Veterinary technologists and technicians essential career information:
- 2011 median pay: $30,290
- 2011, number of jobs: 83,350
- Employment growth forecast, 2010-2020: 52 percent
- Entry-level education requirements: Associate’s degree
Veterinary technologists and technicians; what they do:
Veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians are indispensable to veterinarians, as they provide a substantial amount of active medical care to animals, while under the veterinarian’s supervision.
While working directly with the veterinarian, a veterinary technologist and veterinary technician helps perform an array of medical tests, take x-rays, and helps diagnose animal illnesses and injuries.
Some veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians perform dental care on animals.
Veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians help administer first aid to animals brought in with an emergency. They may also help prepare animals for surgery and administer anesthesia then monitor the animal’s reactions to the anesthetic.
Veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians may work anywhere from a private clinic to an animal hospital to a veterinary testing laboratory. They may also specialize in dental technology, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, or zoological medicine.
Veterinarian technologists generally have a bachelor’s degree. Some veterinary technologists work in private clinical practices, however many veterinarian techs work in advanced research-related jobs, often under the guidance of a veterinarian or a scientist.
Veterinary technicians typically have an associate’s degree and work in private clinical practices under a veterinarian’s supervision.
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Veterinary technologist and technician job titles:
- Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
- Animal Technician
- Licensed Veterinary Technician
- Certified Veterinary Technician
- Veterinary Assistant
- Veterinary Nurse
- Internal Medicine Veterinary Technician
- Emergency Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Education, Certification and License Requirements
A veterinary technician career begins with an Associate’s of Veterinary Technology degree, while a veterinary technologist career typically begins with a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology degree. Both types of degrees must come from a program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Veterinary technologist and technician programs cover subjects such as:
- Animal nutrition
- Laboratory procedures
Veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians must become registered, licensed or certified, depending on the state they wish to practice in. Most states require veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination.
Certification is not required, but recommended to demonstrate additional specialty and competency to future employers.
Veterinary technologists seeking to work in a research facility may obtain one of the following three levels of certification offered through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: Assistant laboratory animal technician, laboratory animal technician, or laboratory animal technologist.
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Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Job Outlook
Forecast: 52 percent employment growth from 2010 to 2020 for veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians, much faster than the average for all occupations.
The exponentially growing pet population increases the demand for veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians. Household pets have increased in status over the years; owners are willing pay more for their care. Advancements in veterinary care also increases the treatment options offered to animal owners.
As the human population grows, the safety of livestock meant for consumption needs more veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians closely monitoring it.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Salary
- 2011 median annual wage: $30,920
- 2011, workers at the 75th percentile annual wage: $36,580
- 2011, workers at the 25% percentile annual wage: $25,150
- Veterinary services industry
- Private clinics
- Animal hospitals
- Boarding kennels
- Animal shelters
- Rescue organizations