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The next step for technicians
Specialties allow credentialed technicians to further their careers.
For credentialed technicians hoping to get a job in a new veterinary practice, be promoted, bring in a better salary, or even simply enjoy more professional satisfaction, earning a veterinary technician specialist (VTS) certification may be the way to go. "We're seeing an increase in the number of jobs being offered in specialty practices, such as emergency and internal medicine," says Amy Butzier, BS, MEd, CVT, past president of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) and co-chair of the organization's Committee on Veterinary Technician Specialties. "It only seems fitting that technicians who have an interest outside of general practice would seek out specialty certification."
There are multiple VTS certification programs, some of which include emergency and critical care, anesthesiology, dentistry, internal medicine, behavior, equine, and zoology. To receive VTS credentials, you must meet the following requirements from the academy that's offering the specialty:
- Graduate from an AVMA-accredited program or be legally credentialed to practice in your state, province, or country
- Successfully complete the education, training, and experience requirements established by the academy
- Undergo review and approval for technician specialist status by the academy.
Butzier, an assistant professor of veterinary technology at Mount Ida College in Newton, Mass., encourages technicians to learn more by visiting the NAVTA Web site (navta.net) or the Web sites of the individual academies. "The sky's the limit for veterinary technician specialization," she says. "I see it following in the footsteps of other similar professions, such as nursing, where there will be a great demand for specialty services from technicians."