Veterinary Technologist or Technician

Pros


  • This is a great career for those who love to spend time with animals, as you would be helping then with both the prevention and healing of medical issues.
  • Those who enjoy variety will enjoy this job, as there are many different settings where veterinary technologists and technicians can be found.
  • It is expected that this occupation will have excellent job growth in the future.

Cons

  • The type of work performed can be dangerous, as there are higher than average injuries related to this field.
  • You must be a people person to work in this job, as you will interact with animal owners for a good amount of time during a typical day.
  • There may be stressful situations involved in this job, as emergencies can arise and animals may need to be euthanized.

Overview

Veterinary technologists and technicians work to help diagnose as well as treat animals under veterinarians in a role much like what nurses do working under physicians. They work to assist veterinarians with a variety of tasks, and this type of job offers a different environment every day as they assist with medical issues on an array of animals.

The difference between technologists versus technicians is generally only based on educational background. For the most part, both roles perform the same tasks for their employers. While a lot of the work may be performed in a laboratory setting, veterinary technologists and technicians also spend a lot of time helping veterinarians who usually are very busy. The daily activities include performing medical tests, recording patients’ medical records, providing nursing care and educating animal owners about proper health and preventive care.

It can be dangerous to work in this occupation. Veterinary technologists and technicians will sometimes need to hold or restrain animals, and this raises the risk of being scratched or bitten by an animal .While the majority of veterinary technologists and technicians can be found working in private clinics or animal hospitals, they can also work in other settings. It’s possible for them to be employed by research organizations, treating animals in zoos or aquariums, or on farms working with livestock.

Education

There is a difference in education levels between veterinary technologists and technicians. Veterinary technicians have obtained an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, although some have only completed vocational training. Veterinary technologists have a bachelor’s degree, and usually are afforded better opportunities than veterinary technicians. In order to gain employment in this career, it is required to become state certified by passing an examination.

Job Prospects

There is expected to be excellent job prospects in this occupation. More often than ever before, animal owners are taking their pets to see a veterinarian. Among a number of factors influencing this trend, chief among them is the fact that advancing medical technology has trickled down from the human level and into animal science. The result of this is that there are more treatments and medications that now allow animals to live longer and more healthy lives. Veterinary technologists and technicians will benefit from this trend.

Advancement Opportunities

There are paths to advancement in this career field. As they usually work in a clinical setting, veterinary technicians can gain experience and take on a managerial role in their workplace. They will also often return to school to receive additional training. Veterinary technologists are afforded better opportunities as they become more experienced, and they will be able to move into more coveted positions working in academia or research, often doing work that is concentrated on something that they find interest in.