How to Become a Vet Tech in Florida

If you want to become a vet tech in Florida, there are a few things you need to do. First, you need to complete an accredited veterinary technology program.

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Introduction

In order to become a practicing veterinary technician in the state of Florida, you must first complete an accredited veterinary technology program and pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have completed these steps, you will need to apply for a license through the Florida Department of Health. Keep reading to learn more about what it takes to become a vet tech in Florida.

What Does a Vet Tech Do?

The duties of a veterinary technician in Florida are much the same as those in other states. Vet techs in Florida work alongside veterinarians to provide animal care and treatment. They may perform lab work and diagnostic tests, administer medications, provide pre- and post-operative care, take x-rays, assist in surgeries, educate pet owners and more.

In order to become a licensed veterinary technician in Florida, you must first complete a two-year accredited veterinary technology program. There are four such programs located in the state of Florida. Once you have completed your accredited veterinary technology program, you must then pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). After passing the VTNE, you will then need to apply for a license from the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine.

The Educational Requirements

In order to become a veterinary technician in Florida, you will need to complete a veterinary technology program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). These programs typically take two years to complete, although some schools offer four-year programs that lead to a bachelor’s degree. Once you have completed an accredited program, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become licensed.

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There are currently three AVMA-accredited programs in Florida:
-Miami Dade College offers an Associate in Science degree in veterinary technology.
-Pensacola State College offers an Associate in Science degree in veterinary technology.
-St. Petersburg College offers an Associate in Science degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in veterinary technology.

The Exam and Certification

The Exam and Certification
After you have completed an accredited veterinary technology program, you will need to take a state-administered examination in order to become licensed in Florida. The state Board of Veterinary Medicine has contracted with the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) to provide the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). You must achieve a passing score on the VTNE in order to receive your license.

Once you have passed the VTNE, you will need to submit an application to the Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine along with the appropriate fees. Once your application has been processed, you will be issued a license as a veterinary technician in Florida and will be able to begin practicing.

In order to maintain your license, you will need to renew it every two years. You will also need to complete 20 hours of continuing education every two years in order to qualify for license renewal.

The Job Outlook

In Florida, the average vet tech salary is $32,610 per year, or $15.74 per hour.Entry-level positions start at $24,280 per year, while experienced workers can make as much as $43,950 per year.

Salary and Wages

In Florida, the average salary for a vet tech is $33,610 per year, with the top 10% of earners making$48,490 per year.1 Wages will vary based on factors such as employer, location, and experience. The table below shows salary data for vet techs in several of Florida’s largest cities.1

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City Avg. Salary Top 10% Salary

Cape Coral $32,160 $46,770
Orlando $33,850 $48,490
Miami $35,780 $51,070
Tampa $32,560 $47,280

Where to Find Vet Tech Programs

Vet tech programs in Florida are offered at a variety of colleges and universities. There are also a number of online programs available. The Florida Department of Education maintains a database of all accredited programs in the state, which can be accessed here.

Some of the schools that offer vet tech programs in Florida include:
-Miami Dade College
-Valencia College
-Florida State College at Jacksonville
-Pensacola State College
– Hillsborough Community College

The Bottom Line

If you want to pursue a career as a veterinary technician in Florida, you will need to complete a postsecondary program, pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and earn state licensure. Although many programs offer online coursework, you will need to complete a clinical internship before you can graduate and become credentialed. Once you have met all the necessary requirements, you will be able to find work in a variety of settings, including animal hospitals, clinics, laboratories, rescue facilities, and zoos.

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