If you live in Massachusetts and love animals, consider a career as a veterinary technician, a veterinary assistant or an animal caretaker. All of these fields are growing in Massachusetts, with more positions opening up every year. There is no licensing for vet techs, vet assistants or caretakers in Massachusetts, but having good training is important for getting a job working with animals. [Leer en español]
Vet techs working in Massachusetts can expect to command a competitive salary. The average annual pay for a vet tech in the state is $40,120, as compared to the national average of $32,570. Vet techs can earn as much as $54,590 on the high end of the pay scale. Veterinary assistants and animal caretakers earn less, with an average salary in Massachusetts of $32,280. These positions generally require less training and experience.
There are no official licensing requirements for vet techs in the state, although the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure does define the tasks a vet tech can do without direct or immediate supervision by a veterinarian. Although there is no licensing, it is essential that a vet tech be trained through a veterinary technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). A hopeful vet tech should also take and pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) to demonstrate proficiency to future employers. Many employers will also want to see that a vet tech has been voluntarily certified through the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association.
Two-year veterinary technology programs accredited by the AVMA are rigorous and prepare students for all the skills needed to work with animals under the supervision of a veterinarian. There are several such programs in Massachusetts:
- Becker College, Leicester
- Holyoke Community College, Holyoke
- Mount Ida College, Newton
- North Shore Community College, Danvers
Across the state there are more than 2,600 vet techs and more than 1,900 vet assistants and animal caretakers employed by veterinarians, animal hospitals, emergency centers, shelters, kennels and research laboratories. Some examples of employers in the state include:
- New England Animal Medical Center, West Bridgewater
- New England Pet Hospice and Home Care, Sudbury
- Massachusetts SPCA, Boston
- The Foster Hospital for Small Animals, Cumming School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Medford
- Boston Veterinary Clinic, Boston
Vet techs can join the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association to become certified and to gain access to resources for continuing education and networking. The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America is a nationwide professional organization that provides resources across the country.
College and University Listings
Becker College offers multiple training options, including a Bachelor program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. The college has around 2,021 students in total, with most students on 4-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Fees for tuition are about $34,080 yearly, while study materials may cost about $960, depending on the program.
Mount Ida College offers multiple training options, including a Bachelor program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Newton. Of the 1,320 students, about 2% are postgraduates. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees are generally around $32,300 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,000, although this will depend on the program.
1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923-0840Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
North Shore Community College’s Associate program is taught at their campus in Danvers in Essex County, MA. The majority of of the school’s 7,412 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,536 and for out-of-state students approximately $10,104 annually. Learning materials may cost around $1,200, although this will vary with the program.
1350 West Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201-5786Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program
Berkshire Community College’s Certificate program is taught at their campus in Pittsfield in Berkshire County. The majority of of the school’s 2,230 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is around $4,866 and for out-of-state students around $10,482 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,009, although this will depend on the program.
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040Veterinary Technician – Associate Program
Holyoke Community College’s Associate-level Veterinary Technician program is offered at their campus in Holyoke in Hampden County, MA. This public college has roughly 6,604 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-state students are likely to be in the order of $4,166 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $9,110 yearly, while study materials may cost about $1,600, depending on the program.
* Tuition fees and accredition status are correct at the time of writing, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (http://nces.ed.gov/). Confirm with college before applying.