Like the name suggests, veterinary techs assist in veterinary offices, helping care for animals. They can assist during a well-care visit, attend to animals while they are being boarded while their owners are away, or care for animals after they have experienced an illness or they are recovering from surgery. According to 2013 findings from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technologists and technicians usually earn around $30,500 annually.
Duties of a veterinary tech include checking an animal’s vital signs, caring for wounds, giving an animal medicine, and making sure exam rooms are clean between visits and ensuring medical supplies are restocked appropriately. If you pursue this type of career, you could work in a private practice, an advanced animal hospital, or animal clinics. Some veterinary techs go on to work at animal shelters, helping animals get adopted. Others may work with more exotic animals in zoo setting. If researching animal health or finding cures for diseases matter to you, you could even find work in a research center.
There are a variety of veterinary tech degrees available in traditional schools and online. Veterinary techs can specialize in small or large animals. Degree examples include an Associate of Veterinary Technician or a Veterinary Assistant diploma. Before selecting a school to attend, make sure they have accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Once you’ve earned your degree, you’ll need to pass the required licensing exams, including the National Veterinary Technician exam. Other voluntary exams may also be included in this process. You should also consider becoming a member of a professional organization such as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Memberships such as this can make you stand out when you’re applying for jobs or when you’re considering a new career path.
Check out our short list of online schools offering a vet tech degrees here.