Becoming a Vet Tech can be the First Career Step

Jerry has worked at Petco since high school but has recently decided to pursue an education as a veterinary technician by studying online. His involvement at his job has led him to develop a keen interest in animals as well as providing for their well-being. Sure, on-the-job training has given him a little bit of an education but has not provided him with the credentials necessary to actually change his profession to a veterinary technician. Since he first started working at Petco at the age of 16, there’ve been many new technologies that have revolutionized the field of veterinary medicine. These new technologies are not only advancing the improvement of pet healthcare, but also created a great deal of new jobs for highly trained individuals who receive education through accredited programs either online or through traditional veterinary schools throughout the country.

A Vet Tech is a Valuable Assistant

Due to an ever-growing population of domestic pets in the United States, an increasing demand for pet healthcare services has grown as well. There are not enough trained veterinarians to go around and skilled technicians are also in demand and perform a variety of both clinical and technical tasks in private practices, research labs, animal shelters, pet store companies, aquariums and even zoos. The techs play important assistant roles that free up veterinarians who can spend more time doing diagnostic chores and directing treatment. Jerry knows he’s made a wise choice because the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that there is going to be a 41 percent growth demand by the year 2016 for qualified vet techs. Additionally, in certain parts of the country in certain circumstances, veterinary technicians can earn as much as $80,000 according to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Jerry is Aiming Higher
Although Jerry has a plan to succeed gaining an education to become a veterinary technician by pursuing a course of study from an accredited online school, becoming a vet tech is just a step toward his ultimate dream. During his tenure as a pet specialist at Petco, Jerry became involved in a voluntary position dealing with Animal Assisted Therapy where employment opportunities are almost limitless right now since it has only recently become a structured course of study and is expected to increase in opportunity throughout the next decade. There is a great demand for veterinary technicians but there is a greater demand for trained Animal Assisted Therapy specialists.

What does an Animal Assisted Therapy Specialist Do?

Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Specialists are trained to understand, recognize and master the behavioral patterns of animals and employ techniques using animals that produce beneficial physical, social and mental conditions through the coexistence between an animal and a human being. Theses therapists conduct both structured and non-structured utilization of animal to human contact for therapeutic aspects providing recovery and rehabilitation for people with both severe and chronic diseases.

How is the Therapy Performed?

There are several benefits derived from animal assisted therapy compared to other time-honored therapies. One obvious benefit is reduction of cost considering that the only treatment mechanism utilized in such a program is one animal. Therapy animals are used to help patients increase sensation, mobility, range of motion, endurance. Animals also help therapists recognize any perceptual problems that the patient might be experiencing.

Education Required
Jerry realizes that advanced education is necessary to pursue his dream and goal of becoming an Animal Assisted Therapy specialist. Therefore, he plans to obtain along with his veterinary technician certification a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy as well. He can then pursue accredited course that he and animal assisted therapy recommended by organizations such as The International Alliance for Animal Therapy and Healing (IAATH). Any AAT education might focus on elderly care, social work plus a variety of different specialties.

Eventually, as practice acceptance of Animal Assisted Therapy grows, certain positions within this industry will require a master’s degree in order to be a licensed therapist. An individual seeking to improve or attain new levels of professional and personal satisfaction should look to increase their education opportunities in Animal Assisted Therapy.