There are a variety of places that a veterinary technician may find a job. Some of the most popular places include animal hospitals, zoos, research facilities and private practices. Other veterinary technicians may even become teachers themselves to help others get their degrees.Additionally, there are jobs in medical related fields where the technicians can help assist in research projects such as gene therapy. Sometimes, technicians might be required to help assist in difficult tasks such as euthanizing injured, sick or unwanted animals.
Education & Training Requirements for Veterinary Technicians
For those that are interested in becoming a veterinary technician, they have the option of choosing to complete a two-year program at an accredited college or a four-year program. The two-year program offers the minimum education requirements for a degree. Along with the education requirements, laboratory and clinical experience is also needed and is a vital part of the training.
There are many accredited programs available to choose from across the United States. Once graduated, a student must take and pass a veterinary credentialing exam to be able to get a job.
Every state has different rules regarding what is needed to be a technician. However, every state does require the credentialing exam once graduated. The exam includes written, oral and practical sections. When a student passes the exam, they have the option of becoming registered, certified or licensed. This depends on the state in which the candidate resides and decides to work in.
If a graduate decides that they would like to work in a research facility, the graduate must pass the exam and obtain a certificate of completion from the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science. To obtain this, candidates must have certain education achievements as well as experience in an animal facility’s laboratory.
The learning is not quite over after all of the courses and exams. When a graduate receives a job, there will also be a lot of on-the-job training to complete. Technicians will need to become very familiar with many pieces of laboratory equipment. They will also need to spend much time becoming familiar with their specific job’s facility and office procedures.
How to Get a Job After Graduating
Most veterinary training schools will offer help finding a job to their graduates. Along with that, graduates should take time to apply to many job listings for the best chances at finding work quickly. Applications should be put in at private practices, animal hospitals and research facilities. There are many websites online that can aid a graduate in finding a veterinary technician job in their area. Also, local newspapers are also a great way to find any job openings as well.
Career Advancement Opportunities and Employment Outlook
Vet techs with lots of experience will generally move on to become supervisors. Other technicians will further their careers and become instructors or assist veterinarians in laboratory research projects such as biomedical research or gene therapy. The employment outlook for veterinary technicians looks bright.
The field is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. Pet owners are wanting better care for their animals than ever before and the amount of people with multiple pets is increasing in the United States. As more veterinary technicians retire, those spots will need to be filled.
Working Conditions for Veterinary Technicians
Working as a veterinary techs can be very hard work. Dealing with sick, injured, abused and unwanted animals on a daily basis can be emotionally draining. The job is also very physical and can lead to scratches and bites from animals. Many technicians are required to lift injured animals, help clean cages and help secure hostile or scared animals. The hours for most technicians are long and some can be on-call twenty-four hours a day. Generally, most veterinary technicians work 40 hours each week or more.