Veterinary technology is one of the fastest growing fields in the U.S., with a predicted growth rate of 29.5 percent between 2012 and 2022. In Rhode Island, jobs in this field are predicted to grow nearly as quickly, at a rate of 28.7 percent. In addition, Rhode Island offers a strong salary base for vet techs, and opportunities to work in a variety of dynamic environments including hospitals, ranches and research facilities. [Leer en español]
Veterinary technicians in Rhode Island can earn a strong salary. The median annual salary for a vet tech in this state is $34,280, which is higher than the nationwide median annual salary for this profession ($32,350). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid veterinary technicians in Rhode Island can earn as much as $45,090 per year.
The state of Rhode Island does not require veterinary technicians to be certified in order to practice. However, most individual employers will insist on certification, so vet techs will significantly increase their job prospects by getting certified. The Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association (RIVTA) is responsible for certifying vet techs in this state. To qualify for certification, candidates must submit a passing score on the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) to the RIVTA along with a letter of recommendation. Before they are eligible to sit for the VTNE, candidates must graduate from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved veterinary technician program.
Rhode Island currently has only one AVMA-accredited veterinary technician program. The New England Institute of Technology was first evaluated, and received initial accreditation, in 2013. The program, which culminates in an associate of science in veterinary technology degree, will undergo its next evaluation by the AVMA in 2018.
Despite its small size, Rhode Island has a thriving farming and ranching sector. This gives veterinary technicians in this state the option to seek work with ranch and farm animals in addition to the many opportunities to care for small, domestic animals. Some of the facilities in need of qualified veterinary technicians include:
- Northern Rhode Island Animal Hospital, Forestdale
- Wolf Rock Animal Health Center, Exeter
- VCA Povar Animal Hospital, East Providence
The Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association is the leading professional organization for Rhode Island vet techs. In addition to certifying technicians, the RIVTA also provides discounts for continuing education conferences and seminars, a quarterly newsletter and a discount for membership in the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), which Rhode Island vet techs are also eligible to join.
College and University Listings
One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818-1205Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
The Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree program at New England Institute of Technology is based at their campus in East Greenwich in Kent County. This is a full, 4-year private college with 2,922 students, of which 97% are undergraduates. The college is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Commission on Technical and Career Institutions. Tuition fees are around $23,031 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,521, 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.