What is a Vet Tech?

Veterinarians are devoted to providing quality care to animals that are sick or injured. They are normally busy people with a lot of things to do. As a result, they employ individuals who can help them carry out the tasks associated with providing care for animals inside the veterinary facility. The people that they employ are not licensed veterinarians. Instead, they hire veterinary technicians to help them do their work.

Perhaps you have asked yourself these questions at one point in your life: “What is a Vet Tech – and what do they do?” Well, the simple answer is that they are professionals working in veterinary medicine providing invaluable assistance to a veterinary doctor. Just as nurses are to medical doctors, veterinarians count on veterinary technicians to assist them in a lot of animal care-related tasks. With the increase in the demand for pet care, the demand for vet techs has also increased – and their presence takes on a whole new meaning for the entire team.

Some people say that veterinary technicians are actually a combination of a medical technologist and a nurse. Although vet techs work under a veterinarian’s supervision, he or she is still considered to be an important part of the veterinary medical team.

Animal lovers thrive in the workplace as a vet tech because of the high levels of animal interaction that takes place. Vet techs help alleviate discomfort, treat ailments and provide comfort to scared animals which come through the door of a veterinarian’s office. The job can be challenging emotionally and physically draining. Sometimes, it can be dangerous, too because injured or sick animals can be quite unpredictable.

However, working as a vet tech comes with a variety of perks. The chance to work closely with animals is already a given, but the salary is not that bad either. Plus, you receive additional benefits such as medical and dental insurance as well as paid vacation leave, and the opportunity for career growth is there as long as one is interested in learning new things.

In order to fully function and work as a veterinary technician, one must be able to meet the minimum requirements needed to obtain a certification. He or she must have undergone an accredited vet tech program and pass the certification exams. Should one decide to go into a specialized field of study, a veterinary technician may explore the following areas and work towards becoming a:

  • Veterinary Nutrition Technician
  • Veterinary Dental Technician
  • Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technician
  • Veterinary Behavior Technician
  • Critical Care and Emergency Technicians
  • Veterinary Technicians in Clinical Practice
  • Veterinary Technician for Internal Medicine
  • Veterinary Technician Anesthetist
  • Equine Veterinary Nursing Technician
  • Veterinary Surgical Technician

Graduates of accredited vet tech programs find themselves working in these areas:

  • Veterinary Supply Stores
  • Zoological Parks
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Research Laboratories
  • Private Vet Clinics
  • Veterinary Hospital

The duties and responsibilities of vet techs may vary depending on their field of specialization or the type of facility where they are employed. But despite these variations, there are similarities in function. For example, vet techs are required to take blood samples, do medical tests and analyze test results. They are also expected to keep a thorough record and make it available for the veterinarian when and where they need it most.

The job market for vet techs is quite large. There are specific states with a high requirement for the services of veterinary technicians. Truth is, the career is fast becoming one of the most in-demand jobs in the entire United States. It is expected that by the year 2020, 121,900 jobs will have been opened for vet techs. If you’re looking toward a career in veterinary medicine, being a vet tech for starters would be an excellent choice.

Veterinary technicians may earn up to $44,490 in a year. This is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But this figure may increase or decrease depending on different variables like geographical location, years of experience in the industry and field of specialization. It’s true what they say: practice does make perfect. It is understandable, therefore, why veterinarians would opt to acquire the services of an experienced vet tech rather than a fresh graduate.