Thinking about digging your claws in to train for a new career as a veterinary technician? A career as a vet tech can be exciting and rewarding, but just how do you get started? Don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through the steps. In this post, we will share some things you can do that will help you get started with your training and be well on your way to a career as a vet tech.
Veterinary technicians assist veterinarian doctors with a wide variety of procedures and tasks, typically at veterinary hospitals and clinics. That means you’ll be supporting veterinary doctors and assistants with lab procedures, exams and animal care. You’ll also work with pet owners and animal care providers to provide education and guidance for proper care and treatment, based upon the doctor’s instructions. Your patients might include exotic animals, birds, large animals and typical household pets such as cats and dogs. You’ll provide comfort to both the pet and the pet’s caregiver, great customer service, and help ensure a clean and safe veterinary environment.
Veterinary technicians perform a wide variety of functions, depending on the type of practice they work within. Vet techs might administer anesthesia, perform dental prophylaxis, establish and open airways, administer resuscitative oxygen procedures, administer external cardiac resuscitation, and administer drugs. You’ll provide wellness care, assist with exams, and more.
Administrative duties might include supporting, scheduling, and communicating with animals owners/care providers; billing and bookkeeping; and general office management or support.
Where to train for a career as a veterinary technician
If you have a busy life and don’t think you have time to train for a new career, think again. Maybe you are a full-time parent, a working adult, or both, and you feel like you barely have time to breathe. Whatever the reason, you shouldn’t worry. You can typically earn your veterinary technician associate degree part time from a local college.
Programs like the one offered at the Institute of Medical and Business Careers(IMBC), can typically be completed part-time in about a year-and-a-half. Perfect for people with busy lives that want to start a new career. Make sure you attend an accredited college too. Accreditation means that the college meets certain academic and student support standards, among other requirements. This usually gives you piece of mind that your training is of a good quality.
Obtaining your veterinary technician certification
Getting your degree is an important step in learning the skills to become a veterinary technician, but it’s not the only step. You may want to consider getting your certification too; in fact, many states require you to be certified before gaining employment. Certification shows employers you’ve obtained the necessary skills to be a successful veterinary technician. Some schools will even pay for your certification exam, like IMBC.
Although each state regulates veterinary technologists and technicians differently, the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York require technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).
Additionally, you should be confident you can perform the following tasks, as they are common for many veterinary technicians:
- Ability to tolerate walking and standing for sustained and prolonged periods of time (85% of workday).
- Capable of lifting from floor to waist level and/or carrying up to fifty pounds unassisted frequently, and more with assistance occasionally.
- Ability to bend over at the waist, twist the trunk, squat, kneel, reach above the head, and have sufficient grip strength. Have the body size, conformation, and fitness to do the physical work required of a technician.
- Ability to see, to speak (in English), and to hear well enough to communicate observations about animals, and to possess arm and hand steadiness — as well as finger dexterity — to operate equipment and work with animals.
- Some employers may require a criminal background check or drug test.
Searching for a Veterinary Technician Jobs
Once you have your degree and certifications, you’ll be ready to begin your career search. Your school’s career services department is the perfect place to assist with your search. They will help you:
- Prepare your résumé
- Search for and apply to jobs (sometimes online)
- Help you get ready for an interview
You can also begin your search using online job sites, such as:
Ready to get started and want to learn more? Contact a school like IMBC and you’ll be on your way to a rewarding career as a veterinary technician.