Veterinary technician positions are growing quickly across the country, at a projected rate of 15 percent between 2018 and 2028*. However, the fastest growth rate in this field of any state is found in Virginia, where vet tech jobs are projected to increase by a truly impressive 34 percent during this same period*. With such excellent employment prospects, veterinary technology is an extremely promising field for animal lovers looking for a rewarding career. [Leer en español]
Salaries for Veterinary Technicians
In addition to excellent job prospects, Virginia also offers a strong salary base to veterinary technicians. The average salary for vet techs in this state was $44,520 year in 2021, which is significantly higher than the average salary for vet techs nationwide: $36,850 per year. In addition, the top earners in Virginia may earn as much as $58,120 per year.*
*According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Conditions in your area may vary.
Virginia Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
To practice in Virginia, veterinary technicians must be licensed through the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. The requirements for licensure in Virginia are graduation from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-approved veterinary technology program, successful passage of the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and a signed statement declaring that the candidate is familiar with Virginia law as it relates to veterinary practice. A licensed veterinary technician may only practice under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
Veterinary Technician National Examination
The VTNE is a national exam administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). The examination is composed of 170 multiple-choice questions and is divided into two parts: Clinical Sciences and Patient Management. Each state sets its passing score for this exam, but in Virginia, candidates must have a score of at least 400 out of 900 to pass.
AVMA-Accredited Veterinary Technician Programs in Virginia
There are two AVMA-accredited veterinary technology programs in the state of Virginia. Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave and Northern Virginia Community College in Sterling both offer associate of applied science degrees in veterinary technology. Both schools offer distance learning programs in addition to the on-site programs. Northern Virginia’s distance learning program is open to everyone, but distance learning at Blue Ridge Community College is only available to Virginia residents.
Major Veterinary Technician Employers in Virginia
As of 2012, there were 1,420 veterinary technicians employed in Virginia, and that number is projected to grow to 2,230 by 2022. Some of the major facilities in this state in need of licensed veterinary technicians include:
- The Cooke Veterinary Medical Center, Chesapeake
- The Animal Clinic of Rockbridge, Fairfield
- Harris Animal Hospital, Roanoke
- The Animal Hospital of Waynesboro
- Springfield Veterinary Center, Glen Allen
The Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians (VAVTA) is the professional organization for vet techs in this state. This organization works to inform vet techs about career opportunities, continuing education, and legislative changes relevant to the veterinary field. Virginia vet techs may also join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
Veterinary Technician Schools in Virginia
- Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
Northwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area Area
Blue Ridge Community College
1 College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486-0080
Blue Ridge Community College offers multiple training options, including an Associate program and a Certificate program. Classes are taken at their campus in Weyers Cave in Augusta County. The college has around 4,388 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The cost of tuition for students living in the state is roughly in the order of $5,019 and for students from outside the state around $10,857 for each academic year. Study materials can cost roughly $1,300, depending on the program chosen.
Southwestern Virginia nonmetropolitan area Area
Patrick Henry Community College
645 Patriot Avenue, Martinsville, Virginia 24112
The Certificate program at Patrick Henry Community College can be taken at their campus in Martinsville in Martinsville City County, VA. This public college has approximately 2,853 students in total, with most students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. Fees for tuition for in-state students are in the order of $4,360 and for students from outside the state likely to be about $10,198 yearly, while books and supplies may cost about $1,180, although this varies from program to program.
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC Area
Tidewater Community College
121 College Place, Norfolk, Virginia 23510
The Certificate program at Tidewater Community College is based at their campus in the city of Norfolk. The majority of the school’s 27,646 students are on 2-year programs. Tuition fees for in-state students are generally around $5,171 and for out-of-state students approximately $11,009 annually. Study materials can cost around $1,500, depending on the program chosen.
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division Area
Northern Virginia Community College
4001 Wakefield Chapel Rd, Annandale, Virginia 22003-3796
The Associate’s program at Northern Virginia Community College can be taken at their campus in Annandale in Fairfax County, Virginia. Most of the school’s 51,487 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 students living in the state is roughly $5,138 and for out-of-state students around $11,055 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,800, depending 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.