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]
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians
Veterinary technicians in Rhode Island can earn a strong salary. The median annual salary for a vet tech in this state is $37,190, which is higher than the nationwide median annual salary for this profession ($36,850). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paid veterinary technicians in Rhode Island can earn as much as $46,870 per year.
Requirements for Rhode Island Vet Techs
The state of Rhode Island does not require veterinary technicians to be certified 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 and a recommendation letter. Before they are eligible to sit for the VTNE, candidates must graduate from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) approved veterinary technician program. Licensed veterinary technician programs in Rhode Island include The New England Institute of Technology and the Community College of Rhode Island.
Veterinary Technician National Examination
The VTNE is an exam that evaluates the knowledge and competency of prospective veterinary technicians. It consists of 150 multiple-choice questions and must be completed within 3 hours. The examination covers topics such as animal anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, nursing care procedures, and medical terminology. The exam is offered three times a year at Pearson VUE testing centers, and registration must be completed at least 4 weeks before the test date. Candidates who pass the exam will receive certification from the RIVTA.
American Veterinary Medical Association-Accredited Vet Tech Programs
Rhode Island currently has only one American Veterinary Medical Association’s-accredited veterinary technician education 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 American Veterinary Medical Association in 2018.
Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Major Employers
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
Rhode Island Vet Tech Professional Organizations
The Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association is the leading professional organization for Rhode Island vet techs. In addition to certified 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. Certified veterinary technician members of the RIVTA are eligible to receive hospital privileges, which allows them to practice their profession without direct supervision. Licensed veterinarian members of the RIVTA may receive recognition as a qualified veterinary technician hospital (QVTH).
Veterinary Technician Schools in Rhode Island
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA Area
New England Institute of Technology
One New England Tech Boulevard, East Greenwich, Rhode Island 02818-1205
New England Institute of Technology’s Associate-level Veterinary Technology program is offered at their campus in East Greenwich in Kent County. Of the 2,922 students, about 3% are postgraduates. The New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Commission on Technical and Career Institutions, accredited the college. Tuition fees are generally about $23,031 annually. Books and supplies can cost around $1,521, although this will depend on 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.