A career working with animals is a rewarding one for anyone who loves and cares about animals. In Kentucky, the number of opportunities for veterinary technicians, assistants and animal caregivers is always growing. Of these careers, only vet techs are licensed through the state, although proper training is important for any job working with animals. [Leer en español]
Veterinary Technician Salaries
Licensed vet techs in Kentucky can expect to earn an average annual salary of $29,180 or as much as $38,260 for those with more experience. Animal caregivers and veterinary assistants don’t have to earn a degree or certificate, which means they earn less. A typical average salary for vet assistants and caregivers in Kentucky is $24,860.
Requirements for Being a Veterinary Technician
Vet techs in Kentucky must be licensed by the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE), although licensing does not occur until the vet tech is employed by a licensed veterinarian. To become a vet tech, candidates must complete a two- or four-year veterinary technology program at an accredited school and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam. Once hired by a licensed veterinarian, the vet tech must send the appropriate documents to the KBVE along with a letter from the veterinarian confirming employment.
Veterinary Technician National Examination
The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a three-hour, multiple-choice exam given at approved testing centers in Kentucky. The VTNE consists of 185 questions that cover areas such as pharmacology, dentistry, laboratory procedures, and animal nursing. To pass the exam, candidates must score 70 percent or higher. If you don’t pass the exam on your first try, you can retake it up to three times in 12 months.
Continuing Education Requirements
Once licensed, Kentucky vet techs must renew their license every two years and complete 10 hours of continuing education (CE) during each renewal period. Of these 10 hours, at least seven must be obtained through programs approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) or the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners. The remaining three can be obtained through any other AVMA-approved program or in-house CE offered by an employer.
Veterinary Technician Programs Accredited by the AVMA
Kentucky vet techs must complete an educational program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to be hired by a veterinarian and to become licensed. There are four such programs in the state:
- Brown Mackie College, Louisville
- Morehead State University, Morehead
- Murray State University, Murray
- Owensboro Community and Technical College, Owensboro
Veterinary Technician Employers in Kentucky
There are over 1,300 vet techs and more than 1,000 veterinary assistants and animal caregivers working in Kentucky for varied employers. These include:
- Kentucky Humane Society, Louisville
- Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, Lexington and Saratoga Springs
- Bluegrass Veterinary Specialists and Animal Emergency, Lexington
- Evergreen Animal Hospital, Louisville
- The University of Kentucky Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Lexington
- Lexington Hospital for Cats, Lexington
Professional Organizations for Veterinary Technicians in Kentucky
Both students and working vet techs in Kentucky are welcome to join the Kentucky Veterinary Technician Association (KVTA). The KVTA offers vet techs access to job openings in the state and other important resources, including an annual research and case study presentation. Vet techs in Kentucky can also join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, which offers members even more national and professional resources, as well as group discounts on things like health insurance and hotels.
Veterinary Technician Schools in Kentucky
- Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN
- West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
- West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area
- Owensboro, KY
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN Area
Brown Mackie College-Louisville
3605 Fern Valley Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40219
The Associate’s degree program at Brown Mackie College is taught at their Louisville campus in the city of Louisville, Kentucky. This private, for-profit college has roughly 1,120 students in total, with the majority of students on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. The cost of tuition is, as a rough guide, in the order of $12,672 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $603, although this varies from program to program.
Owensboro, KY Area
Owensboro Community and Technical College
4800 New Hartford Rd, Owensboro, Kentucky 42303
Owensboro Community and Technical College’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is offered at their campus in Owensboro in Daviess County. Most of the school’s 4,156 students are on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $3,624 and for students from other states around $12,456 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,000, depending on the program chosen.
West Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area Area
Morehead State University
University Blvd, Morehead, Kentucky 40351
Morehead State University offers multiple training options, including bachelor and associate programs. Classes are taken at their campus in the town of Morehead, Kentucky. This is a full, 4-year public college with 11,052 students, of which 90% are undergraduates. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly about $8,098 and for students from other states around $20,246 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,200, although this varies from program to program.
West Kentucky nonmetropolitan area Area
Murray State University
218 Wells Hall, Murray, Kentucky 42071-3318
Murray State University offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and a Bachelor program. All programs are taught at their campus in the town of Murray, KY. Of the 11,207 students, about 16% are postgraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $7,608 and for out-of-state students around $20,712 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $1,345, although this varies from program to program.
* Tuition fees and accreditation status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with the college before applying.