If you’d love to become a veterinary technician, you’ll be glad to know that pet ownership has been on the surge since the late 1980s. Today, the majority of Americans own a pet – or around sixty-seven percent of American households, which is about eighty-five million families, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, which was published by the III (Insurance Information Institute). Since you’re probably a pet enthusiast yourself, you might consider this a great career fit, especially once you get an idea of the field.
Veterinary Technician Job Description
Veterinary technicians work in coordination with veterinarians to ensure that their clients are four-legged beings who live long and healthy lives. Like many professionals who function in assistant-type positions, their role includes a variety of tasks(1).
- Keeps patient records up-to-date
- Cleans cages
- Takes vital signs
- Maintains compliance with legal regulations
- Bandages wounds
- Administers medications, vaccines, and drugs
- Prepares and sterilizes the proper supplies and instruments
- Completes X-ray, lab, and other diagnostic tests
- Assists during medical procedures, exams, and operations
Veterinary Technician Industry
Vet techs often work in animal hospitals, clinics, and laboratories, where they might be confused with veterinary technologists. This is understandable since their tasks often overlap. Two major differences separate the jobs:
The level of schooling necessary to obtain an entry-level role in the field (a 2-year associate’s degree for a vet technician and a 4-year bachelor’s degree for a vet technologist)
The level of responsibility, which may be higher for a vet technologist
Deciding whether it’s advantageous to become a veterinary technologist depends on your long-term career goal. If a technologist wishes to advance to the role of veterinarian, it is possible to acquire a B.S. degree.
Still, with the proper specialization, veterinary technicians can expand their job options. For instance, those with a specialty in equine nursing could work on a farm or a ranch. Those with a specialization in zoological medicine can work at a zoo.
Veterinary Technician Education Requirements
Both veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists major in veterinary technology; it’s the amount of schooling that serves as the major differentiator. The programs must be taught at a school that is accredited by the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association).
Afterward, most states require technicians and technologists to pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) – a credentialing exam – offered by the AAVSB (American Association of Veterinary State Boards).
This is where being more than a pet enthusiast helps; so too does a background in biology and other science courses, according to the BLS.
Veterinary Technician Salary
The bureau groups together the median salaries of veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists, though a veterinary technologist salary is most likely higher since more education is needed.
According to the BLS, the median vet tech hourly pay was $16.98 in 2019. This assessment of a vet tech hourly wage means that half of these employees made more than that amount, and half made little. Based on a forty-hour workweek, the median veterinary technologist salary is about $35,300.
The 5 states that pay the highest annual median salaries are:
- District of Columbia
- New York
How Much Do Veterinary Technicians Make
Careers in Europe: The average salary for a Veterinary Technician is €29,989 a year and €14 an hour in France. The average salary range for a Veterinary Technician is between €22,868 and €35,826.
Careers in Asia: A person working as a Veterinary Technician in Malaysia basically earns around 5,570 MYR per month. Salaries range from 2,710 MYR (lowest) to 8,790 MYR (highest).
[ Also Read: How Much Veterinarians Really Make]
Veterinary Technician Growth Trend
Nearly 110,000 people worked as veterinary technicians or technologists in 2018, according to the BLS. And the domain is estimated to add more than 21,000 jobs by 2028. This represents a growth rate of nearly twenty percent, which means the area is growing quicker than average.
Does this mean more people are becoming pet owners – continuing that trend from the 1980s? Maybe. And it also means that pet lovers can feel confident in their decision to become vet techs.