Vets rely heavily on both veterinary assistants and veterinary techs to help provide quality care for animals. The two jobs might sound similar, but there are distinct differences to be aware of between a vet tech vs. a vet assistant.
Vet Tech vs. Assistant
Veterinary Techs can expect to earn 35% more annually than veterinary assistants. This difference is attributable to education and training. A two-year associate’s degree from an accredited veterinary technology program is required for veterinary techs. Passage of the Veterinarian Technician National Exam and a credential are also required by most states.
Veterinary Technicians may perform any or all of the following daily tasks:·
- Observe behavior and condition of animals
- Provide nursing care or emergency first aid to recovering or injured animals
- Administer anesthesia to animals
- Collect laboratory samples, such as blood, urine, or tissue for testing
- Perform laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts
- Take and develop X rays
- Prepare animals and instruments for surgery
- Administer medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
- Collect and record patients’ case histories
As the field of veterinary assisting grows, more and more clinics and hospitals prefer to hire veterinary assistants who already have professional training working with animals. However, a post-secondary training program is not a requirement. Veterinary assistants may perform any or all of the following daily tasks:
- Monitor and care for animals after surgery
- Sterilize surgical equipment
- Clean and disinfect cages, kennels, and examining and operating rooms
- Help provide emergency first aid to sick or injured animals
- Give medication or immunizations that veterinarians prescribe
- Do routine laboratory tests, such as taking X rays
- Feed and bathe animals
- Collect samples such as blood, urine, or tissue for testing
Vet Assistant vs. Vet Tech Salary
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics calculated the veterinary tech 2010 median annual pay of $29,710 compared to the veterinary assistant median annual pay of the same year at $22,040.
There are some distinct differences between vet techs and vet assistants, and the salary for a veterinary tech is clearly a cut above. So enroll in one of the top veterinary tech schools in St. Louis at Midwest Institute and get started on a two-year associate’s degree as a veterinary tech today!