There are many benefits to working with animals, and that is a good career choice. But you may wonder how long does it take to become a become a vet tech.
The answer is about 2 years. You will need to go through a program in veterinary technology and will receive an associates degree when you graduate.
After graduation, you will need to become certified, registered, and licensed depending on the state you live. Most states require the Veterinary Technician National Examination to be taken.
Qualities of a veterinary technician
A love of being around animals is important. But equally important is have compassion around the animals and their owners.
The owners bring a sick pet to the clinic and may be sensitive when there is something wrong with their best friend.
Because you will deal with distraught pet owners and veterinarians, you will need to have good interpersonal skills.
You will also need to handle animals, some of which are large. This means good stamina. Manual dexterity is essential when completing a procedure, such as an injection or taking x rays.
Vet tech job description
- Treat ill or injured animals by monitoring their clinical symptoms
- Prepare for and assist in surgery
- Administer, monitor, and maintain anesthesia during surgery
- Monitor animals recovering from surgery
- Perform laboratory tests by collecting and analyzing test specimens to assist the veterinarian in diagnosing conditions
- Take and develop x rays
- Fill medications and maintain a drug inventory
- Perform injections, administer medications and vaccines, and run IVs
Pay and outlook
If you choose to be a vet tech, you wont receive the same pay scale associated with other 2-year degrees in the medical field.
Vet tech pay is way lower. The median annual wage was $29,710 in 2010, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Eighty percent earned between $20,500 to $44,030.
Veterinary technicians are in demand, though. The BLS notes that there will be an expected growth of 52 percent between 2010 to 2020.
From a numerical standpoint, that involves 41,700 more jobs a rate of 4,170 new jobs each year for 10 years.
The BLS expects the rise because pets become like children to some people they become a part of the family. These people are willing to pay for pet care.
Also, veterinary medicine, like all of healthcare nowadays, has advanced and procedures have improved and became more efficient.
Where do veterinary technicians work?
You can find employment as a vet tech is animal clinics, hospitals, zoos, animal shelters, and boarding kennels.
An interesting tidbit about this position: Injuries and illnesses are higher than the national average for it. Because scared or aggressive animals are on the attack, they may bite, scratch, or kick all of which can result in injury.
I hope this information about how long does it take to become a become a vet tech has been helpful.