What is the difference between being a veterinary assistant, technician, or technologist?

We will cover the differences between the three veterinary helper positions, including veterinary assistant, technicians, and technologist. We will also provide information as to what the three jobs entail and what schooling is needed for each position.

If you want to be in a good starting position, where you can work with animals, get paid and learn as you go, the veterinary assistant position may be exactly what you are looking for. Most places looking for a employee for this position may want to train the person that is willing and able to learn. You can, however, find courses on the subject through online schools. The experience will definitely look good if you decide to further yourself in school and possibly move up to the next level of technician, or technologist.  This job is very hands on, you would be holding animals, cleaning up, taking care of customers, or any other job that needs to be done. The median pay for the veterinary assistant position starts in the $22,500 range and goes up depending on location of position.

The Veterinary Technician position is the next level up from the assistant and a level below the technologist. For the veterinary technician schooling, you will need a two year associate degree of applied science. It is best if the school you choose is accredited through an accreditation group like (AVMA), the American Veterinary Medical Association. If you take your courses to be a veterinary technician online, you will need to also have some hands on training through internships, or even two in some cases. You will need to check with the school you have chosen in order to ask about how many internships you will need, along with what type internship, for example, big animal, small animal, or possibly both. You can expect the pay range for this position to be in the $32,000 starting range. You will always find a higher starting salary in cities where the demand is higher.

Last, but not least, the Veterinary Technologist position is the position below the licensed vet. You will need a four year bachelor’s degree to be a veterinary technologist. Just like the technician programs, you will be required to find internships or other type of hands on programs. Your school may have a certain vet that they work with to get your hands on experience while attending college. It is always a good idea to ask the college of your choosing all of the details about what internships may be required. The duties for a Veterinary Technologist are very close to the same as the Veterinary Technician, such as, surgical assistance, medications, lab work, paperwork, even customer education.  Your median salary for this position is really close as well, starting at $32,500.

If you have plans to attend any veterinary schools, you should know that every year, only around one third of the people who applied were accepted into a college that offers that field of study. When the colleges look at your resume and see any of these positions, and the experience that the job incurs, this may help you get your foot in the door, or stand out in front of someone with less experience.