Overview of Vet Tech Specialties (VTS)

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in a clinical setting such as an animal hospital or private veterinarian’s office. Many of them also work in zoos, aquariums and research facilities. A veterinary technician specialist (VTS) requires additional training in order to receive credentials in one of the ten specialties recognized by The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

VTS (Anesthesia) – $48,000/year salary
Uses anesthesia and analgesics to lessen or eliminate an animal’s discomfort during a medical procedure. Duties include preparing and administering anesthesia under the veterinarian’s supervision, adjusting dosages as necessary during surgery and assisting animals with recovery from anesthesia.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists

VTS (Surgical) – $39,000/year salary
Assists with common surgical procedures such as orthopedic or soft tissue operations, as well as wound management and assistance with diagnostic exams. Technicians maintain the operating and recovery areas, clean and prepare surgical instruments and medical equipment, administer anesthesia or other pre-surgery medications, and perform post-surgical care.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians

VTS (Internal Medicine) usually pursues a sub-specialty, such as cardiology, neurology or oncology. Another option is to focus specifically on either large or small animals.
For more information: Academy of Internal Medicine for Veterinary Technicians

VTS (Dental) – $44,000/year salary
Provides dental services to all types of animals, usually under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians

VTS (Emergency & Critical Care) – $38,000/year salary
Works in a hospital or urgent care setting. In addition to addressing emergencies, technicians observe and treat animals with critical illnesses.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Technicians

VTS (Behavior) facilitates human-animal cooperation and bonding, from domestic pet training to working with zoos and wildlife. Specialists might also focus on animal therapy, behavior modification or research and education.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians

VTS (Zoo) is trained in all aspects of zoological medicine, from basic health care to dentistry and diagnostic work.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians

VTS (Equine) focuses on horse health and wellness, which usually requires certain physical abilities to handle and treat horses.
For more information: American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians

VTS (Clinical Practice) typically works in private practice, specializing in canines and felines, exotic companion animals, or production animals.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice

VTS (Nutrition) specializes in basic animal nutrition, along with providing care related to food allergies and special nutritional needs.
For more information: Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians