Are you an animal lover who enjoys taking care of those furry little creatures? If yes, then becoming a Veterinary Technician might be the best career option for you.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how you can become one.
In order to make a career within this field, you should be quite skilled in general science, biology, math and basic language and communication skills.
You must start by enrolling yourself in an associate’s degree program in a good veterinarian school. This usually lasts from 16 to 24 months after which you are required to complete your four year Bachelor’s program and then a Master’s degree. However, you must ensure that your veterinary school is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). In case you don’t have one in your area, you can always opt for distant learning as well.
Apart from this, look around to gain an extensive internship or externship as that will help you get as much practical experience as you can. This will help you to get familiar with the actual working environment as well as dealing with animals.
Once you complete your studies, you also need to get certified. Certification exams vary from state to state; some certifications offered in the U.S. are for the Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) and the Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT). However, the National Veterinary Technician (NVT) is the most widely used certification required to work in a clinic.
Duties and Responsibilities
Veterinary Technicians are trained professional staff which provides assistance to veterinarians and biomedical/laboratory researchers.Some of the most common duties which you will be required to carry within this field include:
- Obtaining and maintaining the animals’ histories
- Administering medicines and treatments
- Feeding and caring for the animals
- Holding the animals when they are being checked
- Giving pets shots or taking x-rays
- Performing dentistry, spaying or neutering and euthanasia
- Collecting samples, analyzing them in the lab and performing other laboratories diagnostics
- Preparing the instruments needed for surgery
- Working in emergency care or at a zoo if required.
Job Outlook and Salary
Usually, your level of education and the state in which you’re working are the two main aspects that directly impact your career prospects. Thus, the more educated you are, the higher you’ll be paid. However, being a Vet Tech may not offer the highest pay scale, but the job does offer a lucrative benefit package.
Generally, the average salary is approximately $29,000 a year. But if you work in a research lab, you will have more chances of earning a higher income.
Being a Veterinary Technician doesn’t provide you with the best salary package, but if you are an animal lover like me, then job satisfaction is definitely guaranteed.