Veterinary Technician Jobs are in demand, and it is a growing field. Vet techs, sometimes referred to as veterinary technologists, veterinary assistants, certified vet techs, registered veterinary technicians, and even “Pet Nurses”, perform essentially similar jobs for the veterinarian that a nurse would do, who works in private practice, with a doctor. If your passion is to work with animals on an medical level, then this is the occupation for you.
Basically, there are two different classifications when it comes to veterinary technician jobs; veterinary technicians work in private practices and have an associate degree, and their counterparts the veterinary technologists have bachelor’s degrees which open more opportunities. Veterinary technologists will sometimes work in positions like research jobs in biomedical facilities, wildlife organizations, and laboratories.
Veterinary Technicians Salary
Veterinarian technicians make a median annual wage of about $30,000. The middle 50 percent earn between $24,000 and $34,000, with the highest earners in excess of $42,000 per year. Standard benefits typically apply, depending upon the organization the veterinary technician works with.
Veterinary Tech Job Descriptions
Veterinary technicians assist the veterinarian in caring for animals, in a private practice, an emergency animal hospital, in a zoo or aquarium, or even at the animal’s home on occasion. Veterinary technicians frequently must lift, hold, or restrain animals, as well as clean cages and help with grooming. They are often at risk for bites and scratches. Most people in these jobs are animal lovers, so it can be difficult to witness animals that show signs of abuse or the vet deems euthanasia is the only option for because of their age or serious illness. Dealing with the public is another aspect of the job that can be trying, especially for those vet techs who work at animal shelters or with rescue organizations and abuse prevention centers.
Much of a vet tech’s work can be unpleasant, and emotionally and physically demanding. There are statistics that show full time veterinary technicians and technologists have a work-related injury rate much higher than the national average, as the work can sometimes be dangerous.
Overall job opportunities in this line of work are excellent, with those jobs in aquariums and zoos in the greatest demand, and with a lot of competition.
Some research facilities, emergency hospitals, and animal shelters are open 24 hours a day, so some veterinary technicians work the overnight shifts. Most full time workers in this occupation work the standard 40 hour work week, but some might work 50 hours a week or more.