What is CE?
CE stands for Continuing Education. All Certified/Licensed/Registered Veterinary Technicians are required to complete CE credits each year as part of maintaining their professional status. They can be technical in nature (i.e. an interactive lab course) or supportive in nature (i.e. management skills).
The number of required CE hours will vary from state to state, including how many hours of technical vs. supportive type credits you need. In Colorado, it is currently 20 credits per 2 year period – you can contact the CACVT for more information. www.cacvt.com.
CE hours are usually based on the number of hours you are in the class. Lecture classes usually convert straight across hour for hour (i.e. 1 hour lecture = 1 hour CE). For most states, lab classes convert differently (i.e. 1 hour lab = 0.5 hour CE). You need to ask your state how they calculate CE hours, as the approach will vary. The course description should list how many hours are available for that course.
CE classes that list approved CE hours have already cleared the number & type of hours with their state organization. If you are going to offer a course in your community yourself, you need to contact your state organization a couple of months ahead of time to see if you can get the course cleared for CE credits.
You can take a CE class for your own knowledge and as a resume-builder, but you can only count the credit after you graduate.
Bel-Rea offers a couple CE courses each quarter, but there are also many available in the community. Conferences, workshops, conventions, and CE lunches are commonly found in organizational newsletters. There are also some online and paper-version CE credits available through publications and veterinary websites.
The cost will vary greatly, from free to hundreds of dollars, depending on the type, length, and location of the course. Some include additional laboratory fees or require purchase of at textbook or manual.
Veterinary employers usually give their trained technicians an annual CE allowance. This benefit usually includes paid time off and money toward the class, as they want to encourage growth in their employees. They can also count CE as a business expense when they file their taxes. Consider tracking expenses not covered by your employer, as often times you can use the expenses as a tax write-off yourself. To find out what they offer, ask about CE funding as a benefit any time you interview with a potential employer.
Possibly. Before you take an international course, contact your state organization a couple of months ahead of time to see if you can get the course approved for CE.