Veterinary technicians and technologists, collectively known in the industry as Vet Techs, play a critical role in veterinary practices across the country.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are around 118,670 veterinary technicians and technologists across the country (May 2021). Although this figure doesn’t include any who are classified as self-employed.
What are Vet Techs Paid?
Based on the most recent statistics, the mean annual wage for a vet technician is around $38,250, with the average hourly rate between $17.72 and $18.39. Although in some of the top-paying states, veterinary technicians and technologists can earn between $68,110 (Washington DC) and $44,380 (Connecticut).
Most vet techs are employed in veterinary practices (around 109,620), although veterinary technicians and technologists are also employed in scientific research and development services, social advocacy organizations, colleges, universities, zoos, or other educational institutions.
How Many Veterinary Technicians and Technologists Graduate Every Year?
When a vet tech graduates, they’re qualified in around 300 skills related to animal biology and behavior. It’s a highly-skilled and valuable profession. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, around 5,000 technicians graduate annually, based on data from the AVMA CVTEA–Accredited Veterinary Technology Program Mega Survey.
Once you graduate, most new vet techs aim to get experience in veterinary practices or other institutions where they can further refine their skills. As Kelly Foltz, vice chair of the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities, says: “I think there are steep learning curves [for veterinary technicians], like handling animals and how to read body language and assess pain and know normal behaviors so you know when an animal is sick.”
One of the ways new and experienced vet techs can make this learning curve less steep and benefit from peer support and other services, is to join a Veterinary Technician Association.
Benefits of Joining a Veterinary Technician Association
Various associations come with different membership benefits. With any of them, you are joining a larger network of professionals in the same field, allowing you to interact, share knowledge and best practices, and hear about career opportunities.
Almost every membership organization and association has newsletters, educational resources, or accredited qualifications to improve your knowledge and boost your career prospects. Several associations for vet techs also advocate on behalf of the profession, either at a state or national level, and others also have foundations that provide grants, stipends, and scholarship opportunities.
List of Active Vet Tech Associations Across the U.S.
|Title||Description||Membership fee (per year)||Student fees (per year)||Available grants or scholarships||Website|
|The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)||NAVTA is a community of credentialed veterinary technicians dedicated to advancing the profession of veterinary nursing through advocacy, awareness, and professional development.||$60/year for Associate or Accredited Members (with a 20% discount if you are a member of your State Association or VTS Academy ($48 per year)||$35/year for students when enrolled in an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology or veterinary nursing education program||No||https://www.navta.net/|
|Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians (AIMVT)||The AIMVT is an organization specifically for veterinary technicians working in internal medicine.||No information on fees publicly available. Members have to prove qualifications, accreditation, and educational levels||Unknown||AIMVT’s Gives Back program supports worthy individuals and organizations in the vet tech field. Each year, AIMVT awards the winning individual or organization $500.||https://www.aimvt.com/|
|Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians||This organization is an elite group of veterinary dental technicians||All members and candidates are required to apply before gaining access to exam registration fees and annual dues.||Unknown||No||https://www.avdt.us/|
|Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians||AVECCT is an organization for Veterinary Technician Specialists (Emergency & Critical Care), officially recognized by NAVTA||Becoming a member involves getting officially certified, according to this list of criteria. Information about fees isn’t publicly available.||Unknown||No||https://www.avecct.org/|
|Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Anesthesia and Analgesia (AVTAA)||AVTAA exists to promote interest in the discipline of veterinary anesthesia.||Becoming a member involves getting officially certified (as a Veterinary Technician Specialist (Anesthesia & Analgesia). Application fees are $60.||Fees are $60 to become accredited and join as a member.||No||https://www.avtaa-vts.org/|
|American Association for Laboratory Animal Science||AALAS is an association of professionals that advances responsible laboratory animal care and uses it to benefit people and animals.||Membership fees are between $45 and $190/year (U.S.), or $55 and $215 for outside of the U.S.||You have to be sponsored by an AALAS member in order to join.||Grants between $7500 and $50,000 are available to support the Laboratory Animal Science (GLAS) Program.||https://www.aalas.org/|
|American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians||AAEVT is a professional community that passionate about making a difference in the life of our equine patients and their owners.||Membership fees are between $60 to $100/year.||$25||No||https://www.aaevt.org/|
|Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians||The AZVT is dedicated to all aspects of quality veterinary technical care in the field of zoo animal medicine.||$40||A lower fee of $22 is available for students or a non-technical person interested in zoo veterinary technology.||A scholarship is available for a student to attend the annual ||http://www.azvt.org/|
|Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians||SVBT’s mission is to enrich the human-animal bond by promoting scientifically based techniques of training, management, and behavior modification.||$45||Free||The Faith Scholarship is available to support a student attending the Karen Pryor Academy Dog Trainer Professional program ($2500)||http://www.svbt.org/|
|Alabama Veterinary Technician Association||The mission of the Alabama Veterinary Technician Association is to represent and promote the veterinary technology profession within the State of Alabama. AVTA provides direction, continuing education, and support for its members and works with allied professional organizations to ensure the competent care and humane treatment of animals, as well as to ensure public welfare.||$20-25||Free membership for students||VCA Animal Hospital Sponsored Scholarship awards one veterinary technology student for the amount of $500. The scholarship may be used for payment of tuition, fees, and/or books.||https://alvettech.org/|
|Arizona Veterinary Technician Association||The goals of AzVTA are to engage with other vet techs who live and work under similar conditions; connect with companies, organizations, and opportunities that are relevant to you; be a part of the movement to improve pay, benefits, and working conditions for vet techs nationwide, and hosting and providing CE opportunities that help you meet your personal and professional goals.||$10-20||$10||AzVTA provides a $500 scholarship to a veterinary technology student with exceptional potential, motivation, and integrity.||https://www.azvta.org/|
|Arkansas Veterinary Technician Association||The AVTA is a non-profit organization geared towards uniting Veterinary Technicians in Arkansas. Our board members work very hard all year long to put together the best of the best for you. From continued education, fund raisers, events, all the way up to the winter meeting.||$15-20||Free||No||https://www.arkansasvta.com/|
|Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association (Montana)||The mission statement of the Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association is to advance the profession of veterinary technicians through continuing education, dissemination of information, and the promotion of integrity and compassion in our field.||Available upon registration||Unknown||No||https://www.bigskyvettech.org/|
|California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association||The mission of the California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association is to elevate the veterinary profession through the strengthening of the veterinary healthcare team. We seek to promote the role of the registered veterinary technician by broadening our skills, knowledge, and professionalism and by securing representation of registered veterinary technicians in the regulatory and legislative arenas. The California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association strives to increase public awareness of the role of registered veterinary technicians in veterinary medicine and our place in enhancing the welfare of our animal patients.||$45||$20 for students; free one-year membership for new graduates.||No||https://carvta.com/|
|Central Iowa Veterinary Technician Association||The Association’s mission is to unite veterinary technicians in the Central Iowa area and to provide support and continuing education opportunities. Although the focus of this association is for veterinary technicians, ALL veterinary support staff is welcome.||$25||Unknown||No||http://www.civta.com/|
|Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians||CACVT is the credentialing entity and professional association for certified veterinary technicians in Colorado. Established in 1976, CACVT upholds the highest eligibility and maintenance standards for credentialed veterinary technicians nationwide. CACVT is governed by a board of directors, made up of members and elected by members. The board acts in the best interest of the association and its constituents and provides strategic direction for the association. You can find CACVT’s complete mission, vision, and values on its website.||$50-100||$15 activates you through graduation||No||https://www.cacvt.org/|
|Connecticut Veterinary Technician Association||CTVTA purpose and goals are: to provide a means of communication among the membership in order to advance and improve the expertise of Veterinary Technicians; To create and maintain a professional image of Veterinary Technicians and his/her relationship to the veterinary medical community; To enlarge the Technician’s knowledge of the necessary skills through continuing education programs, sponsored seminars and association newsletters; To raise the standards of integrity, courtesy and honesty and to foster high ethical standards within our profession.||$30-50 p/year||Free||No||https://www.ctvta.org/|
|Florida Veterinary Technician Association||The Florida Veterinary Technician Association (FVTA), established in 1975, is a non-profit association representing more than 1,500 veterinary technicians working in private practice, corporate America, government, industry, academia, and zoos. Structured to work for its members, the FVTA acts as a collective voice for its membership and for the career that they have chosen.||$30-35||Free||A $500 scholarship is granted to full-time veterinary technology students, members of FVTA, enrolled and completed 25% of an AVMA-accredited program.||https://thefvta.net/|
|Georgia Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association||The Georgia Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association is dedicated to all aspects of quality veterinary care. The mission of the GVTAA is to foster high professional standards and provide support for technicians and assistants. The primary goals are to facilitate more continuing education (CE) opportunities specifically aimed toward the needs of veterinary paraprofessionals and provide a means to fulfill the required CE hours to maintain certification.||$40-50||$20||No||https://www.gvtaa.org/|
|Hawaii Veterinary Technician Association||HVTA is a non-profit organization serving the veterinary community by promoting our profession by educating the public about veterinary technology; supporting the working relationship between veterinary technicians and all members of the veterinary healthcare team; representing veterinary technicians as the State of Hawaii implements legislation to recognize the role of registered veterinary technicians in Hawaii.||$30-40/year||$20/year||No||https://hvta.org/|
|Indiana Veterinary Technician Association||IVTA’s mission is to promote and advance the profession of registered veterinary technicians by offering support and resources. The Indiana Veterinary Technician Association is committed to the professional advancement of veterinary technicians in Indiana and nationwide.||$25-35||Free||No||https://www.indianavta.com/|
|Kansas Veterinary Technicians Association||The KVTA is committed to career growth and advancement of veterinary technicians in the State of Kansas. Our goal is to promote the veterinary healthcare team and increase public awareness of veterinary technicians and our role on the veterinary healthcare team as well as promote the human-animal bond.||$25/year||Unknown||No||https://www.ksvta.org/|
|Kentucky Veterinary Technician Association||KVTA members benefit from networking with fellow Kentucky technicians, learning about state legislation that impacts their status, an electronic newsletter, and discounts at our state and regional meetings. KVTA offers a CE meeting each spring designed for technicians.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://kyvta.org/|
|Louisiana Association of Veterinary Technicians||The mission of LAVT is to represent and promote the highest standards within the veterinary technician profession along with the veterinary healthcare team. We promote the educational and professional advancement of the entire veterinary team by supporting continuing education programs and sponsored seminars.||$20-25||Free for veterinary technician students currently enrolled in an AVMA 2- or 4-year program||No||https://lavt2014.wixsite.com/lavt|
|Maine Veterinary Technician Association||The purpose or objectives of MVTA are to promote and maintain the professional image and high ethical standards of veterinary technicians; develop the membership and engagement of veterinary technicians in this professional association across the State of Maine; collaborate with veterinary technology educational programs in the State of Maine to develop, advance and promote opportunities for continuing education in veterinary technology, and others.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://www.facebook.com/groups/MaineVTA/|
|Maryland Veterinary Technician Association||The Maryland Veterinary Technician Association was formed to create a community of professionals to network, find support, offer continuing education, and work towards increasing awareness of our profession and our value as part of the veterinary healthcare team.||$26.50-101.50||$11.50||No||https://mdvta.wildapricot.org/|
|Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association||MVTA’s mission is promoting and advocating for the profession of veterinary technology and veterinary nursing.||$25-65||Free||MVTA Continuing Education Grant ($600); Student Book Grant ($300); Volunteer and Student Volunteer Grants ($1,500).||https://www.massvta.org/|
|Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians||The mission of the Michigan Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT) is to represent and promote the veterinary technology profession within the State of Michigan. MAVT provides direction, continuing education, and support for its members and works with allied professional organizations to ensure the competent care and humane treatment of animals, as well as to ensure the public welfare.||$30-35||$10||The student scholarship ($500) is awarded yearly to a first- or second-year student who is currently enrolled in an accredited Michigan Veterinary Technology Program. |
The LVT scholarship ($1,000) is awarded yearly to a MAVT member who has a veterinary technician license from the state of Michigan.
|Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians||The Minnesota Association of Veterinary Technicians (MAVT) is a non-profit 501(c)6 organization that was founded in 1975. It is one of the largest state associations that represents more than 3,000 Veterinary Technicians working in a wide variety of veterinary related fields.||$35||$20||MAVT has two scholarship programs that provide 4 – $1,000 Scholarships to students. |
One Scholarship is the MAVT Scholarship Award where we award 3 – $1,000 Scholarships
The other is the Mollie Jean Mahowald Scholarship Award where we award 1 – $1,000 Scholarship.
|Mississippi Association of Veterinary Technicians||MAVT is dedicated to promoting veterinary technicians and quality animal health care through education, legislation, and high ethical standards.||$25-40||$10||No||https://missvettech.com/|
|Missouri Veterinary Technician Association||The Missouri Veterinary Technicians Association is a 501c6 non-profit organization established in 1974. Since that time, the organization has been the leading voice representing Missouri registered veterinary technicians and support staff working in private practice, research, academia, and government throughout the State of Missouri. There are over 650 actively registered veterinary technicians in the State of Missouri. The mission of MOVTA is to represent, promote, and advance the field of veterinary technology through education, legislation, and by providing superior animal care.||$35-45||Free||No||https://www.movta.org/|
|Nebraska Vet Tech Association||Professional organization for veterinary technicians in Nebraska.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://www.facebook.com/NeVTF/|
|Nevada Veterinary Technician Association||NVTA’s mission is to promote the professional and educational advancement of veterinary technicians and veterinary support staff, by providing opportunities for community outreach and awareness, continuing education, state association representation, and by facilitating networking in the veterinary career field.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://www.facebook.com/groups/310990185598896/|
|New Hampshire Veterinary Technician Association||NHVTA is a membership association of veterinary technicians in the State of New Hampshire, offering continuing education seminars and certifying veterinary technicians in the state.||$25-40||Free||One $1,000.00 scholarship for a veterinary technology student enrolled in an AVMA Accredited Program. |
A bi-annual scholarship ($500) to New Hampshire Certified Veterinary Technicians interested in pursuing a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) designation.
|New Jersey Veterinary Technician Association||The mission of the NJVTA is to promote life-long learning for the veterinary healthcare team by providing professional development and continuing education opportunities; to promote quality, compassionate care to ensure the health and well-being of all creatures, great and small, and to continually strengthen the membership and grow professional relationships with other associations within the veterinary medical profession.||Available upon registration||Unknown||No||https://www.njvta.com/|
|New Mexico Registered Veterinary Technician Association||NMRVTA has been established in the state for over 40 years. The association serves RVTs and para-professional veterinary staff by offering continuing education seminars, providing lists of employment and CE opportunities, and having the association bring reports to the NMBVM and the NMVMA Board meetings. The NMRVTA officers meet regularly throughout the year, primarily planning the annual business meeting and CE offerings, but also discussing other business related to the veterinary technician profession.||$20-55||$10||NMRVTA scholarship ($1,000) is given to a veterinary technician student enrolled in an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program, living in the State of New Mexico, with a 3.0 GPA or higher.||https://nm-rvta.org/|
|New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians||The mission of the New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians, Inc. (NYSAVT) is to represent, promote, and advance the licensed veterinary technician profession. NYSAVT achieves this goal through education, legislative initiatives, public awareness, and membership development by working with allied professions and organizations for the enhancement of veterinary medicine.||$10-55||$15/$25||The Dr. James Zgoda Memorial Scholarship ($250) is awarded annually to a NYSAVT member who has been active in the association AND has volunteered a minimum of 60 hours in their community in the 12 months prior to the award being received. |
The Dr. James Zgoda Excellence in Technician Advancement is awarded to a hospital or individual practice that has demonstrated support for the licensed veterinary technicians in their practice.
Each year, NYSAVT awards one outstanding student from each of our technical colleges a student scholarship. This award will be presented to an NYSAVT student member who has been an active member of the association and their community, providing leadership and contributing to the association and the overall betterment of the veterinary medical profession.
|North Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians||The North Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians advocates for appropriate recognition and utilization of credentialed veterinary technicians, invests in the future of veterinary medical technology, educates the public about the role of credentialed veterinary technicians, and represents the voice of registered veterinary technicians in North Carolina.||$30-35||$20/year||No||https://www.ncavt.org/|
|North Dakota Veterinary Technician Association||NDVTA’s mission is to represent and promote veterinary technology in North Dakota. It will provide support and education to its members for professional, competent, and humane care and treatment of large and small animals.||$30-40||$10; New graduates – $5||No||https://www.ndvta.org/|
|Ohio Association of Veterinary Technicians||OAVT is dedicated to promoting veterinary technicians and quality animal healthcare through: |
education, legislation, and high ethical standards
|Oklahoma Veterinary Technician Association||OVTA serves the interests of many registered veterinary technicians, technician students, and veterinary assistants in our state. We strive to define and improve the standards of veterinary medicine through legislation and education. OVTA also wishes to promote and maintain a cooperative professional relationship with the veterinary medical profession and its affiliated associations.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://okvta.org/|
|Oregon Veterinary Technician and Assistant Association||OVTAA was formed in June 2005. Our mission is to promote the profession of veterinary medical support staff and foster recognition and understanding of the roles of veterinary technicians and assistants in the State of Oregon. OVTAA is a non-profit organization led by volunteers eager to give back to the community.||$45||Free||No||https://www.portlandvma.org/ovtaa/|
|Rhode Island Veterinary Technician Association||RIVTA connects technicians In the Ocean State.||$36.35-51.80||Free||No||http://blog.rivta.org/|
|South Carolina Association of Veterinary Technicians||SCAVT is dedicated to increasing public awareness of the vital role licensed technicians play in the veterinary healthcare team and to provide professional unity within South Carolina.||$20-30||$5||https://www.scavt.org/|
|South Dakota Veterinary Technician Association||SDVTA is an association to bring information, continuing education, and power to the veterinary technicians of South Dakota.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://www.facebook.com/SouthDakotaVeterinaryTechnicianAssociation/|
|Tennessee Veterinary Technicians Association||TVTA promotes the science and art of veterinary technology, progressive and humane medical care for all creatures; educates the public about the importance of licensed veterinary Medical technicians within the veterinary medical profession, and pursues other goals.||$25-50||$10||A $500 scholarship for a graduating veterinary technician student from each veterinary technician program in Tennessee.||https://www.tnvta.org/|
|Utah Society of Veterinary Technicians and Assistants||The mission of the USVTA is to champion the role of the veterinary technician and veterinary assistant within the veterinary community. Accomplished by providing continuing education opportunities, networking, and career-search opportunities in the State of Utah.||$30-35||$10||No||http://www.usvta.org/|
|Vermont Veterinary Technicians Association||The Vermont Veterinary Technicians Association (VVTA) is open to all technicians, veterinary assistants, and interested office staff. One of our major goals is to provide continuing education for technicians. We are happy to include non-certified technicians and encourage them to seek out education options and pursue continuing education opportunities.||$25-50||Free||The Cindy Barrows Continuing Education Fund provides financial assistance to assist those in need so that they may attend continuing education meetings.||https://vtvettechs.org/|
|Veterinary Team Association of Texas||VTAT’s mission is to represent and advance all veterinary staff through education, public awareness, legislative action, and membership development by collaboratively working with other veterinary professional organizations, working toward one common goal: the enhancement of veterinary medicine.||$30-125||Free||No||https://vtat.net/|
|Virginia Association of Licensed Veterinary Technicians||VALVT is dedicated to supporting the growth of licensed veterinary technicians by providing professional representation, education, and communication.||$35||Free; $15 for new graduates||No||https://www.valvt.org/|
|Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians||An organization that represents licensed veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants, and veterinary technician students in Washington State.||$40/year||$20/year||WSAVT offers two types of scholarships each year: |
Three student scholarships, $1,500 each.
Newsletter scholarship, $750
|West Virginia Association of Veterinary Technicians||Professional organization for veterinary technicians in West Virginia.||Unknown||Unknown||No||https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100051813794627|
|Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association||The Wisconsin Veterinary Technician Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1989. It is dedicated to the advancement of veterinary medicine through continuing education and legislative efforts that strengthen the healthcare team. The WVTA consists of veterinary technicians and support personnel who serve on the front lines of animal health and display a commitment to better themselves and the profession.||$55-60||Free||No||https://wvta.com/|
|Wyoming Veterinary Technician Association||WYVTA is dedicated to advancing veterinary technology by providing quality continuing education, increasing awareness of the significance of our profession, and elevating the standards of the entire veterinary support team.||$30-40||No||A Student Scholarship is available.||https://www.wyvta.org/|
Why Should Vet Techs Join a Professional Association?
Relatively speaking, membership fees are pretty low ($40 per year on average). With several of those associations listed above, you can gain valuable professional accreditations and qualifications that demonstrate and enhance skills and abilities veterinary technicians use in their day-to-day jobs.
Joining an association lets vet techs put these qualifications on resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and biographies while giving you access to numerous other membership benefits. From a professional perspective, it’s worth joining the national, state, and skills-based associations to further improve your career and professional development.