What Does A Veterinary Technologist and Technician Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

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Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

Salary
$37860
Becoming One
Medium
Education
Associate's degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

  • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related logbooks.
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals’ responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Restrain animals during exams or procedures.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Veterinary Technicians restrain animals during exams or procedures. They take animals into treatment areas and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature, pulse, or respiration data.

A typical day for a Veterinary Technologist and Technician will also include:

  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working conditions.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications, and labeling containers.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related logbooks.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Veterinary Technicians also monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low. They may also perform dental work, such as cleaning, polishing, or extracting teeth.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Veterinary Technicians provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains. They might also administer emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life-saving procedures.

In addition, they prepare treatment rooms for surgery.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.

To some Veterinary Technicians, it is also their responsibility to perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.

Freedom to make decisions

How much decision making freedom does this job offer?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
20%

Limited freedom
18%

Some freedom
44%

A lot of freedom
18%

Structured vs unstructured work

To what extent is this job structured for you versus allowing you to determine your own tasks, priorities, and goals?

No freedom
0%

Very little freedom
12%

Limited freedom
20%

Some freedom
41%

A lot of freedom
28%


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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

High

Is this job meaningful

Very High

70% said they were satisfied with their job and 83% said they found their job meaningful.


An emergency hospital in central New Jersey

My name is Crystal Litzenberger and I have been a Veterinary Technician since 2003. I have worked in the veterinary field as a technician helping educate people on how to care for their pets. My experience has grown from nursing and hospital management in general practice to working as a technician in rehabilitation and emergency … Read More


Small animal clinics

I am a Veterinary Technician and have been working in small animal clinics for about 4 years now. My typical day starts at 8:00 am. The first thing I’ll do is tend to any hospitalized patients that have stayed at the hospital overnight. This includes checking that IV lines are patent, administering daily medications, and … Read More


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who value relationships between co-workers and customers and want to work in a friendly non-competitive environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to work with designs.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

How much do they make

Average salary

$37860 per year

Average hourly wage

$18 per hour

Entry-level Veterinary Technologists and Technicians with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $25,520 to $30,030 per year or $12 to $14 per hour.

Salary range Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $25 $52,410
Senior (Top 25%) $21 $43,890
Middle (Mid 50%) $17 $36,260
Junior (Bottom 25%) $14 $30,030
No experience (Bottom 10%) $12 $25,520

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
34%

40 hours
56%

More than 40 hours
10%

Working schedule

80%

19%

1%

Work with group or team

How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

Not important at all
5%

Fairly important
0%

Important
5%

Very important
10%

Extremely important
79%

Deal with external customers

How important is it to work with customers in this job?

Not important at all
10%

Fairly important
6%

Important
23%

Very important
10%

Extremely important
51%

Manage or lead others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in completing work activities in this job?

Not important at all
10%

Fairly important
0%

Important
20%

Very important
20%

Extremely important
50%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
17%

Every day
50%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
6%

Every day
78%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
7%

Every day
68%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
74%

Once a year
9%

Once a month
13%

Once a week
3%

Every day
1%

Frequency of conflict situations

How often are there conflict situations in this job?

Never
16%

Once a year
21%

Once a month
24%

Once a week
26%

Every day
13%

Dealing with angry people

How often do you have to deal with angry, unpleasant, or discourteous individuals in this job?

Never
11%

Once a year
21%

Once a month
12%

Once a week
34%

Every day
22%

Dealing with physically aggressive people

How often do you have to deal with physically aggressive people in this job?

Never
77%

Once a year
11%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
1%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
11%

Slightly competitive
48%

Moderately competitive
14%

Highly competitive
17%

Extremely competitive
9%

Repetition in this job

How important is repeating the same type of task over and over in this job?

Not important at all
17%

Fairly important
13%

Important
18%

Very Important
17%

Extremely Important
35%

Impact of decisions on co-workers or company results

What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the reputation or financial resources of your employer?

No impact
0%

Minor impact
7%

Moderate impact
17%

Important impact
34%

Very important impact
43%

Frequency of decision making

How frequently do you have to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the reputation of the company?

Never
5%

Once a year
9%

Once a month
10%

Once a week
21%

Every day
55%

Responsibility for others’ health and safety

How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

No responsibility
5%

Limited responsibility
5%

Moderate responsibility
28%

High responsibility
20%

Very high responsibility
42%

Responsibility for outcomes and results

How much responsibility is there for the work outcomes and results of other workers?

No responsibility
8%

Limited responsibility
9%

Moderate responsibility
44%

High responsibility
26%

Very high responsibility
13%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
11%

Once a year or more
5%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
1%

Every day
83%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
82%

Once a year or more
9%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
4%

Every day
5%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
53%

Once a year or more
23%

Once a month or more
2%

Once a week or more
10%

Every day
11%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
83%

Once a year or more
10%

Once a month or more
5%

Once a week or more
1%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
0%

High School Diploma or equivalent
41%

Post-Secondary Certificate
15%

Some College Courses
7%

Associate’s Degree or similar
26%

Bachelor’s Degree
5%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
6%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
20%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
7%

3 to 6 months
12%

6 months to 1 year
31%

1 to 2 years
17%

2 to 4 years
10%

4 to 6 years
2%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
4%

1 month
7%

1 to 3 months
42%

3 to 6 months
29%

6 months to 1 year
12%

1 to 2 years
6%

2 to 4 years
0%

4 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality for this career
The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

100%

86%

24%

43%

33%

52%

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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