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Veterinary Technician

Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in nursing and caring for animals, including performing tests and giving medication. If you love animals and are interested in medicine, being a veterinary technician may be right for you. Read on for more information.

Inside Veterinary Technology

Veterinary technicians work in veterinarian's offices, animal research facilities and laboratories performing clinical duties. Veterinary technicians and technologists perform similar duties, but veterinary technologists may have more advanced tasks, such as participating in research projects or vaccinating animals. While veterinary technicians are required to have an associate's degree, veterinary technologists must earn a bachelor's degree.

Educational Options

Veterinary technology associate's degree programs prepare students for working in the clinical veterinary field. In an Associate of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology program, vet tech students learn skills in pre- and post-surgical care, anesthesia and radiology. In addition to formal training, veterinary technicians may need to pass an exam to become licensed in their state. Some employers require veterinary technicians to earn American Association for Laboratory Animal Science certification, which is available at three levels.

Degree Options

Associate's, bachelor's and certificate programs are available for aspiring veterinary technicians. The following articles provide details on some choices.

Distance Learning Options

Distance learning is available in veterinary technology. These programs are taught in a hybrid format that includes fulfilling a clinical experience requirement.

Career Options

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2012 more than 90% of veterinary technicians and technologists worked in vet clinics, animal hospitals and labs (www.bls.gov). Other employers include rescue and shelter facilities, zoos, aquariums and boarding facilities. The articles listed below feature information about being a vet technician and some of the jobs available.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reported that veterinary technician and technologist job openings were expected to increase 30% from 2012-2022, which is much faster than average. In May 2012, veterinary technicians and technologists earned an average annual wage of $31,470.

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