How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Tennessee

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If you live in Tennessee and you have a calling for working with animals, perhaps a career as a veterinary technician is for you!

We prepared this guide to inform you of the path you need to take towards this occupation as well as the possible salary you could have.

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Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Tennessee

Your day as a vet technician is rather full as you must complete many tasks.

They are not always the same, but they include:

  • Administering medications
  • Taking x-rays,
  • Processing tissue samples,
  • Assisting in surgery and emergency care
  • Performing lab tests
  • Teeth cleaning,
  • Electrocardiography,
  • Bandaging,
  • Wound cleaning,
  • Keeping accurate records

What you cannot do is:

  • Perform surgeries
  • Prescribe medicine or treatments

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Tennessee

There are several states across the country that don’t require these professionals to hold a license before getting employed.

This is not the case with Tennessee.

In this state, you’ll have to obtain at least an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science with Veterinary Technology specialization before getting licensed.

You’ll earn this degree in about 2 years, though you can also choose a Bachelor’s degree that takes about 4 years to complete.

The American Veterinary Medical Association must accredit the course you opt for.

Tennessee has only 2 such schools that you can see below.

Top 7 Schools in Tennessee

School NameAddress
Austin Peay State University601 College Street Clarksville, TN 37044
Chattanooga State Community College4501 Amnicola Highway Chattanooga, TN 37406-1097
Columbia State Community CollegeP.O. Box 1315, Health Sciences 105 Columbia, TN 38401
Lincoln Memorial UniversityCumberland Gap Pkwy. LMU Box 1659 Harrogate, TN 37752
Tennessee College of Applied Technology550 Alabama Ave, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-3604
University of Tennessee at Martin554 University St, Martin, TN 38237
Volunteer State Community College1480 Nashville Pike Warf Building Room 100A Gallatin, TN 37066

You can also enroll in a program in a different state, either with in-person attendance or an online learning option.

You’ll have to apply for a spot as they’re generally limited.

These are some of the stuff you need to apply:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • An essay
  • To pass an interview
  • Health insurance
  • A malpractice policy
  • Antirabies vaccine
  • To pass a TB test
  • To have a clean criminal record

Graduation from any learning program involves:

  • Completing the mandatory practice hours
  • The program is accredited
  • To find a solution to sit through the exams – for online or distance learning

All future vet techs will 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 Tennessee

The license will be issued by the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners only to those who graduated from the accredited program.

When you’re ready to get your certification, you’ll need:

  • An application form
  • Official transcripts from the school
  • To pay some fees
    • $300 for the exam
    • $75 application fee
  • To pass 70% on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
  • To pass a criminal background check
  • A letter of recommendation from a licensed and practicing veterinarian

For the license, you must answer at least 70% of the 150 questions correctly.

You have 3 hours to do so.

You’ll have to renew this license every year by paying the renewal fee of $90.

Additionally, you’ll also need to complete 12 hours of continuing education as well.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Tennessee

Many folks research in advance their possible workplace.

As a veterinary tech, you’ll work in places such as:

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

The main employers in Tennessee are:

  • Metro Animal Control & Care (Nashville)
  • Animal Control Association of Tennessee (state-wide)
  • Blount County Animal Shelter (Maryville)
  • Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergencies & Referrals (Chattanooga)
  • Animal Emergency & Specialty Center (Knoxville)
  • Animal Emergency Center (Memphis)
  • Avian & Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (Memphis)
  • Avian, Exotics & Zoological Animal Hospital (Knoxville)
  • Equine Medicine & Surgery Hospital (Knoxville)
  • Memphis Zoo (Memphis)
  • Veterinary Ophthalmology Services (Nashville)

As you can see from the table below, you can earn more in a larger city.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Technicians in Tennessee

City NameSalary
Johnson City$32,256
* Salary information last updated 2024

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Tennessee

These are the best resources for your field:

  • Tennessee Association of Veterinary Technician
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life
  • Vetcetera,
  • Where Techs Connect
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