What do Veterinary Technologists and Technicians do?
Veterinary technologists and technicians conduct medical tests within a laboratory environment in order to help prevent, diagnose, treat, and eradicate diseases in animals. When working as a veterinary technologist or technician, you may need to prepare vaccines, tissue and blood samples, and perform basic lab tests. Technologists and technicians may also assist a veterinarian during surgery or while examining their animal patients.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Skills and Abilities
As veterinary technologists and technicians will be working with animals on a daily basis, you must have experience with and be comfortable around animals to work in this position. The ability to understand and interpret animal behavior is also useful. Because you will work under the supervision of veterinarians as a vet tech, you need to have excellent listening, speaking, oral expression, and oral communication skills so that you can understand commands and perform them properly. You will also need to have a basic understanding of the information and techniques needed to help prevent, diagnose, and treat medical injuries or diseases, including healthcare, prescription medication properties, and physical symptoms of illness.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Duties
Veterinary technicians will spend much of their day caring for and conducting experiments on samples taken from animals. This may include performing lab tests on urine, blood, or feces, or preparing samples to be sent to other laboratories for further analysis and study. Vet techs may also need to feed, water, and provide grooming for animals that are in their care. They may need to help prep an animal for surgery by administering anesthesia, and then monitor that animal during surgery to ensure their safety and comfort. Vet technologists may also be required to clean and sterilize medical and surgical equipment or examination rooms, conduct post-operative care on patients, provide information to owners regarding animal care options, medication requirements, and home treatment duties. Daily duties for a veterinary technician may also require basic office tasks such as answering phones, bookkeeping, scheduling patients, and accounting.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Tools and Technology
Working with animals who may be frightened or scared will require veterinary technologists and technicians to have experience with animal capture and restraint tools, such as nets, poles, and snares as well as cattle chutes, hoof picks, and dehorners for animal husbandry. You may also use medical equipment such as airway suction units, oxygen masks, and laryngoscopes.Technology for veterinary technologists and technicians may include working with scheduling and accounting software, electronic mail software, medical software and programs, and Internet browser software.
Education and Training for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Veterinary technicians and technologists need an associate’s degree or completion of a similar program in order to receive certification for this position. Some on-the-job training will be provided, and no previous work experience is necessary.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Salary
Veterinary technologists can earn anywhere from $21,000 to $45,000 annually. This number can vary greatly depending on a variety of factors, such as the state in which you work and your education and experience level. The median income for veterinary technicians is about $31,000 per year; however, individuals in this position can earn more than $37,000 in states such as New York and Massachusetts, while vet technologists in Alaska earn over $42,000 annually.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Jobs by Geography
The employment outlook for veterinary technologists and technicians is very good, with a 30% increase projected within the next decade. This increase equals nearly 3,400 new jobs. Virginia, Utah, and Colorado are expected to see the greatest amount of job growth for this position, with all three states seeing an over 40% employment increase in available positions.