Getting a Vet Tech Job at the Zoo

The veterinary technician is among the healthcare careers that are growing at a phenomenal pace. In fact, Veterinary Technicians are in demand in many kinds of settings. In zoos, for instance, they assume a very important role. They monitor the health of zoo animals, which are commonly exotic, help the certified Veterinarian in performing medical procedures, run diagnostic and laboratory exams, administer treatments and determine the animals’ food allocation.

Zoo Vet Tech Salary

(source: Indeed)
Vet techs at the zoo can expect to earn $40,000/year depending on experience and geographical location.

If you plan to take this career path, expect that it will be rewarding in every sense primarily because the job allows you to offer assistance in upholding the well-being of animals for the purpose of preservation and education. To begin your journey toward a veterinary career, here is some information on how to become a Zoo Vet Tech.

1. Understand that the job of a Zoo Vet Tech is extensive.
Before you satisfy all academic and credential requirements for a Zoo Vet Tech, you must first have a proper understanding of the job. While the Vet Technician job is directed at providing the Veterinarian with the necessary assistance, the job is different from that of Zoo Assistants. A Zoo Vet Tech is highly skilled to perform medical assignments such as administering medicines or operating medical equipment. And although a Zoo Vet Tech cannot perform major clinical duties such as diagnosis, medication prescription, and surgeries, he or she can help in designing a treatment plan and assisting in the diagnostic and surgical procedures.

2. Get a degree in Veterinary Technology.
Veterinary Technology is offered as an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree at Veterinary Technician schools; however, only a few schools offer a bachelor’s degree. But whether you choose a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree, make sure the training program of your choice has a coursework that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

3. Earn certification.
After earning your degree at one of the veterinary schools, you will need to concentrate on getting certified. Certification requirements include completion of an AVMA-accredited training program and internship. Most states use the Veterinary Technician National Examination and have different titles for a certified Vet Tech. Depending on your state, you can be called a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) or Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT).

4. Look for potential employers.
Zoo Veterinary Technicians have career opportunities that will invariably increase after gaining certification because there is an expected increase in the demand for Zoo Vet Techs. So what you need to do is list all the potential jobs and apply with each of them. Although your most obvious workplace is a zoo, you have the option to involve yourself in the actual delivery of healthcare service or conduct research work in zoos, especially if you continue your Vet Tech training and continuing education.

5. Continue to invest in your skills and expertise.
Whether you are immediately hired or still looking for work, do not allow your skills and expertise to stagnate. Continue to improve your acquired skills and develop new ones. It will help if you participate in training seminars, read published articles and journals, and submit to the mentorship of your supervising Veterinarian.

The job of a Zoo Vet Tech is not without downsides. For instance, Zoo Veterinary Technicians are exposed to health risks and injuries due to sick and misbehaving animals. It also is both physically and emotionally draining. It is physically draining because you will need to work for extended hours and on weekends and holidays, carry large zoo animals and exert a great deal of effort in doing all your medical duties. It is emotionally draining especially when you take care of sick and dying animals, with which you might have an emotional attachment.

Still, at the end of the day, these downsides comprise just a small portion of the job. The larger part of the job is fully rewarding.