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Career and Education Opportunities for Veterinarian Technicians in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you want to be a veterinarian technician, the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 470 jobs for veterinarian technicians in Iowa and this is projected to grow by 34% to about 630 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for veterinarian technicians, which sees this job pool growing by about 35.8% over the next eight years. Veterinarian technicians generally perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals.

Veterinarian technicians earn approximately $13 hourly or $27,640 per year on average in Iowa. Nationally they average about $13 hourly or $28,900 annually. Earnings for veterinarian technicians are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Veterinary in Iowa and not quite as good as general Veterinary category earnings nationally. Veterinarian technicians work in a variety of jobs, including: animal health technician, laboratory technologist, and veterinary nurse.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can study to be a veterinarian technician, among thirteen schools of higher education total in the Cedar Rapids area. Given that the most common education level for veterinarian technicians is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, you can expect to spend about two years training to become a veterinarian technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Veterinarian Technician

Veterinarian Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, veterinarian technicians perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. They also prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases.

Veterinarian technicians observe the behavior and state of animals, and monitor their clinical symptoms. They also ready and administer medications, vaccines and treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians. Equally important, veterinarian technicians have to furnish assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains. They are often called upon to take animals into treatment areas, and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature and respiration data. They are expected to maintain instruments and machinery to insure proper working condition. Finally, veterinarian technicians administer emergency first aid.

Every day, veterinarian technicians are expected to be able to evaluate problems as they arise. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for veterinarian technicians to monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low. They are often called upon to supervise and train veterinary students and other staff members. They also dress and suture wounds, and apply splints and other protective devices. They are sometimes expected to perform dental work such as cleaning and extracting teeth. Somewhat less frequently, veterinarian technicians are also expected to perform dental work such as cleaning and extracting teeth.

Veterinarian technicians sometimes are asked to take and design diagnostic radiographs, using x-ray equipment. They also have to be able to administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted And finally, they sometimes have to collect and label samples for laboratory testing or microscopic examination.

Like many other jobs, veterinarian technicians must have exceptional integrity and be reliable.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Veterinarian Technician Training

Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52406-2068. Kirkwood Community College is a large college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,241 students. Kirkwood Community College has an associate's degree program in Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician & Veterinary Assistant which graduated twenty-two students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician: The technician certification designations of ALAT, LAT, and LATG are well known and widely used throughout the varied fields of laboratory animal care.

For more information, see the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science website.

LICENSES

Veterinary Technician

Licensing agency: Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine
Address: Wallace State Office Building, E 9th & Grand, Des Moines, IA 50319-0051

Phone: (515) 281-8617
Website: Iowa Board of Veterinary Medicine

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.