Modern pet owners demand excellent care for their animals, and providing that care can be a very rewarding profession. In New Mexico, the field of veterinary technology has seen solid job growth, which is expected to continue. The number of veterinary technician positions in this state is projected to grow from 410 to 470 between 2012 and 2022, an increase of 14.7 percent compared to the overall nationwide projected job growth rate of 10.8 percent. [Leer en español]
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians
The average annual salary for a veterinary technician in New Mexico is $30,020, which is slightly below the national average vet tech salary of $36,850. The cost of living in New Mexico is a fraction above average, but the average home price is below the national average. The median hourly wage for vet techs in New Mexico ($15.43) is almost identical to the median hourly wage for all workers in New Mexico ($15.76). Furthermore, the top earners in New Mexico’s vet tech field can earn as much as $22.05 per hour and $45,850 per year.
Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
Before they can practice in New Mexico, veterinary technicians must be certified by the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine (NMBVM). Before qualifying for certification, each candidate must graduate from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved program, pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and pass the state licensing exam.
Veterinary Technician National Examination
The VTNE, which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB), can be taken twice a year at several different locations in New Mexico. The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions divided into two sections: general and clinical sciences. The fee for taking the exam is $400. The test measures a candidate’s knowledge and proficiency in the areas of anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nutrition, pathology and parasitology.
AVMA-Accredited Veterinary Technician Programs
There are two fully-accredited veterinary technician programs in New Mexico and one program under initial accreditation. Central New Mexico Community College and San Juan College are the two programs with full accreditation, and both offer associate of applied science degrees. The relatively new program at Brown Mackie College-Albuquerque also offers an associate of applied science degree.
Major Veterinary Technician Employers in New Mexico
New Mexico has a large number of farm and ranch animals that require veterinary care, in addition to many small domestic animals
- Southwest Veterinary Medical Center, Corrales
- VCA Veterinary Care Animal Hospital, Albuquerque
- Animal Neurology and Imaging Center, Santa Fe
- Veterinary Cancer Center, Santa Fe
The leading professional organization for New Mexico vet techs is the New Mexico Registered Veterinary Technician Association (NM-RVTA). Members receive discounts at some New Mexico businesses and representation at NMBVM and New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association (NMVMA) meetings. New Mexico vet techs may also join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
Veterinary Technician Schools in New Mexico
- Albuquerque, NM
- Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area
- North and West Central New Mexico nonmetropolitan area
- Farmington, NM
Albuquerque, NM Area
Brown Mackie College-Albuquerque
10500 Cooper Ave NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87123
The Associate’s degree program at Brown Mackie College is offered at their Albuquerque campus in the city of Albuquerque. The college has a region of 767 students in total, with the majority of students in 4-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. Tuition fees are about $13,131 for each academic year, while books and supplies may cost roughly $603, although this varies from program to program.
Central New Mexico Community College
525 Buena Vista SE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106
Central New Mexico Community College’s Associate program is taught at their campus in the city of Albuquerque, NM. Most of the school’s 26,771 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually around $1,448 and for out-of-state students in the order of $6,704 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $800, although this will vary with the program.
Pima Medical Institute-Albuquerque
4400 Cutler Avenue NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
The Certificate program at Pima Medical Institute can be taken at their Albuquerque campus in the city of Albuquerque. The majority of the school’s 892 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. The cost of tuition is usually in the order of $12,024 per year. Study materials can cost in the order of $670, depending on the program chosen.
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area Area
Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell Campus
52 University Blvd, Roswell, New Mexico 88202-6000
The Laboratory Animal Caretaker Certificate program at Eastern New Mexico University is offered at their Roswell campus in the town of Roswell, New Mexico. The college has around 3,303 students in total, with the majority of students in 2-year programs. The university is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. Fees for tuition for in-district students are usually about $1,824 and are $1,944 and $4,536 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Study materials can cost in the order of $1,066, depending on the program chosen.
Farmington, NM Area
San Juan College
4601 College Blvd, Farmington, New Mexico 87402-4699
San Juan College offers various Certificate program options in Veterinary Technology a Certificate program and an Associate program. All programs are offered at their campus in the city of Farmington, New Mexico. Most of the school’s 8,323 students are in 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is about $1,474 and for students from other states around $4,114 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,200, depending on the program chosen.
North and West Central New Mexico nonmetropolitan area Area
Navajo Technical University
Lower Point Road, State Road 371, Crownpoint, New Mexico 87313-0849
Navajo Technical University’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is taught at their campus in Crownpoint in Mckinley County. Of the 2,075 students, about 0% are postgraduates. The university is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission. The cost of tuition is likely to be in the order of $4,170 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,200, 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.