Veterinary Technologist And Technician Careers
Veterinary Technologist and Technician Careers
Veterinary technicians and veterinary technologists work under the supervision of licensed veterinary doctors and perform duties similar to that of nurses in order to help provide best healthcare for animals. Though education and training for both job titles differ, they are often used interchangeably.
Educational Requirements and Licensure
To follow veterinary technologist and technician careers you should have a high school education with Science, Biology and Mathematics. After that, you need to attend either a four year bachelor’s degree program or a two-year accredited associate degree program in veterinary technology. Both technicians and technologists receive training in clinical and laboratory work as part of their degree. At the end, they must pass an accredited exam in order to qualify and receive a license or be registered.
Each state has its own regulations regarding licensure. Most states require that you pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam; the scores of which are transferrable between states. Other than this, the state may require you to pass a competency exam administered by the state Board of Veterinary Examiners which tests oral, written and practical skills in the field.
If you plan to take up work in a research facility, you will need to get certification from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) after fulfilling the educational requirements and gaining experience by working in a laboratory or an animal facility recognized by AALAS.
The daily routine in veterinary technologist and technician careers depends on the facility where one is working but there are some typical duties carried out by all veterinary technicians like:
- Carry out laboratory tests and procedures like urine analysis and blood counts, take blood samples and prepare tissue slides;
- Assist veterinarians in different tests and analysis;
- Assist veterinarians with procedures such as dental prophylaxis;
- Take patient history;
- Take and develop x-rays;
- Maintain records of the patient’s daily progress or condition; and
- Diagnose and treat medical conditions and diseases.
An experienced technician may even give consultancy to a pet’s owner and train new personnel.
Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2010 median pay was $29,710 per annum and $14.28 per hour with a job growth expectancy of 52% in 2010-2020.