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Veterinary Technologist or Technician

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What Does it Take to Be a Veterinary Technologist or Technician?

Position Description Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Tech

  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Schedule appointments and procedures for animals.
  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Maintain laboratory, research, or treatment records, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, equipment, or supplies.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.

What Every Veterinary Tech Should Know

These are the skills Veterinary Technologists and Technicians say are the most useful in their careers:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Types of Veterinary Tech Jobs

  • Emergency Veterinary Technician
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Animal Technician
  • Veterinary Laboratory Technician (Veterinary Lab Tech)
  • Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT)

Veterinary Tech Employment Estimates

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 102,000 jobs in the United States for Veterinary Technologist or Technician. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 20% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 20,400 new jobs for Veterinary Technologist or Technician by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,700 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Veterinary Tech are Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Veterinary Tech

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians make between $23,490 and $50,010 a year.

Salary Ranges for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians who work in Nevada, New York, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

How much do Veterinary Technologists and Technicians make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $31,480
Alaska $39,550
Arizona $33,910
Arkansas $29,990
California $41,920
Colorado $36,390
Connecticut $43,340
Delaware $34,670
District of Columbia $37,140
Florida $33,280
Georgia $31,690
Hawaii $35,950
Idaho $31,660
Illinois $36,750
Indiana $32,030
Iowa $35,500
Kansas $33,920
Kentucky $32,450
Louisiana $26,410
Maine $36,760
Maryland $36,190
Massachusetts $40,990
Michigan $37,420
Minnesota $38,740
Mississippi $36,060
Missouri $31,910
Montana $31,580
Nebraska $33,190
Nevada $46,370
New Hampshire $34,900
New Jersey $37,630
New Mexico $34,150
New York $43,190
North Carolina $32,760
North Dakota $35,990
Ohio $33,170
Oklahoma $29,600
Oregon $36,670
Pennsylvania $36,860
Rhode Island $35,670
South Carolina $31,630
South Dakota $33,720
Tennessee $31,150
Texas $31,010
Utah $30,560
Vermont $34,680
Virginia $39,060
Washington $38,220
West Virginia $30,360
Wisconsin $33,870
Wyoming $31,620

Tools & Technologies Used by Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Veterinary Technologists and Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • FileMaker Pro
  • McAllister Software Systems AVImark

How do I Become a Veterinary Tech?

What kind of Veterinary Technologist or Technician requirements are there?

Veterinary Tech Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Veterinary Tech Work Experience

Where Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Work

Veterinary Tech Sectors

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians work in the following industries:

Veterinary Tech Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Veterinary Technologist or Technician may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Veterinary Technologist or Technician sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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