Degree Programs For Veterinary Technicians : Online And Campus Schools

Career Information

Veterinary Technicians: Career, Salary and Education Information

Career Profile: What do Veterinary Technicians do?
Veterinary technicians work under the supervision of veterinarians to perform routine laboratory and clinical positions. Filling a role similar to a nurse, veterinary technicians provide expert assistance to animals and their owners.

Animal lovers often thrive as veterinary technicians due to the high level of animal interaction. technicians get a chance to help ease discomfort, remedy ailments, and comfort frightened animals in the veterinary office. The job is not without its challenges, however, and technicians must sometimes endure the physically and emotionally demanding job of caring for animals.

A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Technician
While a veterinary technician's duties can vary based on training and location, all technicians are typically required to perform medical tests, take blood samples, assist with dental work, and analyze patients and test results. Because most veterinary technicians are found in the private offices of veterinarians, they are typically accustomed to working with a few select types of animal, such as large breeds, horses, or small companion animals.

Work for veterinary technicians is sometimes unpleasant and dangerous, due to the unpredictability of hurt or sick animals. Communication is an important aspect of the job because technicians must often work with animal owners along with veterinarians.

Veterinary Technician Training and Education
Associate's degree programs are the most popular training path for veterinary technicians. The two-year program typically covers courses in veterinary technology, Veterinary office management, animal anatomy and physiology, and animal parasitology. Some courses are taught using live animals in clinical settings.

All states require veterinary technicians to pass a credentialing exam following their coursework. Certified technicians can then apply for jobs in the field. After hire, veterinary technicians often continue their training under the supervision of the veterinarian and office-specific policies are taught at the same time.

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Veterinary Technician Employment & Outlook
Employment for veterinary technicians is expected to grow along with the number of pet owners nationwide. Advancement for technicians can come in the form of promotion to supervisory and training positions as new technicians enter the field and veterinarians hire on new workers.

About 29,000 new veterinary technician jobs are expected to be added to the field through 2016, making it one of the fastest-growing careers of all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 41 percent job growth, due in part to affluent pet owners looking for intensive care treatments for their animals.

Typical Veterinary Technician Salary
Veterinary technicians saw mean annual earnings of $28,920 in 2007, according to a report by the BLS. Hourly wages were $13.90. While the vast majority of veterinary technicians worked in veterinary offices, those working in the federal government earned the highest salaries, at $43,380. Veterinary technicians working for pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing earned $42,240.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians