Veterinary technology is just one of many subjects students may choose to study in order to enter the veterinary science industry. Veterinary technology focuses on the basic medical tests and procedures performed on animals, so this particular degree may be the right choice for you if you possess a passion for protecting and caring for animals of various sorts from kittens and puppies to sheep and horses.
What is a Veterinary Technician?
A veterinary technician is a person licensed to work alongside a registered veterinarian and perform basic care for animals of all sorts. He or she is often responsible for keeping track of animal records and prepping animals for surgical procedures. With a certificate or associate’s degree in veterinary technology and after passing licensing exams, he or she is qualified to take blood samples and perform various laboratory tests to help diagnose any illnesses or diseases.
It is also not uncommon for veterinary technicians to meet with animal owners and handlers. They often explain whatever health conditions animals may be experiencing, and they may also review how to administer prescribed medications with owners and handlers.
Where do Veterinary Technicians Work?
Veterinary technicians can apply the knowledge they gained from earning degrees and certificates in veterinary technology in a variety of settings and to various types of animals. Some work strictly with house pets, but others may assist veterinarians in caring for farm animals or zoo animals.
Places veterinary technicians often work include but are not limited to the following:
What is the Salary of a Veterinary Technician?
Salaries for any type of job depend on various elements. The location of the employer is often a contributing factor, as is the size of the company for which a person works and how much experience that person happens to have accumulated in a field relevant to that of the company.
Taking the above into consideration, it is possible for entry-level veterinary technicians to earn an annual salary of around $20,000. However, more experienced and knowledgeable veterinary technicians may earn over $40,000 annually.
How can I Get a Vet Tech Degree?
If you are interested in pursuing a career as a veterinary technician, you should consider earning a degree in veterinary technology (vet tech). Colleges and universities across the globe offer vet tech degree programs that are also good preparation for an advanced education in veterinary medicine. For information on ways in which you can best prepare for a vet tech degree before college, consult your high school guidance counselor.
The Duluth Business University’s School of Veterinary Technology is a great way to get started in veterinary science. Located in Duluth, Minnesota, the school’s vet tech program is the only accredited program in the region offering an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. The program provides students with not only lecture class based education but excellent opportunities to gain hands-on experience to best prepare them for their future careers. Educators working with students in the vet tech program are dedicated to the success of their students, working closely with them in and out of the classroom. Students in this program study topics that range from anesthesiology to veterinary pharmacology to animal nutrition.
Columbus State Community College located in Columbus, Ohio, offers students the opportunity to earn an associates degree in veterinary technology. This program prepares students to take the Veterinary Technician National Exam, or VTNE, an exam that certifies graduates to work as vet techs throughout most of the United States. The college’s vet tech program is designed to educate students on various aspects of veterinary science, including but not limited to the importance of pharmacology as well as the business side of the veterinary world. It also gives students the chance to gain experience through participating in internships at clinics of their choice, with over 160 to choose from.
Alfred State College provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology. As a reputable and accredited program, students enrolled in the veterinary technology program learn the basics of veterinary science to better understand what is involved with various types of veterinary careers. Students also gain hands-on experience through various laboratory and technical exercises and courses, including but not limited to learning how to administer drugs and shots for a wide variety of animals, in order to best prepare for careers as veterinary technicians. Students studying vet tech at Alfred State College are also encouraged by knowledgeable faculty to join the student chapter of the New York State Association of Veterinary Technicians (NYSAVT), which helps students become more involved outside of the classroom while still in their main focus of study. The vet tech program at Alfred State College takes approximately two years to complete for full time students.
Companies that Hire People with Vet Tech Degrees
Various animal hospitals and veterinary clinics often look for people with vet tech degrees to join their staff in order to boost customer service satisfaction. Below is just a brief list of examples of companies that hire people with vet tech degrees.
Fairfax Animal Hospital (Falls Church, VA)
Banfield Pet Hospital (various US locations)
Countryside Pet Clinic (Andover, KA)
Lancaster Small Animal Hospital (Bowmansville, NY)
Providence Veterinary Hospital & Clinic (two Alameda, CA locations)
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website, the need for veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists is growing rapidly compared to many other occupations, so you may have a higher chance of landing a job after completing a vet tech degree program in today’s society. The job market for the veterinary science industry is looking promising.
Degrees Related to Veterinary Technology
If you’re interested in venturing into the field of veterinary science, there are also a handful of other subjects in which you can earn bachelor’s degrees in order to advance into veterinary school. If vet tech doesn’t sound like your thing, check out some of these other types of degrees that are applicable to veterinary science.