If you love animals and always wanted a job working in a career with them, then a great place to start is a job as a vet tech. A vet tech works as part of a team with a veterinarian to help provide wellness and emergency care for animals. Many veterinarians start out as vet techs.
A vet tech is a medical professional for animals. The main job of a vet tech is to provide testing and treatment to animals with illnesses and diseases. The first thing that a vet tech does on the job is to observe the animal and talk to the owner to verify the condition and symptoms of the animal. They provide nursing or emergency care as needed. This can include life saving techniques such as removing bullets or pumping the stomach if an animal has swallowed something hazardous. They also administer anesthesia when needed and monitor any animal that is under anesthesia. They collect samples such as blood, urine and tissue for testing of diseases. They also perform lab tests and communicate results. They develop x-rays. They also assist the doctor in surgery by preparing the animal and the room. They give medications and treatments that have been prescribed by a veterinarian. They record all information in a patient’s chart.
Vet Tech Salary:
The average vet tech salary is $31,000 per year. This is the current national average for this occupation. The current vet tech hourly salary is $15 an hour. However, you will start after graduation with a vet tech salary of $20,000 a year. This number will increase every year that you are working and gaining more experience. By the time you have five years of experience you will be able to make a vet tech wage of $25,000 a year or an hourly salary of $12 an hour. By the time you have ten years of experience, you will be making a vet tech income of $30,000 a year. The basis for this career is the more you work, the more you earn. By the time you have fifteen years of experience you will make an hourly salary of $17 an hour or $36,000 per year. The top vet tech salary is $44,000 and requires about twenty years of applicable experience.
Vet Tech Education:
There are two different degrees that are offered for vet techs. The first is an associates degree in veterinary technology. This path will take two years. The second is a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology and will take four years to complete. The course that you choose to take is up to you, but make sure that it is an accredited course by the AVMA. This is important as it is a requirement in order to take your certification test once you graduate. Courses studied will include animal nursing, anatomy and physiology, veterinarian medicine, pathology, pharmacology, euthanization, lab techniques, and much more. You will also have the decision to specialize in a certain area. Several specializations are available such as internal medicine, anesthesia, emergency medicine and research. After you have completed your college education there is an internship you will need to complete. This can last as long as two years. After this has been completed, you can take the test to become certified. Each state has different requirements for the test so make sure to check your state’s requirements. Many states use the national test but some states do have their own.
Vet Tech Work Environment:
Vet Techs typically work in large veterinary hospitals and clinics or in veterinarian offices. The work typically can be very physical as you may need to lift and move animals and position them for treatment. It also will require a lot of compassion and understanding for your patients. You may also need to wrangle unruly or upset animals so there can be the danger of being bitten or scratched. Vet techs typically work in a team environment with other techs and at least one veterinarian. You may also need good communication skills to speak to other people in your office and the owners of animals. The typical working hours for a vet tech will vary depending on the type of facility that they work in. The hours are typically long and can vary from fifty to sixty hours a week. Some overtime may be required.
A career as a vet tech is a very lucrative and important career to have. It is important that you are an animal lover and know how to handle them well and calm them down. It is also is a career that has a great outlook for the future. There is an expected fifty two percent increase in jobs within the next six to eight years. This means that there will be an additional 41,000 jobs added to the job market.