Consider Being a Veterinary Technologist If You Love Animals

This two-year Associate’s Degree program is ideally suited to anyone who is interested in helping animals and wants a steady, reliable job without the long years and heavy investment needed to become a veterinarian. If you love working with animals and are looking for a fast track to a career working with them, consider becoming a veterinary technologist.

The duties of a veterinary technologist are very similar to those of a nurse or physician’s assistant for a medical doctor. If you work as a veterinary technologist in a veterinarian’s office or animal clinic, you will spend part of your time doing crucial paperwork and part of your time working directly with pets of all shapes and sizes. A typical day might include filling out charts and documents, scheduling appointments and updating patient records. Or, you may help in collecting specimens, blood draws and skin scrapings for lab tests. You may even assist in preparing animals, lab equipment and instruments for surgery and other procedures. Other tasks include grooming animals and assisting with routine procedures such as vaccinations, taking x-rays and performing lab tests.

Because there are so many different responsibilities, a veterinary technologist needs to be able to juggle many different tasks and delegate responsibilities effectively. Decision making skills are very important, as is attention to detail. Medical charts must be accurate and readable to avoid the possibility of errors in treatment. A love of animals is, of course, essential to anyone pursuing a degree in veterinary technology. You will spend most of your time around animals and should have a soothing personality for pets in distress, as well as their owners.

There are many career options available for anyone with a veterinary technology Associate’s Degree. While the majority of graduates will work in a veterinarian’s office or animal clinic, there are also many opportunities in other areas. If you are interested in medical research or the sciences, there are many research facilities that rely on veterinary technologists to take care of animals in their biomedical research facilities. In this capacity, you would oversee all work with animals to make sure humane care is provided and track all research protocols for the supervising scientists.

You can combine a love for the outdoors or wildlife with your career by working at a zoo or wildlife park. Many veterinary technologists work behind the scenes at zoos doing everything from preparing special diets for animals to taking care of newborn animals. Larger cities with professionally staffed Humane Societies or SPCA’s often recruit vet techs with Associate’s Degrees to assist in caring for the many abused or abandoned animals that come to them. This is a particularly rewarding but taxing job that involves a great deal of healthcare work.

Many people don’t realize that pet food and pet supply companies also need veterinary technologists for their Research and Development divisions. These companies are always looking for ways to improve the quality and appeal of products like dog treats, cat food and pet toys. They need staff members who can work with their products and their “testing panel” of animals to determine what is most attractive and also healthiest for their target customers.

A career as a veterinary technologist requires a two year Associate’s Degree, which you should seek from a technical school that is approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). The program will consist of basic courses in math and business as well as more intensive courses in areas such as zoology, anesthesiology, pharmacology, animal nursing, surgical principles, comparative anatomy, public health and more. You will also be required to serve an externship during which you’ll put what you’ve learned into practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

If veterinary technology sounds like an exciting career for you, check into various health and business schools in your area. Many of these will offer a vet tech program. Also contact animal hospitals, clinics and veterinarians who can suggest good vet tech programs in your area.

Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians work very closely with pets. They vaccinate pets, take x-rays, sanitize instruments, clean teeth, read blood reports, anesthetize, clean the cages, provide their love and care to animals. They also help vet surgeons in providing medical care to animals or research laboratories. They are also called as Vet techs, or Vet nurses.

Role of Veterinary Technicians:

Vet technicians are the backbone of a vet health care panel. They are trained and have license to support and help Vet surgeons. The training for them includes taking care of animals, animal behavior, routine lab work, and experimental dealings. They can help the surgeon, but cannot analyze, recommend, carry out surgery, or involve in any practice that is against the law.

A veterinary technician receives training in the following areas:

Hospitalized Patient Care:

1. Supervising prescribed treatment
2. Nurturing and Examining
3. Dietary management
4. Physical rehabilitation
5. Injury management

Outpatient Department Care:

1. Acquire and record the patient’s history
2. Physical assessment
3. Inform and counsel animal owners
4. Gather test samples and carry out lab functions
5. Supervising medications, vaccinations, and treatments given to the patients.

Clinical Pathology:

1. Take and arrange illustrations
2. Lab investigation
3. Blood Chemistry
4. Urine analysis
5. Microbiology
6. Parasite assessment
7. Cytology
8. Hematology


1. Pre-anesthetic patient assessment
2. Monitoring the patient before, during and after anesthesia
3. Administrating pain management
4. Patient recuperation
5. Supervising local, or general anesthesia


1. Radiation Safety
2. Patient Preparation & Positioning
3. Estimating & executing correct vulnerabilities
4. Preserving radiographic film, developing equipment, cassettes & chemical substances
5. Exhibit and prepare radiographs

Surgical Supporter:

1. Patient Preparation
2. Pre & Post-surgical care of pets
3. Maintain sanitation, equipments, surgical tools and instrument
4. Support and help during surgery

Dental Prophylaxis:

1. Examining Oral cavity
2. Distinguishing normal & abnormal oral situation
3. Cleansing & smoothing teeth
4. Teaching ways for animal owners and customers to care for their pets teeth
5. Protection and preserving dental apparatus

Hospital Management

1. Reception duties & bookkeeping
2. Directing and training practice workforce
3. Offer specific nurture
4. Organizing tools and equipment for surgical treatment
5. Arranging creatures, birds, and animals for research

Moreover, veterinary technicians engaged in biomedical research carry out functions and responsibilities given by practicing vet, scientist, or biomedical researches. They also offer help in discharging pet animals and controlling their illnesses.

Detailed Information on a Veterinary Technician

In the present day world, owning of pets has become very popular. But keeping of pets requires superior veterinary care. Who can provide such care to animals owned by the individuals? The simple answer is a Veterinary Technician, who is trained in this field to provide quality care to these pets. One can see them practicing in the private clinic or hospital, looking after the animals brought there for treatment and check ups. Therefore, Veterinary Technicians can be defined as these medical assistants, who are trained for offering state-of-the-art veterinary care to animals.

These technicians work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian in private clinics. They perform numerous tasks that are related to animals, other than surgery, diagnosing of the animals and prescribe medications. They can not also perform any activity that is prohibited by a state’s veterinary practice act.

Their work duties can be differentiated between private practice and biomedical research and that include:

Private Practice
• They obtain and record patient case histories.
• Conduct laboratory procedures by collecting specimens.
• They prepare, make ready surgery equipments and instruments for surgery of the animals.
• Offer nursing care to ailing animals.
• Assist licensed veterinarian in diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures.
• Exposing and develop x-rays.
• Counsel animal owners for proper care and nutrition.
• Oversee functions of practice personnel and train them.
• Conduct dental prophylaxes.
• Gain knowledge of the x-ray, surgical and medical equipment.
• Administering inoculations.
• Restraining animals during surgery and other procedures.
• Suturing and dressing wounds

Biomedical research

A veterinary technician working in a biomedical research facility, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or other scientist has to perform various responsibilities, along with above mentioned duties and they include:

• Look after research animals
• Oversee humane care of research animals
• Help in documenting and implementing research projects

Career Outlook

There are numerous career opportunities for veterinary technicians and their demand is increasing everyday in the field of human and animal concerned areas and as a veterinary specialist. The areas, where these technicians can excel include:

• Private clinics
• Teaching
• Marine parks, wildlife care and zoo animals
• Assist in the implementation of research projects
• Biomedical research and facility
• Military service
• Spay and neuter clinics
• Humane societies and animal control facilities
• Teaching
• Colleges and universities
• Diagnostic laboratory support
• Food industry and Food safety inspection
• Animal hospitals
• Emergency clinics
• Drug and feed manufacturing companies
• Medical research
• Military service
• Managing veterinary staff at a clinic or laboratory


There are various certified veterinary technician education programs, which are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) throughout United States. These programs include an Associate degree, which stretches for 2 years and a four-year Baccalaureate degree. These programs also prepare a technician for the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) and certification. Completion of 4 years Baccalaureate degree program and certification can fetch better salary and immediate employment in private clinics and laboratories.

It must also be noted that hand-on experience is offered to the students during an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology program. Such training plays very important role for gaining practical experience and is very helpful during veterinary technician job search. The period, when clinical training is conducted is known as externship or practicum.

A student or working professional can also opt for accredited distance learning courses, which can be completed at their free time or leisurely hours. For maintaining the license in its current form and to update latest knowledge and discoveries in veterinary field, certain hours of CE as per specified state requirements must be completed.