As you approach the end of your schooling, you’re likely looking ahead towards beginning your career as a vet tech. You’ve finally made it! The last hurdle that stands between you and your vet tech career is passing the VTNE® and obtaining your license.
Unfortunately, those things aren’t cheap.
The actual cost of obtaining your vet tech credentials can vary significantly, depending on the state in which you will be working. Each state sets their own licensing fees and many states require a state licensing exam, in addition to the VTNE®. Realistically, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $500-1,000 for your exam(s) and credentials to begin working as a vet tech.
Estimated Vet Tech Licensing Costs
As you approach your final year of vet tech school, it’s important to do some research. Find out exactly what you will be expected to pay in order to obtain vet tech credentials in your state.
Maybe you’re fortunate to have a spouse or family member willing to help with those expenses; if so, that’s great! If not, however, it’s important to think ahead and create a financial plan, so you won’t have to delay the start of your career due to a financial crunch.
When thinking about how you will pay these fees, consider the following:
1. Find out what financial resources your school offers
A number of vet tech schools pay VTNE® registration fees for their students. If this is the case, this will significantly reduce the amount of money that you will need to pay in order to begin working as a vet tech! Look into this option in advance, so you can determine what your financial responsibility will be.
2. Talk to your employer
If you are already working for a practice and plan to remain there as a vet tech, your employer may be willing to pay some or all of the fees associated with your exam(s) and licensing. Talk to your employer to find out whether this is an option. There may be conditions to their offer (for example, you may have to commit to remaining with your employer for a certain period of time), so be sure that you are comfortable meeting those conditions before counting on the financial help.
If you’re going to be looking for a new practice in which to work as a vet tech, you may be able to negotiate assistance with licensing fees as part of your compensation package. Your new employer probably will not be willing to pay for your VTNE®, but may be willing to pay some or all of the fees associated with state licensing.
3. Budget carefully in the last year of school
Knowing that you will have these expenses as you approach the end of your education means that you will need to budget carefully in your final semesters of school. If you’re receiving financial aid, aim to set aside several hundred dollars in savings during each of your last two semesters. If you’re supporting yourself through work, set aside a small amount of money each month. This will ensure that you’re able to pay licensing fees and get your vet tech credentials ASAP.
Preparation is Key
In a perfect world, the transition from vet tech student to vet tech would be seamless and inexpensive. Unfortunately, this isn’t a perfect world! It’s important to be prepared for these expenses, so that they don’t become a dealbreaker that prevents you from beginning your vet tech career as soon as you’re ready to do so.