurora$38,990
Naperville$38,611
Peoria$35,798
Springfield$34,208
Joliet$38,343
Elgin$38,651
Waukegan$37,104
Cicero$39,319
* Salary information last updated 2022

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Illinois

You might also want to check out the following industry-related resources:

  • Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
  • Vet Tech Life
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