Veterinary Tech Training, Certification and Jobs Guide

If you’ve always wanted to work with animals, there hasn’t been a better time to become a veterinary technician, often shortened to vet tech.

Not only does the 2016 job market look incredibly strong for this profession, with the number of jobs estimated to grow by over 50 percent by the end of the decade, but it is also easy to earn your veterinarian technician degree.

A veterinarian technician degree is a good substitute for people who would like to work with animals but who do not have the time or finances to consider getting a veterinarian doctorate.

Unlike with many other jobs, a veterinarian technician only needs a two-year degree, which means that someone can earn their degree and get two years of job experience before several other people finish earning a four-year degree. A few years of earning a vet tech salary can put additional money in the bank while you do something that you love and have always wanted to do.

What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?

A veterinary technician assists veterinarians in a variety of ways.

Veterinary technicians are expected to perform and complete several tasks, including:

  • providing immediate emergency care to wounded animals.vet tech
  • administering.
  • explaining treatments and medications that are prescribed by a veterinarian.
  • diagnosing the condition of animals based on their behavior.
  • preparing for surgeries and administering anesthesia to animals.

Veterinary technicians are also responsible for a significant portion of lab work. Vet techs take x-rays, collect fluid samples and perform the required tests on the samples. In many ways, a veterinary technician is like a nurse for human doctors.

While most veterinarian technicians work in animal clinics, animal hospitals and veterinarian laboratories, there are some veterinarian technicians who work in the field of veterinarian medical research.

In these cases, a veterinarian technician will make sure that the test animals are treated with care and respect, and the veterinary technicians will also administer care to the animals as it is needed.

Because most vet technicians work with animal practitioners who specialize in small animals, a vet technician will usually be dealing with dogs and cats. However, vet technicians should also be trained for and prepared to deal with mice, birds, horses, sheep, rats, cattle and other assorted farm animals.

veterinary technicianVeterinarian technicians work in a demanding environment, both physically and emotionally. Vet technicians will potentially have to deal with abused animals, and they may also have to help euthanize animals for a variety of reasons.

Veterinarian technicians also experience on-the-job injuries at a much higher rate than the national average, according to the Bureau of Labor. Animals that are startled, scared or are simply aggressive can kick, scratch and bite vet technicians.

These injuries can occur at just about any time that a vet technician is holding or otherwise restraining an animal, which can include when an animal is being cleaned, being examined or being medicated.

Some animal clinics and laboratories aren’t unlike their human counterparts in that they have to be staffed around the clock. Some veterinarian technicians will have to work late hours, on weekends or even on certain holidays.

On the other hand, dealing with animals on a regular basis can be comforting and can be quite rewarding.

To be especially skilled at their jobs, veterinarian technicians should exhibit the following skills:

  • compassion,
  • communication,
  • attention to detail
  • a certain level of dexterity

Doctors and medical assistants of all varieties, including ones who take care of animals, have to exhibit a high level of compassion.

Not only must animals be treated with care and kindness, but veterinarians and veterinarian technicians also need to be sensitive to the emotional needs of the owners of ill or injured pets.

Additionally, veterinarian technicians need to be able to communicate well. Not only do vet technicians need to be in constant contact with members of their own office, but vet technicians also spend a lot of time counseling pet owners on proper treatment, animal behavior and animal hygiene.

Veterinarian technicians must also be able to have a steady hand and be able to pay attention to detail. A successful diagnosis depends in part on a veterinarian’s ability to accurately record information and monitor behavior.

It’s also important to have steady hands, especially when administering certain types of care, to ensure that the animal doesn’t needlessly suffer. Other tasks, like giving anesthesia, handling lab equipment or taking x-rays can also require dexterity.

Veterinarian Technician Schools and Degrees

Veterinarian technicians typically hold a two-year degree from an educational institution or a vet technician educational program. A veterinarian technician degree qualifies a person to work with a licensed veterinarian in an animal medical practice.

A veterinarian technician with this degree will perform a majority of the jobs that have been outlined in the previous section, including immediate animal care and lab work.

Veterinarian technicians will also frequently deal with animal owners and will need to explain what an animal’s condition is, how to care for an animal and how to properly administer medication to the animal.

There are close to two hundred veterinarian technician programs that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and that can confer upon a successful student a two-year veterinarian technician degree. In addition to a veterinarian technician degree, many states require a potential veterinarian technician to become certified or credentialed before they can practice.

In most states, this is accomplished through the Veterinarian Technician National Examination. Some vet tech schools require their students to take the test and become accredited as part of the coursework of the program. Vet tech schools that do not make taking the test mandatory in order to be eligible for graduation will still have several resources to help their students prepare for the examination.

Veterinarian technicians who wish to be employed in a research laboratory can obtain additional certification by taking the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) examination. While most laboratories and employers do not consider AALAS certification to be a requisite for employment, it does make a candidate more attractive and can lead to pay bonuses.

In addition to all of the brick-and-mortar educational institutions that offer veterinarian technician programs, there are also several online vet tech programs, and there are a handful of colleges that offer distance learning vet tech programs.

Matching School Ads
Penn Foster offers affordable, self-paced career-focused distance education programs in fields like business, criminal justice, health services, technology, engineering, paralegal studies and more.

Programs:

  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Your Accredited Degree from a TOP College Awaits! - Education Connection
  • Education Connection is a 100% Free College Matching Service used by 50,000 People Daily.
  • Affordable and Flexible Business Degree Programs from Top Colleges Across the Nation. Both Online And Campus!
  • Just Fill Out a Few Questions and You Can Find Your Perfect Business Degree Program Within Minutes.
  • Start Using our Fast, Free, and Easy Matching Service Right HERE and Right NOW!

Programs:

  • Kaplan University Online Degree Programs
  • Attend college on your terms. Kaplan University offers fully online degree programs that fit any schedule.

Programs:

  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!

Programs:

  • Flexible, online RN-BSN and MSN programs available
  • RN-BSN program is designed to help registered nurses earn their bachelor’s in as little as 9 months
  • Courses designed to expand on student’s prior knowledge and enhance their patient care skills

Programs:

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

Programs:

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

Programs:

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.  We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.

The field of technology is rapidly evolving to meet the growing demands of modern society. For those seeking a future in tech, this means maintaining skills, increasingknowledge and quickly adapting to change. For today’s students, however, successwill require dedication, commitment and access to education specifically designedto meet the demands of this dynamic industry.


Programs:

Maryville University is a private university in St. Louis County, Missouri. Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a comprehensive and nationally ranked private institution with an enrollment of more than 6,800 students.

Programs:

The University

With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.

Programs:

Vet Tech Jobs And Career Prospects

  • Most veterinarian technician jobs are focused within the veterinarian services sector.
  • These jobs are typically located in animal clinics, animal hospitals, and veterinarian laboratories.
  • Many of these jobs can also be located within private clinics, animal shelters, animal rescue organizations, zoos and boarding kennels.
  • The Bureau of Labor suggests that 91 percent of all vet technicians work in these types of jobs and environments.
  • Other veterinarian technician jobs can be found in the fields of disaster and emergency response services, food safety and biomedical research.

There are 80,200 people who are being employed as veterinarian technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor. The Bureau of Labor also projects that, over the next 10 years, the job market for veterinarian technicians will grow 52 percent, which is much higher than the national average of 14 percent.

Ultimately, this growth will result in 41,700 jobs being created in the next 10 years.

A licensed and accredited veterinarian technician will potentially be able to find employment quickly in urban, suburban and rural settings across the nation. Veterinarian technicians who have obtained specialized accreditation will be even more in demand and should be able to secure higher salaries.

In fact, the job market for veterinarian technicians is so strong that the number of open positions is expected to outpace the number of veterinarian technician graduates for the next several years.

The median pay for veterinarian technicians, according to the Bureau of Labor, is about $29,710. This translates to about $14.28 per hour. Veterinarian technicians who have specialized certification, however, have the potential to earn annual salaries of $38,000 to $48,000, depending on their specialization.

Furthermore, veterinarian technicians who work strictly in laboratory settings as a researcher tend to make more than their counterparts do. Veterinarian technicians employed by educational research laboratories, including university laboratories, have a median pay rate of about $36,000 per year.

Vet Tech Training Requirements And Programs By State

View schools in each state and what is required in that state to become a vet tech.


Vet Tech Specialties

Veterinarian technicians can specialize in a number of fields that include zoological medicine, anesthesia administration, dental care and emergency care.

Although all veterinarian technicians will be educated in all of these fields and might be expected to perform all of these services, students can still earn credentials in these fields to become more marketable to potential employers. Many of these specialties, once certification has been earned, can also translate into a boost in yearly salary.

What are you Waiting for?

For further information about how to become a veterinarian technician, including info on specific schools and programs, please consult other articles on our website.

And remember, it’s never too late to change your career path and do something that you’ve always wanted to do.

Earning a degree and becoming a veterinary technician can be done in as little as two years, and it can also put you in a place of safe employment for years to come.