Animals need proper love and care, just like humans, especially if they have been injured or hurt. For most people, though, the health of animals does not seem like a promising career, but in truth, it can be very rewarding. A good beginning of a career in taking care of animals is becoming a veterinary technician. They work with small animals in veterinary institutions, but are also known to work at farms and take care of cows, pigs and cattle. But the most exciting position is probably working in a zoo with bigger, exotic animals who are far away from their natural habitats.
1. Daily Working Environment
The daily tasks of veterinary technicians include observing the conditions of the animals and raising the alarm if one of them is injured or needs help. They bathe animals, and provide first aid if needed, and if they work in a veterinary hospital, they take care of the animals’ medical charts, and take samples for laboratory examination. They also take and develop x-rays, and prepare animals for surgeries. Their most important tasks is ensuring that the animals are treated kindly and that their owners are aware of the type of care the animal needs at home. The work schedule depends on the work setting. A veterinary clinic needs to work 24 hours, so you might need to work in shifts, while research laboratories and private clinics work usual business hours.
2. Education requirements
In order to be a veterinary technician you need to have an Associate Degree from an accredited college or university. The accreditation is done by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). An associate’s degree takes about two years to complete, and can be taken straight after high school without needing any previous experience. If you complete a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technology, you can become a licensed vet or work as a researcher in a research facility. The programs and curriculums involve both theoretical lessons and a lot of practice in veterinary facilities. On the other hand, you can become a veterinary technician without going to college, and you can get training on the job, but this is not available in every state.
3. Salary and job outlook
The median salary of a veterinary technician is around $32,350. The highest paid veterinary technicians earn around $45,710 per year. However, in 2015 the average wage per hour for a veterinary technician was $17.40. Therefore, a regular work day for 26 days a month, 12 months a year, would amount to a yearly salary of $43,430.40.
Veterinary technicians have a very positive job outlook. The number of available positions is on the rise because clinics and facilities prefer to hire veterinary technicians instead of assistants because veterinary technicians are more knowledgeable and can take on more tasks than a veterinary assistant. All of this accounts to a predicted growth of 19% by the year 2024, which is a better outlook compared to many other professions, both in the field and out of it.