Many people believe Veterinary Technicians are people seen in white jackets helping the local animal doctor at the local veterinary clinic or hospital. The choice for careers within the Vet tech job sector is quite varied. Choices abound and professionals are needed working with extremely large animals usually travel to farms and ranches with a licensed veterinarian to perform a myriad of duties, such as taking vital signs or collecting blood samples. Regulations can change from state to state, but most large animal Veterinary Technicians are required to have a two-year Associate of Science degree or a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology from a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Veterinary Technicians must also pass a credentialing exam issued by each state.
Career Profile for a Veterinary Technician for Large Animals
Vet techs for large animals tend to work in rural areas, as most of their tasks are performed on location at farms and ranches. Under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian, Veterinarian Technicians will carry out many jobs, such as giving injections, administering oral medication, lacing an indwelling catheter and placing a mouth speculum. Veterinary Technicians for large animals should also have an understanding of production medicine. This type of medicine involves treating the entire herd as opposed to just the individual animal. A unique skill that should be learned by large animal Veterinary Technicians is rope work. Basic knots, such as a quick release and a clove hitch, can be very useful when dealing with livestock.
Other Than Staying On the Farm
Vet techs also find opportunities working with large, and exotic, animals at zoos and wildlife refuges and preserves. Here’s where you may run into assisting with the medical care of the aforementioned elephant along with other large and exotic animals, many indigenous to lands far, far away. Techs at zoos and wildlife operations help with daily chores administering drugs, helping in surgery, monitoring animal health and providing activity for preventive care. Techs also get involved in non-medical activities such as helping maintain records, equipment upkeep, and inventory of supplies as well as possibly supervising other staff. Techs also get involved in onsite and outreach educational programs.
Occupational Outlook for a Veterinary Technician for Large Animals
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that job opportunities for Veterinary Technicians in general are expected to grow by 41 percent between 2006 and 2016. Employment openings for Veterinary Technicians for large animals may not be as abundant as other fields, but due to the rural environment of the profession, the competition is not as copious. In 2006, the average wage for Veterinary Technicians as a whole was $12.88 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Education Prerequisites for a Veterinary Technician for Large Animals
Veterinary Technicians for large animals should have a two-year associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree in Veterinary Technology from a college accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Veterinary Technicians for large animals must also pass a state issued credentialing exam. According to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians, www.navta.net, the credentialing exam used by most states is Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE).