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Become A Certified Veterinary Technician

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Working As A Certified Veterinary Technician

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Processing Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $30,410

    Average Salary

What Does A Certified Veterinary Technician Do

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. They work in retail pharmacies and hospitals.

Duties

Pharmacy technicians typically do the following:

  • Collect information needed to fill a prescription from customers or health professionals
  • Measure amounts of medication for prescriptions
  • Package and label prescriptions
  • Organize inventory and alert pharmacists to any shortages of medications or supplies
  • Accept payment for prescriptions and process insurance claims
  • Enter customer or patient information, including any prescriptions taken, into a computer system
  • Answer phone calls from customers
  • Arrange for customers to speak with pharmacists if customers have questions about medications or health matters

Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of pharmacists, who must review prescriptions before they are given to patients. In most states, technicians can compound or mix some medications and call physicians for prescription refill authorizations. Technicians also may need to operate automated dispensing equipment when filling prescription orders.

Pharmacy technicians working in hospitals and other medical facilities prepare a greater variety of medications, such as intravenous medications. They may make rounds in the hospital, giving medications to patients.

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How To Become A Certified Veterinary Technician

Becoming a pharmacy technician usually requires earning a high school diploma or the equivalent. Pharmacy technicians typically learn through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.

Education and Training

Many pharmacy technicians learn how to perform their duties through on-the-job training. These programs vary in length and subject matter according to the employer’s requirements.

Other pharmacy technicians enter the occupation after completing postsecondary education programs in pharmacy technology. These programs are usually offered by vocational schools or community colleges. Most programs award a certificate after 1 year or less, although some programs last longer and lead to an associate’s degree. They cover a variety of subjects, such as arithmetic used in pharmacies, recordkeeping, ways of dispensing medications, and pharmacy law and ethics. Technicians also learn the names, uses, and doses of medications. Most programs also include clinical experience opportunities, in which students gain hands-on experience in a pharmacy.

The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accredits pharmacy technician programs that include at least 600 hours of instruction over a minimum of 15 weeks. In 2015, there were 286 fully accredited programs, including a few in retail drugstore chains.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states regulate pharmacy technicians in some way. Consult state Boards of Pharmacy for particular regulations. Requirements for pharmacy technicians in the states that regulate them typically include some or all of the following:

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Formal education or training program
  • Exam
  • Fees
  • Continuing education
  • Criminal background check

Some states and employers require pharmacy technicians to be certified. Even where it is not required, certification may make it easier to get a job. Many employers will pay for their pharmacy technicians to take the certification exam.

Two organizations offer certification. The Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB) certification requires a high school diploma and the passing of an exam. Applicants for the National Healthcareer Association (NHA) certification must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma, and have completed a training program or have 1 year of work experience. Technicians must recertify every 2 years by completing 20 hours of continuing education courses.

Important Qualities

Customer-service skills. Pharmacy technicians spend much of their time interacting with customers, so being helpful and polite is required of pharmacy technicians in a retail setting.

Detail oriented. Serious health problems can result from mistakes in filling prescriptions. Although the pharmacist is responsible for ensuring the safety of all medications dispensed, pharmacy technicians should pay attention to detail so that complications are avoided.

Listening skills. Pharmacy technicians must communicate clearly with pharmacists and doctors when taking prescription orders. When speaking with customers, technicians must listen carefully to understand customers’ needs and determine if they need to speak with a pharmacist.

Math skills. Pharmacy technicians need to have an understanding of the math concepts used in pharmacies when counting pills and compounding medications.

Organizational skills. Working as a pharmacy technician involves balancing a variety of responsibilities. Pharmacy technicians need good organizational skills to complete the work delegated by pharmacists while at the same time providing service to customers or patients.

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Certified Veterinary Technician jobs

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Average Length of Employment
Surgery Technician 3.1 years
Veterinary Nurse 2.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 7.9%
Volunteer 4.3%
Cashier 2.8%
Waitress 2.0%
Assistant 2.0%
Technician 1.5%
Top Employers After
Owner 4.7%
Internship 4.7%
Cashier 4.0%
Instructor 3.1%
Volunteer 2.8%

Certified Veterinary Technician Demographics

Gender

Female

92.8%

Male

7.1%

Unknown

0.2%
Ethnicity

White

86.4%

Hispanic or Latino

7.4%

Asian

4.3%

Unknown

1.3%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

90.0%

French

10.0%

Certified Veterinary Technician Education

Schools

Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology

16.9%

Globe University

15.3%

Minnesota School of Business

10.7%

Saint Petersburg College

8.7%

Argosy University-Twin Cities

7.9%

Madison Area Technical College

5.4%

Ridgewater College

4.5%

Vet Tech Institute

3.7%

University of Phoenix

3.3%

Colorado State University

2.9%

Mount Ida College

2.9%

Joliet Junior College

2.5%

Camden County College

2.5%

Johnson College

2.1%

Rasmussen College

2.1%

Colorado Mountain College

2.1%

Rockford Career College

1.7%

Pima Community College

1.7%

Becker College

1.7%

Arkansas State University - Beebe

1.7%
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Majors

Medical Assisting Services

60.5%

Animal Science

4.9%

Biology

4.7%

Nursing

4.5%

Veterinary Science

4.3%

Business

4.3%

Veterinary Medicine

2.5%

Military Applied Sciences

2.0%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Management

1.6%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Accounting

1.4%

Clinical Psychology

0.8%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

0.8%

General Studies

0.8%

Zoology

0.8%

Psychology

0.6%

Microbiology

0.6%

Marketing

0.6%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

0.6%
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Degrees

Associate

56.9%

Bachelors

20.9%

Other

12.6%

Masters

4.1%

Certificate

2.8%

Diploma

1.4%

Doctorate

1.1%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills for A Certified Veterinary Technician

AnesthesiaSurgeryLaboratoryProceduresIVEducateClientsEmergencyCareAnimalRestraintRadiologyCatheterPlacementPatientCareVenipunctureSurgicalProceduresTriageDrawingBloodSurgicalPrepDentalProphylaxisPhlebotomySchedulingAppointmentsCustomerServiceMedicalRecords

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Top Certified Veterinary Technician Skills

  1. Anesthesia
  2. Surgery
  3. Laboratory Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared patient for surgery and monitored various parameters while under anesthesia.
  • Monitored animal during multiple surgical procedures including neutering, orthopedic surgery, and anastomosis.
  • Support the Veterinarian by performing routine clinical and laboratory procedures within the hospital.
  • Established intravenous catheters and initiated IV fluid therapy under veterinarian's supervision.
  • Educate clients; recommend and select appropriate care for their pet s needs.

Top Certified Veterinary Technician Employers

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Certified Veterinary Technician Videos

A Day in the Life - Veterinarian Technician

A Day in the Life of an Equine Veterinary Nurse

Career Profiles: Small Animal Veterinary Technician

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