Vet Tech Schools in Oklahoma

In the Sooner State, there’s a growing tide of animal welfare activism incited in part by Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals. In fact, the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals offers rewards for the arrest of animal abuse suspects. While there is much work to be done to prevent these glaring instances of animal cruelty, several organizations have risen to the challenge in Oklahoma to protect its most vulnerable creatures.

Among them is the esteemed Central Oklahoma Humane Society which has been in operation since 2007. This group seeks to end the euthanasia of healthy pets, cultivate kindness in people toward animals, and promote strong animal protection laws at local and state levels. It has a wealth of programs designed with animals’ interests in mind such as the “Happy Tails” blog series—a collection of success stories about adopted pets—as well as neutering services, pet relocations, and educational events.

For animal lovers in OK, one way to become involved with the movement is to become a veterinary technician. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), vet techs take on varied tasks in animal healthcare settings such as collecting and processing laboratory samples; restraining animals during routine examinations; assisting veterinarians with procedures (e.g., dental, diagnostic, radiological, surgical); keeping facilities sterilized; maintaining patient records and inventories; and giving pet-owners best practices in taking care of their animals.

In sum, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) states that a vet tech is trained to be the “veterinarian’s nurse, laboratory technician, radiography technician, anesthetist, surgical nurse, and client educator.” It’s important to note that the responsibilities in this profession vary by state of practice.

According to the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act (November 2021), vet techs must register with the board after graduating from an AVMA-accredited program. Oklahoma vet techs enjoy a relatively generous scope of practice and may perform some procedures independently on order from a licensed veterinarian: euthanasia, thoracocentesis, abdominocentesis, vaccinations, dental scaling, and more. In emergencies, a registered vet tech (RVT) in OK may fulfill additional functions—even when communication cannot be established with a licensed veterinarian—such as initiating resuscitation or opening airways with intubation.

Read on the learn about the promising career outlook for vet techs in OK, the salary prospects, accredited educational programs, and how to become an RVT.

School Website main address online program Avma Accredited
Murray State College–Ardmore 2901 Mt. Washington, Ardmore, Oklahoma, 73401NoYes
Oklahoma State University-Oklahoma City 900 N Portland, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73107-6195NoYes
Tulsa Community College-West Campus 7505 W 41st Street South, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74107NoYes

Occupational Outlook for Vet Techs in Oklahoma

The outlook for vet techs in OK is uniquely bright. As proof of point, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2021) expects vet tech openings nationwide to swell 15 percent between 2020 and 2030, much faster than the average growth projected for all occupations during that time (8 percent).

Projections Central (2021) offers more granular data on the future of vet techs in OK. It found that openings for veterinary technicians and technologists are expected to increase at an even faster rate (16.7 percent) than what’s anticipated nationally.

According to the data from CareerOneStop (2021)—a partner of the US Department of Labor—the field of veterinary technology in OK is predicted to increase 17 percent between 2018 and 2028.

Where do Oklahoma Vet Techs Work?

As stated above, the career outlook is very bright for vet techs in OK. They’re employed in a wide range of environments including animal hospitals, clinics, zoos, aquariums, public policy organizations, humane societies, kennels, universities, biomedical research facilities, farms, rescue centers, and more. The Oklahoma Veterinary Technician Association (OVTA) maintains an active job posting list with opportunities at places such as the Family Pet Clinic, Yukon Hills Animal Hospital, Safety Call International, and the Oklahoma State University.

iHireVeterinary (November 2021) adds additional posts with employers including Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, National Veterinary Associates, Banfield Pet Hospital, and Animal Eye Clinic. Finally, Indeed (November 2021) has postings at varied locations as well such as VCA Animal Hospitals, Woodlake Animal Hospital, Thunderbird Veterinary Hospital, Western Veterinary Partners, and Walnut Creek Animal Hospital & Pet Resort. In sum, there are ample opportunities in this field across the state.

Some vet techs in OK choose to specialize in their skills and become veterinary technician specialists (VTS). Some of the designated subfields of the discipline include zoological medicine, analgesia & anesthesia, clinical pathology, surgery, equine medicine, avian nursing, animal behavior & psychology, and more. To apply for professional credentialing in these areas, candidates typically need to garner thousands of hours in the specialty, get letters of recommendation, and pass a comprehensive exam.

To learn in-depth about how to become a VTS, please check out the veterinary technician careers page.

Vet Tech Salary in Oklahoma

Vet techs in OK make slightly lower salaries compared to national averages across the profession. By illustration, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS May 2020) found an average annual salary of $37,860 among the 109,490 vet techs employed nationwide. For the 930 vet techs employed in OK, this figure was $34,890.

Although the BLS found lower salary figures for vet techs in Oklahoma, it’s important to note that residents of the Sooner State have much better buying power with their dollars than those living in other states. By illustration, the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2021) ranked OK as the third most affordable state in the US, boasting particular savings in housing.

In more granular terms, how much do vet techs make around the country and in Oklahoma? The table below is a comparison of national and state salaries of veterinary technicians.

United States Oklahoma
Number of Veterinary Technicians Employed 109,490 930
Annual Mean Wage $37,860 $34,890
10th percentile $25,520 $22,720
25th percentile $30,030 $27,000
50th percentile (Median) $36,260 $32,060
75th percentile $43,890 $40,080
90th percentile $52,410 $54,390

It’s important to note that these figures also varied based on the source of data. By illustration, Indeed (November 2021) found an average annual salary of $27,075 among Oklahoma veterinary technicians.

PayScale (November 2021)—a data aggregator of self-reported salaries – found the following percentiles nationally:

  • 10th percentile: $28,000
  • 50th percentile (median): $37,173
  • 90th percentile: $51,000

Accredited Vet Tech Schools in Oklahoma

According to the Oklahoma Veterinary Practice Act, aspiring veterinary technicians in this state must graduate from a two- to four-year college program accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA), the main program approval entity of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

To gain entry into an accredited program in OK, admissions committees typically call for official secondary school transcripts with proof of having completed specific courses (e.g., algebra, biology, chemistry), proof of vaccinations and/or health insurance, a personal statement, and an application fee. Some more competitive programs may call for letters of recommendation, experience working in a veterinary healthcare setting, or test scores (e.g., entrance exams, TOEFL for non-native speakers of English).

As of November 2021, there were three AVMA-accredited programs.

Murray State College

Murray State College (MSC) offers an associate of applied science (AAS) in veterinary technology. The program helps students in gaining the required skills that encourage lifelong learning and professionalism. Graduates of this program will become excellent providers of quality health care for animals and provide much-needed services.

The program is made up of 76 credits. Classes include veterinary medical terminology, anatomy of domestic animals, physiology of domestic animals, diseases of domestic animals, anesthesia & surgical nursing, veterinary imaging, and veterinary hospital management. One way to measure the effectiveness of a program is by its first-time passing rate on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), the predominant credentialing exam in this field. Impressively, at Murray State College, 95 percent of program graduates passed the exam between 2018 and 2021.

The program opens up opportunities in zoological parks, pharmaceutical companies, veterinary hospitals, non-profit organizations, veterinary clinical laboratories, veterinary supply companies, and more for graduates.

  • Location: Ardmore, OK
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 24 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $146 per credit

Tulsa Community College

Tulsa Community College (TCC) offers an associate in applied science (AAS) degree in veterinary technology providing students with a deep understanding of the fundamentals of animal behavior, husbandry, and nursing care for many species. Graduates will be eligible to take the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) and the Oklahoma licensure examination.

Comprising 76 to 77 credits, the program includes courses such as veterinary anatomy and physiology; clinical calculations for veterinary nurses; principles of small and large animal care; clinical pathology; veterinary office and practice management; microbiology and sanitation; and large animal technology.

Students complete labs throughout the program and a practicum during the summer between their first and second year in the two-year full-time plan. There is also a 3-year part-time plan with the practicum placed in summer between semesters. Graduates of Tulsa Community College had a 65.4 percent first-time passing rate on the VTNE between 2018 and 2021.

Graduates will be ready to take up a wide range of responsibilities under the supervision of licensed veterinarians, including clinical laboratory procedures, intensive nursing care, anesthesiology, radiology, surgical assistance, and dental care.

  • Location: Tulsa, OK
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Full-time (24 months); part-time (36 months)
  • Estimated Tuition: Oklahoma resident ($142 per credit); non-resident ($367 per credit)

Oklahoma State University

Lastly, Oklahoma State University—OKC also offers an AAS in veterinary technology through a combination of classroom lectures and hands-on laboratory experiences providing students with an opportunity to learn the skills, theory, and practical applications necessary to succeed. The program is taught by dedicated instructors who emphasize the safety, regulatory, and humane aspects of the veterinary field.

Consisting of 69 credit-hours, this associate in applied science program includes classes such as introduction to microbiology; veterinary medical terminology; veterinary technology anatomy; veterinary technology physiology; veterinary technology radiology; veterinary technology pharmacology; animal pathology; veterinary clinic management; and wild, zoo, and lab animal care.

OSU also boasts a vibrant Veterinary Technician Student Association (VTSA)—the third-largest student group on campus—which was founded in 1997 and holds fundraising events to promote animal welfare. Notably, 71.4 percent of OSU program graduates passed the VTNE between 2017 and 2020.

Graduates will be able to take up opportunities at veterinary medical laboratories, military veterinary services, state and federal regulatory agencies, wild or exotic animal practices, biomedical research, and racetrack medicine.

  • Location: Oklahoma City, OK
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: Oklahoma resident ($151.25 per credit); non-resident ($394.50 per credit)

Online Vet Tech Programs for Oklahoma Students

For aspiring OK vet techs who live in more rural regions of the state or have professional or personal time commitments preventing them from attending an on-campus program, there are some online veterinary technology schools available. These programs involve a combination of online coursework and clinical training which are completed in approved veterinary facilities close to a student’s home.

As of November 2021, there were ten CVTEA-accredited online programs across the country.

Purdue University

One standout option is available through Purdue University which offers a distance-based associate in applied science degree in veterinary nursing. The veterinary nursing distance learning (VNDL) program allows students to gain the necessary knowledge, skills, and information required for practicing as veterinary nurses.

This competitive program comprises 70 credits including courses in subjects such as small animal nursing; anatomy for veterinary technicians; diagnostic imaging; clinical pathology; operating room techniques and sterilization; and parasitology. In addition to web-based coursework, students complete 18 clinical mentorships at approved facilities to put their knowledge to the test in an empirical setting.

Graduates of Purdue’s VNDL program had an astonishing 96.4 percent first-time pass rate on the VTNE between 2018 and 2021.

  • Location: West Lafayette, IN
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (HLC-NCA)
  • Expected Time to Completion: 36 months
  • Estimated Tuition: $270 per credit

San Juan College

San Juan College also provides an online associate program in veterinary technology where students learn to assist in diagnostic imaging, pharmacology, surgical, and clinical procedures and gain the business skills necessary to meet the needs of the veterinary technology profession. Graduates will be eligible to sit for the National Veterinary Technology Examination and similar regional board exams.

The program consists of 76 to 80 credits including courses such as small animal diseases; pharmacology & medical therapeutics; veterinary medical terminology; veterinary business procedures; vet anesthesia & surgical assisting; vet clinical pathology; and vet anatomy & physiology.

Finally, 86.8 percent of San Juan College’s graduates between 2018 and 2021 passed the VTNE on their first attempt.

  • Location: Farmington, NM
  • Accreditation: AVMA-CVTEA; Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Expected Time to Completion: Six semesters
  • Estimated Tuition: New Mexico residents ($52 per credit); non-NM residents ($164 per credit)

To discover other web-based vet tech programs, please visit the online veterinary technician programs page.

Vet Tech Registration in Oklahoma

As mentioned in the introduction, veterinary technicians must be registered with the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (OBVME) to qualify to work in the state. The application packet to become a registered veterinary technician (RVT) includes:

  • Notarized application
  • Photograph of applicant
  • Signed “Applicant Affirmation”
  • Proof of having graduated from an AVMA-accredited vet tech program
  • Two letters of recommendation from RVTs or licensed veterinarians
  • Passing score (70 percent or above) on the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE)
  • Passing score (70 percent or above) on the OK State Veterinary Technician Exam (SVTE)
  • Application fee

This credential is valid for one year and must be renewed annually.

Vet Tech Program Accreditation

Aspiring veterinary technicians in Oklahoma are encouraged to seek out accredited programs to qualify for registration with the Oklahoma State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (OBVME). As mentioned above, the predominant accreditation body for vet tech programs nationally is the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA). The CVTEA weighs several factors in its program-approval process, including the school’s institutional accreditation, how finances are managed, the availability of resources, the quality of faculty & curricula, admissions processes, and student outcomes.

For an in-depth examination of how each of these is evaluated, please check out the AVMA’s vet tech program accreditation standards page.

Jocelyn Blore (Chief Content Strategist)

After graduating from UC Berkeley, Jocelyn traveled the world for five years as an English teacher and freelance writer. After stints in England, Japan, and Brazil, she settled in San Francisco and worked as a managing editor for a tech company. When not writing about veterinary technology, nursing, engineering, and other career fields, she satirizes global politics and other absurdities at Blore’s Razor.