Unsure About Being a Vet Tech? Volunteer or Seek an Entry-Level Position First - Vet Tech Guide
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Unsure About Being a Vet Tech? Volunteer or Seek an Entry-Level Position First

Have you been thinking about becoming a veterinary technician but are unsure if the career will suit you?

If so, why not consider trying out a related volunteer or entry-level position first?

There are several of these positions, and some of the most popular ones are described here.

Veterinary Assistants

Although many people use the terms veterinary technician and assistant interchangeably, these are two very different careers.

Check out the Complete Guide to Veterinary Assisting

However, the biggest difference is that assistants do not need any formal education whereas technicians do.

What this means is that assistants cannot perform many of the tasks that technicians can.

For example, veterinary assistants cannot administer vaccinations, draw blood or perform laboratory tests. While the tasks they are allowed to perform may vary depending on their employer’s needs, some of the tasks that they are most commonly allowed to perform are listed below.

  • Answering Phones
  • Scheduling Appointments
  • Handling Payments
  • Filing Paperwork
  • Restraining Animals
  • Cleaning Cages/Kennels
  • Cleaning Exam Rooms
  • Sterilizing Medical Equipment
  • Walking Dogs
  • Clipping Nails
  • Weighing Pets

Paid Kennel Hands

You do not need any formal education to work as a paid kennel hand either, and you can choose to work in a variety of settings including veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, boarding kennels, breeding kennels and grooming shops.

All of these businesses need people to maintain their kennel areas.

Common responsibilities of paid kennel hands are as follows.

  • Feeding and Watering Animals
  • Cleaning Cages, Kennels and Yards
  • Walking/Exercising and Playing with Animals
  • Bathing Animals and Brushing Their Hair
  • Washing Towels and Blankets
  • Washing Pet Bowls

Volunteers at Animal Shelters

Volunteering your time at a local animal shelter, humane society or SPCA can also help you determine whether or not you are cut out to work with animals.

These types of facilities are most often under-budgeted and are in great need of volunteers. When you choose to volunteer, you can typically work when it is convenient for you.

If you think that you may get terribly upset working in a facility that practices regular euthanasia, you can opt for a no-kill shelter instead.

Additionally, it can be quite tempting to take home many of the animals you see in shelters. However, unless you have the time and finances for them, you should try your best to ignore this temptation.

Secure Your Future Today!

Becoming a veterinary technician is a great choice for people who love animals.

Furthermore, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow by as much as 52 percent over the next several years.

Nevertheless, before you embark on your new career, you may want to find out if it will suit you first.

The best way to accomplish this is to spend some time volunteering or working within a similar occupation.

Although there are many similar jobs that you can choose from, you will find some of the most popular occupations described above.

All of these positions can help you determine whether or not you have what it takes to work as a vet tech.

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