Vet Tech School in Nevada: Becoming a Vet Tech
A person who loves animals and has what it takes to succeed as a veterinary technician may find that Nevada is a good place to be right now. Expectations are high, and so are rewards. Average earnings far exceed those of most states. Job concentration is lower, but growth projections paint a rosy picture.
Veterinary technician is a licensed profession in Nevada. While the state’s veterinarians employ individuals with varying credentials, their duties are differentiated under state code. Veterinarian technicians must meet education and examination requirements. They can get a technician-in-training credential during the latter part of their program; this is a credential that veterinary organizations often reference in job postings.
The licensing authority will accept any of several educational pathways, provided that the individual also takes the National Veterinary Technician Examination. An individual at the beginning of his or her career may need to do some research to find out which are viable: Are all program types noted actually available, and will it be feasible to secure examination permission?
The AASVB sets generals requirements for examination eligibility and does alter them based on the needs of individual states that have chosen to have a role in the review process. The candidate will need to test through a state in which he or she meets eligibility requirements. The AASVB has provided some state-specific information (https://www.aavsb.org/vtne-overview/verify-your-eligibility).
The safest route is – and the one most widely accepted nationwide – is completion of a program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Vet Tech Duties
State code specifies in detail the duties a technician or assistant can carry out and the level of supervision required. There are a number of duties that an assistant can carry out under appropriate supervision by either a veterinarian or veterinary technician. In making these provisions, the state codifies a role for vet techs in the supervisory process that complements their well-established role in carrying out clinical and technical tasks.
Among the many tasks a Nevada veterinary technician can carry out under appropriate supervision: microchip placement, dental prophylaxis, external noninvasive ultrasonography, physical therapy, and use of therapeutic laser. The technicians can carry out a wide range of duties related to specimen collection. Allowable duties even extend to removal of teeth in some circumstances.
AVMA Government Relations has published information about technician and assistant roles by state (https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/scope-vet-assistant-duties.aspx); the information was revised in May 2019.
Becoming a Vet Tech in Nevada
Nevada will accept completion of a program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association or a state agency, graduation from a bachelor’s level animal science program, or completion of a Board-approved accelerated program.
The individual will take the VTNE prior to full licensure as an LVT.
Nevada requires a state jurisprudence exam. The application includes information about child support compliance (as applicable). The licensing authority requires verification from other states of licensure, past or present.
Nevada LVT Employers
The following are among the many Nevada veterinary facilities that employ LVTs:
• Carson Valley Veterinary Hospital (Minden)
• Sierra Veterinary Hospital (Carson City)
• Spay and Neuter Center of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas)
• Town Center Animal Hospital (Las Vegas)
• Lone Mountain Animal Hospital (Las Vegas)
• Animal Kindness Veterinary Hospital (Las Vegas)
• Pyramid Veterinary Hospital (Sparks)
• Reno Hospital for Cats
• Klaich Animal Hospital (Reno)
• Valley Veterinary Clinic (Reno)
One will find some large hospital networks like VCA and Banfield operating in the state. Sierra Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Center is a part of the BluePearl network. A multi-specialty 24-hour facility, it accepts resumes on an ongoing basis.
Vet Tech Salary in Nevada and Career Outlook
Las Vegas topped the nation for average veterinary technician salary in 2018. The mean was $46,370; this was based on an hourly rate of $22.29. Most fell between a 10th percentile salary of $33,280 and a 90th percentile salary of $63,140.
The average salary of a veterinary assistant, by contrast, was only $28,010, with the 10th percentile salary dipping to $21,080.
Veterinary technicians in the Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area had the fourth highest pay rate in the nation in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The location quotient — job concentration – is below the national level. Occupational projects call for 38.3% occupational growth statewide over the course of the 2016 to 2026 decade; this compares to a national rate of 20%.
The Reno area has a higher job concentration than other parts of the state. Based on sheer numbers, the greater Las Vegas metropolitan area, though, has it topped.
Top Vet Tech Schools in Nevada
The College of Southern Nevada – Charleston Campus has full AVMA accreditation; its next review is scheduled for 2023. The school notes that its partnership with the Western Veterinary Conference strengthens student learning opportunities.
Pima Medical Institute-Las Vegas offers a veterinary technician program that can be completed in about 18 months. The student will come away with an Associate of Applied Science. Pima Medical Institute is also fully AVMA-accredited, with its next review listed as 2022.
Truckee Meadows Community College is, as of 2019, listed as having probationary AVMA accreditation, with its next review coming in 2021 (https://www.avma.org/ProfessionalDevelopment/Education/Accreditation/Programs/Pages/vettech-programs-all-programs-list.aspx).
Student and Professional Resources
Licensing information is available from the Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (https://www.nvvetboard.us/glsuiteweb/clients/nvbov/public/LicenseInfo/VetTech.aspx). The licensing authority can be reached at (775)688-1788.