Vet Tech School in New Jersey: Becoming a Vet Tech
The New Jersey Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT )is a third party certification, but it’s one that’s in high demand. Veterinary technician is a skilled profession. Employers seek credentialed veterinary technicians to carry out tasks like taking x-rays, performing dental cleanings, running basic in-house lab tests, restraining animal patients, and performing clinical procedures akin to those nurses perform.
New Jersey Veterinary Technicians and Assistants awards the Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) credential. Credentialing as a New Jersey CVT is dependent on meeting education and examination requirements. The student will need to complete an accredited veterinary technology degree program and pass a computer-delivered national examination. The American Veterinary Medical Association serves as the programmatic accrediting agency. Most programs are associate’s level. New Jersey boasts two such programs. There are also programs in neighboring states.
The Veterinary Technician National Examination is given around the country during three annual testing windows.
Out-of-state vet techs can transfer credentials after documenting their VTNE scores and qualifying certification, license, or registration.
New Jersey Certified Veterinary Technicians have a continuing education requirement: 10 hours a year.
CVT is the general credential, signifying that people have met standards substantially equivalent to those that would qualify them for licensure in states that do license. However, it’s not necessarily the highest a veterinary technician can go. There are additional credentials that signify expertise in particular veterinary technology sub-disciplines. New Jersey Veterinary Technicians and Assistants refers veterinary technicians to the various academies of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America for information about VTS (Veterinary Technician Specialist) certification. The following are among the academies that set standards for specialized practice:
• The Academy of Anesthesia and Analgesia
• The Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians
• The Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians
• The Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians
• The Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice (which recognizes vet techs with broad expertise related to any of the following species group: canine/ feline, avian/ exotic, or production animal)
New Jersey Employers
The vast majority of veterinary technicians nationwide work for private veterinary clinics or hospitals. Veterinary hospitals offer an ever-increasing array of services. Even alternative therapies like acupuncture and laser therapy are becoming common. Practices may be generalist or specialty. Specialty medical and emergency services are frequently paired together in the same hospital. New Jersey has a lot to offer — for patients and veterinary technicians alike. The following are among the state’s facilities:
Red Bank Veterinary Hospitals is a local chain with three locations: Hillsborough, Mount Laurel, and Tinton Falls. Red Banks serves avian and exotic animals as well as the more common companion animals. Among the animals listed: hedgehogs, potbellied pigs, amphibians, ferrets, and even foxes. All rodents are welcome– snakes, too, unless they’re venomous! The career page notes veterinary technician and Veterinary Technician Specialist as career options. In fact, one of the CVTs at Red Bank veterinary hospital teaches a course that prepares veterinary technicians for VTS roles.
Raritan Animal Hospital holds AAHA accreditation and boasts a 90-year history. Rareton operates an animal hospital and three animal clinics.
Westfield Veterinary Group boasts AAHA accreditation and Fear Free certification — the latter signifies that the facility has implemented strategies to make veterinary visits less stressful for pets. Westfield Veterinary operates facilities in Westfield and Union. They have a 24/ 7 emergency hospital. The organization utilizes veterinary technicians in specialized roles like surgery technician and ER.
Mount Laurel Animal Hospital is an emergency/ specialty facility that serves Southern New Jersey. The practice boasts 30 doctors and a staff of over 140. Here technicians may have specialized roles like exotics technician or veterinary technician-neurology. One recent posting was for a lead ophthalmology technician
Arlington Dog and Cat Hospital in Kearney is an AAHA-accredited facility. The organization employs technicians and exam room technicians.
Housepaws provides mobile veterinary services in the Southern New Jersey area. The organization also operates two veterinary hospitals in the state. Housepaws was among those advertising for vet techs in 2019.
Lincoln Avenue Cat Hospital in Fairlawn is among the state’s many feline practices.
The Spay and Neuter Center of New Jersey is a high-volume spay and neuter clinic located in Holmdel.
New Jersey Vet Tech Salary and Career Outlook
New Jersey veterinary technicians earned a median salary of $37,140 in 2018. The 10th percentile salary was $23,720. Salaries rose to $50,960 at the 90th percentile.
The New Jersey veterinary technology occupation has been projected to grow by 13.9% over the course of the 2016 to 2026 decade.
Top Two Vet Tech Schools in New Jersey
Bergen Community College offers an Associate of Applied Science. There are two phases: pre-professional and professional. There is an application process for the professional phase. The student will submit a practical statement at the time of application. The school notes that veterinary experience is recommended. Bergen Community College boasts an 87.2% 2015 to 2018 VTNE pass rate. Students complete two externships, for a total of 250 hours.
Camden County College offers an AAS program that includes a 300-hour co-op. Here, too, one begins their professional studies after completing some academic coursework. Math and science coursework figures heavily in the admission process.
Student and Professional Resources
New Jersey Veterinary Technicians and Assistants is the state certifying body (https://www.njvta.com/). NJVTA is also a membership organization for certified and noncertified veterinary workers alike. The website includes information of interest to students and professionals (e.g. continuing education, student grants). The organization can be reached at ‘info at njvta.com’.