Veterinary Technician Job Description

A veterinary technician or vet tech is primarily responsible for assisting the veterinary in physical examinations of animals in order to find out the nature of the injury or illness based on various symptoms, this is how is how they earn their veterinary technician salary. Although the position can seem perfect for most animal lovers, one must also be aware of the unpleasant aspects of treating injured and sick animals. It can often require handling distressed pets in a way that can cause emotional strain on both the crew and the families.

Vet techs can also be responsible for more hands-on duties such inducing anesthesia and administering medications. All of which are prescribed by the veterinarian for the vet tech to perform. There are many other tasks they can be asked to perform as well. Some of them include taking pulse and respiratory tests, taking temperature, applying casts and splints, dental procedures, performing catheterizations, tube feedings, and ear flushes. For the most part a veterinary technician is considered the jack of all trades of the veterinary clinic.

Career Stability

As a career, vet techs can expect a very stable future especially because the field is still expanding and has continued to expand since before the 1970’s. Finding a veterinary technician job is not usually a problem. Openings are almost always available.

Veterinary clinics provide employment for a majority of vet techs, although other possible places of employment include zoos, animal shelters, and research clinics. In most cases, the private sector provides the most ideal working conditions. This is why most veterinary technicians aim to work outside of hospitals.


Veterinary Technician LogoThe academic training programs for vet techs are now on the rise as well. Completing the certification for become a veterinary technician takes between 2 and 3 years which awards an associate of applied science degree in veterinary technology. certification is provided by any school accredited through the American Veterinary Medical Association or AVMA. Essentially it is this certification that will allow you to work as a vet tech throughout the United States. The first step in getting educated is to find a technical school or local college that provides an AVMA certified vet tech program. Once completed, the student must then pass a state mandated exam through the specific governing body which regulates vet techs in that particular state. The specific type of credential granted also varies from state to state based upon the laws that govern that state and the type of organization granting credentals. There are also online schools available, but these can be a bit more difficult due to the lack of a professor to help you throughout the course. One of the most important things to do during your education to become certified is to network with people who currently work or have contacts in the field. The goal is to build a network of contacts who will help you acquire an internship position and eventually a full-time position. Having quality contacts is extremely valuable to finding a position that suits your needs.

Additional Responsibilities

Veterinary technicians have the responsibility of aiding the veterinarians in surgery as well to provide medical instruments and help with the overall monitoring of the surgery for the vet. They may be called up to use various types of equipment in the field. One can expect to master the use of radiographic, ultrasonographic, and electrocardiographic equipment.

Veterinary Assistants and Veterinary Technologists

Although the term veterinary technician is generally applied across the board to include veterinary technologists and veterinary assistants, the terms actually hold very different job duties and credential requirements.

Veterinary assistants perform many duties similar to vet techs, however they do not hold the credentials required to be considered an actual veterinary technician. Legally they aren’t allowed to perform specific tasks that technicians can but they do tend to spend most of their time in the field helping vet techs with their duties. To become a veterinary assistant you don’t need any specific education related to the veterinary field.

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