If you’re thinking about a career in veterinary technology, you’re probably wondering what vet techs do on a day-to-day basis.
We’ve got the answer, along with information on vet tech responsibilities, duties, education requirements, and more.
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Working as a vet tech is a highly rewarding career choice for animal lovers. In this role, you’ll provide vital support to veterinarians as they care for sick and injured animals. As a vet tech, you’ll be responsible for a wide range of tasks, from cleaning and sterilizing equipment to taking x-rays and administering medication. You’ll need to be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining a high level of care and compassion for the animals in your care. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a vet tech, read on to learn more about what the job entails.
The Job Description
As a vet tech, you’ll have a lot of important responsibilities. You’ll need to assist the veterinarian during surgeries, take x-rays, administer vaccines and medications, care for sick and injured animals, and much more. You’ll also need to be able to communicate effectively with pet owners.
Vet techs have a lot of responsibilities, and no two days are exactly the same. You may find yourself doing everything from caring for sick animals to educating pet owners on how to keep their animals healthy. You’ll also be responsible for ensuring that the animal hospital or clinic you work in runs smoothly and efficiently.
Here’s a look at some of the things you can expect to do as a vet tech:
-Provide nursing care to ill and injured animals
-Assist the veterinarian during examinations and procedures
-Perform lab tests and diagnostic procedures
-Prepare animals, instruments, and equipment for surgery
-Administer medications and vaccinations
-Monitor patients before, during, and after surgery
-Provide customer service, including handling questions and concerns from pet owners
There are multiple job positions in the veterinary field, but most techs work in veterinary clinics, zoos, animal shelters, diagnostic laboratories or animal research facilities. You could also find a job teaching vet students or working as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. The most common vet tech specializations are listed below.
You’ll be responsible for administering anesthesia to animals before and during surgery, monitoring their vital signs and making sure they stay safe and comfortable. You may also work with pain management medication regimens post-surgery.
In this specialization, you’ll collect and process lab samples like blood, urine and tissues. You’ll also run diagnostic tests and help interpret the results. This information is critical in developing treatment plans for animals.
This is the most common vet tech specialization. In clinical practice, you’ll perform many of the general tasks associated with animal care, including taking X-rays, collecting lab samples and giving vaccinations. You may also assist in surgeries, handle patient records and provide customer service.
You’ll be responsible for cleaning teeth, taking X-rays and extracting teeth when necessary. You may also make dental prosthetics like crowns or dentures.
Emergency & Critical Care
In this specialization, you’ll provide emergency medical care to sick or injured animals. This can involve stabilizing animals before surgery, monitoring vitals signs and providing pain relief medication.
Becoming a vet tech requires completing a 2-year associate degree from a community college or vocational school. A few schools offer 4-year bachelor’s degrees, but these are not required for most entry-level positions.
Although certification is not required in some states, most employers prefer to hire certified technicians. Certification is granted by the AVMA after successfully completing a credentialing program and passing a credentialing exam. Most programs leading to certification require at least 2 years of study, although some may be completed in as little as 18 months. Programs typically lead to an associate’s degree, although some may offer a bachelor’s degree.
There are many reasons to enter the veterinary technology field. The most common reason is a love of animals. Others enjoy the challenges that come with the job and the satisfaction of helping sick and injured animals.
If you are interested in becoming a veterinary technician, you will need to complete a two-year accredited veterinary technology program. Upon completion of your program, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become certified. Once you are certified, you will be able to work in a variety of settings, including animal shelters, zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers, private practices, and research laboratories.
The median salary for a vet tech is $32,000 per year, with the top 10% earning more than $45,000 per year. There is significant variation in salary based on experience, geographic location, and type of employer.
The Pros and Cons
Like any career, being a veterinary technician has its pros and cons. It’s a demanding job that requires a lot of training, but it’s also a job that comes with a lot of rewards. Here are some of the pros and cons of being a veterinary technician:
1. You Get to Help Animals
2. You Get to Work With a Variety of Animals
3. You Can Choose Your Hours
4. You Can Work in a Variety of Settings
5. You Get to Make a Difference in the Lives of Animals
6. You Get to Learn About Animal Health and Medicine
7. You May Be Able to Advance Your Career
8. You Can Earn a Good Salary
9. You Get Paid Time Off
10. You Get Benefits
1. The Job Can Be Stressful
2. The Hours Can Be Long and Irregular
3. The Work Can Be Physical and Demanding
4. There Is a Lot of Training Required
5. You May Have to Work With Difficult Animals
The future of veterinary technology is bright. The profession is expected to grow much faster than average in the coming years. As more and more people learn about the field and the important role vet techs play in animal care, demand for qualified professionals is expected to increase. This means that vet techs will have plenty of opportunities to find good jobs and advance their careers in the years to come.