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]
Salaries for Massachusetts Veterinary Technicians
Vet techs working in Massachusetts can expect to command a competitive salary. The average annual pay for a vet tech in the state is $44,210, as compared to the national average of $36,850. Vet techs can earn as much as $56,350 on the high end of the pay scale. Veterinary assistants and animal caretakers earn less, with an average salary in Massachusetts of $37,360. These positions generally require less training and experience.
Requirements for Veterinary Technicians Working
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, a vet tech must 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.
Veterinary Technician National Exam
The Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) is a necessary step for any vet tech who wants to work in Massachusetts. The exam has 150 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within three hours. The pass rate for vet techs in Massachusetts is 93%, which is higher than the 83% national average.
AVMA-Accredited Veterinary Technician Education
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
Veterinary Technician Employers
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
Professional Organizations for Massachusetts Vet Techs
Vet techs can join the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association to become certified and 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.
Veterinary Technician Schools in Massachusetts
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division Area
61 Sever St, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609-2165
Becker College offers multiple training options, including bachelor and associate programs. All programs are taught at their campus in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Most of the school’s 2,021 students are in 4-year programs. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredited the college. Tuition fees are broadly about $34,080 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $960, depending on the program.
Mount Ida College
777 Dedham Street, Newton, Massachusetts 02459
Mount Ida College offers multiple training options, including bachelor and associate programs. Classes are taken at their campus in the city of Newton. This is a full, 4-year private college with 1,320 students, of which 98% are undergraduates. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredited the college. The cost of tuition is in the order of $32,300 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,000, depending on the program chosen.
North Shore Community College
1 Ferncroft Rd, Danvers, Massachusetts 01923-0840
North Shore Community College’s Associate program in Veterinary Technology is taught at their Danvers in Essex County campus. The college has about 7,412 students, with most in 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-state students are around $4,536 and for students from other states around $10,104 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program.
Northwest Massachusetts nonmetropolitan area Area
Berkshire Community College
1350 West Street, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201-5786
The Certificate program at Berkshire Community College is based at their campus in Pittsfield in Berkshire County. The college has about 2,230 students, with most in 2-year programs. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education accredited the college. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly $4,866 and for out-of-state students around $10,482 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,009, although this will vary with the program.
Springfield, MA-CT Area
Holyoke Community College
303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, Massachusetts 01040
Holyoke Community College’s Associate-level Veterinary Technician program is offered at their campus in Holyoke in Hampden County. The college has about 6,604 students, with most in 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally in the order of $4,166 and for students from outside the state approximately $9,110 annually. Learning materials may cost around $1,600, although this will vary with the 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.