Veterinary technicians are animal nurses that work in veterinary offices, animal clinics, emergency hospitals, rescues and shelters, and more. These individuals receive training and education at a vet tech school during a 2-year associate’s degree program which equips them to address basic and advanced animal health care issues. Here are a few of the primary things that veterinary technicians can expect to do on a daily basis once they get their first paying job.
Best 5 Veterinary Technician Schools
Becoming a veterinary technician is a choice that only those with a passion for helping animals make. With the requirements when it comes to education and experience, in addition to the demands in different types of work environments, this is not a job for the faint of heart. There are a number of different factors that affect the vet tech salary.
One important variable is the amount of hands-on experience with animals a candidate brings to the table. Most vet techs start in high school, by either volunteering or working part time for a local veterinarian. Continuing this throughout college will also help job prospects. An individual with 15 years as a veterinary technician will undoubtedly make more than someone fresh out of college.
For those who aren't satisfied with "just" a degree as a veterinary tech, there are certainly options in continuing education. If grades are high enough, one may choose to apply for a program to become a veterinarian. Most of these programs are incredibly difficult to gain entrance to, and work experience is beneficial. Some individuals that had previously been denied acceptance were later enrolled after gaining a few years of experience as a vet tech. Whatever choices you make, know that they all will be reflected in your veterinary tech salary.
Where Do Veterinary Technicians Work?
A career as a vet technician starts with proper training via a good vet technician program. An aspiring vet tech has to hurdle two obstacles on the road to accreditation; a two or four-year formal academic course, and a state-administered certification. Whether it's an associate's or a bachelor's degree, a reliable training program will prepare the aspiring veterinary technical for the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) and for placement in a clinic or laboratory. The certification process is overseen by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
Vet technician programs include internship and externship opportunities in their curriculum. A basic understanding of animal nursing is a requirement for all aspiring technicians. The student has to be knowledgeable in laboratory procedures, and must be willing to assist in all aspects of animal care, including surgical procedures.
A typical vet tech education curriculum includes the seven major areas of knowledge that have been identified by the AAVSB, namely: pharmacy and pharmacology, surgical preparation and assisting, dentistry procedures, laboratory procedures, animal nursing, radiology and ultrasound, and anesthesia. Additional knowledge in public health, physiology, and zoonotic diseases will further enhance a veterinary technician's performance.
Newly certified vet technicians work under the direct supervision of licensed technicians for proper on-the-job training and hands-on experience in working with animals. They also need to be totally familiar with all laboratory and medical equipment required in doing surgery and laboratory work.
In summary, there is no short cut to becoming a vet technician. Proper training and preparation are very important. From thereon, they can then steadily build up their careers and grow into the profession. Education, along with a positive work attitude, good interpersonal skills and teamwork, will help the veterinary tech move up the career ladder. Love and compassion for animals is not sufficient; being properly trained to respond to their needs is important.