The number of jobs in veterinary technology has been increasing significantly, and the rate of job growth in this field is projected to be much higher than job growth for all occupations in the coming years. Thanks to its low cost of living, West Virginia may be a good place to pursue a career in this fast-growing field. [Leer en español]
Veterinary technicians in West Virginia earn a median annual salary of $24,370. This is significantly less than the median annual salary for this profession nationwide, but the low overall cost of living and very low cost of housing in the state mean that West Virginia vet techs can still earn a relatively good living. Salaries are likely to be higher in larger West Virginia cities like Charleston and Huntington. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top earners in the field of veterinary technology in West Virginia may earn as much as $30,610.
Veterinary technicians in West Virginia must be registered through the West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine. Candidates must apply for registration with transcripts from an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) program and passing scores from the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Before registration can be completed, applicants will also need to take and pass the state jurisprudence exam to ensure their understanding of West Virginia law as it relates to proper veterinary practice.
West Virginia currently has two schools that offer programs in veterinary technology. Piermont Community and Technical College has full accreditation, and graduates will earn an associate of applied science degree. The veterinary technology program offered jointly through Carver Career Center and the BridgeValley Community and Technical College was originally accredited in 2009, but its accreditation is currently under probation. Graduates of this program also receive an associate of applied science degree.
As of 2014, there were approximately 300 veterinary technicians employed in the state of West Virginia. With only one city of over 51,000 people and large rural areas throughout the state, West Virginia offers work in small animal clinics and hospitals in addition to work with livestock. Some of the West Virginia facilities in need of registered vet techs include:
- Tri-State Veterinary Hospital, Huntington
- Valley West & Elk Valley Veterinary Hospital, Elkview
- Hurricane Animal Hospital, Hurricane
- VCA Dudley Avenue Animal Hospital, Parkersburg
There is currently no active professional organization in West Virginia for veterinary technicians. Vet techs in this state who want to network with colleagues, get information about continuing education opportunities and stay up-to-date with legislative changes may want to join the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).
College and University Listings
- Southern West Virginia nonmetropolitan area
- Charleston, WV
- North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area
4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, West Virginia 25306-6397Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
The Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree program at Carver Career Center is based at their campus in Charleston in Kanawha County. The college has around 259 students in total, with the majority of students on 2-year programs. The college is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, Board of Trustees. The college’s retention rate for full-time students is 86%. The cost of tuition for the Vet Tech program is about $7,350 for each academic year. Learning materials may cost roughly $1,743. Program completion is usually 24 months.
1201 Locust Ave, Fairmont, West Virginia 26554Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
The Veterinary Technology Associate’s degree program at Pierpont Community and Technical College can be taken at their campus in the town of Fairmont, WV. The majority of of the school’s 2,311 students are on 2-year programs. The college is 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 roughly about $4,460 and for students from other states around $10,574 for each academic year, while study materials may cost roughly $1,000, depending on the program.
2001 Union Carbide Dr, South Charleston, West Virginia 25136Veterinary Technology – Associate Program
The Associate’s program at BridgeValley Community & Technical College is based at their campus in South Charleston in Fayette County. The majority of of the school’s 2,344 students are on 2-year programs. The cost of tuition for in-state students is usually in the order of $4,300 and for students from outside the state in the order of $9,620 per year. Learning materials may cost in the order of $1,348, although this will vary with 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.