There’s an Opening at the Zoo

No, I’m not talking about the door to get inside. There’s a job for a vet tech in case you don’t want to work with cats and dogs. Not that there’s anything wrong with cats and dogs except that they usually have these annoying humans at the end of their leashes. So, if you are looking to avoid interaction with highly emotionally charged humans, working in a facility like a zoo allows you to limit animal care to – well – animals!

Exotic Duties, too

Although your veterinary technician education may not cover dealing with large animals like an elephant or giraffe, skills learned will be put to the test and you should face a great deal of on-the-job training. However, the competition for vet tech jobs at zoos is pretty competitive sand individual applicants need to rise above everyone else if hoping to secure a position. Your daily activity is definitely dealing with what are non-pet animals so you need to begin a plan once you start your education.

Education is the Key

Don’t let yourself be in the position wanting a career in exotics after you’ve received your associate or bachelor degree in veterinary technology. When selecting a vet tech program, inquire about exotics training and ask how the school can help you reach your career goal working at a zoo. A good idea sometimes is to inquire at a zoo about the variety of positions open to vet techs and what type of training and education is necessary as a minimum requirement to obtain the position. You should ask prospective schools about internship opportunities at zoos. If you plan before selecting a school or program, you can acquire the necessary education and valuable experience that will look great on a resume when applying for a zoo job.

What are the Characteristics of a Great Zoo Vet Tech

Passion and compassion need to be inherent characteristics possessed by a great zoo vet tech. Conservation knowledge needs to be an important acquired skill since one of the goals for many zoos is to preserve what is threatened in the wild. A great vet tech has to be patient, have a sense of humor and be dedicated to the animals being served. Additionally, great zoo vet techs need to have the right physical conditioning dealing with large animals where lifting ability and endurance may play larger consideration than strength. An understanding that a variety of different tasks need to be performed throughout a work shift plus facing different risks being expose to radiology, anesthesia, pathogens and other biohazards as well. A great zoo vet tech needs to work unsupervised possessing the ability to make critical care decisions adapting to new species and new health scenarios that prior training may not have covered or did just briefly.

More than Medical

Often zoo vet techs are, indeed, zookeepers, too. Duties may include all activities related to the daily maintenance of zoo animals including washing, grooming, feeding and exercising. A great vet tech may be called upon to become an integral part of the zoo programs aimed at providing information about animal conservation, public education about species characteristics and other interaction duties with facility visitors.

Penn Foster College
A.A.S. in Veterinary Technology
Penn Foster College - Distance Learning Program
Become a vet tech in as little as 1 year. The Penn Foster Veterinary Technician associate degree program is fully accredited by the AVMA.
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  • Lauren

    Are there any Vet Tech schools that emphasize exotic/zoo animals?