How to Become a Veterinary Technician in Washington

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Being a vet tech can be a rewarding job.

If you want to start your career in the field, then check for the requirements.

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Veterinary Technician Job Description and Duties in Washington

There are many job tasks you can complete every day, depending on the facility.

The most common vet tech tasks include the following:

  • 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

Education and Training Required for Veterinary Technicians in Washington

The most important part of becoming a vet tech is having experience with animals.

You can get that experience by attending a training course.

You will then be able to get a Veterinary Technology Associate’s Degree of Applied Science degree.

Pursuing this degree takes from 2 to 3 years to finish.

If you don’t mind studying for longer, you can also get a bachelor’s degree.

This will last up to 5 years to finish, but you will also get better credentials.

You should only choose a program that is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

You can also pursue a degree in Animal Science with vet tech specialization.

There are many programs that offer vet tech programs in Washington, as seen below.

Top 7 Schools in Washington

School NameAddress
Bellingham Technical College3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham, Washington 98225-1599
Lower Columbia College1600 Maple Street, Longview, Washington 98632-0310
Pierce College-Fort Steilacoom9401 Farwest Drive SW, Lakewood, Washington 98498-1999
Pima Medical Institute-Renton555 South Renton Village Pl-Ste 400, Renton, Washington 98057
Pima Medical Institute-Seattle9709 Third Ave NE Suite 400, Seattle, Washington 98115
Renton Technical College3000 NE Fourth St, Renton, Washington 98056-4123
Yakima Valley Community CollegeSouth 16th Ave. & Nob Hill Blvd., Yakima, Washington 98907-2520

You will be able to apply for a vet tech license after you get your degree.

For this, you will have to get:

  • A high school diploma or GED
  • Future students must complete these classes right before enrolling in the degree program
  • 2 letters of recommendation
    • One of them must come from a veterinarian
  • Health insurance
  • Buying a medical malpractice policy

The theory part includes topics like:

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

The easiest way to complete the practice requirements is to attend an internship and externship.

Practice features topics such as:

  • Medical Terminology
  • Basic Comparative Animal Anatomy and Physiology;
  • Veterinary Office Procedures;
  • Basic Pharmacology;
  • Practical Animal Nutrition;
  • Nursing Care and Handling of Animals;
  • Animal Behavior;
  • Applied Radiography;
  • Applied Anesthesiology;
  • Applied Clinical Laboratory Procedures;
  • Principles and Practices of Medical and Surgical Assistance;
  • Animal Diseases.

Becoming a Licensed Veterinary Technician in Washington

In Washington, the licenses are offered by the Washington State Department of Health.

To be issued a license, you first need to send in:

  • An application form
  • Proof you graduated from the training program described earlier
  • Some fees
    • $300 for the exam
    • $100 for the license
  • Your score on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
  • Your score on the Washington State Examination for Veterinary Technicians

The VTNE exam you will need to take has 150 questions and will last for 3 hours.

The passing score for the WSEVT is a minimum of 90%.

The minimum passing score is 70%.

You will need to attend 30 additional classes of education in order to keep your license current.

Employment and Salaries for Veterinary Technicians in Washington

A vet tech license will allow you to work in many vet facilities.

In Washington, some of these are:

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

The annual salary you will earn as a vet tech depends on several factors.

Some of these include the area where you live and your experience.

Annual Salary Range:

Average Salary of Veterinary Technicians in Washington

City NameSalary
Federal Way$39,301
* Salary information last updated 2024

In Washington, some of the companies you can get hired by are:

  • The Washington Federation of Animal Care & Control Agency (Woodinville)
  • Animal Services, Licensing & Neutering (Pierce County)
  • Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WA statewide)
  • Nuisance Wildlife – Wildlife Control Officers (WA statewide)
  • PAWS Wildlife Center (Lynnwood)
  • The Center for Bird & Exotic Medicine (Bothell)
  • Veterinary Teaching Hospital (WA State University, Pullman)
  • Animal Emergency and Specialty Care (Kirkland)

Additional Information for Veterinary Technicians in Washington

You might need resources to assist in your job search, so check out the following:

  • Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians (WSAVT).
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CACVT)
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America
  • Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists
  • Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians
  • Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians
  • American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
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