Veterinary technicians are responsible for the welfare of their animal patients. They wear many hats. They serve as animal nurses, patient advocates, anesthesia technicians, and more. Besides animal hospitals, veterinary techs work at private clinics, zoos, animal shelters, and on farms and ranches. The position requires a vast knowledge of medical and laboratory procedures which require years of education.
Types of Responsibilities
- Observe the behavior and condition of animals
- Provide emergency first aid to injured animals
- Administer anesthesia to animals and monitor their vitals
- Support veterinarians during surgery
- Administer medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
- Collect samples for lab tests
- Clean and sterilize equipment and instruments for the next procedure
- Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and cut animals’ hair
- Create detailed records of patient information
Salary and Job Outlook
The median average wage for vet techs is $16.88 an hour. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, this position is projected to grow 15 percent from 2020-2030, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Over the next decade, about 10,400 openings are projected each year.
How to Become a Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians need at least a 2-year associate’s degree and must pass a credentialing exam to become licensed, which is dependent on the requirements of the state in which they work. Most states require technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination. If you’re interested in becoming a vet tech, conduct research on universities or colleges that offer vet tech programs with a focus on agriculture. Visit your local animal clinic or a livestock farm to inquire about shadowing a technician for a day.
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