Career Information


Veterinary Technology Career Information

Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to treat or help diagnose the illnesses and injuries of animals. Veterinary technicians perform the job of a nurse, laboratory technician, anesthetist, surgical assistant, x-ray technician, pharmacy technician and more. Like veterinarians, they are trained to work with several species of animals.

Some of the tasks that a veterinary technician might perform include: obtain and record patient case histories; collect specimens and perform laboratory procedures; provide specialized nursing care; prepare animals, instruments, and equipment for surgery; assist in diagnostic, medical, and surgical procedures; expose and develop radiographs (x-rays); advise and educate animal owners; supervise and train practice personnel; and perform dental cleaning procedures. However, they may not diagnose, prescribe, perform surgery, or engage in any activity prohibited by a state’s veterinary practice act.

Working Conditions

Veterinary technologists and technicians work in private clinics, laboratories, and animal hospitals. Their jobs may be physically or emotionally demanding. Many technologists and technicians may have to work evenings, weekends, or holidays. Patience, compassion, organizational skills and a desire to be a part of a veterinary health care team are essential traits for a veterinary technician.

Career Opportunities

Employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is expected to grow 52 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent, particularly in rural areas.

To learn more about veterinary technologist and technician careers, visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Web site.

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