The number of jobs in the expanding field of animal care is growing in Mississippi every year. Working as a veterinary technician, veterinary assistant or animal caretaker means having a rewarding career. While vet assistants and caretakers don’t need to be licensed or certified, vet techs working in the state must first get certified before finding a job. [Leer en español]
The average national salary for a vet tech is $32,350 and the average for a Mississippi vet tech is a little lower at $31,470. On the other hand, top earners in the state can make up to $42,020 per year, and the cost of living in Mississippi is more than ten percent less than the national average, which means these salaries go much farther. With less training and no certification required, vet assistants and animal caregivers earn a little less than vet techs.
To become a Mississippi vet tech, you have to be certified through the Mississippi Board of Veterinary Medicine. Certification requires completing an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-accredited program of veterinary technology. Applicants must also pass the Veterinary Technology National Examination (VTNE), pay an application fee of $100 and submit three reference letters attesting to good character.
To be a certified vet tech in Mississippi requires the completion of an AVMA-accredited program. These are two-year programs that provide all the skills needed to do the job of a vet tech and to be prepared to pass the VTNE. There are only two accredited programs in Mississippi. One is at Hinds Community College in Raymond and the other is at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
There are 670 vet techs currently working in Mississippi, along with 720 vet assistants and animal caretakers. There are many different types of workplaces for these positions. Employers include veterinarians, animal hospitals, kennels, research facilities and rescue centers:
- Banfield Pet Hospital, Jackson
- Animal Medical Center, Hattiesburg
- Humane Society of South Mississippi, Gulfport
- U.S. Army Veterinary Services, Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi
Vet techs in Mississippi can join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) for professional resources and benefits. NAVTA members get access to nationwide job listings, opportunities for continuing education, networking events and even group discounts on travel and hotels.
College and University Listings
608 Hinds Boulevard, Raymond, Mississippi 39154Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
Hinds Community College’s Associate program in Veterinary Technology is based at their campus in the town of Raymond, Mississippi. Most of the school’s 11,839 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $2,600 and for out-of-state students approximately $5,200 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,600, although this will depend on the program.
4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, Mississippi 38668-1714Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
The Associate’s degree program at Northwest Mississippi Community College is taught at their campus in the town of Senatobia, MS. Most of the school’s 7,559 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for in-state students is around $2,550 and for out-of-state students likely to be about $4,950 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,000, although this varies from program to program.
Lee Boulevard, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762Veterinary Medical Technology – Bachelor Program
The Bachelor’s degree program at Mississippi State University can be taken at their campus in the town of Mississippi State. This is a full, 4-year public college with 20,138 students, of which 82% are undergraduates. The university is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is over 80%. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $7,502 and for out-of-state students approximately $20,142 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,200, although this will depend 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.