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What Does a Vet Technician Do?

If your idea of the perfect job involves working with animals all day, then a veterinary technician job might be for you. Also called vet techs, technicians typically work in clinics and veterinary hospitals but are also employed at research laboratories and humane societies. They work under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. They administer basic tests, monitor vital signs and take samples from patients to help with disease diagnosis. They also assist doctors during surgical exams. This job requires empathy and compassion. It can be deeply rewarding because these technicians help so many animals but also emotionally draining in other situations when an animal can’t be helped.

Work hours can vary significantly as some veterinary offices offer emergency care seven days a week. The job outlook for this field is expected to grow 16% between 2019 and 2029.

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Median Salary $
35,000
Jobs Available
11,400+
Vet technicians focus on animal care, from checking a dog’s heart rate during an exam to helping the veterinarian diagnose a problem.
About 70% of U.S. households have a pet. Our love for animals has led to a growing need for vet technicians. (Credit: Tyler Olson/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Conduct initial review of patient and talk with owner
  • Take initial readings of weight and vital signs
  • Provide emergency triage to incoming critical patients. Stabilizing the patient for the doctor to further assess.
  • Handle all patient imaging processes, including radiographs (X-rays), CT scans and MRIs
  • Take blood for lab work to assess patient health
  • Perform routine dental cleanings and imaging
  • During surgeries, responsible for monitoring patient’s status under anesthesia, including blood pressure, respiration, heart rate and oxygen levels.
  • Administer medicine to patient
  • Provide home hospice care for senior pets to administrator medication and treatments
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is required. In addition, veterinary technicians earn a two-year associate degree accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

Some states require certification, registration and licensing, but the rules vary. A related role, vet technologist, generally requires a bachelor’s degree. This job is one way to advance within the field.

You May Be a Good Fit for This Position If You
  • Love being around animals
  • Communicate well with animal owners and veterinarians
  • Are compassionate   
  • Are detail-oriented
  • Have manual dexterity and steady hands
  • Have the physical strength to constrain and lift large animals

Vet Technician training in your area

Coordinates

Veterinary Assistant Certificate

College of Lake County
Grayslake (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Assistant Certificate

Brazosport College
Lake Jackson (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Receptionist Certificate

Metropolitan Community College (MO)
Kansas City (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Assistant Workplace Training

Mt. San Jacinto College
San Jacinto (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Technology, A.A.S.

Columbus State Community College
Columbus (0.0 Miles)

Service Industry Training

Wake Technical Community College
Raleigh (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Assistant Certificate (Online)

Elgin Community College
Elgin (0.0 Miles)
Dallas College logo

Large Animal Veterinary Assisting Certificate

Dallas College Cedar Valley Campus
Lancaster (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Technology, A. A. S.

BridgeValley Community and Technical College
South Charleston (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Assistant

Northeastern Illinois University
Chicago (0.0 Miles)
Community College of Baltimore County logo

Veterinary Technology, A.A.S.

Community College of Baltimore County
Baltimore (0.0 Miles)

Veterinary Technology, A.A.S.

Edison Community College
Piqua (0.0 Miles)
Meet Ambassador
Allison Milstone
Image
Veterinary tech Allison Milstone with her dog, Reagan
Meet Ambassador
Allison Milstone

Few people know what they want to do with their lives when they’re 8 years old, but Allison Milstone certainly did. A commercial during a football game sealed the deal for this vet technician. 

She didn’t start her working life in a vet’s office, but she knew she would always end up there. She says every day as a vet tech is different. “Some days it’s all puppies, kittens and sunshine. Other days it’s sick animals that need testing and diagnostics.” But it’s always worthwhile. 

Learn more about why Allison loves her job

Find Vet Technician Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Veterinary Technician Up to $3000 Sign On Available

Banfield Pet Hospital
Mooresville ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician

Banfield Pet Hospital
Fort Worth ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician - 001514

Banfield Pet Hospital
Papillion ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician - 000459

Banfield Pet Hospital
Richfield ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician

Banfield Pet Hospital
Middle River ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician

Banfield Pet Hospital
Brandon ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months 1 week ago

Veterinary Technician - 002414

Banfield Pet Hospital
Dallas ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months ago

Veterinary Technician - 000295

Banfield Pet Hospital
Bradenton ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 4 weeks ago