A career in veterinary medicine could be rewarding if you love animals. There are numerous opportunities to serve the animals you care about. Career advancement in the veterinary field is now assured. The growing trend of animal adoption has increased the demand for veterinary services, thereby broadening the scope of the field.
Increased animal rights awareness and pet adoption are accompanied by increased demand for animal services. As a result, the outlook for veterinary jobs in the United States has improved dramatically. You can work as a veterinarian, vet tech, vet nurse, or as other clinic staff.
However, before beginning any career, it is critical to research it thoroughly. This article explains what a veterinary technician does, the time it takes to become one, career possibilities, and how much money they make. So, before jumping into a career, learn everything there is to know to avoid future regrets.
A Guide to Becoming a Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in providing quality care in many animal hospitals and clinics. Understanding more about a vet tech’s duties and qualifications can help you decide if this is a career path for you or not.
This article will give you an insight into their education, training, responsibilities, and earnings.
Who are Vet Technicians?
Veterinary technicians typically work under a veterinarian’s supervision and perform various medical tasks. For example, their duties include surgery preparation, post-surgery monitoring, and pet owner care counseling. Vet techs can also take up supervisory and management roles within a hospital. Furthermore, some technicians choose to work in a research facility. Hence, it is a diversified career.
How much time will it take?
The requirements to become a veterinary technician differ by specialty and state. Furthermore, the scope of practice in this field is defined by several regional laws. For example, some states do not require vet techs to be professionally credentialed, while others require them to be registered or licensed.
Specific requirements apply in states that require professional certification, licensure, or registration. Hence, it usually takes two to four years of postsecondary education from approved institutions. Furthermore, continuing education (CE) hours are sometimes required to maintain the credential.
Learn more about the following:
Vet techs must complete a two-year degree program. An associate degree in veterinary technology provides clinical and laboratory experience to the student and equips them to work on treating various animals.
This degree is the minimum requirement for vet tech entry-level positions. In addition, students have to take the licensing exams at the end of the associate program to practice in their state.
Veterinary technicians need to gain hands-on experience in any animal facility. Therefore, they must also complete an externship before graduating from college. During this training, students assist in various tasks like weighing animals, taking blood samples, cleaning animals, and surgery preparation.
They will also learn about animal handling, calming anxious animals, and recognizing signs of distress. After completing their training, graduates are qualified to work in veterinary practices, animal hospitals, or veterinary technologist program studies.
Veterinary technicians must pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) in most states. The American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) administers the exam and evaluates entry-level expertise in various areas. Aside from the VTNE, some jobs and states may require students to take additional certification exams.
What do they do?
Veterinary technicians are responsible for a wide range of tasks. A vet tech can perform any task that a veterinarian directs. However, they cannot make medical diagnoses, write prescriptions, or carry out surgical procedures.
The following are some typical vet technician duties and responsibilities:
- Monitoring and reporting animal health and behavior
- Giving general care as well as emergency first aid
- Animal grooming and bathing
- Getting animals ready for surgery
- Taking blood and other samples for testing
- Conducting diagnostic tests
- Assist in taking x-ray images of patients
- Administering medications and vaccines
- Anesthesia administration
- Holding animals for examination or surgery
- Recording animal medical histories
- Helping with research
- Counselling pet owners on animal care
What are their career options?
Technicians primarily assist veterinarians, so as a vet tech, you can work in a variety of veterinary-related settings. You may work full-time, but depending on the organization, you may also work part-time.
You could work in private clinics, animal hospitals and shelters, zoos, farms, wildlife conservancies, food safety inspection companies, veterinary supply stores, and even research centers in the future.
Veterinary technologists are frequently required to stay overnight in emergency and critical care facilities to care for animals and monitor their condition. Hence, you may be required to work long shifts as a vet tech.
What is their average salary?
In the United States, a veterinary technician earns an average hourly wage of $15.84. However, hourly wages can range from $8 to $36 as there are many factors that can influence payment. For example, the salary is determined by the employer or institution based on the qualifications, experience, and certifications of the candidate.
Hence, now you can make a better decision after learning about education, work, responsibilities, and salary. Furthermore, you can get further details from VetandTech website, as this platform features many veterinary resources. For example, you can look up veterinary programs in educational programs, and explore their webinars and CE courses for various vet tech-related studies.