If you enjoy caring for animals, whether yours or from others, you show promise as a veterinarian.  But you don’t have to go through the rigors of becoming one which is equivalent to a medical career. You can simply be a veterinary technician which has become an indispensable in animal health care.

Education and Training required

Becoming one is akin to being a nurse but in addition, you also get trained as a lab, radiology and pharmacy technician as well as an animal anesthesiologist along with administrative skills in maintaining medicines and treatment records. A 2-3 year credentialed degree as an Associate in Science majoring in veterinary qualifies you to become a veterinary technician.  Just be sure you get it from any of the conventional and online schools accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).

Veterinary Technician Getting the Job

A certification in the state where you want to practice gives you an edge in landing a higher paying job and opens up career opportunities but years of experience has more to do with getting a higher salary than a degree.

Job opportunities include being an assistant to a veterinarian in pet clinics or in specialized areas to handle equipment in radiology, laboratory testing and as an anesthesiologist.  There are also jobs waiting for you in pharmaceutical companies focused on pet care. You could get employment in a highly competitive job as one in a zoo where you specialize in managing exotic and wild animals either for research, conservation, care and treatment.

Veterinary Technician Working Conditions

Working like a nurse to assist veterinarians, your job requires you to properly handle and restrain pets for treatment or diagnostic procedures, conduct lab tests, administer anesthetics and do office clerical work.  In a zoo, you get exposed to a more demanding environment doing much of the same but dealing with wild and exotic animals. If you work in a pharmaceutical lab, expect to work in sterilized clean rooms in your research work.

Veterinary Technician Salary and Benefits

Pay scales from various pet hospitals, labs, clinics, labs and pharmaceutical firms average from $10.22 to a high of $17.  Pharmaceuticals often pay more.  Annualized, the salary of a veterinarian technician ranges from $22,600 to $33,600 according to the US labor statistics. The NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) reports that a licensed vet tech earned as much as $80,000 in 2009. Some states offer higher salary than others like Seattle topping the list.

Alternative Description

Veterinary Technician Job Profile and Description

A veterinary technician is an individual who is responsible for carrying out clinical work under the direction of a licensed veterinarian. They have to perform numerous medical tests and diagnose the medical conditions of animals in order to detect the disease. They may have to perform tests in laboratory for blood count and urine analysis.

It is the duty of a veterinary technician to take blood samples and prepare tissue samples. They need to be aware about all the medical equipments used in the veterinary clinic. They have to check whether the medical equipments are in proper working conditions and prepare them for the treatment conducted by the veterinarian. They must have knowledge about usage of diagnostics equipments and tests tubes. They assist the veterinarian in the treatment process of an animal.

Veterinary Technician Duties and Responsibilities

There are numerous duties and responsibilities required to be carried out by a veterinary technician. They are as follows:

  • Assisting the veterinarian in performing health care duties on animals
  • Administering the injection to be given to an animal
  • Applying dressings on wound and handing over surgery equipments and materials to the veterinarian during the surgical procedure
  • Performing laboratory tests like blood count and urine analysis
  • May have to assist veterinarians in inseminating animals
  • Have to prepare an animal before treatment
  • Ensuring that the equipments are in proper working order
  • Assisting in preparing prescriptions and dispensing medication refills
  • Sometimes discussing the condition of a pet with its owner
  • Providing training to new personnel recruited in the clinic
  • Holding and restraining animals during examination process
  • Taking signals of the animals under supervision of the veterinarian

Veterinary Technician Skills and Specifications

The skills and specifications required in order to work as a veterinary technician are as follows:

  • Must be patient in nature
  • Needs to be caring in animals
  • Must possess the ability to handle animals
  •  Should always be alert
  • Necessary to have good communication skills
  • Must have excellent coordination skills
  • Needs to have willingness to learn

Veterinary Technician Education and Qualification

The educational requirement and qualification required to work a veterinary technician are:

  • Must undergo a 2 or a 4 year degree in veterinary technology
  • License to practice

Veterinary Technician Salary

The average annual salary of a veterinary technician is $30000.