In life, as you start new adventures, you always need to start at the beginning like everyone else does. You will start with where your heart leads you and with hope of finding a perfect direction for you. People that start their veterinary career at the beginning level will be in the veterinary assistant position. Sometimes the vet assistant can be hired straight out of the work force with no formal training or knowledge of the job. The vet is just looking for someone with heart and compassion to take care of anything and everything needed around the jobsite. Yes, you would be starting from the bottom and learning as you go.
The median salary for this position is in the $22,500 area keeping in mind that there can be a lot of variation depending on several factors. We have seen salaries on up into the $28,500 range in bigger metropolitan areas. You can, also, expect that bigger companies will tend to pay a little more also. If you can not get your foot in the door straight out of the workforce, you can find veterinary assistant courses online, and possibly at some vocational schools. That extra knowledge and experience that you gain just may help you get your foot in the door at the job you want, along with the experience being a great stepping stone into the next position if you decide to go further in your education.
Next in line we have the Veterinary Technician position that requires a two year Associates of Science degree in Veterinary Technology. This position is a “middle of the road” position with demand growing at around 19 percent per year. This position falls between the vet assistant position that requires less education and below the position of veterinary technologist which requires a vet technologist to have a four year bachelor’s degree. Both of these positions tend to be quite similar in responsibilities with both veterinary technician and technologist working under a licensed vet’s direction, like a nurse to a doctor.
Both the veterinary technician position and the veterinary technologist position fit the same general need on the jobsite. The only difference we could find between the veterinary technician position and the veterinary technologist position is the extra two years it takes to earn the bachelor’s degree that goes along with the veterinary technologist title. This being said, if you plan to possibly go on to become a licensed vet, a four year degree may look a bit better to potential colleges and make you stand out above others. $32,000 starting salary is what area your pay should be at starting out as a veterinary technician, with the median salary only in the area of five hundred dollars more for the veterinary technologist position. We have seen wages with a little experience under your belt, starting in the area of around $38,000 to into the low $40 with most having nice benefit packages.