Interested in working with animals? Take a look at our Veterinary Technician program! Veterinarians today rely heavily on veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants to help provide quality care for animals. There are some differences between veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants to be aware of, but this page will focus specifically on veterinary technicians.
Veterinary technician college requirements usually involve 2-year associate’s degree in a veterinary technology program. They generally work in private clinical practices under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Technicians may perform laboratory tests, such as urinalysis, and help veterinarians conduct a variety of other diagnostic tests.
Although some of their work is done in a laboratory setting, many technicians also work with animal owners, explaining a pet’s condition or how to administer prescribed medication.
Other duties and responsibilities may include:
- Observing the behavior and condition of animals
- Providing nursing care or emergency first aid to recovering or injured animals
- Administering anesthesia to animals and monitoring their responses
- Collecting laboratory samples, such as blood, urine, or tissue, for testing
- Performing laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts
- Taking and develop x rays
- Preparing animals and instruments for surgery
- Administering medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
- Collecting and recording patients’ case histories
- Helping to euthanize sick, injured, or unwanted animals
Why Become a Veterinary Technician?
If the above duties didn’t spark your interest, consider these other perks associated with a degree as a veterinary tech:
- Vet Technicians are popular: Your job will be in high demand. The field of pet medicine is growing, and vets are going to need all the help they can get. They’re going to need YOU.
- Every day will vary: You’ll likely have few boring days. Your responsibilities and duties will range throughout each day as new challenges or situations present themselves.
- You get to work with animals: If this isn’t the biggest pull to get this degree, we’re not sure what is.
- It doesn’t take long to earn a veterinary technician degree: Other medical degrees require double the amount of time it’ll take you to earn this degree.
- You get to help people: What more can you want out of life?
Where Do Veterinary Technicians Work?
Veterinary technologists and technicians typically work in private clinics, laboratories, and animal hospitals. They may also work in boarding kennels, animal shelters, rescue leagues, and zoos.
Animals exist in a lot of places, subsequently veterinary technicians do too.
Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 30 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Because veterinarians perform specialized tasks, clinics and animal hospitals are increasingly using veterinary technologists and technicians to provide more general care and perform more laboratory work.
Veterinarians will continue to prefer higher skilled veterinary technologists and technicians over veterinary assistants for more complex work. There will also be demand for veterinary technicians in areas such as public health, food and animal safety, national disease control, and biomedical research on human health problems.
What Will I Make Working as a Veterinary Technician?
In 2011, vet techs earned an average hourly wage of $15.18, making $31,570 yearly. And the yearly income for a veterinary technician has gone up in recent years. The average veterinary technician salary in 2017 was $33,400, or $16.06 per hour.
That’s a pretty nice little income for someone living the dream job of getting to work with and help both people and animals.
Veterinary tech schools are a great option if you’re considering getting an associate’s degree as a veterinary technician. Veterinary technician schools in St. Louis don’t come any nicer than Midwest Institute. Take a look at our program today!