Becoming a Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technicians mostly work under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals. They perform laboratory and clinical duties, such as performing laboratory tests on blood and urine, drawing blood, developing X-rays, assisting in dental care, and providing injections to animals. In addition, they observe the behavior and condition of animals; administer anesthesia to animals, and monitor their responses; prepare animals and instruments for surgery; clean cages and lift, hold, or restrain animals, risking exposure to bites or scratches. These professionals may also go over medical histories with pet owners, as well as talk with owners about the care and treatment of their pets.
Veterinary Technicians often involve the care of dogs and cats. They may also work with other animals, such as horses, sheep, pigs, cattle, birds etc.
Veterinary Technicians are typically employed in private clinics and animal hospitals. They may also work in other settings such as military offices, pet day cares, laboratories, clinical research facilities etc. These skilled professionals usually work full time. Sometimes, they may be required to travel for delivering required services to their clients. However, their specific job duties vary by employer.
To become a Veterinary Technician, the aspiring candidates need to earn a two-year associate’s degrees in veterinary technology programs, accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The syllabus includes animal anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, hands-on technique, etc.
Although certification is not mandatory for these professionals, most states require Veterinary Technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), after completing an AVMA-accredited program.
Job Outlook and Salary
According to the BLS, job opportunities for Veterinary Technicians may grow 19% from 2014-2024, faster than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Veterinary Technician was $31,800 in May 2015.