Spend Your Day Caring for Animals
You have always had a passion for animals, and you love the thrill of a fast-paced work environment where you get to face a new challenge every day.
While many pet owners dread taking their animals into the vet, you have always found it incredibly interesting.
You have thought about what it would be like to work in a vet clinic, and now, you are strongly considering pursuing a career as a veterinary technician.
In this post, we will fill you in on the typical responsibilities and roles of a vet tech, the benefits of working as one, and where you can find top vet tech programs that will help you to jump-start your career.
It is time to stop dreaming of how to become a veterinarian technician and take the first step towards making it happen.
What Does a Veterinarian Technician Do?
Before we get into the benefits of pursuing a career as a vet tech, let us first make sure you understand what a vet tech entails.
In a nutshell, you are there to assist the veterinarian with the more technical and routine tasks so that they can focus on developing the specific care plan and carrying out any procedures.
You will greet pets and their devoted caretakers when they first arrive (one of the best parts of the job) and help to calm them down as they enter into the exam room (both pet and owner!) You will speak with the pet’s owner and take notes about the reason for the visit, discussing any behavioral issues they have noticed that could indicate a health problem, and review the animal’s overall health history.
You will also give the animal a basic physical exam.
This includes checking the animal’s ears, eyes, heartbeat, taking its temperature, or administering vaccines.
If the animal has been brought to the vet to have bloodwork or any other kind of lab tests done, you will also be responsible for collecting the samples and analyzing the results.
If the lab work is a bit more complicated, you will still collect the samples, take x-rays, and so on; but the veterinarian will be the one who interprets them and discusses courses of action, if required.
When owners bring their pets in for a surgical procedure, you will prepare the exam room, clean and ready any equipment, and sedate the animal if needed.
Vet techs consistently monitor the animal’s vital signs over the course of the surgery, along with passing the vet any medical instruments, cleaning up as needed, and assisting in any other way the vet requests.
One of the most important roles of a vet tech is to help the pet recover after surgery. This includes providing the owner with after care instructions, prepping the animal for recovery and discussing how to monitor the pet for complications. This may include instructing the owner on how to administer medicine, and when to alert the vet should complications arise.
The Benefits of Working as a Vet Tech
So, what exactly makes working as a veterinary technician so rewarding?
Of course, it is fun to have the chance to be surrounded by animals and take cute pictures of yourself with puppies and kittens. But being a vet tech is a serious profession that requires training and licensing.
Working as a vet tech offers many more benefits than just the chance for a cuddle or a photo opportunity.
Read on to learn what exactly makes this job so rewarding.
1. A Strong Job Market
We know that, especially in today’s world, most students are concerned about job security and earning potential.
Working as a vet tech provides you with a kind of job security that few other professions typically offer. In fact, the job outlook for vet techs will grow by a whopping 20% by 2026.
And because fewer people are working as veterinary technicians today than in the past, there is an incredibly high demand for them. This means that you likely will not have to wait long to find a job once you have finished your training and obtained your licensure. Though, sometimes finding a job as a vet tech requires relocation to another town or state.
Vet techs have much more flexibility about where to work than other professions. It is a job you can take with you anywhere, so you do not have to worry about finding work if you decide to move to a new city or even if you want to take time off for a few years.
2. A Unique Work Environment
What’s one of the best parts of becoming a veterinary technician?
It is a work environment that is fast-paced, varies daily, and requires you to use both hard and soft skills.
In a nutshell, it is tough to have a boring a day when you work as a vet tech.
A typical day may involve collecting specimens, forming relationships with human and animal clients, physically restraining nervous pets to prevent injury, conducting lab tests, working directly alongside the vet during a surgical procedure, giving an animal its medication, and even working with exotic animals.
Vet techs learn about each animal’s specific personality, health history, and behavioral patterns – and you will likely find that you truly get to know patients and their owners over the years.
Plus, there is much more workplace variety within the field than you might expect.
You could work in a 24/7 animal hospital, a private vet practice, a zoo, a vet testing lab, on a farm, or even in a research facility.
3. The Knowledge That You Are Making a Difference
It is no secret that there’s an incredibly special bond between pets and their owners.
As a veterinary technician, you get to experience that beautiful bond every day – and help to strengthen and extend it by keeping pets happy and healthy.
It is nice to be able to return home every day knowing that you helped to save a pet’s life, manage their pain, or properly diagnose a medical condition.
You also have the chance to educate clients about how to take the best possible care of their pets.
Because the veterinarian is often busy racing from one room to another, you will also have the chance to spend much more time with the animals than they will. You will come to love your “regulars” just as much as their owners do.
Plus, vet techs help things run much more smoothly and efficiently at the vet’s office, so they can see more patients and provide care to more animals every day.
4. An Opportunity for Growth
Vet tech jobs also offer a unique opportunity for growth and the chance to continue your education to earn a potentially higher salary over the long run.
You can take advantage of one or more of the 11 vet tech specialty certification areas as recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
You can choose to focus on areas like surgery, dentistry, equine care, nutrition, internal medicine, and much more.
How to Become a Vet Tech
If the benefits and the job description of a vet tech appeal to you, then you are likely curious about the process of becoming a veterinary technician.
The first step is to research potential veterinarian technician schools in your area.
You will need to earn your Veterinary Technician Specialized Associate Degree, (A.S.T. for short) which typically takes an about one-and-a-half years to complete.
Above all, you need to ensure that the school you are looking into is an accredited school for vet tech, which means that the program follows educational standards and prepares you for a career as a vet tech.
As a vet tech student you will take courses in a variety of areas, like veterinary medical technology, surgical nursing, anatomy, animal diseases, exotic animal management, animal nutrition, anesthesiology, pharmacology, and more.
You will also take more general education courses, like English, professional development, and even biology and chemistry
Vet tech students will prepare for the Veterinary Technician National Exam, a requirement to earn your licensure.
You should also look into programs that offer externships as these will give you supervised, hands-on experience. As a part of your training, an externship will enable students to have the chance to try out the skills learned in the classroom in a real veterinary practice. This enables you to gain a better understanding of what a typical day as a vet tech is like, helps you to learn how to manage your time, and allows you to make connections with veterinarians in your area.
So, where can you find a vet tech program that is a good fit for you?
Apply to Our Veterinary Technician Program in Erie Today
You have learned about the unique duties and work environment of a veterinarian technician, as well as what makes the career such an exciting and rewarding one.
Now, you are more certain than ever that it is a career you could excel in – and a job you could genuinely look forward to every day.
When you are ready to begin your journey toward becoming a vet tech, you need to make sure you have found an associate degree program that will teach you the necessary skills and provide you with an externship so you can hone those skills and prepare for your career as a vet tech.
That is where we come in.
Click here to keep learning more about what makes our vet tech program in Erie, PA so strong, and even learn how to request more program information and enroll.