Becoming a Veterinary Technician in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is a great place to pursue a rewarding career as a veterinary technician, with positive projected job growth and a strong salary base. Jobs in this field are expected to grow at an above-average rate for the next several years, with an overall projected increase of 18.8 percent during the span of 2012 and 2022. This is slower than the projected growth rate for nationwide veterinary technician positions, but still strong compared to the projected growth in all fields. [Leer en español]

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Salaries for Veterinary Technicians

The median salary for veterinary technicians in Pennsylvania is $34,720 per year. This is higher than the median nationwide annual salary for vet techs, which is $32,350. Pennsylvania also boasts a lower-than-average cost of living and average home price, which means a strong veterinary technician salary goes further in this state. In addition, the top earners in the field in Pennsylvania can make as much as $47,590 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Requirements for Veterinary Technicians

Pennsylvania veterinary technicians must apply to the Pennsylvania Board of Veterinary Medicine for licensure before they may legally work in the state. To qualify for a license, candidates must complete an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved veterinary technician program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).

Featured School

Penn Foster College – Veterinary Technician Program

Full accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Clinical externships through a private practice near your home or Penn Foster College’s partner VCA Animal Hospitals. Gain hands-on experience alongside licensed veterinarians and credentialed veterinary technicians. Call 1-800-851-1819 today.

AVMA-Accredited Veterinary Technology Programs

There are quite a few options for veterinary technician programs in Pennsylvania. The Vet Tech Institute has had an accredited program since 2002, which leads to an associate of specialized technology degree. Harum College in Bryn Mawr, Johnson College in Scranton and Manor College in Jenkintown all have fully-accredited programs leading to associate of science degrees. Lehigh Carbon and Northampton Community College also have fully-accredited veterinary technician programs, which result in an associate of applied science degree. Finally, the YTI Career Institute has an associate of specialized technology degree under initial accreditation.

Major Veterinary Technician Employers in Pennsylvania

As of 2012, there were 3,690 veterinary technicians employed in Pennsylvania, most of whom work in small animal clinics and hospitals. The number of employed vet techs in the state is projected to grow to 4,380 by 2022. Some of the major facilities in need of licensed veterinary technicians include:

Professional Organizations

Pennsylvania does not have a professional organization specifically for veterinary technicians. However, vet techs and vet tech students may join the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association (PVMA). Benefits of PVMA membership include continuing education opportunities, networking with colleagues and receiving information about legislative activity that impacts the veterinary professions. Pennsylvania vet techs may also join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

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College and University Listings

Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ Area

Lehigh Carbon Community College

4525 Education Park Dr, Schnecksville, Pennsylvania 18078-2598
Veterinary Technician – Associate Program

Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Associate program in Veterinary Technician is based at their campus in Schnecksville in Lehigh County. The college has about 6,779 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Tuition fees for in-district students are roughly in the order of $3,800 and are $7,070 and $10,340 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Learning materials may cost about $2,000, although this will vary with the program.

Northampton County Area Community College

3835 Green Pond Rd, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania 18020-7599
Veterinary Technician – Associate Program

The Associate’s program at Northampton County Area Community College is offered at their campus in Bethlehem in Northampton County. The college has in the region of 10,531 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition for in-district students are generally about $3,990 and are $8,700 and $12,840 for in-state and out-of-state students respectively. Books and supplies can cost around $1,600, although this will depend on the program.

East Central Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area Area

Wilson College

1015 Philadelphia Ave, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 17201-1285
Veterinary Medical Technology – Bachelor Program

Wilson College’s Bachelor program is offered at their campus in the city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. This is a full, 4-year private college with 771 students, of which 80% are undergraduates. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Fees for tuition are likely to be about $24,392 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,100, although this will vary with the program.

Erie, PA Area

Great Lakes Institute of Technology

5100 Peach Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16509-2482
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program

The Certificate program at Great Lakes Institute of Technology is taught at their campus in Erie in Erie County. The college has approximately 427 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees for the Vet Tech program are around $12,768 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $1,302. Program completion is normally 8 months.

Lancaster, PA Area

Lancaster County Career and Technology Center

1730 Hans Herr Dr, Willow Street, Pennsylvania 17584
Veterinary Assistant – Certificate Program, Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

Lancaster County Career and Technology Center offers multiple training options, including a Certificate program and an Associate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Willow Street in Lancaster County. The majority of of the school’s 462 students are on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Council on Occupational Education. Tuition fees for the Vet Tech program are, as a rough guide, about $8,990 per year, while books and supplies may cost in the order of $145. Program completion is normally 9 months.

Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division Area

Harcum College

750 Montgomery Ave, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania 19010-3470
Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s degree program at Harcum College is based at their campus in Bryn Mawr in Delaware County. Most of the school’s 1,588 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The cost of tuition is generally in the order of $22,060 for each academic year. Books and supplies can cost roughly $1,500, although this will depend on the program.

Manor College

700 Fox Chase Rd, Jenkintown, Pennsylvania 19046-3399
Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

The Associate’s program at Manor College is taught at their campus in Jenkintown in Montgomery County. The college, which has a Other religious affiliation,, which has a Other religious affiliation, has around 780 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is institutionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Tuition fees are, as a rough guide, around $16,550 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,250, although this varies from program to program.

Pittsburgh, PA Area

Pittsburgh Career Institute

421 Seventh Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219-1907
Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

Pittsburgh Career Institute’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is offered at their campus in the city of Pittsburgh. The college has roughly 114 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-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 $17,850 for each academic year.

Vet Tech Institute

125 Seventh St, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15222-3400
Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

Vet Tech Institute’s Associate program is based at their campus in the city of Pittsburgh. This private, for-profit college has around 372 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. The cost of tuition is in the order of $14,860 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $955, although this varies from program to program.

Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA Area

Johnson College

3427 N Main Ave, Scranton, Pennsylvania 18508-1495
Veterinary Technology – Associate Program

The Veterinary Technology Associate’s program at Johnson College is offered at their campus in the city of Scranton, PA. Most of the school’s 455 students are on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees are around $17,614 annually, while books and supplies may cost around $1,800, although this varies from program to program.

York-Hanover, PA Area

YTI Career Institute-York

1405 Williams Road, York, Pennsylvania 17402
Veterinary Technician – Associate Program

The Associate’s program at YTI Career Institute can be taken at their York campus in York in York County, PA. This private, for-profit college has around 1,677 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. Tuition fees for the Vet Tech program are in the order of $29,274 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $4,100. Program completion is usually 21 months.

* 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.

Other Options

Pennsylvania residents have further educational options in the neighboring states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia and Ohio.