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Child posing as a vetQuestions about veterinary salaries are a common theme in the Pre-Vet & Career Forum. This post, originally from 2005, has garnered more comments than any other blog post on this site. The comments for this post are as honest and "real" as it gets for people discussing salary and other considerations for when they decide on a career path.

Original forum post:
MCPITBULL asks: "I know this is a little out-there and bold, but I was wondering how much a vet tech makes hourly. I would like to become a vet tech through the Education Direct, but I would like to know how much they make hourly round-a-bout before I get too into it..."

March 2009 update - Please consider posting your own "mini article" on this topic in the new Readers Respond area on this site: Can Love and Money Coexist?

For questions about a career as a veterinary technician, please see the Veterinary Careers - Vet Tech section.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Michael Greenberg


May 21, 2006 at 10:33 pm
(1) Jen says:

I must be honest with you…if you get into this career, you will not be doing it for the money!! Unfortunately, in the 10 years that I have been working as a certified veterinary technician (meaning I went to school and took the national boards), I have come to realize that the pay pretty much stinks no matter where you go or what aspect of vet tech work you get into (unless you go into research) Trying to “live” as a single person (without roommates) is nearly impossible. I am in Boulder, Colorado which has an extremely outrageous cost of living and the “poverty level income” here is $16/hr. Needless to say, despite many years of experience and everyone telling me that I’m the best technician they’ve ever worked with, I’m still only making $14/hr. So, make your decision carefully. Don’t get me wrong…it is a very fun and rewarding job but you will most likely always be living paycheck to paycheck without much hope of saving any money. I tell you this in all honesty, it is not an easy way to make a living and I do not live lavishly by any means. My boyfriend and I rent a small studio apt and I drive a 1989 pickup so it isn’t as if the reason I have nothing left over is due to lots of debt or overextending myself. If you can pull it off for the love of the profession, go for it…otherwise, think long and hard and be sure to think about the cost of living in your area compared to the going wages for vet techs.

June 3, 2006 at 7:22 pm
(2) LJ says:

I would have to agree with Jen. I have been in this career for 20 years now and am supervising technicians, I only receive 14.50 an hour. I also am licensed, yet my career choice will never allow me to live beyond paycheck to paycheck either. I have chosen this career because I love what I do, however it would be a welcome change in our community to be recognized financially for all that we are trained to do.

June 8, 2006 at 4:52 am
(3) MICHELLE says:

I have to say look around at the different states and see what the pay wage is. I started as a assistant 14 years ago now I have graduated took my boards and never looked back . I make 17.oo an hour in emergency , I tried research and it was great and the money too. If you want to get in for money aspect then go to school and get into research or how about pharmacy reps, the money to is equally good but look around. I do reccomend the school aspect you have more doors opened to you. Good luck and just remember nobody gets rich in this business .

August 31, 2006 at 10:18 pm
(4) Heather says:

I have been in the field for seven years, and just became licensed this year. I make $20/hr in a referral practice (and I have only been employed there for 2 years). The money is there, if you are good at what you do, and you know where to look.

September 12, 2006 at 11:39 pm
(5) Amy says:

I quit my corporate job (making $40,000/year) to follow my dream of becoming a veterinary technician. I graduated in 2004 with no experience, except from the externships. I currently work in an emergency/specialty/referral hospital and make $15/hour. It you look, you can find where the money is at. You also must be dedicated and good at your job! But if you want to work at a small practice with only 2 or 3 doctors, you won’t make much. I agree with the others, however. This isn’t a job you do for the money. It’s fun, rewarding and challenging work. I will never regret the career change!

December 7, 2006 at 9:27 am
(6) kim says:

That is a great question. I am hoping to go into the same line of work. I live in Maine and hope to stay here but I also don’t want to have to live paycheck to paycheck.

December 15, 2006 at 8:55 pm
(7) Jen says:

I am in this boat now. I have worked with animals for years and I am about to start vet tech school in January. It is a 10 month program and what I want to do is be a rescue shelters vet tech. I am sure they don’t make much money at all but the important thing is that I love working with homeless unwanted animals who have nobody else.

My dad on the other hand is not going to understand this. It is all about making money…

December 27, 2006 at 9:37 am
(8) Beth says:

Wow, I just realized how underpaid I really am. I have been working as a certified veterinary technician for ten years. I currently make $10.20/hr. I live overseas at a military facility. This is the most I have ever made and I previously worked in New Jersey..which has one of the highest costs of living around. Before I was married I lived pay check to pay check and never had any left over. Sometimes not even enough to buy food! It is a profession that is truly a labor of love. Do not expect to make decent money in the field. Beyond that the job may not be worth the stress. I have suffered frequent emotional burnout due to my deep passion and love for my job. It is a frustrating career…but one I would love to stay in forever if I could survive on it. Instead I decided to become an RN so I could survive financially. (But I can’t work as an RN here..so fate has brought me back to the field). I suppose if you look really hard you might be able to find a position that pays well..but I have never known a technician who made more than $15/hr and that is with over ten years of experience. I have known technicians who have made as little as $8!

January 1, 2007 at 9:16 pm
(9) Katie says:

Wow… It is definitely different from state to state. I live in NY and I am only a part time assistant/kennel worker and I already make $13/hour. I will be finished with tech school and hopefully licensed in 2008, and I am already promised $23/hour to start where I am now. Which is a 4 doctor hospital. I have not checked out many places in my area… maybe I just got lucky??

January 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm
(10) jacki says:

Hey just a word of advice, be very carefull with education direct. I took the vet assistant program with them and could not find a job. Be advised that you need that clinical experiance that a technical school or college offers. I did learn valuable information, but of all the apps and resumes I sent out I got no responses with education direct listed as my educational backround and after speaking with a few human resource managers in several hospitals they basicly told me that my “credentials” with an online program were no good. Do the research before you spend the money!

January 17, 2007 at 6:28 pm
(11) Jim says:

Education Direct has changed to Penn Foster College. The Veterinary Technician program is an Associate In Science Degree program now and is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). You can even transfer credits from another college up to 50% of courses. Don’t confuse this with the Penn Foster Career School Veterinary Assistant program which is a diploma program, not a 2 year degree. The Vet Assistant program is not accredited by the AVMA.

February 1, 2007 at 12:22 pm
(12) Andi says:

I have been in the vet tech program at CCM in NJ only to have to leave it to work. I started a petsitting business, making a heck of alot more than vet techs do. Now, I am trying to become an RN, because the money is great. I’d love to go back to school to be a vet tech though. The earnings is the big deterrment. My heart is saying yes, but my head says, your just going to keep being poor. Is there any hope for people like me?????


February 1, 2007 at 2:31 pm
(13) Morgan says:

Has anyone graduated from the Penn Foster College for the Vet Tech program? There isn’t a school here in Orlando and it looks like that is my only choice unless I move. So my question is has anyone grauated with an online degree and sucessfully got a job as a Vet Tech?

February 6, 2007 at 7:39 am
(14) dan says:

Katie – what part of NY are you in?

February 22, 2007 at 12:20 pm
(15) Christine Crossley says:

Katie, there are a few on-line programs that are accredited by the AVMA. Try San Juan College (Which is due to be accredited in April 07′ or Cedar Valley College which is accredited already. You do the program Part time, must be employed in an approved animal health facility and wind up with your AA in Veterinary Technology. Perhaps the place to start is by getting a job in a practice where maybe you can start cleaning cages and runs like I did. . . GOOD LUCK.

February 23, 2007 at 7:36 am
(16) Mary says:

Hey, try checking out Banfield. They hire vet tech without experience and are willing to train on the job.

February 25, 2007 at 1:59 am
(17) Jenn says:

Well as far as i know the vet tech program at penn foster just recently became certified, so you probably wont find anyone just yet. I am also enrolled in the program, and also working as a tech making 7 dollars an hour. So don’t feel so bad guys! It truly is a career of passion, but if the passion is there for you it is very rewarding regaurdless of the pay. I wouldn’t leave this field for anything.

March 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm
(18) erin says:

I am 14 years old,I have huge intrestes in being in the vet business world. I love animals I am willing to do anything to help them out . They are my passion.So right know you are probably thinking you have no idea about the money they are getting paid. but i have actually heard that vets are rich. call me crazy, but thats what is going around, and is probably true , since the animal population is increasing. but its not about the money anyways its about the animals.

March 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm
(19) T.B. says:

I am a senior tech and office mgr at an equine practice. I have been in my position for 14 yrs. Our technicians and myself all make $15 / hr. for our tech work. We also have health benefits, 401K plan, profit sharing and other perks. I am fortunate enough to have taken over the management end which entitles me to a % of the gross as well. I strongly believe you have to look really hard at the employers before making that commitment, as most of them will pay as little as possible to keep their help. If you proove yourself as excellent staff, they will recognize that. Then they need to be made aware what options are out there for you. If they know that they have good staff and they will go elsewhere unless they offer a compatable salary/benefits, which can be obtained elsewhere, they will be more likely to try harder to meet your needs. Good Luck!

April 3, 2007 at 3:05 pm
(20) Megan says:

I am considering doing a vet tech. distance education program, but decided first to pursue a position as an assistant (not needing a degree) to make sure I could handle it. Like others are saying..the money is out there. You’ll never make a Vet’s salary, but Im in WV and just got a position as a vet assistant making 9 dollars an hour- with no degree or anything (I know someone above said they were only making 10 something and HAD a degree..so the state obviously matters.) I feel sure that if the Veterinary practice works for me and I get an A.A. in science to be a R.V.T then I could make enough money to be happy.

April 17, 2007 at 11:42 am
(21) Tammy says:

I just got out of high school last year and I am on my way to being a vet tech. The thing is I don’t want to work with dogs and cats, I would love to work with monkeys and exotic animals is this the right field?

April 18, 2007 at 11:44 am
(22) Angie says:

I want to be an Avian Vet Tech, specifically for exotic birds (parrots & toucans) but I bet they make less than ordinary vet techs. (Which only sucks becuase I don’t want to live pay check to paycheck for the REST of my life, and I couldn’t afford my own parrots!)
Anyone know the average salaries of avian vets?

April 21, 2007 at 2:43 am
(23) K says:

I graduate from a well-known vet tech school in Colorado this June and have been trying to “rally the troops” since the first day of school. I firmly beleive that one of the reasons techs make so little money is . . . BECAUSE WE ACCEPT THE LOW PAY. Over and over, people are saying to “not expect much” or that it is a “labor of love.” Yes, it is. I agree. But, that does not mean that our hard work, educational investment and training should go uncompensated. Techs accepting $7.00 per hour should be absolutely ashamed of themselves! We are well-educated and trained professionals and should demand to be compensated as such. There is a huge shortage of certified and licensed technicians in this country (reports say there are 6-8 jobs out there for every certified tech), so we should have the upper hand when it comes to negotiating salaries. Why do we continue to let ourselves be taken advantage of? Look around at your clinics. Would they be able to operate at all without their techs? They know they can’t, but they also know they can get the better end of the deal by paying you a minimal wage. Collectively, we all need to start requiring that our skills be valued and our passion for the industry rewarded. Be sure though, that your work ethic is solidly in place and your commitment to the betterment of veterinary medicine is second to none. Give your employers no reason whatsoever to tell you that you’re not worth your weight in gold. This may mean being the first to arrive and the last to leave each day, volunteering to help where needed, and going the extra mile whenever possible. Oh wait, we all do that already! Let’s rally together and I promise you, vet tech salaries WILL increase. They’ll have to. Think about it and please share stories. Thank you.

April 23, 2007 at 8:22 am
(24) Kanya says:

I work at a vet clinic as a receptionist/Assistant while I am going to school to get my Vet Tech degree. I actually asked to be salary instead of hourly and I am making $20/hr there now. When I was hourly I was making $15/hr so the money is out there you just need to find it. Also the Veterinarians tend to pay better if you ask for salary instead of hourly. Just something for you to guys to think about.

May 3, 2007 at 2:17 am
(25) Monika says:

Kanya (or anyone else) what are the salary equivalents of $20/hour and $15/hour, etc? I am a VERY soon-to-be college graduate with a B.S. in Animal Science. I’m looking at other career options because it seems my passion will have to wait. I’m trying to get a handle on how much money I should be asking for when I apply to different jobs. I really despise money, and could use some help!

May 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm
(26) Marieliz says:

I’m interested in going back to school to pursue Vet Tech. Has anyone heard anything about the Bradford School of Business’ Vet Tech Institute? I’m also having a hard time finding a school close enough (live close to Orlando). Do Vets usually hire people with no experience?

May 30, 2007 at 2:23 am
(27) Tish says:

If you are interested in a distance education program, i would really recommend that you attend a program that is accredited by the AVMA…I think there are currently only 5 or so. Being a resident of Florida, I would look into St Petersburg College. They have both on campus and a distance program, they are accrecited, and they have a Bachelors program if you opt to continue on beyond your AS.

July 10, 2007 at 8:46 am
(28) LIsa says:

I have been an unlicsenced vet tech for about 10 yrs now. Yes, the pay is horrible. I started at $8. and now I am at $18. per hour. You get burnt out. The clinics charge people an arm and a leg compared to what it actually costs!!! It is not all about petting Fluffy. It is a business. In addition, You do have to wrestle aggressive dogs at times…cats too. You must always be on your “toes” or accept the fact that you will get bit. A cat bite can be quite nasty. As much as you love that fluffy animal, it may be scared and not love you. I feel that being a tech is a fun job for a while but also a dead end job. Where is the advancement if you do not attend veterinary school? So if you have zero aspirations of becoming a DVM, choose another career that makes more money. This will enable you to pay your bills and you can always volunteer at clinics or shelters and help out with the animals.

July 24, 2007 at 7:10 pm
(29) Phil says:

Been a technician for 14 years…about time we get a union started and stop worrying what that AVMA is gonna say about it!

August 1, 2007 at 9:29 am
(30) MIchelle says:

Wow, I am really glad I found this forum. I am 21 and making 43k per year without having completed either of my degrees yet ( i am 2+ years away from completing a double major in marketing and business management). I think I would starve to death making $10-15 dollars an hour… I *was* considering getting into a vet tech program, but the pay mentioned on here is stagering. I love animals, and would be very interested in going in as a DVM, but the closest school is 5 hours away and the vet I spoke with said the curriculum was so rigorous that you really arent allowed to have a job, so my 43K a year could be kissed goodbye, plus the insane debt of going to vet school would be added. It really is ashame that a) the pay for a tech is so low and b) there are only 15-20 veterinary schools in this country.

Both of those aspects makes it increasingly difficult for those of us with the passion and drive to be good in this field to actually take a leap. Yes I love animals, and specifically would excel in equine studies, but I cannot be happy with my job if I am constantly in a state of financial distress. What a shame…

August 4, 2007 at 12:13 pm
(31) Stephanie says:

I’m so nervous. I’m going into a vet tech program at PIMA Medical Institute. I’m registered and am enrolled. I knew before hand the money was tight, but I’m just nervous of living my entire life paycheck to paycheck. I know it’s possible, but it’s almost terrifying knowing I can’t do anything about it.

The job I love doesn’t pay much.
But I know it’ll be worth it because my heart lies with animals, but im just so confused about how I’m gonna handle this.

August 8, 2007 at 9:18 am
(32) Kayla says:

I live in Florida, and i just recently enrolled in a local community college. AFter taking my pre reqs i plan on going to get my vet tech degree. I’ve been applying at local clinics as a receptionist, or anything i can get, to hopefully get some hands on training while going to school, but so far ive had no luck at all. Is there anyone that could give me some pointers? Maybe something extra i could do? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


August 12, 2007 at 4:04 pm
(33) Megan says:

I’m also planning on applying for a position in a vet tech program next fall, and i’m not sure how it works elsewhere, but here in oregon, the acceptance into the program is based on a point system, and experience in a vet clinic gets you uber points. i’m going to volunteer at a clinic while at my full time job, and then maybe try to be a part-time receptionist while in school. i think volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door. if you show that you are willing to work hard for no money, the employer will likely be eager to hire you knowing that you’ll just work that much harder when you’re actually getting paid. this is what has been suggested to me by a friend whose step-father is a vet, and she’s worked with him in his clinic for about 10 years. hope this helps a little!


August 19, 2007 at 1:06 am
(34) Aaron says:

This has been a lifelong dream of mine to become a vet tech reading some of your comments has me scared as far as the money aspect but in life sometimes you have to sacrifice and compromise to fullfill a dream so i won’t be discouraged i know it will take alot of hard work and dedication to succeed

August 30, 2007 at 1:15 pm
(35) Nichole says:

I have an interview today for a Vet Tech position but i do not have much experience nor a degree in this field but they were impressed with my resume. I have a whole lot of experience in Public Health but not animals in particular. What should i expect? I live in TN

September 3, 2007 at 9:21 pm
(36) Rick D says:

hey guys i was reading through what all of yall are saying about the vet tech stuff and i think all of what you are saying is true. i am currently at a high school that gives majors (one of the few in the country to do this) and im in the Vet Tech program. im a jr. and when i graduate i have a liscense as a vet tech. i just wanna know what i should do from here. keep goin. i love animals and i would like to work with farm animals in the country where there arent many vets. do i need to go all the way to vet to open my on place in the backwoods or what? i work at a clinic right now making $12 bucks an hour and paying for gas is about 1/3 my paycheck every week. i wanna know how much longer would i need to go to school to get to be a vet and is it worth it if i wanna be happy in the long run. college isnt cheap guys and i might need to take the student loan.

October 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm
(37) GL says:

K, in comment #23 above (April 21, 2007), is absolutely right. Nothing will change until vet techs join forces and collectivly refuse to work for such low pay. You may have to put up with being considered a troublemaker in the short term, but that will change when the vets can’t find anyone willing to do the work that supports their own salaries (the median salary for a vet in the U.S. in 2004 was $66,590/annum, and 10% earned more than $118,000, US Dept of Labor stats). So don’t just give in to dismal pay, as if it’s ordained in heaven and cannot be changed. Get together and create the change.

October 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm
(38) Felicia says:

Anyone that hopes to get involved in the profession of veterinary technology should never expect to make much money. That was drilled into my head on my very first day at tech school. Several years later, I’m speacialized (VTS), published, and lecture locally and nationally. I still barely make enough to make ends meet – and I do not live beyond my means at all!
It’s more than just caring for animals. It’s about continually learning, science, working with people that make you want to do better, and yes…a deep caring for people and their pets.
Money – no way.
Personal satisfaction – great but you have to work for it.

December 4, 2007 at 5:18 am
(39) Ashli Johnson says:

For me, I am a 22 yr old college student and in my 5th year. ya….5th year. I have been from Atlanta(which is where i am from) to Connecticut and back to Savannah Ga. I began as Pre-vet but with the high demands for vet school and requirements i have changed my major to other things in the medical field-now in health science. I got offered a job at a vet while i was in school in CT but ended up not taking it because they thought my schedule was too demanding with 17 hours of school a semester and college cheerleading, which is understanding. At this point I am ready to graduate with something and to stop living off of a waitress pay in a restaurant and bar. I just decided to apply to a school in Charleston which is about an hour and a half away and go back to the closest thing that was my original major and livelong dream. IS it a good decision? When i was 13 my mother worked in an internal medicine vet and i used to work there for free all summer and clean cages, weigh in animals, take temps, walk them, sit in on surgeries and acupuncture. i loved it and i have alot of science behind my belt like chem 1 and 2, botany, anatomies, and some health classes. is it hard to get into the programs????
just trying to finally figure out where my college life is finally going to end.

December 6, 2007 at 9:55 pm
(40) Jen Heiden says:

I am 22, I have attended a few different schools for a few different things. I have recently started a vet tech program and i knew going in that the pay they made was average 12.50 and hour. and I thought well i guess i could make a living off of it. But the more i think about it, the more i don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. of course i can save some but still. i want to be able to live life. do exciting things, and maybe a career as a vet tech isn’t the way to go for that. I love the program so far. i love working with animals but…i just wish they weren’t underpaid. Right now i am deciding weather or not i should continue with my vet tech program or switch to a different school for a different major. I believe that a vet tech is a career for someone who is in a two income household. not for a single person trying to support themselves own their own. My vet tech teacher told me she left the field because of the pay. its rewarding in every other way except the money.Just from what i heard.

January 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm
(41) B says:

I am currently in my first semester at an accredited school in Ca for the Vet-tech program. It’s very important to become specialized in a particular field of your choice once you finish the vet-tech program. Yes, it’s more schooling but you will be heads above the rest who do not go further with their education. The choice is yours.

January 9, 2008 at 7:03 pm
(42) Elle says:

Whew… Where do I begin??? I am currently a Licensed (in two states) Head Vet Tech with 25 continously employed years of experience. I love my job, but am leaving the profession.

I worked for 20 years at the same practice, until I relocated with my husband. EVERY position I interviewed for, I was offered. My professional references are excellent… I have worked waaaay too many 10-14 hour days, waaay too many over 40 hour work weeks with no overtime, (just “comp” time) nights, weekends and holidays. I truly belive in capitalism and God bless the business person making a lot of money… BUT, veterinary practice owners know and have known for the longest time that people- mostly women, go into this profession for the love of it and exploit that fact!!! (Most) Young men do not want to go into a profession for the kind of money MOST veterinarians are willing to pay. Yes there are niches that exist as well as vets that pay decent monies, but for the most part, that is the exception to the rule!!! Yes, we can try to band together and refuse low slaries, but behind closed doors, most vets just hire kids to do the work an LVT does, ie: everything an RN does PLUS what an anesthsiologist does, a radiology tech does, an office manager etc, etc.

I would say to ANY young person, do your homework concerning salaries- as I did so many years ago, but be sure to realize that you will not be 20 years old forever. Think about where you see yourself in 10-20 years and how many hours a week you want to work later on in your career. Do you want a life outside of vet medicine??? Unless you use your tech schooling as a stepping stone to vet school… Find another career. Because to have a janitor in a school district with 3-5 years experience making more money than I, PLUS the fact that we have MINIMAL benefits to boot, is just NOT worth it!

You can continue to feed the part of your heart that made you consider being an animal nurse by volunteering your time to a worthy animal cause!!!

If you don’t really want to go to college, then start now looking for an entry level federal, county, state or city job. You will then have a NORMAL scheduled work week, REAL benefits as well as the opportunity to advance your career- and maybe have your education subsudised further with tuition assistance!!

I have been fortunate to have a husband that through the years made the REAL money we needed to live comfortably!! Now, I plan to change careers and use my skill and dedication elsewhere… AND be compensated appropriately!

P.S.- You can love another profession where you feel you are helping/ nurturing, doing something that in the bigger picture matters for your heart and others… Some examples: An RN, a respiratory tech, a physical therapist or PT tech, a radilolgy tech. Check out THEIR salaries!! Also, be sure to talk to people IN the profession to get the real low-down!!

Godd luck young people in your future endeavors!!

January 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm
(43) M.M. says:

Trust me, veterinarians can afford to pay their technicians well. You just can’t be afraid to ask for it. When you apply for the job, they almost always ask you to write down your expected pay on your application. If you write $10/hr, they’re going to give you $10/hr. So don’t undersell yourself! The first vet tech job I took, I made $9.50/hr. Eventually, I got so sick of working so much for such little pay, that I quit and found a new practice. This time, I asked for $16/hr, and wouldn’t ya know? I got it. You just have to find the right practice with the right doctor. Don’t work for someone who doesn’t appreciate the hard work and long hours that you will most definitely put into this job. Work for someone who will compensate you fairly. If they are unwilling to pay what you ask, there is always another hospital to apply at! Don’t just take any job, be picky! Because as much as we all love working with animals, we still have to be able to upport ourselves. And let’s face it, the veterinarians rely upon us heavily every single day so they’re willing to pay enough money for the right person.

February 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm
(44) Caitlyn says:

Im very interested in becomint a veterinary technician. The problem is that there are no school close to where I live. I was lookinga at Penn Foster that is now acredited by the AVMA. I just dont really understand how it works. If anyone one has any info or advise please let me know. I know this is what I wanna do and really want to get started but dont know where to begin.

February 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm
(45) Melody says:

Now I feel discouraged to look into Vet Tech school. I’ve volunteered at an animal clinic and I loved it, but now knowing how the pay is for technicians, I’m not sure. I’m a senior in high school, and I need help!! Kiss this dream goodbye or stick to it :/

February 20, 2008 at 10:32 pm
(46) Victoria says:

I was going to say the same thing as comment #44. I am almost 25, and tired of my current job. I am going to go nowhere where i am and they dotn appreciate my hard work. i was looking into the penn foster college to become a vet tech. I dont care about money, i just want a job that i can enjoy going to. i would appreciate any information that anybody has on this program.

February 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm
(47) Felix says:

I am about to enroll in a vet tech program at HCC in Tampa. I hope to specialize in working with excotic wildlife not just pets but any creature in need. I notice that the pay isn’t much but i believe that it is much more important for me to find something that i can enjoy. I can’t go on being a cashier even though i am full time with insurance making 9 an hour. I am starting to hate people more and more everyday. It sucks living in FL with it being a right to work state. There should absolutely be an union for vet workers. Exspecialy in FL. I hate to think a 3 year program will only get me a buck or two more that what i make now. I just need to remember I am doing this for something i can love rather than bitch about everyday.

February 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(48) petlvt says:

If you’re looking to make money as a vet tech, forget it. I’m in NY and started in 1983 as an assistant at a spay/neuter clinic, then in a hospital when I decided I wanted to go to school to find out why I was doing what I was doing! “Monkey-see-monkey-do” didn’t sit well with me. With alot of blood, sweat and tears I became licensed in 1997. My salary today in 2008? $15/hr. The highest salary I know of is $18/hr. (I work for a known cheap-skate!) Sometimes I am totally discouraged by my profession because vets in general do not want to pay, nor do they have respect for LVTs. They pay assistants and LVT’s alike. They just want their work done – period, they don’t care if it’s a high school kid off the street or an LVT who has loads of experience, knowledge, and skills. If I had to do it all over again? I wouldn’t. I would’ve gotten my associates (2 year)degree in veterinary science, become an LVT, and then I would’ve gone to Cornell as a Junior as they had offered. (Only needed an additional chemistry class!) My advise? If you don’t want to become a vet, just apply at a hospital – they’ll train you to be a tech!

March 3, 2008 at 9:51 pm
(49) Summer says:

I am actually attending Penn Foster as we speak, and i live in SC, one main reason i went with them, is because we DO NOT have a college here where I can take an online course and get an associates degree. i work full time, and do not have time to go and sit in a class all day after work, so Penn Foster was the right choice for me. They have Online deicussion groups, student forums, etc. Is really helpful. If your interested, check out their website! I also was aware of the salary, but like ive seen in previous comments, its the love of the job! I’m thinking that when i get my assoc. degree, im going to go back and actually get certified to be a Vet. and then maybe one day open my own clinic. those are my dreams!! Good luck to the ones who are thinking about school, and to those who are not. If you feel in your heart that this is what you want to do, please please go for it!

March 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm
(50) Jennifer says:

I got my veterinary assistant career diploma at thompsons education direct. which now is called penn foster, I recieved my diploma about four years ago. I have applied at three counties around where I live nothing.I have been to one interview the vet told me he would not hire me.I have lost my previous job two months ago and now I can not find another one. I do not suggest penn Foster to anyone I want my money and time wasted back.I am very dissapointed and hurt I worked so hard for that.

March 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm
(51) becky says:

i am a vet.tech and have been one for 25 years,and love every min. of it.
but make sure its what you want before you do it.

March 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm
(52) Amanda says:

So, would anyone here agree that becoming a Vet Tech is a good stepping stone to beginning one’s career as a vet? It has always been my dream to be a vet (with a specialty in herpetology) and I want to do the most I can to ensure I can make it into one of the schools in the US. I am 23 and on my way to a good career in advertising (soul-crushing) and more and more I want to go after my life-long dream. Would anyone here say that this is not a good idea – to be a vet tech to gain experience for veterinary school?

March 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm
(53) Christine says:

This is truely a labor of love. But please do not let others talk you out of it. I am an R.V.T and have worked through blood, sweat, and tears to gain respect in my hospital. Within 5 years (I know it seems long, but not when you look at lifetime career goals) I have gone from a start of $7.00 to a middle management postion of $18.00 hr – salary actually round about 37,XXX. If you prove yourself, and your employer is decent you can go places, aim for management. Over doubling your salary in 5 years isn’t too bad, plus if you work for a corp. you can even go above a clinic type job.

March 14, 2008 at 11:48 am
(54) Megan says:

Amanda: Maybe to get experience working in a vet hospital it would be an ok idea, but the two different tracks are very different education-wise. All programs I’ve seen make it clearly stated that a vet tech program is NOT a prerequisite for a veterinary medicine program. I wouldn’t waste time in vet tech school if what you really want to do is become a veterinarian. Volunteer at a vet hospital or shelter, or maybe even a part-time job, to get experience. That’s just my opinion and I’m just re-stating what vet tech schools have told me. Good luck in your career path and I hope you can pursue your dream!

March 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm
(55) Tiffany says:

I am currently attending a Vet Tech program in Iowa and the average salary here is between $10 and $13 an hour. The more critical and specialized the field, the more money you’ll make. In Iowa, VT programs are NOT stepping stones to full Vet degrees. Most colleges will not allow you to transfer VT courses to Vet school.

Being a tech is like being a SGT in the army. You get a little more respect than the privates(assistants), but you still do the grunt work and live in townhouses on post while the officers (Vets) live in the bigger, single homes on the other side of the post casting orders left and right. Officers who started as enlisted tend to give their SGT’s a little more respect.

If you want to get paid a little more, find a vet who started as a tech. We have one near here who gives each of her techs a set of assistants and they get paid well above average. Go into research, work for a zoo or put in your grunt time and got to work for the State as an inspector. Expecting $30/hr for this field right now is ludacris. People just aren’t willing to pay as much for their animals as they do for themselves, although that is changing every year.

As for me, my husband is military and he supports us on what he’s making. My career is purely for my happiness and any money I make is just gravy. I will not, however, accept anything under $12/hr after I graduate. I truly believe that accepting anything below that is keeping our salaries at their dismally low levels. — Just do your research, work cleaning kennels and think about what you really want from this job before heading off to school. —-Good luck and Godspeed to those who join us in this field!!

April 2, 2008 at 7:45 pm
(56) Nic says:

I would suggest to anyone that is starting to go to school to be a tech…work at a clinic part time while you’re going to school. If you know that you don’t care about the pathetic pay we make…for education sake you should work at a clinic. I went to an AVMA accredited school at 18 and wasn’t too passinate about my studies just the job I would have in future. I wish I had worked in a clinic while going to school because things would have made more sense to me as I was learning them. Remember to those that are going to school you have to get out and pass your boards. Without passing your boards you’re on the same pay as those that didn’t go to a school.

Like I said when I started school when I was 18; they warned us that if we wanted to make lots of money that this profession wasn’t for us. At 18 I was like $30,000 isn’t awful (it sure was a hell of a lot more than I was making) and thought I could live at least decent on it. Well only 5 years later I realize that one needs a lot more money to survive! If it wasn’t for me being in a relationship and being able to share rent with my boyfriend it would be impossible to live on my own.
I cannot even wrap my head around eventualy trying to afford children in future…it’s already hard enough. I make $14 and hour which seems to be around, if not more, than what others are saying. So just remember right now it may not matter that you won’t make money because you’re living your dream..but in future you may want to have children (other than 4 legged ones)
I love my job but not only does the pay not do us justice…we can bit, scratched and peed on, on a regular basis.

April 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm
(57) J says:

I am 26 years old and have been working as a tech in a 4 doctor clinic in NJ for 5 1/2 years. I took and passed the state vet tech exams without goin to school(all on the job training). I am the head technician, in charge of 6 and I make $44,000 a year. Hard work and stepping up to responsibilities has paid off for me. I am also lucky to have been able to take the tech exam before schooling was a requirement in NJ. I have worked with techs who went through college programs that were still unprepared to “work” in the field. I’m not saying that the schooling is worthless, but on the job experience is the most important thing to have.

April 15, 2008 at 11:28 pm
(58) Sarah says:

To Amanda (comment 52):
I would say that if you are willing to stay in school a couple extra years, vet tech is a GREAT way to get experience for vet school. No, the classes don’t count towards pre-requisites for vet school, but they do give you experience. And unlike the experience you would get by simply being trained as an unlicensed tech in a clinic, you will actually learn the science/reasoning behind everything you are doing in tech school. It’s the route I am currently taking, and is a route that many of the students in our tech program take. I’ve also discussed this with my academic advisor, who is one of my vet tech professors and a DVM who has been in practice for approx. 20yrs or more (and, by the way, began her studies for vet school at Colorado State University–one of the top vet schools in the country–before she even finished a bachelor’s degree), and she highly recommends it. But whatever you choose, good luck!

April 18, 2008 at 12:11 am
(59) Noelle says:

This was awesome to come upon. It feels as if everyone is drowning in the same thoughts as my own. Such as.. the salary and Penn Foster College. What a coincidence. I was finally happy to think I had my future figured out when become a vet tech came to mind, but now i’m hesitant. A majority of people work their asses off expecting to make good money, especially if they go to school for it. And of course, that is what i first thought. But now.. i don’t know what i want to do. I’m not saying that anyone stomped on my dreams, i’m actually really happy i came upon this, but now i’m thinking about become a vet. How long do they go to school for anyway? And has anyone ever considered about animal control? they help animals as well. Maybe i just watch too much animal cops on animal planet. I think i might just go with Penn Foster since i need some form of education to jump start my life, since I just turned 19 and had my first child. I just need some answers.

April 23, 2008 at 1:03 am
(60) Melissa says:

I am very glad I came across this because i am currently looking into the Vet Tech Program and live in Beloit. I have a 3 year old son and have to stay at home but I did some research and have found a college that is accredited called San Juan College in New Mexico and is a distance learning program. I was considering being an accountant because everyone needs an accountant and actually took a semester in it and did very well. I started taking the next semester and had to finally drop out. I found that I am not a business woman and spending any more time doing my schooling would be a waste. Sure an accountant could potentially make pretty good money but where is the fullfillment in it all? My boyfriend makes pretty good money and we went back and forth on whether if I should make money or be happy at what I am doing and we finally decided that if we could live off of his income with having a child then we will do just fine by me being a vet tech and not making the best pay. I am really excited to start taking classes. I did wonder about the pay though because we learn everything a nurse does about people but actually do the job of many other health professionals. And once again if anyone is looking for a distance learning college to go to then look up San Juan College. It is accredited and am also wondering if anyone out there has graduated from this school yet?

May 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm
(61) Aileen says:

I am very happy to have come across this site. It’s full of first hand experience. Thanks to all of you who has taken the time to type up your opinions and thoughts. I’ve been deciding like others whether to pursue happiness or money. After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve finally come to accept that I need money. Money is very important to a person who constantly needs security. Of course my love for animal is also important but I think I first need to take care of myself and then the lovely pets. I’ll soon be moving to Toronto so I will need to look for a full time job. After I settle, hopefully I’ll be able to get trained to be a vet technician so that I can work at animal shelters. Those unwanted pets really need us!!! Don’t give up everyone – there’s always a way to help and fulfill your heart to helping animals!!

May 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm
(62) Nichi says:

Everyone here has mentioned working in private practice, which by all the comments doesn’t pay all that well. I though want to take a VT degree in a different direction, that would be Animal Control, here in western Washington it has a salary of between $40,000 – $50,000, and there is the added benefit of saving animals from unresponsible owners. Check it out in you area!!

June 5, 2008 at 12:06 am
(63) Mel says:

You guys are so right about needing to form a union and that if techs didnt put up with the pay out there – it wouldnt be out there!!!!!!!! I live in CANADA and our pay isnt much better!!! I am not a licensed tech – but have more experience than some of our licensed that have come and gone ( have trained them) I make $13/hour – left a $14/hr + job to work with avian and exotics loved the experience but am leaving to attend a vet tech program at canada’s best college for techs (we only have 6 to choose from all over Canada!!!!)
and I soo believe and have experienced the PAY is out there – soooo have to be in the right place at the right time and LOOK also. The tech i work with who has trained me and taught me alot ( I Love her to pieces) BUT she makes around 75,000 a year with NO vet bills for her pets and time off when she needs no questions asked while the rest of us live paycheque to paychegue – at the SAME practice!!!!!! –

Anyway overall – it is about the passion of your work – not to get rich – BUT dont except low pay when you know you deserve MORE!!!

June 15, 2008 at 1:56 am
(64) tommy says:

If you really want to be a veterinary techincian you will do it for the love of animals, sure it dont pay that great but it pays off to the enviroment. If your interested in being a vet tech, why not become a veterinarian?. Their pay is much better and especially in emergency medicine. Im studying to be a vet tech through penn foster college while i get my bachelors of science at ferrum college, then i will pursue my career at vjrginia-maryland regional college of veterinary medicine. But that is my opinion on the vet tech thing. Do if for the love or not at all…but who am i to tell you that …

June 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm
(65) Barbara Saunders says:

As a manager in a large veterinary practice, my suggestion to someone who loves the work but not the pay is to do it part-time. Create a side business – perhaps even doing tech work, such as visiting people’s homes to administer fluids and insulin.

I’ve worked at many kinds of jobs and also operated as a freelancer (writing, personal training.) I firmly believe that people ought to take their lives into their own hands and not settle for the life left over after arranging one’s life around what is most convenient for employers.

With pensions and lifetime employment guarantees eradicated, with each of us forced to be a kind of “entrepreneur” it’s time for us to demand all of the things we formerly traded for that security and do what “entrepreneurs” do: set our own hours, prices, and working conditions. The more of us do this – the easier it will be.

June 23, 2008 at 6:07 pm
(66) jackie says:

i’ve been working as a vet tech for 2 years. i learned on the job. i started out working at a 1 doctor private practice and was making $9. I moved and was working for a 2 doctor small animal/exotics/avian practice and was making $12.50 (w/ 6 months experience). I was then hired by a specialty/emergency hospital associated with a university and was making $13.75 and later raised (after 3 months) to $14.50. I am now working for a different specialty/emergency hospital making $16.50-$17.50/hr (w/ pay differential). I received a signing bonus of $1000. I receive health/dental/vision/life insurance benefits, 401k after 1 year and $800 a year for CE. Its not a ton of money. Its enough to live on right now while I’m in school studying to be a veterinarian.

June 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm
(67) Cindy says:

well i’ve been a cva for 15 yrs and i just got a raise last week to $15 an hour. I agree with the most of you who have said….”dont do it for the money”. The pay is minimal the only benifits I have is paid vacation and a 401k, no health benifits at all although i have practically begged for that to happen. The doctor that I work for is burnt out as well as the rest of our staff. There is absolutely no insentive to further your education or skills and it is no dout a dead end job. Dont get me wrong the job was fun for me up untill about 4-5 years ago. Very rewarding and exciting. But after 15yrs and not enough money to pay for me and my son….well…..keep looking because this is not the field to get rich in.

July 9, 2008 at 10:42 am
(68) Nina says:

I am currently training as a Veterinary Technician. I started less than two months ago with no experience and I make $10.00/hour. I am living paycheck to paycheck at the moment and it is not fun at all! BUT I love going to work everyday. My clinic states that I can make up to $19/hour.

July 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm
(69) Melissa says:

I’m in High School now and it’s been a dream to become a veterinarian. But I know my chances of getting into a veterinary school is very low because I’m only a A B student. Is it true that if you become a Veterinary Technician and work as one for a few years first, then you can go apply at a veterinary school and the chances of them accepting you is much greater. Is this true? Thanks for ALL your help! :D

July 22, 2008 at 9:52 pm
(70) darlene says:

i’ve been employed in the veterinary field for 15yrs. i started out as a receptionist making $5.15/hr. i worked my way up to technician status. in nj, i was salary and made about $31,000. i recently moved south and now am making considerably less. i love my job and knew i would never get rich in this field, but i’m happy. it’s better than sitting behind a desk!!

July 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm
(71) Khadeijah says:

I’m only 13 years old but i love animals. I have a dog named Teddy. N I saw most of the comments that were mention n i just couldn’t believe how much some vet companys pay there workers. I mean almost all my life i wanted 2 b a veterinain.! But i wanted a company that waz goim 2 pay well engough so that i wouldn’t have live paycheck 2 paycheck. Cauz i wanted 2 b able 2 support my family.! Cauz i c how my mom iz now as a single parent n she have 2 live paycheck 2 paycheck n it gets hard some times but we get through it becauz of family.! So i guess my opions would b that i just find some company that will pay a good amount of money so i would have 2 b in the same condition as my mom waz in. Or i’ll just b a pediatrician cauz i love little kids n babies but i din’t want any til i finish college.! But anyway do any1 have any advise on what i should do.? If so plz send a message 2 me at deijah_kaykay13@yahoo.com

July 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm
(72) Khadeijah says:

If any1 have any advise 4 me plz send me a message 2 deijah_kaykay13@yahoo.com

August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm
(73) Keri says:

I want you to see another perspective on vet staff salaries: The veterinary industry is not very profitable! This is because we are paying the same prices for drugs and rent as a human hospital would and charging 1% of what they would. The payment for our fees comes from families disposable income and we have to compete with their food and gas bills to get paid! I run a vet clinic and I can tell you that it is a non-profit business and my salary is modest too. Vet techs will never make the money that RNs make just as DVMs never will catch up with MDs. Some things will help however and your LVTs are part of the solution. 1) encourage the human animal bond. people who love their pets are willing to pay more, 2) encourage your vets to charge appropriately for everything. – your mechanic doesn’t give you services for free or let you pick up your car with out paying so don’t let it happen where you work 3) encourage clients to use pet insurance (studies show they are more likely to accept the best treatment options 4) ask for raises (at least a cost of living raise) – this keeps the vet on his toes raising prices along with inflation cause he feels pressure from you. Most vets I know are compassionate people who value their staff and when the bank account is fat, they DO pass on profit to staff in the way of bonuses, wages and benefits. So while it doesnt feel that way, the more you help the clinic profit the more likely you will get paid. Want a quick raise? Volunteer to be audit charts to make sure all the charges are entered every day – every day of boarding, every injection, every minute of surgery time, every fecal that got dropped off on the front desk…..keep a list the missed charges you find and present them to your boss and show him how much money you are making for him.

August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm
(74) Keri says:

I want you to see another perspective on vet staff salaries: The veterinary industry is not very profitable! This is because we are paying the same prices for drugs and rent as a human hospital would and charging 1% of what they would. The payment for our fees comes from families disposable income and we have to compete with their food and gas bills to get paid! I run a vet clinic and I can tell you that it is a non-profit business and my salary is modest too. Vet techs will never make the money that RNs make just as DVMs never will catch up with MDs. Some things will help however and your LVTs are part of the solution. 1) encourage the human animal bond. people who love their pets are willing to pay more, 2) encourage your vets to charge appropriately for everything. – your mechanic doesn’t give you services for free or let you pick up your car with out paying so don’t let it happen where you work 3) encourage clients to use pet insurance (studies show they are more likely to accept the best treatment options 4) ask for raises (at least a cost of living raise) – this keeps the vet on his toes raising prices along with inflation cause he feels pressure from you. Most vets I know are compassionate people who value their staff and when the bank account is fat, they DO pass on profit to staff in the way of bonuses, wages and benefits. So while it doesnt feel that way, the more you help the clinic profit the more likely you will get paid. Want a quick raise? Volunteer to be audit charts to make sure all the charges are entered every day – every day of boarding, every injection, every minute of surgery time, every fecal that got dropped off on the front desk…..keep a list the missed charges you find and present them to your boss and show him how much money you are making for him.

August 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm
(75) Erin says:

I completely agree with Keri. It is a business. Just because you have your certificate doesn’t mean the money should be rolling in. I have been looking at this profession for a long time now and this is the only way to get some experience in regards to obtaining a DVM. I currently have my BS in Business and making $55k/year, but I don’t LOVE my job. That is why I have been saving like crazy to keep myself after I have to quit to take a vet tech job. Planning is key!
It is a business! The DVM isn’t going to pay you more just bc you feel you “deserve” it. You need to prove it. Stay late, pick up shifts. All states have labor laws that pay some variation of overtime. Take advantage of it if you can. DVM’s need to eat too (not to mention pay off their HUGE student loans) and most aren’t in it for the money either.
If you have a true passion for it, then stick with it. Be a dedicated vet tech and the money will come with advancement if you want it. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise when you feel that you have earned it.

September 6, 2008 at 12:34 am
(76) Nicole says:

I started working at a humane society in 2005 as an “animal care specialist” (cleaning kennels, cat cages, drawing blood, giving vaccines, fecals, adoptions, etc.) and I started at $7.00/hour (in a small town in Florida). After a year of doing that, I decided to go a little bit further by applying for a Vet Tech position at an animal hospital. I got the job and started at $8.00/hour (having one year of animal care experience and no tech experience). I worked there for a little over a year and unfortunately had to move. My ending wage was $9.00/hour. Then, I started working at the local SPCA and they started me at $9.00/hour as an “animal care specialist”. I got promoted to the “shelter lead” (basically the assistant shelter manager). My pay was bumped up to $11.00/hour. So, this week, I quit my job at the SPCA and pursued another Vet Tech position at a local animal hospital (I’m in Orlando, FL now). I’m now getting paid $14.65/hour. I’m actually impressed with the fact that I do not have a degree/certification and I came this far in just 3-1/2 years. I feel that my hands-on experience and willingness to learn has helped me out a lot. I know how to do my job and I do it well. I do plan on getting a degree/certification to make it “official”. I love working with animals and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!! It’s a very rewarding career and I enjoy every day. I’ve heard the saying “you won’t get rich doing this”, and that may be true for the Vet Techs that stay in one place too long. You do get passed up when it comes to pay. You have to “shop around” (as my Dad says) and see if there is another hospital in your area that can offer you more than what you’re making at your current job. If you feel that you are worth more than what you’re making, go out there and see what other places will start you at. I’ve done this and it’s working for me. Good luck!

September 6, 2008 at 4:23 am
(77) kimberly says:

I am not a vet tech, it does not make enough money. But it seems to me that vet assistants make the same amount of money. It does not seem right that one needs two years of training to only make between 8 and 20 dollars an hour especially in California. It sounds like a union is needed. I dont know much about starting one but I was wondering if anyone out there might be interested in starting one.

September 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm
(78) kate says:

I have read many responses and no one is taking in location, demand, and each individual practice etc.. I am a CVT with 10yr experience and have worked in many areas across the us.

1st each state has its own requirements, most do not require a tech to be certified, so owners of practices may figure if they teach people off the street to do things the way they want it to be done then they can pay less to do it.

If you live in NYC- where cost of living is much higher a visit to the vet cost most likely double or more than that of a smaller community then a tech will have a higher hrly wage, but $23 in nyc may average out to $17 in a different state.

Also some practices especially old school ones, may not completely utilize a techncians abilities. So a tech may only be making 10/hr but they also may only be restraining the animals or really minimal tech skills.

And then again some may just be cheap….. I was working in e. greenwich ri, highest paid community in ri and with 5 yrs exp at that time they wanted to start me at $8/hr- I said no.

To the 14yr old girl who said that vets make a lot of money and are rich. Some may start out decent but average for a new grad is about 60-70 grand. However, when they owe a minimum of 250,000 is student loans no one is getting rich quick. Another thing is we in the animal field use a lot of medical equipment, testing, medication that crosses over into human medicine- and the charges to clients is probably 75% less than if they had the same test done thru a human hosp.

In the end if you love it you love it, may need a second job to live but at leat you have one you are happy at…

September 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm
(79) Carol says:

we as licensed veterinary technicians are under paid for what we do. I have been in this field for 26 years and make 15.35/hr at a hospital I have been at for 18 years. The reason our pay is so low is that people think that just by working at a veterinary hospital you can become a tech. You are only a tech if you are a graduate of a program, otherwise you are a veterinary assistant. It is about time we make the distinction! Veterinarians are very much to blame as they hire untrained/educated people to fill the positions for less because they can. No where in the human medical field can this be done. Would you want a medical receptionist putting in your I.V. catheter? I wouldn’t. Yet the states ( at least in Maine) who say they require Veterinary techs to be licensed don’t even check to if each hospital has a licensed vet tech on staff. I have to pay annually to keep my license up to date. The other issue I have is the clients don’t know that the person they have working on their animal is not formally trained. I know that not all vet hospitals let their tech do everything they are trained to do, but I do everything from the lab work, blood draws, x-rays, to seeing annual physical exams, etc. I get used as a secondary doctor but I certainly don’t get compensated for it. You’re probably asking why I’ve stayed at so long, and the answer is because I do like what I do. I just wish I could pay my bills and have something left over.

September 15, 2008 at 11:45 am
(80) Kk says:

How many of you went to vermont tech college. Ive been looking to go there and thought id ask if it was a good equine college.

September 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm
(81) Jo says:

I have been in this field for 14 years, working in both a day practice and an emergency practice, and am currently a manager at a luxury boarding facility. In South Carolina, the pay is not good for vet techs, I made 10.50 per hour. But I knew that going in. This has been the most rewarding field I have ever worked in, and I would not change my choice. I want to keep expanding my skills and to keep working in as many areas of this field as possible.

September 17, 2008 at 8:59 am
(82) leah says:

i love being a vet

September 18, 2008 at 8:47 am
(83) Lexi says:

I got into this field and became an LVT in NY for the love of animals….then I found out that nobody cares about the profession aspect to this. THEY WILL HIRE ANYBODY to do my job and pay them almost as much as me and if they have experience – they pay them the same or more. I am VERY GOOD at my job as well. I actually have had doctors tell me they don’t see a difference in a tech that went to school and is licensed versus ones who just got experience. I am lucky I get paid $19/hr. My advice, only get your license if you feel you are gonna make it a career, otherwise do yourself a favor and just volunteer at shelters and get a degree in something that can support you and respect you at the same time.

September 19, 2008 at 10:53 am
(84) rachael says:

Hi Wondering if anyone from new york went to SUNY Delhi for their vet tech program? I live on a dairy farm and that is a career that pays nothing with a 24/7 work schedule. Is there vet tech work in large animals? Or is it mostly small/exotic animals.

September 30, 2008 at 7:21 pm
(85) Jo says:

Omg!! I’m making a mistake then!! I want to work with animals, but I don’t want to become a veterinarian.. I’m spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to go to MSU and I’ll only be making $15/hr., if that? I’m still a freshman, but now I feel like I’m making a terrible mistake. I’m going to be in debt forever!! =[

October 1, 2008 at 5:32 pm
(86) David says:

I work for a small college in Rockford Illinois. We have a Vet Tech program that has recently received its initial accreditation from the AVMA. We are one of only 4 schools in Illinois with AVMA accreditation. For more information on becoming a vet tech; just go to http://www.rockfordbusinesscollege.com . good luck in your search for college and career goals.

October 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm
(87) David says:

I do apologize, the website for Rockford Business College would be http://www.rockfordbusinesscollege.edu
Thank you again

October 3, 2008 at 8:37 pm
(88) molly O says:

Don’t get discouraged! I’m starting my vet tech program next semester, but i’ve been doing research on the web, checking out actual vet tech openings. In Southern California with two years of experience, i’ve seen hourly wages from $18.00 to $29.53!! If you get your ALAT Certification (which is just an exam away) after vet tech school, you’re eligible for bonuses and raised pay. Do your research! Not all Vet Techs everywhere get paid peanuts.

October 4, 2008 at 12:19 am
(89) ST says:

I am a licensed vet tech in Michigan and I have been in the field for 5 years now. I work at a referral hospital as do many of you whose responses I have read. I currently make 17.52 an hour and for that I am not complaining. The problem comes in when I have to pay my half of the rent, I am married, and we also have 1 child. If I was by myself, I would be doin’ pretty good but raising a family on a vet tech salary, if it can be called that, is for the birds! It just amazes me how much of a right hand we are to the doctors and how instrumental we are in keeping our practices running and keeping our clients coming back, yet our pay in no way shape or form reflects that. I would encourage those of you who have long standing relationships with your doctors, to have frank discussions about how much you have contributed to their practice and helped to make THEM money and they need to show their apprecation in that monetary form. Obviously this doesn’t apply if it’s a situation of a clinic having financial problems, but if you feel that you could have this type of conversation without fear of loosing your job, by all means do it! At least you can say you tried to get paid what you are really worth. Thanks for reading:-)

October 9, 2008 at 10:44 pm
(90) Kate says:

Hi everyone! I need advise,I quit my restaurant management job in pursuit of a career change, and I am currently applying to any jobs with animals available in my area, including receptionist and assistant positions. Can anyone give me an idea how to tweak my resume and cover letter to land the job? Also, if I do eventually get an interview, what should I wear and what salary should I ask for? I am looking through these posts and getting more and more confused… Thank you

October 11, 2008 at 8:41 pm
(91) Carol says:

I’ve been a licensed Veterinary technician for 19 years in the state of Maine, with 6+ years before working in Massachusetts. The problem with our profession is that people who are on the job trained think they are technicians. No other profession would take a receptionist and promote them to tech! A C.N.A would not go into a hospital and get promoted to R.N. yet the veterinary profession seems to do this all the time. This is why our pay is so low for what we do. I do everything from Annual physicals to labwork etc. I can bring in over $1000 a day with my appointments alone yet I make 15.50 an hour. Veterinarians don’t realize what they have in us because they can hire unqualified people to do the work without the knowledge( this is probably good in some cases because you may question their knowledge!!!)I think it’s time we break the standards up into Assistants( no formal training) and technicians who have been through a course and taken the national test to be licensed. Until we do something about this it will just continue. If anyone knows how to get the ball rolling let me know.We also need the States that do licensing to police that every hospital has a licensed tech on staff(which in Maine they don’t they just take our money for the license). Don’t get me wrong I do like what I do, but after so many years and so little money it’s growing old fast.

October 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm
(92) Carol says:

I’ve been a licensed vet tech in Maine for 19 years. Before that I worked in Massachusetts for 6+ years. The problem I see with our profession is that we have no distinction for what a tech is compared to people who are on the job trained. The person who said they were a receptionist and got promoted to vet tech is not really a tech.They may have been taught how to do something but they don’t have training why they are doing the task. I think some vets like it that way because they would never know when to question if some thing was right or wrong. I can see annual physicals and other appointments and can bring in over $1000 a day, yet my pay is 15.50/hr. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I do, I just think I should get paid for my knowledge. I sucks when a receptionist/manager assistant at work makes 50 cents less an hour and they have been there less time and no college education. I think It’s time to differentiate between a vet assistant and a vet tech by using the fact of education and National tests. In Maine they don’t even check to see if each hospital has a licensed vet tech on staff, yet we pay for a license every year. A C.N.A. would not be able to work in a hospital and work their way up to being a R.N. so why should we tolerate this behavior in our profession. If anyone knows how to get the ball rolling to start something like this let me know. Carabeckvt3@aol.com

October 11, 2008 at 9:02 pm
(93) Carol says:

If anyone know a way to make it so vets would have to hire a licensed vet tech let me know. I think it’s time to help ourselves!! carabeckvt3@aol.com

October 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm
(94) becca says:

im about a year away from starting college. i love animals and i think it would be a fun career. i just want to make enough money to live comfortably. one main thing i dont really understand yet is the difference of an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree…could you make the same amount of money with just an associate’s??? because i dont want to be in school that long!!!! ??

October 14, 2008 at 9:31 pm
(95) Tina says:

I am 43 years old and am looking into a Vet Tech program as a second career. I’m wondering if it is all worth it. I make about $43,000/year right now, I’m married and can keep my health benefits from my husband’s job. I really wonder if there isn’t a better way of making more money by taking care of animals! Maybe I’m just missing something! I live on Long Island, New York -about 40 minutes east of New York City and as far as I can tell there is only ONE Vet Tech. program in my whole area!

October 15, 2008 at 6:42 pm
(96) Leah says:

There is only one Vet tech program on Long Island in Suffolk, but if you want to travel into Queens you can go to Laguardia Community College which has an accredited program-although it is tough to get into.

October 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm
(97) Darlene Izzo says:

I am so Happy that I read this, I was laid off in accounting and I have been in accounting for the past 23 years but I have 4 greyhounds and wanted to go back to school to be a vet tech but when I read on here the pay???? I am not sure I could survive. I am very disappointed but I have been the bread winner for over 24-years and my dogs and my family rely on me. I so bad wanted to go into Greyhound rehab. But I live in SC and the wages down here are already low so I am sure it would be in the lower range, thanks so much for all the input.

October 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm
(98) Jessica says:

I just joined the vet tech force and im getting paid $22.77, but I do it for the animals not the money..

October 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm
(99) Jacie says:

Im a high school student trying to figure out what I should do when I gradute. What all does a vet tech. do and how muchn will I possibly be making? Thanks!!!

October 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm
(100) Amanda says:

I’m also in high school and i’m in the middle of doing a career paper for my english class. When it comes down to it , would a vet tech get paid more than an elementary school teacher??

November 9, 2008 at 10:35 pm
(101) Maris says:

I work as a Vet Tech for over 5 years now, Would like to a Cert. Vet Assistant. How do I do this? Thanks!

November 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(102) ktmo says:

Hello people. What a very interesting post. I currently work in a 9-5 boring office job. I have been pondering a career change myself. I have always considered getting a job as veterinary assistant or going to school to become a vet tech. I love animals, I have 3 dogs I really love and care for.

I might not agree what with most people are posting here about the pay for veterinary assistants/technicians get. But I will tell you this, here in southern California more specifically in the Long Beach area, I know for fact it can’t be that low. They are paid quite well.

Throughout the years I’ve made friends with some of the vet receptionist/assistants/techs at vet hospitals where I take my pets and have asked them if they were happy with the type of work they do. And if they would encourage anyone who cares about animals to follow this path. And for the most part they have said they were happy and it is a very rewarding career. I never got into the topic of money but they always volunteered to tell me pay was decent.

I can tell you the veterinary assistants, not techs, which work at my local vet hospital, get paid really well. When you drive up to the hospital every car in there lot are all brand new vehicles, Toyota SUVs, Honda Accords, BMWs. One of the office receptionists even has a brand new Toyota Prious hybrid car. I recently visited the hospital on a slow Friday, took my dog to have her check-up done, she also needed to have her blood drawn. While in the lobby, one of the vet assistants, maybe 19 years old, drove up in a brand new black 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse convertible, that car is worth over 30 grand at least. I am not kidding here the entire office/staff crew working that morning walked out of the hospital to look at the guy’s new car. I went myself to look at it, it’s a sweet looking convertible. When we all went back in to the hospital, I jokingly asked one of the receptionists if they were hiring. She laughed and said not at the moment. But what I’m getting at is they are paid well, somehow they are.

November 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm
(103) JESSIEBOOO says:


November 12, 2008 at 8:56 pm
(104) Becky says:

I just happened to run across this site. First of all, I’m a Certified Vet Tech of 10 years. We are all in this field b/c the love we have for animals, definately not the money. For all of you that are interested in becoming vet techs, please go to an accredited tech school, then sit for the National boards. This will allow you to make more money and be put above another canidate when applying for a job. Also, they are working on making it a requirement to be licenced to work as a tech. Some states already require that. Whwn I started out as a tech, I made $10/hr. After doin this for 10 years, I know make $16.50 an hour in a small animal practice. As another poster said, don’t underestimate yourself on an application, ask for the money that you deserve!

November 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm
(105) ..*Abby*.. says:

hi im 13 years old and ive always dreamed of becoming a vet since i was seven i REALLY love anaimals…but i just found out you have to so to collage for over 6 years and i cant do that..so i recently thought of being a veterinary technician..but it out of all these comments none of them are from tenneesse..i would like to know if anyone knows how much vet technicians get paid?if you do please leave a comment and ill read it……thanks…love ya

November 16, 2008 at 4:21 am
(106) Carlos says:

My wife and I own a small animal clinic in a rural area. She is the vet. As I write this it is after 1 am and a client just arrived with an emergency. We love our techs and all have been here for several years. We realize the pay is not high enough. We bought the practice a year ago. It is our goal to raise the pay and offer benefits to all our employees. It is a myth that the veterinarians are getting rich off the pay of their employees. If money is your primary reason for the job, I’d advise look to another field. We offer better wages than most employers in our area and we look for employees who truly love their job and are willing to dedicate themselves to this profession. My wife actually makes less than any employee and puts in the hours because she believes in what she is doing with all her heart. I never hear her complain when someone calls at 3 am with an emergency call, she goes to work. I’m sorry if that is not the norm but they are out there and if you are lucky enough to work with a vet like my wife then you will find satisfaction in your career. One big thing I see is that all of our employees have a partner and thus two incomes. I’ve come to the conclusion that we will not get rich in this profession but will build equity eventually and that will be the financial reward when and if she retires.

November 17, 2008 at 1:34 pm
(107) Candice says:

Can some please explain the difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary assistant? From what I have read so far the vet assistant takes a few classes to achieve a certificate and make a salary of around 25,000.00 annually and a vet tech completes around 110 quarter credit hours, achieves a degree and makes between $30,800 – $38,400.00 annually. Does this sound correct? Any information on the difference between these two job titles would be appreciated. Thank you!

November 18, 2008 at 11:22 pm
(108) Pamela says:

well am in college now in NJ. I’m 18 and after reading all these comments i definetely feel more depressed. The college am in doesn’t offer a vet tech degree but i thought if u just take classes as someone who’s doing pre-vet you could be a vet technologist. i was very wrong. i can’t believe am here and i dont even know what am doing. i know i want to study photography but i also want to work with animals. i was planning on going to the bergen community college and maybe getting a minor or major in photography. i was also thinking about studying photography in SVA in NY. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO?!?!?!? I know i have to finish up my freshman year here n leave becuase i’ll just be wasting money here if i dont know what i wanna do. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. i’m starting to think i should have just gone into the marines :/

November 20, 2008 at 4:10 am
(109) patrick says:

i was considering this as a career change? Hm, not so much anymore I live in LA, CA. $15/hr=$120/day less taxes, so I brimg home $80 ? I could wait in the parking lot at home depot and get more. And from the sounds of it, have less responsibility to an already unappreciative boss.

November 23, 2008 at 1:32 am
(110) Cortney Kopischke says:

I am currently in my 4th year in college going for a biology degree, when I first got here I was aiming to be a vet but then I realized that I wouldn’t be the job for me, I still don’t know what I want to do but now I’m thinking about being a vet tech, I know after I graduate I could do lab work somewhere and make much more money than I would make at being a vet tech and not have to do extra schooling, but I have come to realize that I rather do something I love and am passionate about even if I’m not making the money since I know I could probably get a job in retail to help me out. So it’s basically comes down to just doing what you love.

November 27, 2008 at 4:24 am
(111) PuppyPoker says:

This is in response to the question regarding the difference between a technician and an assistant. If you ask someone who has paid thousands of dollars to become an RVT (registered veterinary technician)they will tell you that any veterinary nurse who is not registered is an assistant, not a technician. If you ask someone like me,a head tech who was trained on the job, and they will tell you that the person who has been trained, (on the job or class room)can do the job and do it well is a technician, registered or not. Yes, there a few things that legally a non-RVT is not SUPPOSED to do, but to be honest most vets will allow a skilled tech to do these as well. Financially, there may be a difference of 1 or 2 dollars an hour, but what most vets look for in a tech is simply the ability to do the job well. Most do not care if you are registered or not. I am a non-registered tech,have been working in the field for over 6 years, and make $20 an hour. The only thing I don’t do at my current hospital is tooth extractions, and that’s ok with me!

December 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm
(112) Kelli says:

Fellow Animal lovers:

After reading your comments I have become really concerned about the reality of becoming a vet tech and cost of living involved. Its really scary really. I love animals. And I am about to finish my second year in college and was planning on enrolling into a vet tech program. But I just don’t see how after the money i spent for my AA and then for tech school could possible be compensated in even 10 years with a salary of 14/hr! Am I wrong to think this??
I won’t be able to pay back my loans, much less my living expenses… Guidance?

December 5, 2008 at 10:39 am
(113) Amy says:

It’s true that the veterinary technician community has to help themselves when it comes to regulating the profession. It’s up all credentialed technicians to educate the public in whatever way they can about veterinary technicians and the role that they play in veterinary medicine. If you live in a state that does not regulate the profession, then join forces with your state association and find out what you can do to contribute. Being employed as a veterinary technician is rewarding, but there is more that you can do to further your career if you want to. There are a number of veterinary technician specialty academies that you can pursue. Visit the AVMA website or NAVTA website for information. There are lcture opportunities, publishing opportunities through Veterinary Technician Journal, etc. Become a leader in the field, set an example of excellence, raise the bar!

December 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm
(114) Tonnie says:

I am a senior graduating in may 09 and am almost certian that i am going to get a vet tech degree. i am also considering one other career and i thought that i could get a vet tech license and then go back to school to get a second degree in a totally different field( but it is another passion of mine) will it be hard to attend school part time

December 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm
(115) Jill says:

I live in Canada and I just got a job at a vet hospital as a vet assistant. I have no certification and have not gone to school, it will all be on the job training. I will only be making $10 an hour to start, going to $10.50 after 3 months. This is a huge pay drop from what I had been making at my last job. HOWEVER, at least I will be doing something I love and following a passion. People have come to think that money is the end all and be all of life. I was unhappy at my last job, stressed out and didn’t feel passionate about my job. Sure, now I will be making less money, but at least I can be happy at the end of the day and know that I am making a difference. Stop worrying about the money and take a look at your heart…wouldn’t you rather g oto work everyday loving your job, than make a fair bit of money but be burnt out and hate waking up in the morning??? I know some people don’t understand why I chose this job, but sometimes you have to follow your heart…not your wallet! :)

December 15, 2008 at 11:25 am
(116) Im confused! says:

I’m really confused on what to do. I’m almost 18 and a senior in High School and want to become a veterinary technician because I love animals and I want to help them live happy and healthy lives. But through my whole childhood I grew up with not much money at all and I had to live with (and still do live with) low income. My point is, is that I don’t want to have my kids (when I have them in like 5-10 years. haha!) live with low income. Should I still pursue this career field?!

December 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm
(117) Tom says:

I am soooooooooooo grateful I came across this forum. I live in Binghamton NY–an economically depressed area overall, let alone the national crisis.
I was considering this path for a career change being recently laid off from a local marketing co, but seeing the salary as practically break even or less than I was making, I heavily doubt I will. Having children on the brink of college and working for “less” than I was making seems absurd.
One person said it well in the forum when they said with an education in a field you would think you’d be paid well. Apparently that isn’t the case in Veterinary unless you are a DMV.
Sidenote- I checked into the Penn Foster and it seems they are pushy. I no sooner did an online interest questionnaire and they called to talk to me. I could be wrong, but what is wrong with mailing the info–and then follow it up with a call. Just seems a little desperate to me. I read what one person wrote about not being able to gain work after taking the course with them and knowing I live in a small market economic part of the state, somehow my gut tells me this would an uphill climb at best.
I agree with those who have said volunteer at a animal hospital or shelter, or support a animal activist group to fill your heart. Either that or become a DMV itself. The “in between” positions seem an economic loss. Why pay for a certificate or diploma you could attain from just “experience” itself. Seems educational formats should be ashamed for charging for something you can learn from experience itself.
Best of luck to anyone considering this, and if anyone wants to write me about what I wrote, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at tmcavey@yahoo.com….just label it like maybe–Vet Tech/from About.com format–that way I’ll know your not spam. Thanks!

December 17, 2008 at 7:56 pm
(118) alli says:

I am a vet tech in research and feel I make pretty good money…($40,000). But I got to this position because I LOVE my work! So my advice to you is.. go into this because you love it. Then you will become very good at it and get a good reputation. After about a year of that, look into jobs in research and you will have an excellent recommendation for a job. Seriously, it is all about the recomendation in research!!! Good luck!!

December 19, 2008 at 4:08 am
(119) bethany says:

SO…what is the difference between a vet assitant and a vet tech??? and of the two, who gets a higher salary??

December 22, 2008 at 2:42 pm
(120) Juliet says:

Hey, I am thinking about going to school to become a LVT. I WISH I LIVED IN NYC! I went on the ASPCA website… their Vet tech’s start @ $20/hr w/ annual increases. FULL benefits.

If you live in NYC, check out the ASPCA.

January 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm
(121) ashley says:

what exactly does a vet tech in research do? what kind of research needs a vet tech? I’m always skeptical of how animals are treated in research. I’ve worked at a wildlife animal park where the exotic hoofstock roam freely on appx. 2000 acres and the animals that need to be penned up have extremely large facilities. So, to see animals being kept in small cages all day except when being tested on would seem rather depressing. I really hope this isn’t the case.

January 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm
(122) Mary says:

I have a MS degree in Biochemistry and worked as a research scientist for 10 years. I decided just last year after rescuing a pit bull from the animal shelter that I wanted to change careers to become a Veterinary Tech. I don’t have the time or the $$$ to go back to school, and I’d like to start a family!

I found this awesome accredited distance learning program at Purdue University:

I live in California, and I am taking weekly classes in Indiana!

January 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm
(123) Heidi says:

I have been a vet tech/assistant for over 2 years now and I work for a corporation. DO NOT WORK FOR A CORPORATION!!! You get paid less then Subway, you only get a raise once a year and it’s 15-30 cents. Insurance sucks. I started out at $9 an hour and now i’m up to $9.36. I work over 40 hours a week, have back problems and also have numbness in my right hand from having to hold a dogs leg in surgery for over 1 1/2 hours. It’s hard work but if you want to make a living you need to think about something else. Don’t get me wrong its a wonderful job and its great to work with animals but for what we all do from x-rays to anestheia we should be getting both of those salaries combined. A good perk though is i get a great discount on my pets which i have many from dogs, cats, goats, birds, lizards and fish. Just think about it and decide on whats more important and where you want to be in 10 years…still living with your parents or owning a home!

January 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm
(124) Denise says:

I’m so glad I found this forum. I was in Art School and my life detoured when I had my 1st child at 19. Plan B was the medical field, but knowing that I’ll be in the fetal position every night didn’t sound too thrilling.

I decided to study to become a Vet Tech but wanted to do so via Vet Assist. certification. I was thinking about using Penn Foster’s online program. I knew “provisional accreditation” didn’t seem like enough. I’m now looking into San Juan College.

They pay doesn’t bother me, but you do have to sell yourself like your the best thing since sliced bread. Y’all gave such good advice. Thanx!!!

January 21, 2009 at 1:46 am
(125) Alexa says:

Im currently in the end of my sophomore year at an art college, for advertising. In only about two more years I will have my BFA, and a promising salary beginning at 40k right out of school, with the potential to be making 80k salary by the time I am 25. The problem with this is, I despise the cut throat aspect of the advertising industry, and after visiting firms and trying an internship, the excitement aspect of the career has been completely sucked out of it for me.
My heart, since I was a child, has been with animals. I moved in High School during the middle of my junior year, and when college applications came around I went for art, just because I’m talented at it and I saw the potential to earn a decent living; without realizing I had no actual passion for the career.
So now, half way through a college costing 40k/year, I am thinking about leaving. I plan to take the next year off, work as a vet assistant/receptionist, and really see if my heart is still with animals, although I know it is, since I have spent my weekends volunteering at a near by shelter and have rescued three cats and one dog, filling my Brooklyn apartment to its limit.
Does anyone have any advice on how to get a job as a vet assistant, I see it as a good way to educate myself on the field as well as attempt to take a chunk out of my student loans.
I plan the following year to enroll at the University of Connecticut, which seems to have a great BS degree available. The only other issue I see with that was i was on the VMCA looking at Veterinary Schools for after I graduate from a pre-vet college, and each one requires that in your pre-vet college you take a specific amount of material, which differs for each one.
I have never been the most talented Math/Chem student, but i feel as if I’m not going to let that hold me back. I don’t think a Vet Tech salary is realistic, though the schooling would be much easier on myself. I want to be a Vet at a clinic, for dogs and cats, and lend my services to local shelters. For Vet school I am interested in traveling over seas, Murdoch University and the Unversity of London my top two interests. Can anyone give me feedback on what pre-vet schools would be best for these Vet schools, and how their programs are? I also havent even begun to look at the tuition, so any information on them at all would be extremely helpful.

January 27, 2009 at 4:11 am
(126) Emily says:

I’ve been reading and reading, and many people have asked about certain distance learning programs such as Penn Foster, San Juan College, Purdue, and Cedar Valley College. There’s only been one real response about Penn Foster, which wasn’t accredited at the time. I’d REALLY like to hear how people are liking the programs at each of the listed schools. All of these are schools I have been looking at too, but have been a tad hesitant to apply. Also how easily they were hired and such. I did get the desperate vibe from Penn Foster, but the flexibility of the program is REALLY helpful for me. But if it’s not a great program, and I’m going to have a tough time getting a job I’ll apply somewhere else. Another thing, anyone know if graduating from a “full accredited” or a “provisional accredited” school makes a difference in pay or being hired? Anyone who has been, knows, or has heard anything about these schools, please let me know!!! Thanks!

January 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm
(127) Roxanne says:

A lot of you have been asking the difference between registered technicians, technicians and assistants. I’m a registered Animal Health Technician here in Canada, with university experience as well as private practice and teaching. Here’s what you need to know:

Registered Animal Health Technicians, as we’re called in Canada, are the most educated veterinary staff members, after the doctors. In other places, we’re known as Licensed Veterinary Technicians, Certified Veterinary Technicians, Registered Veterinary Nurses, etc. Our program is accredited with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and we have to pass board exams to be licensed. We’re the equivalent to the Registered Nurse in human hospitals.

Certified Veterinary Assistants have taken a course somewhere. These range from good to useless. There is no accreditation with the CVMA for vet. assistant courses. I taught for one for several years and am familiar with many of them. Most are a waste of your money. Tuition can cost more for six months than a two-year technician program, with no recognized diploma at the end of it.

Veterinary Assistants are trained on-the-job and may receive excellent training from excellent vets, or abysmal training from abysmal vets. There is no such thing as an on-the-job trained technician, although many like to call themselves that. Without formal education, you’re an assistant. To be a registered technician, you have to go to school at an accredited college.

Other positions within a veterinary hospital include receptionists (a vastly important and often undervalued position), office managers and kennel assistants. Veterinary reception courses are worthwhile taking, if you’d like to get your foot in the door of a hospital. Again, programs vary widely so do your research.

Pay varies widely, but office managers tend to make the most, and a top receptionist can make nearly as much as a licensed technician. Assistants, certified or not, will always (in an ideal world) be working under the supervision of the veterinarian and/or the veterinary technician, which can provide a wonderful learning environment.

If you’re thinking of taking a course, ask around at hospitals – talking to whoever does the hiring – about what programs they consider worthwhile.

Does that answer the questions?

January 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm
(128) Leah says:

I am a recent graduate of Penn Foster in the Vet. Asst. program. I found their call help line full of rued, stressed out people who just want to talk in a rued tone at you and disagree with everything you say. A lot of their tests had 1 or two questions in them with a question that covered a subject not discussed in the section. That in turn knocks your score down. There were other things I was not satisfied with, but finished anyway. Now I am out there applying for jobs and so far no replies? I wonder if I wasted all that money? Some of the people on here couldn’t find anything from Penn Foster either. I will keep trying for a while. I would not recommend anyone take the online Vet Asst. program because you don’t get hands on training. I was disappointed to find the pay is less than I make on my current job that I am ready to get out of due to boredom and the usual things that drive people away from their jobs. At this point in my career I would be excited to find a job in the vet office and just enjoy my job for a change.

January 30, 2009 at 11:10 pm
(129) Rosanne says:

To Alexa,

I got a BA in Art many, many years ago. I thought I wanted to work in advertising. My first two experiences with advertising agencies when first out of school were like yours. The people were flat out nasty and back-stabbing. I ended up getting a job doing technical art which later turned into computer graphics and graphic design. I did that for 30 years and got burned out. Now at the ripe old age of 58 I will be graduating with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary Technology from my local community college (CNM in Albuquerque, NM). I am hoping to work in research taking care of the animals (because the money is better)for a few years. After that I hope to work for a rescue group like Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. If you really have a love of design I’d suggest getting into web design instead of advertising. You can be really creative and in my experience the web design people are not as egotistical as the advertising types.

Good luck in whatever you decide!


January 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm
(130) Rosanne says:

Re the Vet Assistant versus Vet Technician. I was fortunate that the person I spoke with 4 years ago at PIMA was honest. She told me that if I took their Vet Assistant program I would only make about $8.00 an hour and the program cost about $8000. As a graduate of an AVMA accredited Associates program and after passing the state and national boards I should start at around $30000 a year.

February 1, 2009 at 1:17 am
(131) Laura says:

To those of you who are techs (whether you’re registered or non-registered, but you do have your degree), what did you make in a clinic starting out? I am trying to figure out what is a good figure to tell the doctor when I am being interviewed. I have no idea what to say, but first interview I stated in the $12/hr range (one of my instructors at school said she made 12/hr starting out), then my next interview I said 11-12/hr.

I don’t want to get underpaid, but I looked at the facts. I just graduated a little over a month ago, I am not registered and I’m not taking the VTNE til June and I don’t have any actual clinic experience aside from my 2-month externship and 4 months of volunteer experience at a shelter. I am trying to volunteer at Animal Care and Control as a surgical assistant to get more experience.

Based on what I have given, is $11-$12 an hour a decent pay to ask for?

February 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm
(132) Karli says:

I will be graduating, from highschool, in a few months, and I was planing on taking the veterinary assistant diploma course though Stratford Career Institute…
I live in Alberta, Canada, and was wondering if anyone knows if SCI is a online course that will be able to start my career off?
Is it approved by th “high up Vet people,” so I can get a decent job?

February 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm
(133) Anon says:

I have to say how outrageous I think it is that vet techs get paid as low as they do for the most part.
I am an RN and am paid well, but also attended vet tech school but did not finish due to a family matter. My program was damn hard and very challenging. IN fact just as challenging as my 4 year nursing. It seems to me that it is quite ridiculous that a person is expected to accumulate such a vast amount of knowledge and skill, be put through such strenuous vigorous testing only to be paid a pittance! Sure its a love of animals but come on, its also quite abusive and in my opinion, direspectful to the profession itself. The salary should reflect the education and experience that is accumulated by the hard working vet techs. It is an injustice.

February 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm
(134) Vicky says:

It is very hard work and it isn’t fair. I’m at Argosy University right now for vet tech and working at a clinic for $11/hour. Lucky for me my school is 5 min away and is accredited by AVMA and CVTEA. I think the pay changes drastically from place to place. There are other good ways to make money while being a vet tech though. I’m planning on living in the country after I graduate and boarding peoples horses while working as a vet tech. If this is what you want to do, don’t take bad wages but don’t look back on your dream either. It’s a challenge and school is very difficult but it’s great.

February 4, 2009 at 1:42 am
(135) Laura says:

My mom was an LPN, and she was pretty shocked at how in-depth my classes were for vet tech. She would be boasting to her doctors about how her daughter was going to school for vet tech, and they agreed it was a really hard program to go into. And she said a lot of my courses were more in-depth than she ever had to go through.

I do think a lot of people don’t realize how much a tech really has to know. Outside people think we’re just restraining animals and stuff like that, but it’s a lot more than that.

Apparently the human medical field is where all the benefits are, but I wouldn’t trade being a tech for the world. It does suck cause nurses get paid way more than techs, and it’s hell of a lot easier for a nurse out of school to find a job than it is for a tech. My mom says how she got a job like 2 weeks out of school. I’ve been out of school for almost a month and a half and 2 interviews later, still nothing. It’s quite depressing.

February 4, 2009 at 2:14 am
(136) Shannon says:

First I would ask that all of you vet assistants calling yourselves technicians please recognize the difference. If you did not graduated from an accredited or accepted veterinary technician program and have not passed the national and state boards you are not a technician. Those of us who are licensed technicians worked hard for the title. Perhaps that may be part of the differences in wages being discussed. A licensed tech normally makes 8-10 dollars an hour more than an assistant. The true money in this profession is in specialty,referral hospitals or emergency/critical care hospitals. Everyone starts somewhere but you can work your way up. The one thing to keep in mind is that this profession has very definate, very real salary caps.

February 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm
(137) Mindy says:

Hi, I’m happy I found this. I have been going back and forth trying to find a career I would really enjoy. I was thinking of phych. but I think I would get bored. I have always loved animals first and formost. I will voulinteer and take animals in. I think this field would make me the happiest. Money isn’t really a factor for me or my spouse. I want to enjoy what I do. I’m just a little confused of the differences between vet assistanst, technissians and technologists. Could someone break it down for me and fill me in on what would be the best choice.


February 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm
(138) Concerned Father says:

WOW. Great site. My son is looking to start Vet Tech Institute in Houston and they are charging $30,000 for tuition and another $10K for all of the add-ons. The program is 18 months. He has many of the same feelings with a “love of animals” that y’all do but to come out and make $10-15 hour it will take forever just to pay for the tuition.
Should I steer him in another direction? They are slick intheir presentation and put pressure that “we REALLY want you in this program. The fatherly-radar went up.
Does anyone have experience with the Vet Tech Institute in the Houston area as to what types of jobs and what pay were offered.

March 1, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(139) Meagan says:

I’m 20 years old and currently getting my bachelors in accounting, but have found that i don’t really think it’s a field ill enjoy even though i know the money is there. Instead I’m looking to get my bachelors degree in Veterinary technology from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me if there is a difference in pay for someone who gets and associates degree (which i read are called Technicians) and someone who gets a bachelors degree (which i read are called Technologist)in Veterinary Technology?

March 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm
(140) Meagan says:

Oh, and I also wanted to know if the majority of the people on here who have been saying they’re licensed vet techs received their associates or bachelors degrees?

March 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm
(141) Kim says:

So, has anyone taken the Penn Foster Veterinary Tech (not assistant) program and then found a job? Part of this program is doing work at a veterinarian’s office and it is an associate degree that is earned. It is accredited by the AVMA.
What about Pima? In California they only offer a Vet assistant program at this time, but are supposed to be offering a Vet. Tech program that earns an associate degree, in the future.
any response on either of these programs

March 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm
(142) Shay says:

Hey guys, Right now I am in the same boat as some of you, Love animals, want to take VET TECH, but online somehow? is there such a thing? I heard some bad things about Pen Foster, but then again Im up in Canada and trying to find something a bit closer to take online. Vet Tech deserve waaaay more money than most are receiving, in my opinion!

March 10, 2009 at 10:26 am
(143) Shay says:

Karli says:
I will be graduating, from highschool, in a few months, and I was planing on taking the veterinary assistant diploma course though Stratford Career Institute…
I live in Alberta, Canada, and was wondering if anyone knows if SCI is a online course that will be able to start my career off?
Is it approved by th “high up Vet people,” so I can get a decent job?


I am looking into this, I can get back to you if you’d like. I am in Canada and also looking for a course in this industry

March 12, 2009 at 12:47 am
(144) brittany says:

I want to become a veterinary tech.i love animal since i was a little girl. many people say that they make alot of money and some say they don’t. although i love animals i must say that i’m more about the money. I need to make money to help support my family. i am only 17 years old and have a son he just turned two months. i wanted to know if i should still try to become a vet. or look into something else that makes more money? what should i do?

March 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm
(145) tasha says:

hi im doing a career projest. I can not seem to find out sometihng. can you help??
Q:How can your salary change over time?
Q: what technology is used?

March 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm
(146) ashle says:

Okay, I am a junior in high school taking dual in classes to receive both high school and college credit at the same time. The plan has always been stay at home after high school and finish taking as many classes at the community college I am enrolled in now then transfer to A&M’s vet school. I know I want to have a career centered around animals but the idea of being a vet seems quiet over whelming. I am now debating becoming a vet tech then after a year or two working go back to school to become an actual vet if it seems to be what I want. This way I won’t be taking a leap of faith with out a parachute. My biggest concern is finding a tech school (preferably on line) that credits will transfer to a university such as A&M. So I guess my question is does my plan seem realistic and what tech program should I use?

March 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm
(147) Molly says:

Don’t give up so easily!!!! I’ve been a vet tech in NY for 15 years and make $20 an hour; with EXCELLENT benefits. Look to your institutions (colleges and universities that teach veterinary medicine in any capacity), or industries like Banfields that might not pay much an hour, but by the time you figure in health insurance and other benefits, you can be doing fairly well. I also use my veterinary technician qualifications to run a THRIVING pet-sitting service. I have more clients than I can handle, and it’s all because I’m an LVT. I charge the minimum of $17.50 a visit to take care of cats, and I have a client with a kennel that pays me $35/hour. She is most definitely the exception, not the rule, but she has realized, it would be hard to replace a vet tech alone, especially hard to replace one who knows each and every one of her dogs. So don’t get depressed – go at it all from a different angle!

March 20, 2009 at 12:16 am
(148) Sadie says:

Has anyone reading this gone through PennFoster for their Vet. Tech. Distance Learning program? OR know of anyone who has? I would be interested to know if the practicum hours were enough experience to get the “hands on” and any other information. Does anyone know about this college from personal experience?

March 22, 2009 at 9:28 am
(149) Laurie says:

Hi, I am currently attending Penn Foster College – for the vet tech program and I am just about half way through. I am waiting for the response as well that will give information on who has graduated from the program and their job prospects. I am 49 years old and not sure that I am doing the right thing and considering switching to becoming an LPN because the pay for an LPN is generally around $40,000 to start. In my area which is northern NJ, the average salary for an LPN is $45,000 according to monster salary. As far as the Penn Foster Program goes, I think it is a well put together program. It is accredited by the AVMA and it is a tough program. The work is thorough and hard. You definitely earn every credit in this program. You have to accomplish 2 practicums – which is actually a period where you work in a vets office before you graduate. You also have to attend classes on line which are not – they haven’t always been but are now structured very well and great classes. The director of the program has done a wonderful job on getting it accredited and making sure it’s up to standards. So, while I have not yet graduated, I do feel sure that there will be jobs for Penn Foster Vet Techs. However, my thought of switching at this point come from being able to earn $10,000 – $15,000 per year extra plus benefits. I also run a pet sitting business which I started about a year ago and it’s doing well. That is also a lot of hard work although I have to say I enjoy it. However, to make say $1,000 per week in pet sitting, you give us life as you have to be available 7 days a week. My husband and I work it together and it is tough to get time off. Hiring someone is an option but they have to love animals and be very, very reliable – that’s not always easy to find. Good luck everyone we have some tough decision.

March 22, 2009 at 11:32 pm
(150) Juliana says:

Hi all. I am a DVM graduated in Brazil and trying to get a job as a vet tech as I will start the process to get the Vet License in the US. It is ridiculous that money vet techs make if you think about all the hard work they have to do in a vet hospital. I do want to pursue the vet licence and working as a vet tech is the way I found to get some experience working in a USA practice and get back to business, since I have been working in research for 4 years. I love my profession and most of all, I love animals and that’s why I became a vet back in Brazil. I am glad I have my husband to support my family, otherwise would be really difficult to survive with such small salary…but I will do and I will get my license ONE DAY, I HOPE.
Good look for all of us who love working with animals.

March 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm
(151) Wendie says:

I am 16 and graduating early from high school to start my dream career. I wan to become a vet or a vet tech. I want to be in it for the money and the job cause i just love animals. But I’m still not quiet sure of it yet. Me and my boyfriend plan on living together when i get out of high school so i can follow my dreams. He wants to be a mechanic and he currently works at discount tires and a mechanic. With my paycheck as a vet and his mechanic pay check… do you think we can get by and not live pay check for paycheck?

March 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm
(152) Sadie says:

Lori – how many hours (if you were to guess) of work do you put into the program? How long have you been involved in it? I’m just weighing out all of the options and any info you have would be awesome! Have you started either of your practicums yet? How’s that going? Thanks!!!

March 26, 2009 at 11:43 am
(153) Laurie Houghton says:

My son met a man who is an itinerant canine dental hygienist. He works in several vet offices one or two days per month each and does dog tooth cleanings without anesthesia. He says he has a nice income and does wonderful work. What kind of training/licensing is required for this kind of work? I am a former human dental hygienist.

March 29, 2009 at 2:19 am
(154) Sadie says:

Sorry Laurie, I had your name incorrect on that last post. I apologize. Have you started your practicum yet? I’ve got one small animal vet open to me interning there ater the 2nd semester. I’m waiting to hear from another one for the 4th semester large/small animal portion.

March 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm
(155) Desiree' says:

What a Veterinary Technician makes is relied on the STATE you reside in. I have read through all the forums and everyone has made a comment about the pay. I have lived in several different states and know from this that you can not just say “ oh the pay is absolutely horrible!” There are several factors that sum this up.

First, schooling (even distant learning) is always a GREAT option. Think of it this way. Would you like to walk into a vet and have someone working on your animal not knowing the full effects of different medicines or how to properly treat the animal? No. I am sure you would not be too pleased.

I have researched online and campus schooling. Penn Foster Online has what you need to graduate.
People may say, “…but you don’t get hands on.” Guess what, you have to do weeks of practicum. Which means you actually have to experience what a veterinary technician goes through. If you want to learn how to give a needle, put in a catheter, or other surgical measures. ASK!! Vets want someone WILLING TO LEARN. You’re going through the practicum, it’s a GREAT time to learn the same things you “think” you would learn at a campus college.

Second, A Vet Technician is far more difficult that vet assistant . One, you do more. Two, you are more educated. A Vet assistant is the to assist. If you are doing the EXACT same as a vet Tech in your clinic and are being called a vet assistant…then perhaps you should ask for a raise.

Research is a PLUS!

April 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm
(156) Staci says:

Wow! Look at this Kaleidescope of People! What an amazing site. I am 25, hold a double BBA in Marketing and Accounting, and have ALWAYS wanted to be a vet. I just got off the phone w/a vet who filled me in about a career path for a vet (I HATED what I call “cubicle land”, which is every office I’ve ever worked in). She told me that to be a vet you’d start out working in a vet’s office, go through technical college for a vet tech’s license (sorry if that’s poor terminology), and then go on to vet school to be a DVM.

Well – I’ve worked in vet’s offices in high school and distinctly remember asking these folks what they were paid. Now, the vet was corporate (All About Animals) and these ppl were quite overworked. I remember them being very disgruntled and saying- Barely 30k/yr…Now this site confirms that vet techs, indeed, are extremely underpaid. But, I always knew it’d be a labor of love.

Unfortunately, I’m an A, B…..C! Student – so that leaves me in the dark as to whether or not I could even get INTO vet school. :(

I want to thank everyone – Techs, Assistants, Who cares about your Title (haha – I thought the “declare yourself!” comment was humorous – who cares?!). Thank you for your comments and disclosure of your salaries and experience. I’m still pretty undecided (I stay that way!)- my search for another advertising job in this economy has been rough – but it’s been kind of half hearted, too – so I’m thinking maybe some of the blame is on my enthusiasm for the career. However, I’ll keep coming back to this forum when I’m on the fence! Any further advice for ppl like me would be great, too!

I worked in a few accounting offices and advertising offices after school – and let me give you young high schoolers some advice:

There’s an old saying: “Do What You Love And You’ll Never Work A Day in Your Life”

That doesn’t sound crazy to me! I sure know what doing what you DON’T love will do to you – so take it for what you will!

God Bless You All! Good Luck :)

April 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(157) vetmedicine says:

I too, wish to thank everyone for the variety of responses and shared information.

March 2009 update – You are invited to post your own “mini article” on this topic in the new Readers Respond area on this site: Can Love and Money Coexist? Thank you!

April 5, 2009 at 4:08 pm
(158) Jenn says:

Well I feel that same as the rest of you. Its a thankless job. Although when you see animals recover from the most devistating situations thats thanks enough. I get paid $14 an hour after 5 years in the feild. I am not licencsed but would like to be. But I dont have the time or money for school. We get a 1 dollar raise yearly so I guess I will just continue to be unlicensed :) But here in Massachusetts things are a bit pricey.

April 7, 2009 at 12:37 am
(159) SM says:

I just wanted to address some of the questions/concerns out there, starting out by saying it definitely varies from city to city, but here’s kind of an idea of how things work, at least in Los Angeles:

Veterinary assistant vs. veterinary technician vs. doctor’s assistant – depending on the hospital you work, each level may have different duties, although duties certainly overlap. Veterinary assistants or kennel assistants may do more cleaning, restraining, and feeding. Technicians–and I have heard them called technicians even if they aren’t licensed, it’s mostly a matter of EXPERIENCE and ABILITY–will pretty much do everything that a vet doesn’t (place catheters, manage fluids, clean wounds, talk to owners, assist with surgeries and procedures, etc.). Doctor’s assistants, for the hospitals that have them, work very closely with a vet and handle talking to owners, managing cases, and generally assist with just that vet’s patients.

Pay – again, depending on where you are, is (I agree) not nearly what it should be. Some technicians are extremely skilled but still make less than $20 an hour. You can make this much without being registered if you have the experience and are hired by the right hospital, but being registered makes it easier to get a job and get higher pay that you request. There is a lot of on-the-job learning even with RVTs.

Vet school – if you are even considering this, read up on it. There is way more to getting into vet school than just loving animals. It’s a long, hard road. You can’t just expect to apply with barely any experience and a few community college classes. Research different schools–are they AVMA accredited? What prerequisite courses are there to apply? Are you prepared to answer difficult interview questions? Do you have the adequate depth and breadth of experience? Can you handle the debt afterwards? It’s not a walk in the park.

And, addressing what someone wrote somewhere above: I don’t know who you talked to, but vet tech salaries in Los Angeles are NOT high at all, especially considering how expensive housing is here. Many techs work upwards of 50 hours a week at different jobs to support their families, if they have any to support at all. If you are lucky you can find something in research for more money, but there isn’t much demand.

I’m only a vet assistant but I do enjoy my job. It’s different every day, and I love caring for patients. Truly, find a place where you can learn what it’s like to work hard for not very much, but enjoy what you do and tap on a wide skill base. Then you can decide if this field is right for you. If money is just too important, I would consider nursing as an alternative. You make at least twice as much money with about the same amount of time in school.

April 10, 2009 at 12:42 am
(160) Sadie says:

Desiree’ – Thank you so much for your comment! I’ve been seriously looking into the program at Penn Foster. I even have a vet here in my city that’s willing to allow me to do the small animal portion of the practicums with them! They were very excited to hear they’d be able to train me in and teach me the techniques in their style. I do appreciate your opinion. Have you been looking at the program too? Have you started anything yet?

April 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm
(161) Melinda says:

I have been in this field for about 7 years. The more various places you work, the higher you can ask for a wage because you have experience and knowledge and not be confined to one place. It’s difficult for the first 2 months but then its better. I have worked 4 places.

April 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm
(162) vettechinva says:

Hi everyone. I just wanted to say that the money is there if you look for it. I currently make $52,000 a year as head tech in an emergency clinic. Show that you know your stuff and are eager to get ahead. Make sure you find a vet that is looking out for your best interests and the growth of the clinic. I started out as an asst making 6.50/hr before going to college and getting licensed. Also, mny vets are willing to pay for your education, but you have to start somewhere!

April 25, 2009 at 8:18 am
(163) Debbie says:

The reason that the salaries for technicians vary so much is due to the fact that the profession is not very regulated. I have seen people who call themselves techs but are nothing more than glorified kennel attendants. Techs that work in emergency/specialty/referral do very well monetarily. I am a technician manager at a large specialty practice and I make a six figure salary. Veterinary technician specialists and CVPMs in NY make 80k-90k/year. Technician consultants also make $70-$90/hour. There is plenty of money for techs in this 4 billion a year industry…you just need to further your education.

May 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm
(164) Autumn says:

I am currently in G.E.D. classes and I will start college for Vet Tech in August. The money is not important to me. I love animals and want to work around them. I never planned on gettin rich by workin in that field. People should do it for the love of the animals. I attend to apply my skills at animal shelters and for the Forrestry Department. Later on in life I will get a degree and also work part-time in a Zoo. So there is alot of money to be made if your not just being a Vet Tech look into more trainin and see how far you can go!!!

May 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm
(165) RosaE says:

I have been a vet tech for 5 years and registered for 2 years. I love working with animals even though it is emotionally draining. I went straight into research and that is where the money is at. I make $18/hr after only 2 years. I think research animals need alot of care and veterinary technicians can be the face and voice for them despite what PETA says!

May 19, 2009 at 8:02 am
(166) Crystal says:

Wow, reading all these comments has been great for me, to see feedback of the pro’s and cons. I am currently enrolled in Penn Foster’s Vet Tech Program, in my 1st semester, but so far so good. As far the type of learner I am, I am anxious to finish my second semester and start the practium, mostly because I am visual hand’s on learner. So far I have no complaints about the program. I am currently living overseas with my Marine husband and its a great time for me to get in some of the schooling, since life here has been on a slow pace. I did not start this schooling with the hopes of making the big bucks. I think my biggest reward will be working with the animals. As far as not finding jobs for those graduating from Penn Foster, I dont understand. Because alot of places hire people with NO experience.

GL to everyone!

May 20, 2009 at 9:40 am
(167) Nina says:

I’m a senior in high school && graduating in June. Ill be going to the Vet Tech Institute in Houston. Ill have hands on training and a promised job after wards. my starting pay will be no less than 15-17 an hour && going up after that. You cant settle for less. I’ll be gettin hands on training w/ an on-site kennel and an externship for the last semester. they have MANY job opportunities if you have experience before this. I do. I’m a CVA 1. The vet tech program is the first step towards becoming a vet. I will work and save some money && after apply at a vet school. I know ill struggle a bit, but at least im working for what i want. I dont want it easy. I’m engaged && yah it’ll be hard, but ill be happy. Animals are my life && if the pay sucks, oh well. but 17 and hour ain’t bad. && this is from someone who DID work at subwayy.


May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm
(168) Britney says:

I am also in my first semseter for the vet tech program with Penn Foster. I think the program is put together very well however distance learning is NOT for everyone; and I am slowly starting to learn that. I have always been one to procrastinate through high school and everything.. If you are also one of these people this type of schooling is not for you. Espically Penn Foster because it is go at your own pace. But I love and want to be in the field to much to stop so I am continuing my studies at a college in Sanford, NC that has a vet tech program as well as more hands on experience as opposed to the 2 clinicals after your 2nd and 4th semsters with Penn Foster.

So far my only complaints with Penn Foster (other than the ones I bring on myself) are the counselors you call to answer any questions you have. They are all VERY rude and I have yet to have any of my questions answered, only recieved an attitude from the person on the oppoiste end.

For people that want to work with animals but also need the money, look into animal sonography (ultra sounds and such), this is something I’m considering doing after I become a LVT and do that for a few years. The money is def there but so is the schooling. If I’m not mistaken you have to go to school for human sonography and then specialize in animal sonography. There is such a demand for them right now that they travel to many different practices/zoos/shelters ect because there aren’t enough animal sonographers out there to work at one place and only one, so you have to be willing to travel; another upside is it is not a 5-6 day a week, 9-5 job, you pick your own days/hours you want to work or only work when your needed. I know when my dog was sick my vet called in a sonographer and she got about $600 from us for about 30 mins of work.

If you are dedicated, it pays off. Good luck to everyone!

May 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm
(169) Lissett says:

Has anyone ever attended the VetTech Institute (Bradford School of business)?
I am about to start this July and just want to know what to expect and if it’s a good school
I have always wanted to work with animals since I was a kid. I just finished my fist year of college and was going for pediatric nursing, but I just didn’t feel like it was something I really wanted to do. It was more like family pressure.
But now, I am enrolled at the VetTech Institute here in Houston and am really excited to be doing something I actually will enjoy doing (not that I don’t like kids/babies lol)
I’m not all that worried about the salary as much, I still live at home with my dad so I don’t plan to live out on my own just yet. And hearing some of the salaries, not that it’s making me change my mind or anything, i don’t think i plan to go on my own anytime soon.
So I have a couple of questions that I would like someone to help me with.
1. Can I work as a vet tech in the zoo? if so, about how much will i be making?
2. If after I become an RVT, do i have to go back to school to specialize in research or sonography or other area? Or can I just learn it at the work place?
3. If I do decide to become a vet after getting my AAS degree, will it take about the same (8 or so years) to complete?
4. Does it really make a differece if the school you go to is AVMA accredited?
5. How can I volunteer at a vet clinic/zoo? Or do an extership there?

Thank ya’ll in advance!!

May 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm
(170) Veronica says:

You guys need to stop discouraging people! The pay you make being a vet tech is better than any job right off the street. If your single it’s even better, you don’t have to worry as much. I have four months of school left and I’ll be getting my Vet assistant certificate. I already found a part time job which will be full time when I’m done with school. I am currently a vet tech with no experience other than extern and I start at 9.50 and get a raise after 30 days. I think it’s great and the longer you stay and prove yourself the more money they will pay you. Ya’ll are money hungry.

June 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm
(171) JJ says:

Yeah well, I went to a great school and got out was working at a great 4 doctor clinic in 95 and was getting $9 until i got my board results back after officially passing i was bumped to 11 (that was CRAZY) high for the area of NY i lived in that was saturated with LVT making us a dime a dozen. So even tho i was paid really well by area standard I reember praying to make at least $500 bi-weekly so i could make my car payment and student loans ( i still lived with my ‘rents since Rent was out of the question) then i got a part time job squirreling away $$ until i had enough to move with the BF and i took a “AWESOME” job moved to West Palm Beach Florida were over the last 8 years I have worked at 2 private practices 1 huge referal center and spent 2 years in a “State of the Art research facility were i was paid (pardon the term (DICK!) so I must say i laughed when i read you guys saying LVT are paid better in research well Scripps won;t pay you squat and they are supposed to be or at least they like to tell you they are “THE TOP RESEARCH INSTITUTION IN THE COUNTRY”. As for the DVMs in South Florida I have concluded that client education is mostly non-existent, DVM feel it’s easier to tell the client what they want to hear rather than practice a high level of Medicine ( keep seeing boo-boo for the rotten ears and prescribing meds ($)and ear drops(more $)and flushing solution CHA CHING $$$) rather than discuss food or environmental allergies, it would appear the common consensus is I CAN DO IT! lord have mercy if I didn’t see all the specialist i worked with at the referral center doing chronic damage control rather than corrective medicine. Like the FUBAR’ed neck of the poor dog whose RDVM did a LAR PAR Sx that the ACVS surgeon had to fix. Or the oncologist who had to tell the woman her cat was dying from the Chemo the regular doctor was giving in addition the cancer since the regimine the RDVM was doing was not effective for the strain of cancer affecting her cat, or the best yet a 4 hour ortho SX i scrubbed in on where the surgeon had to re-break, pin and externally fix the leg of the Labrador the RDVM tried to fix by ( I KID YOU NOT) internally wrapping circulage wire around the broken area of bone to set it) at 5 months of age. My advice ? We need to unionize. and make a federal law stipulating what is and is not a Technician. Because the problem is places like Florida were you train your way out of a job. I was paid $20 hr ( with 6 years ECC, SX and exotic exp) I was lead tech and was asked to start train two girls that had graduated from high school and were AM and PM part timers. after one year i was terminated and they stayed on doing all the things i had taught them to do and they made 8.75 and hour. Because here in Florida anyone can call themselves a tech, and the title mean NOTHING!!! I have over 15years experince working with some of the greatest doctors but in private day clinics they feel i’m worth nothing since they in some kid off the street they can teach to do what I do for 1/2 the pay. I mean lets put it in perspective. I want to call my self a Veterinarian… YOu cant. Why not? You didn;t go to school. Those girls didn’t go to school but they told everyone they were technicians. Well you have to get your boards and your license. I did I sat for the NY, the national, and Florida boards. Oh well… um yes i see your point. But… NO BUT!!! IT’S BLACK AND WHITE you either are a DVM or your not your either a tech or you not end of story. and until the Doctors treat us like we matter and our education is just as valuable to the practice as there is and we can be and should be used a integral member of the veterinary team we will remain obsolete . After 17 years i am happy to say I am finally with a Dr that does feel this way and while I’m still a smidgen under paid the amazing working environment and the professional way i am treated and valued; not as a employee but as a colleague makes up for it. The Irony?? He is from Italy and says he has seen and agrees with everything i just told you. and he thinks the AVMA is retarded for the way they allow the public and DVMs to treat the Techs in this country. So i guess you just have search ponder and pray you find the right place for you. In the end luck is they only thing you have going for you. It only took my half my life (well so far the last 1/2)

June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm
(172) Brenda says:

I am a liscensed vet tech in philadelphia. I am currently making $14/hour. Does anyome one the average hourly rate if you are working in animal rehabilitation…and in emergency services? Thanks!

June 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm
(173) SM says:

I work at a really expensive, high-tech critical care/emergency hospital in LA. I know one RVT making $14 an hour. You can make probably up to $20 or so if you work a night shift and have years of experience.

The doctors make upwards of $200,000. Oh, the justice in this world.

July 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm
(174) Tim in San Francisco says:

I live in San Francisco (one of the most expensive cities to live in) and am 47 years old and about to embark on a 20 month vet tech program (Western Career College). Because I have a BA I am able to bypass all of the general ed courses and so will be attending school from 4:45-6:45 pm Mon-Thur. So, I will likely be able to work part time during the day (although there seems to be very few jobs at all).
I love animals and realize that the money may not be great but in this economy it seems like I should go for something I am passionate about (you know, do what you love and the money will follow). I have management experience so maybe that will help me once I finish the program. But consider this: a career as a vet tech is probably much safer in this economy than most things. I don’t think they are getting laid off like most other fields. I feel sorry for college grads with a business degree or someone going into accounting. Computers are taking over so many jobs! I have been a graphic designer for 15 years and burnt out on working in a corporate, cut-throat environment. Plus, I was doing print design which is pretty much dead in the water. I started learning web skills and threw in the towel.
If anyone knows about Western Career College (in San Leandro) I would appreciate the insight. I went there and was impressed with the facility, lab, staff, etc.

July 3, 2009 at 1:14 am
(175) Trevor says:

Wow! I am surprised vet techs don’t make more money! I was thinking of leaving my current job and pursuing this but not if I will make $12.00 an hour.
I currently make $35.00 an hour in my job. Guess I’ll stay even though I hate it.

July 3, 2009 at 7:40 pm
(176) J.J. says:

Back in question 138 Concerned Parent asked a question about the Vet Tech Inst. in Houston. I did not see an answer and have the same “fatherly radar” questions about that same location. Can someone please comment on the Houston market vs the $30-40k pricetag> Having a daughter that is also afraid of math, how is the ciriculum in this field?

July 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm
(177) Melanie, LVT says:

I am very surprised that so few people seem to connect the dots. Salary or Hourly Wages are dependent on location, field employeed (i.e general small animal practice verses say internal medicine specialty), educational background, experience, skills, personality and the owner. I do not make the money that I should due to lack of restraint from non-credentialed persons working in the hospitals and clinics in my region.
The only way I see for technicians to be compensated properly for the true job they perform, assistants have to learn their boundaries. This will only help them in the pay scale scheme of things as well. In states that regulate, technicians should stand their ground, and assistants to stay in line. This is not in any way shape or form to be negative. Think about it. You are an assistant who plays the technician’s job role. You also work with a technician. You get paid $10 per hour and she gets paid $18 per hour. You both do the same job. Boy aren’t you stupid. Letting DVM’s exploit you for less money. Put your foot down and say No Thank You. That will help everyone’s pay scale elevate to the level of skill, duties, education and experience one employee has to offer. Vet Assistant’s seem to forget that their Technician is their best chance for increasing their education, skill and experience that will help them command a higher salary. Now that I am in the frying pan……

July 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm
(178) Arlene says:

Whew! Everyone has the same opinion about the VT field; and it’s disappointing! I’m a preschool teacher, and teachers DON’T make enough either with ALL the duties we do in our 8-9hr/days!! I admire the VT, but if it’s SIMILAR to being a teacher, well…I guess, I have to think of something else to get into! It’s really sad that WE have to ALWAYS think about HOW MUCH we will make! Yes, it’s truly a “Labor of Love”; but doesn’t anyone believe in the Higher Power…that those who do good for the sake of other will be rewarded in due time!?! Good luck…

July 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm
(179) Brooke says:

I am 20 years old & just recently moved to Orlando, Florida. I finally found a vet tech school. It is called Florida Institute of Animal Arts. I was wondering if anyone has heard of or went to this school? It is accredited but wanted to know if anyone has finished the program and had a hard time finding a job after?

July 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm
(180) LizzyBoo says:

Agreed with Melanie, LVT.
It all depends on location, field employeed, educational background, experience, skills, personality and the owner.

You ***can’t*** decide from the internet, you need to talk to people in YOUR area. I looked at this site when before I was even a vet assistant and still am perusing a career as a LVT and I was disappointed to read the poor pay. Even so I perused my passion and I’m already making more then a lot of these LVTs have made as an assistant, not because I’m better, it’s just so variable.
It is all variable, shop around where you want to work, usually the bigger more demanding places will have more money to pay you well. If you are interested in money, go to an emergency or specialty clinic, if you are not, they any clinic will do if you just want to be and help animals.

July 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm
(181) Kristi says:

Well, it’s nice of all of you to leave your feed back and I appreciate your honesty. I just signed up for vet tech school after being laid off from my previous job as a journalist and now I’m just depressed from all your comments. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life and now, it just seems useless. Super.

July 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm
(182) Terri says:

To Brooke in 179 – I have heard of Florida Institute of Animal Arts. But to my knowledge that is NOT a vet tech school. I haven’t personally researched it, but it is my understanding that they give you a certificate as a veterinary assistant. That is completely different! You do NOT need a certificate to be an assistant. You need only apply at a veterinary hospital (and possibly be willing to start work in the kennel) and they will likely call you an assistant. St. Petersburg College has an online course that IS accredited by AVMA and upon completion you can take the board exam to become a CVT (credentialed veterinary technician or certified vet tech – depends on state definitions). Try checking the AVMA website for schools they have accredited as suitable for veterinary technician programs. This is the list for Florida (http://www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/florida.asp). You will notice that the FL Institute of Animal Arts is not listed.

Just wanted to let you know because I hate for people to waste their time with useless programs. Stick to the accredited ones for veterinary knowledge and training. :)

July 9, 2009 at 7:51 am
(183) Melanie, LVT says:

Kristi: It is never useless. If this is want you want…then do it. You can do sales, research, university, teaching, specialty, emergency, or general practice. Only you can make your career choice a happy worthwhile choice. If you are current student in an accredited program, start resources. Call up various different types of practices and ask to shadow their LVT. Get a feel for what they do, if they like what they do, if the pay and benies are good. Then go from there. You can always relocate.

July 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm
(184) jules says:

I am a vet tech at a 9 doctor clinic, we do small animal(dog cats) exotics(Monkeys, avians, reptiles, pocket pets, you name it) and make $10 a hour, I come home with bruises, bites, you name it, and cannot affored to barely buy food for my family. Thank god my husband makes really good money.I left a $40,000 a year job to do this, but I will have to say I am so burned out. No lunch breaks in a 12 hr day, no vacation time. I am not sure how thses people are getting $15 to $23 a hour, but its not happening here in Texas.I am currently considering going back to what I did before, Medical Insurance. I so love the animals, but if you cant survive financially whats the point.

July 19, 2009 at 2:28 am
(185) Lucy says:

I have been working in with veterinarians for close to 10 years. In the past year, I completed the CVT program online at Cedar Valley College. I highly recommend years of experience before deciding to enroll in distance ed courses. It really helped. I make over $20/hour plus lots of overtime. I have worked in private practice, ER and now currently a shelter. If you want good money human medicine is the way to go.

July 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm
(186) Melissa says:

Hello! I am a junior in college with a BA in psychology. I plan on going to graduate school for school psychology. But before I go, I wanted to get a BS in Veterinary Technology (the state that I live in has a program) and I figured it wouldn’t take long because I already would have transfer credits for the core curriculum at another university. Anyways, the vet tech degree would only take me 2 years (I’m guessing) and I love animals. I thought this would be a good way to work a part time job doing something that I love while I finish graduate school. Any suggestions? (P.S. I am not looking to make veterinary technology a lifetime career; my passion is school psychology)

July 24, 2009 at 2:54 am
(187) Ashley says:

Hey guys – I’m 17 and always had the dream of being a vet tech, seeing as I absolutely love animals. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years now and he’s going into the police academy.
No matter what, this is the career path I want to take. But I’m terrified that I’ll have to live paycheck to paycheck, and have hardly any money to buy goods for me and my boyfriend. I know with our money put together we’ll be living a decent life, but would this be a mistake? I LOVE animals and would LOVE working with them, but I don’t want to waste 2 years just to do something that will pay me horribly. No left money for vacations, hardly money for food, gas, bills, etc.

I live in Missouri and planned on going to Vaterotts Veterinary Technician Program after I graduate. I’d love any advice.

Basically, is it worth it to live paycheck to paycheck?

July 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm
(188) Leslie says:

I am going back to school in October. I am trying to decide between becoming a CVT, or going for Business Management. My passion is with animals, but we live paycheck to paycheck right now, and it hurts. Sometimes we don’t have $5 to put gas in the car. If you love animals, there are other fields as well. Animal control, management in a pet franchise etc. The more I think about my huge investment into schooling, the more I realize that become a CVT has little to no return on investment. So if you do it, do it because you love it. I currently work at a Petsmart PetHotel make $11.25/hour. If I started going to school for business I would get promoted to Assistant manager and make 15/hour, Operations managers make about 80K/year. So business is definately a better option in my case.

July 30, 2009 at 1:29 am
(189) SM says:

Lissett, to address your questions (and for anyone else wondering the same thing), here’s how it is in LA, and hopefully someone will weigh in on other cities and states:
You can work as a vet tech in a zoo but as far as I know these are extremely competitive fields. At the LA zoo, you can’t just expect to apply with an RVT license and some volunteer experience under your belt. Simply to be considered for a keeper training PROGRAM, you’ve got to have something like a year or two of full-time paid experience working with wildlife, not just exotics in a hospital. If you somehow manage to secure a job, you proably won’t make very much either, since zoos aren’t businesses, and these jobs are in such high demand that people are willing to be paid not very much. Tons of people want to be animal keepers, there are very few jobs open, and there are very few windows of hiring.

If you decide to become a vet after becoming an RVT, it will take just the same amount of time as if you didn’t have an RVT. Which is why if you want to go to vet school, you may be better off simply trying to get in.

It makes a big difference whether or not your vet school is AVMA accredited. If you want to practice in the US, you’ve got to go to an accredited school. If it’s not, and you want to practice in the US (among other countries), you’ll have to transfer part-way to an acccredited school. The ones in the US, along with a few international (some in the UK, some in Australia, New Zealand, Canada), are accredited.

Check with the vet clinics or zoos you’re interested in and see if they have volunteer programs or are accepting volunteers. I know if you want to handle animals at certain zoos, you’re required to have some experience handling wildlife beforehand (this can be volunteer). Check with non-profits or animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers if you want to go the exotics route. They are usually very short-staffed in terms of volunteers, meaning you’ll get lots of hands-on experience.

July 30, 2009 at 1:34 am
(190) SM says:

Melissa – veterinary technician programs are two years for an associate’s degree, and you take a qualifying test at the end. It’s not a BS; I don’t think there is such a thing.

If money isn’t that much of a concern, you may be able to find a job without an RVT license starting out doing basic kennel work, then learning your way up the ladder. The two years may be an extra burden. I do have a co-worker that’s in the same position, although she already has her RVT and is still in undergrad. But I think child psychology is what she wants to do. So, it’s really based on what you think is best.

However I was under the impression that you are basically paid to be a graduate student, and find grants for your research, so you don’t really have time to do side jobs (except for TA-ing)? Best to research this further by talking to a grad student in your department. Good luck!

August 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm
(191) Pam says:

I am presently an LPN. I am very interested in a career change & would like to know if my medical training can be applied or if there is a bridge exam or can the exam be challenged?

August 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm
(192) David says:

I made a late career change and love it.
Yes, the pay sucks, but not everyone pays poorly.

Things won’t improve until the term “Technician” is reserved ONLY for those who have completed the required education and passed the board exams.
Who would expect to leave high school to work in a hospital and be called a “Nurse”?
How much would a nurse earn if that was possible?

Ask yourself how many nurses you know who can produce radiographs of their patient, perform anesthesia and carry out a wide range of other duties including all important client education?

When Veterinarians begin to realize the true “worth” of a talented Veterinary Technician the pay will reflect the skill level.

A skilled Veterinary Technician can increase the income in a practice.

To all those Veterinarians wondering how, talk to your talented and skilled Veterinary Technicians.

August 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm
(193) Emily says:

I have 5 years of experience as a CVT (certified veterinary technician) in Minneapolis, and I make 13.25 an hour. The burnout rate in this career is really fast – usually about 5 years. It’s a high-stress job that pays very little, so a lot of people leave it because the pay doesn’t make up for the stress. I’m considering leaving the field and starting a pet sitting business because I can make so much more money for so much less stress. It’s a little risky because the jobs will be sporadic, but I think it will be worth the risk. Don’t go into this career if you don’t have someone to fall back on financially. If I weren’t married, I would have to live with my parents. The rewarding parts of this career wear out quickly when you are worrying about money all the time. Clinics need to start valuing their support staff more and start paying better – we are nurses, lab techs, phlebotomists, receptionists, and janitors all in one. We should be payed like the multi-tasking individuals that we are! Find me one human nurse that does all we do!

August 27, 2009 at 4:56 am
(194) Falon says:

I see that no one has written on this in over a year…but I found it very helpful.

I’m 26 years old and I actually went to college for 4 years to become an RN. I Graduated college and thought my life was set.

I’ve been working now for over 2 years…and I’ve decided to go back to school to be a Vet Tech. OBVIOUSLY not about the money. This job just isn’t for me. It doesnt make me happy….and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to work with animals.

I’m applying for schools in Maine, NH, and VT right now. I can’t wait to get my new life started! Obviously a cut in pay…but to me?…its absolutely worth it!

September 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm
(195) Anna says:

Has anyone attended Vet Tech Institute in Houston, TX? If yes, please share with me your experience there…

September 28, 2009 at 4:35 am
(196) Phillip says:

Ok I live in texas and i love working with animals i just graduated in 2008.all i wont to now is what is the best place to start wit this job in a small practice the ASPCA in houston tx or what the cost of living isnt very high down here im mean it high but not that high can i get som edvise about were i should start

September 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm
(197) Cindy says:

We should all keep in mind things dont change until we change them. What the veterinary tech industry is going through now is similar to what the RN’s went through in the 70′s. All of the tech magazines have articles describing the struggle for higher wages and they are higher now than they have been in the past. Although techs have a very large burden of duties we also have to remember in the human industry the large use of insurance is one of the things that keep human medical costs and salaries on the rise- something we dont see much of in the vet industry. But we dont have to live in poverty. It is up to us to demand higher wages and prove to the vets the benefits of having an LVT vs just regular techs or assistants- though each has their role there needs to be clear, distinguishable job descriptions and salary outlines.

I have been in the vet industry for only 4 years but I know we can all make a change if we strive for the same cause which is taking complete care of our clients and patients while being appropriately compensated for our valubale work!

October 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm
(198) jamie says:

I agree with the people that are saying “you make the change because your passionate about it”. I recently graduated from a tech school and I had no problem finding a job for 12.50/hr (I was making 17.00/hr before tech school) at a clinic that is run by family and friends, where everyone that has NO CLUE makes more then me, reason I do not regret going to school. If it were required to be certified to be a tech we would make more. I also believe if you were required to be certifed that the treatment received by the animals would be better because certified techs should know why an animal receives a shock dose of fluilds, for instance, and the importance of turning the rate back down after a period. Or why a type of fluid is given over another, “trained on the job techs” might not. So if your going to transition you should do it the right way and go to an AVMA accredited school. There are positions in the clinic for assistants and kennel personal but I dont believe it is to do tech work!

October 7, 2009 at 11:27 pm
(199) vicki says:

I have worked 20 years for a small town vet, since out of high school. At that time had worked/managed a pet store for 4yrs, raised and showed dogs and was considering vet tech school. At that time I went to the local collage and was told I would only be paying for a paper that said I knew what I already knew how to do–if I took their tech program. (things were different 20yrs ago) The vet I work for now was looking for help at that time and said he would teach me what I needed to know cause he would want me to do things “his” way anyway. I figured why not. I get 15/hr, holidays, 2 weeks pd vacation. In my state they are working towards laws on what will be legal for me to do or not do, and lets just say I do everything you licescened/certified techs do. Sure I didn’t pay thousands of dollars for that paper but I LOVE my job and I am good at what I do, I have learned these things over 20yrs hands on experience and 1 good teacher. However, being 20yrs down the road if they pass these laws I will no longer be able to do my job as I do now. Considering this and looking back I sure wish I’d gone to that darn collage for that certificate.I may have wasted those years of what I learned. I’m almost 40yrs old now and the idea of going to tech school now seems unlikley. My advice in these times is if your gonna be in this business you’d better go to school get that paper, be the vet or stay out.

October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm
(200) Glenn says:

Hello to all,
First I want to say, “Good for all of you”!
You care for and help the innocents that can’t care for themselves. I hope there is a special place in heaven for the people who care for Gods creatures. Bravo.
Now for my main post.
I am almost 50 and have been in the IT field for 20+ years. Specifically, tech support but I have an increasing need to enter the veterinary field. I would love to be an actual vet but realistically, I doubt I could manage the 6 years or more it takes.
I would like some feedback, If anyone would care to.
I am seriously thinking about changing careers. I make 40K/yr now with health insurance. I am buying a small house and live from payday to payday. My hourly rate is 20$.
Is there any hope that I could become a vet tech or some other position in the animal care field and hope to survive?
I only care about the money as far as being able to bay the bills and not sit in the dark.
Believe me, answering the phone and fixing the same old PC problems, day after day has ZERO fulfillment.
I have several cats, all but one are strays.
I rescue hurt birds.
I have rescued 2 bats that were blown off their perch in downtown St. Louis. ! brown and 1 caramel colored.
I have also fostered many stray cats to get then aclimated to human touch and I was told I was the best foster family they ever had. All but one were adopted (and I took that one rather than leave her in the shelter).
I care very deeply for any and all animals and I am desperate to do something meaningful.
I have donated time to the local rescue shelter and aside from being heartbroken at the thought of all those little critters stuck in cages for months on end, I found it very fulfilling, knowing I had helped in some way.
I have watched the E-Vet Interns on Animal Planet and other things similar to that and I know in my heart that is what I was meant to do.
I screwed up early in life by not thinking thoroughly through my career choices.
Is it a pipe dream? Should I take the chance?
Can I make a living?
I don’t want someone to tell me what to do, I would like some opinions..
Is it possible to be a part time Vet Tech?
How long would it take taking classes 2 days a week and what kind of cost a are we talking about?
Any thoughts would be welcome.
In one respect, I am fortunate in that my grand daughter (who is only 9) wants to be a Vet, partly due to her grandpa’s input;)
I know it can be heartbreaking at times but returning a loved animal companion to their family, healthy and happy would be such a great feeling.
I want to become one of you, if you think it’s feasable.
Please give any feedback you might have.
Thanks much and keep up the good work!


October 25, 2009 at 3:45 am
(201) Mike says:

The money is out there! I’ve been working as a RVT for 4 years and make 40,000/yr plus benefits. There’s nothing wrong with private practice but yours less likely to be making much money. Working at a College of Veterinary Medicine is the way to go. You get paid more, good benefits, continuous CE, plus your always going to be on the cutting edge of equipment and ideas.

November 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm
(202) Glenn says:

Thanks Mike.
That helps a lot. Now I have lots of thinking to do.
Changing careers is a huge step so I have to do some thinking and planning.
Again, thanks much.

November 3, 2009 at 2:27 am
(203) ashley says:

im thinking about becoming a vet tech going to western career college since ilove animals but the whole 4 year college thing isnt working for me. I was wondering how much vet techs make in California? Im from San Jose and I just want to know so I know if im making a good decision to go to school to be a vet tech. I REALLY dont want to be living paycheck to paycheck so if anyone with advice please let me know.

November 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm
(204) B says:

I live in florida I have always thought about becoming a vet tech. I have a very soft spot in my heart for animals. I’m very nervous about a career change though,and even though money isn’t everythng I do not want to live paycheck to paycheck. Any advise???

December 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm
(205) Shannon says:

I have to take classes online so I was wondering which is the best online and accredited school for online classes.

December 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm
(206) Josh says:

Thanks everyone for sharing all of this helpful information, the good and the bad. It might be easier for me to say because I’m young, kid-less, and mortgage-less, but if you’re working a job that you can’t stand, what is the point anymore? Enjoy your life and do something that you actually care about. I’d much rather structure everything in that manner than the other way around. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I love animals, always have, and I’ve wasted enough time pursuing a career in computers. I can make some money and get the job done, but at the end of the day I still feel I am rushing to enjoy my free time, because everything I did during the day I didn’t really care about AT ALL. I believe that as a vet tech I would find that fulfillment in spite of a low(er) paycheck.

Who knows though, I may feel differently in 10 years if I have a family to support. But for now, I’m doing what makes sense to me and pursuing a career that I know I would enjoy.

December 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm
(207) Brittany says:

I took a veterinary technician classes online and just finished at the end of November from Ashworth College. I am not finding any Veterinary office that is looking for help in my area in Iowa. I have a lot of experience with hogs so i was looking at more of the large animal technician but don’t know where to start any suggestions?

December 28, 2009 at 1:41 am
(208) Angie says:

I really thank everyone so much for putting their commentary on here, I read through most and I really got to get some very knowledgeable insight on the field from people who are actually experiencing the results and aftermath in it.

Even though I do see that most of the comments have been talking about the low end pay that the job brings up; for some reason that still doesn’t affect me.

It just seems like working with and caring for animals is all I would ever dream of doing. Something about working with and trying to better the life for a helpless animal is just much more exciting to me than working 13 hours a day punching in numbers somewhere at a front desk or making a sale somewhere.

I guess I have grown so accustomed to living my life in the “fast lane” or living with not too much money and not too fancy of any transportation or living arrangement, that I couldn’t think that having a low salary with this field could be the least bit frightening to me.

I mean I would rather say, “I cannot wait to go back to work” than “I cannot wait to go back home”; sitting their counting down the hours to when I will return back to the sofa instead of back to the front entrance toward my job.

I now see what could be involved and I do have to think about it, but I think that dealing with animals in this field doesn’t seem like a daunting task to me, it actually seems like it would be the most exciting thing in the world to incororate it into my life as an everyday job.

February 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm
(209) Rachael says:

I’m an RVT in Northern California (bay area) and have been working at a specialty (referral only) practice for three years. When I started here, I was just an assistant and passed my boards one year ago. I now make $17.25/hr. After reading all these comments, I feel better about what I make. However, I know someone who works at another specialty practice (much larger than the one I work at) who makes $26/hr! That’s just unheard of to me, but it’s the truth. Also, working at an emergency clinic will earn you more money due to the hours you’ll have to work (they tend to be nights/weekends or 24-hour facilities). Basically, the bigger the hospital and the more specialized it is (meaning the more they charge clients), the more money you’ll make. It’s simple.

To Ashley…Western is a good school from what I understand; I’m unique in this area in that I went to UCSD to get my B.S., originally planning to get my DVM one day. But now I’m an RVT and happy about it. I know lots of people who went to Western. It’s not a difficult school IMO, but it teaches you what you need to know to pass your boards. You’ll have some debt for a while, though. Look into other options; contact the CVMA for the different routes you can take to pass the state boards. Some people take the classes they need to take and get experience and THEN sit for the boards. This may be a cheaper option because I think going to Western may set you back $30,000.

We all may make crap right now, but if you work hard, learn as much as you can, hone your skills, and are able to work at a university OR stick with a large practice for a long time and eventually move into some kind of management, you WILL make more money! Also, do CE! There are lots of opportunities to specialize as an RVT and therefore make more money. For example, I know someone who recently became certified as an “animal masseuse”…there’s a much more technical name for it lol, but that’s what it is. Other ideas…acupuncture. Yes, acupuncture for pets. It’s gaining in popularity and lots of practices may very well welcome a tech who is certified in acupuncture so that they can market that and offer it to their clients.

So don’t get depressed about the money, everyone! Be aggressive and you will make more.

March 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm
(210) Christina says:

I live in NC and I am interested in becoming a Vet Tech ( and maybe a Vet in the future) Do most doctor’s offices take online and distance learning schools seriously? Also, are any of the courses that you take as a vet tech transferable if you want to become a vet?

March 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm
(211) Layna says:

(210) Christina,

I am in a vet tech program in OH. From what I’ve been told by professors here is that credits WILL NOT transfer if you are looking to be a vet, just because the amount a tech learns is nowhere near the amount a vet learns. We tend to only ‘skim’ the surface of what a vet student is taught. All I can say is make sure your school of choice is accredited. I had a professor that had a friend at the time of her schooling that went thru a distance learning course, the school work was done at home, but for the hands on stuff, the vet actually videotaped her progress at work, learning new techniques and then that was sent to the main school for review. Needless to say the girl got her tech license. Best of luck.

March 24, 2010 at 1:16 pm
(212) Rebecca says:

I live in Canada and will be going taking the VT program this fall, i am a single mother of 2 and i love animals, i dont care about the money as long as i am doing something i love, everyday is a stuggle with money but i get by, if you have a passion for something then just go for it, i got a lot of support from friends and family and they know this is what i want to do!

March 25, 2010 at 11:49 am
(213) Kara says:

Has anyone gone to the Vet Tech Institute at the International Business College? Is it a good program? And have you been able to get a good job with it?

March 26, 2010 at 6:46 pm
(214) victoria says:

I am still in high school and I plan on going towards a Vet career. I am not sure if being a Vet Tech is exactly what I want to do. The above comments note that it does not have the greatest pay check, but I am for sure that I want to work with animals. I am currently finishing up a Vet science class at school that practices common demestic pets as well as agicultural managment/market animals. Also I will be taking an Aminal Care ROP course next year.

I am in California and currently looking for online schools. Penn Foster looks like a good idea, but again I am not totally set on soley being a Vet Tech. What are options of other schools? What can help me decide what direction in Vet Med I want to go? Anything I should be doing to prepare?

March 27, 2010 at 10:21 am
(215) Dr. Mary says:

I have been reading all the comments placed here. I have been in vet med for 28yrs. I own my own practice and employ 2 cvts. One is paid 26.50?hr. One makes 17.50?hr. I have several vet assisstants at misc. salaries and they are not as valuable as the CVTS.. What everyone must understand is that I cant pay my techs $60000 per year when I van hire a veterinarian for that. The requirement for clinics to have a CVT on staff is worthless when there are not any available and we cant justify paying them more. I offer full benefits and my staff actually has more vacation and sick days than I do.Dont rip on veterinarians we dont get paid anny where near what Mds get 70000 to 90000 vs 150000 to 1.5million and above. Wepay what the market will bear. I live in a small town pay my techs well but cant afford anymore. Iwill be out of business. Thanks for your time.

March 29, 2010 at 1:48 am
(216) Brittany.H says:

Some of these comments have kind of discouraged me. This is the only profession I have ever thought about going into..I can’t imagine doing or being anywhere else! But is it worth living paycheque to paycheque? I don’t want to have to live like that or rely on other people to make it through.

I am on my first year out of highschool working and saving money for school. I was thinking of going into the VOAC program(veterinary office and animal care) pretty much a vet assistant and it is ~ $6000 for 6 months for the course. OR i could take the Animal Health Technician (AHT) program which is 2 years and obv. more money.

Which one is the right one to go into? Is the money difference between the two high or is there even a difference?

I was talking to somone in a vet office and she said that there is not really a point in taking the AHT program and to take the VOAC first. Some vets are jerks to work for so 1st to see if it is something you like and 2nd some of the vets will teach you some of the Tech stuff.

Is this true..I know there are differences between the two courses, but are they virtually the same. In what you do on a day to day basis (i guess :S)

It would be great if someone replied..i just want to know what course to take!

April 5, 2010 at 10:15 pm
(217) Kayla Provost says:

Hello my name is kayla i am 17 years old and i want to be a vet tec can you tell me how this job changed your life? and how animals were helped, all the procedures they i will be apart of in this job. Like bathing,feeding keeping the place clean at all times check and make sure the animals are taking care of and not ill or injured and love each and everyone one of them is this right? Can you tell me if there is more i need to know and were i can go to find it.
Thank you so much for your time
-Kayla Provost
Limestone Maine

April 7, 2010 at 7:01 pm
(218) Stephanie says:

I’m glad I have found this forum, literally with years of advice rolling through. I’ve just turned 30 and like many who have come before me, I have never given up on my childhood dream of working with animals, either as a vet tech or a full-on vet. As far as the money griping goes, I have to say….I work in marketing, I’m very good at what I do, and I make over $60,000 a year. But I loathe getting up in the morning and going to work somewhere that I don’t care about.

I was recently told (and you see it everywhere in society), figure out something you like, something you love, some job that would actually be meaningful and fulfilling and you will be happy. Just because I’m not living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t mean that I’m satisfied everyday….

Until I come home to my dogs.

And I made some good advancements in my business world by, yep, just Asking (with a capital A). Women never ask up front, or ask for a bump, because we don’t want to come off as pushy or naggy. But, I asked one day and I got a 25% raise. I asked a couple years later, and because I’m a hard worker, I got another raise.

From all the great tidbits here, I think vet med or bust! Ask for the compensation. Dont’ be ridiculous. You want money? Be a banker and count bills all day. :) I want a job where I can help animals. When the next Katrina hits, I want to be able to do more than write a check.

April 8, 2010 at 2:45 am
(219) Jill says:

I’ve been looking into Vet Tech programs like crazy. It seems that there are only 3 here in Washington state. Relocating isn’t an option and I’m definitely interested in a hands on program.

After much debate and looking into what is offered it seems that PIMA Medical Institute in Seattle is my only option, unless I want to drive over an hour each way every day, without traffic, probably closer to 2 hours with traffic! Eeek.

PIMA is AVMA accredited so that is a good thing. Unfortunately tuition is $23,606 for a 16 month program. That’s the big downside, I’m still paying on student loans from my BFA in illustration. I also have a certificate in Natural Science Illustration and am thinking that perhaps I can find opportunities to do some scientific illustrating in the “vetting” world.

Just wondering if anyone has any experience or comments about the program that PIMA offers.

It seems in Washington state previously Vet “Tech’s” working for 5 years in the field had the opportunity to sit for boards. Now as of this year Vet Techs are required to go through a program to receive an Associates in order to be eligible to take the exams to be certified. Maybe this will help boost the wages of Vet Techs since schooling is now a requirement?

April 18, 2010 at 6:00 pm
(220) Lance Murray says:

I’m a critical care nurse. The money is “ok” for what we do, but the stress and responsibility is not ok.

It’s truly unfortunate that taking care of sick animals won’t allow you to live with much comfort, and the people who have chosen to do so should be well-respected. But as long as you are also dealing with the human factor (the animal owners) vet techs and nurses will, overall, never be appreciated fully.

Imagine when a person brings in their pet for a spay/neuter for example and there is an additional check box on the form that says, “Do you want to pay for pain medications?”

Shouldn’t be an option. But animals are a business venture and pet-owners can “decide” to save money and scrimp on the pain medication. If your vet does this, change vets.

If your fat husband has a stroke and you are blaming the nurses that he’s “not waking up,” his wife will write letters about your incompetence and the hospital will entertain them in their push for increased customer service scores.

Nurses are a necessary expense and an annoyance to hospital owners. It’s a slow process but our prices have gone up because there are fewer nurses who will work under our increasing work load.

A vet-techs education is much easier to obtain and so their numbers will remain higher. Their salaries will stay the same. A vet must pay rent, recruit business, pay advertising and insurance, and dole out a few dollars to his techs. Taking care of animals will never make much money.

April 26, 2010 at 11:42 am
(221) Brittnee says:

I’m extremely interested into being a veterian assistant. I am fifteen, and I’m already looking forward to this job. Until… I read your comment saying the money issue. Is it that bad? Does it make you want to quit? How long do you think you can keep this job?

April 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm
(222) Renee says:

I have not heard good things about PIMA. I know a few people personally that have graduated and some that just went through the assistant program. It is NOT worth your money. I hope either they fix their weaknesses or lose their accreditation. The cost of moving or commute will be worth the better education at Pierce or Yakima. I am a graduate from Yakima and I can vouch for the quality of their program. You will spend less than $10,000 for the two year program.. tuition, books, uniform, supplies included!

May 23, 2010 at 11:20 am
(223) tammy says:

OMG! I glad I came upon thos forum. I’ve been dreaming of doung this since I was 12 yrs old. I’m 29 right now with a small kid. I already know this profession is a “labor of love” sort of thing. I make 50K right now working for attorneys and wanted to change my occupation to something I loved which is working with animals. I see that vet techs really have to bust their ass to be regonized. Whether you been to school or not. And I be damned I went to school to be a vet tech and didn’t get paid decently. That’s just not fair. I really don’t know what to do now. in this economy people are let go left and right. They just let someone go at my job. Who’s to say I’m not next. I would love to do this dream job but I want to be able to live decently. I really don’t care about how low the pay is because I do love animals so much. I used to volunteer at a shelter for 8 years but they closed down. But I have a child to raise and if the job I’m very passionate about can’t put food on the table, keep a roof over our heads, just the wole living paycheck to paycheck perspect, I can’t do this job right now. I will just have to find an alternate to the profession I love but that would pay. I wish you all luck. I really believe in the saying if you do what you love you will never feel like you have worked a day in your life. But in this economy, this “recession” love don’t pay the bills

May 29, 2010 at 4:43 am
(224) Amanda says:

I am 21 years old, and I’m currently in the process of attaining my BA in political science. I am still fully invested in my career path, however, I am struggling to pay the bills currently. I am looking to get some sort of certification that will enable me to have a “backup” as well as something I can do within a year that will enable me to make a little more during the last 2 years of my BA than waitressing. I live in PA, and I’m looking into Penn Foster’s vet tech program. I am wondering if anyone has any advice about jobs in the Pittsburgh region as well as whether this is a program that will in fact enable me to get a job? I’m not looking to make $30/hour. I’d be happy with anything between $10-$15/hour. Is this a realistic goal of my wage in this area?

June 3, 2010 at 12:23 am
(225) Debbie says:

You guys should look into Professional Veterinary Assistant School, it’s in Orange County, Cali… I went to it and graduated in their 16 month alternate route program. Love them there! Great people, will to do anything for their students.. Dr Sherri Candeletta runs it, wonderful lady. I have recommended so many people their and seen so many graduates so far … it has RVT and assistant programs :) Hope that helps any one in the so cal location.

June 24, 2010 at 9:55 pm
(226) Summer says:

I would have to say that you all are paid extreamly well try being in my profession and only making $9.06 an hour I would love to make $14 an hour that would be great I am the one living paycheck to paycheck with 2 small children to support. If you make $14 an hour and say you are living pay check to pay check then you are living above your means. Start shopping at stores like wal-mart, thrift stores, dollar general or family dollars instead of old navy, kohls, jcpenny trade in your new car with a high payment for one that you can afford.

June 28, 2010 at 10:47 am
(227) Monisha says:

I am so glad i read your comments before i made any further decisions about my career choice. I currently work for the govt, but i want to follow my dream and work in an animal clinic/hospital. I started undergrad as a Biology major because i wanted to go to Vet School after i graduated. however, It took me alot longer to finish undergrad than i planned and i got married and have a 2 yr old son now. i decided that while in school still i can do am online progran with Penn Foster that worked out really great and I got my Vet Assistant Diploma. I am still in undergrad as a Bio major but I was thinking about leaving my goo govt. job where i make 16.33 an hour to follow my heart and work in an animal hospital. I am also thinking about doing an online program to become a Vet Tech like most of you but I wanted to know how mush that would change things financially. Now reading your comments I’m not sure as to what I want to do. I plan on graduating next Spring with my Biology degree but I am not going to Vet School. I really can’t afford a pay cut right now either. Not sure as to what I should do at this point???

July 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm
(228) Melissa says:

I am enrolled in the Penn Foster College Vet Tech Bachelors Degree Program. I will have to participate in externships / internships, take my state certification program (Florida). I have worked temporarily in boarding kennels not making much money at all and not getting any training or experience at all even though they had a vet hospital on site. I was recently laid off and have started volunteering at my county’s animal services clinic and am getting some real hands on experience and having a lot of fun too! They may also hire me soon. Anyone looking for the experience in veterinary technology should look into volunteering at your town / county animal control or animal services or local humane society.

July 12, 2010 at 9:27 pm
(229) Nicole says:

I was very passionate about becoming a vet tech 11 years ago. I went to veterinary nursing school and was the top of my class, loved it and passed my licensing exam with a high score. I have tried every type of small animal practice in the spectrum and have excelled in dentistry, emergency and critical care and even got promoted to be practice manager at 4 different practices. I don’t regret my decision to become an LVT but I am well beyond burnout. I loved my job for the first 3 years and I stayed well beyond that. I job-hopped hoping I’d find a place where I was sufficiently appreciated and valued in my profession (not just financially). I’m presently a critical care supervisor in a big hospital and I feel like I’m treated like a Starbucks employee only with worse benefits and comparable salary. I feel very let down by the profession as it does not seem valued by clients (
(albeit dedicated and wealthy) nor do I feel appreciated by my doctors or employers. The harder I work, the more responsibility I have and it has not paid off professionally not to mention financially-though I guess everyone has mentioned that’s a given. Because of this, I am sadly giving up on this career. Until there are unions, veterinary technicians will continue to be exploited, be trained, work hard and leave.

July 22, 2010 at 12:36 pm
(230) JW says:

I have to agree with K’s comment. On my first day of Vet Tech school, my prof warned us that we will never get rich in this profession. That’s ok with me. I don’t need a BMW, but make it worth my while! The average career span of a technician in Canada is 2-5 years. And we only have ourselves to blame. I recently left a job because I was under utilized and the work environment was toxic. Where I live, schooled technicians are hard to come by and I found myself in the job hunting field for the first time in a very long time. A lot had changed and I had no idea what to ask for in terms of compensation. I soon realized that I was a huge asset and had a lot to offer perspective employers so I set the standards high. I had employers OUT-BIDING EACH OTHER. I never thought I would see the day. So then I did some research and realized that my situation is not all that unique. Techs are in high demand, even in our current economy and yet we’re being underpaid, because that’s what we’ve settled for. We just need to start asking for what we’re worth, and like K said, they’ll pay it. They know they’re lost without us. And if they don’t, they’ll learn soon enough.

August 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm
(231) Kathryn says:

I have been a Licensed Veterinary Technician in the state of Michigan for 23 years and it boils down to this: wages are based on the per capita income of your area, level of experience and what the economy is doing in your state. Michigan has seen a tremendous period of economic depression and unemployment; the last thing on an unemployed worker’s list is the family pet. Our profession has taken a beating and some DVM’s in the hardest-hit areas are doing what was once thought unthinkable 10 years ago: lay-offs and down-sizing. LVT’s have to perform more tasks with less help and in half the time in order to survive. Don’t think for a moment that we are compensated for getting lean and mean. I started out at 10.00/hr ten years ago and now? 14.00/hr. What an insult. I adore what I do and I am good at it, but somehow I feel that DVM’s have taken advantage of our love of the job. And we ARE replaceable, people. You can be replaced by a kid out of school or a ready-to-train go-getter off the street who accepts 1 dollar above minimum wage. Hell, they are giddy, grateful and pumped just to be there and this translates to ‘cheap labor’ to a DVM who keeps his eye on the bottom line, rather than competent, quality care. I am not saying that every vet runs his business this way, but in tough times, employee loyalty and love-of-the-job become issues that do not seem important, anymore. Now it’s “how hard can you work with no chance of compensation? If you care about this organization and your job, you will do your part to keep us afloat, no matter what”. Then you have the company drones who tell you “it’s an honor and a privilege to work here. You are lucky to be employed”. This is the mentality that will keep us where we are: Highly trained, professional, licensed and living just above the poverty level. Job burn-out and disillusionment is a common malady that ends most technician careers. This occupation is fine as long as you live with someone who makes at least 70% of the total household income and you are not a single parent. It is what it is. Just keep in mind: where will you be in 10 years? 20 years? If your marriage fails, you lose your home or your significant other loses their job; will your career choice carry you through it? If not, then choose something that will. I wish I knew that 25 years ago. I love what I do, but not enough to live on food stamps and medicaid. I will be attending school this fall and starting over in my mid-forties. I can volunteer at local shelters if I really want to make a difference in my spare time. They need my time and services more than some DVM that regards me as a bill to be paid rather than an asset.

August 5, 2010 at 12:24 pm
(232) Louise says:

How about PetAirways? They employ Vet Techs to be flight attendants for their pet only airline. That might be a career option for some of you. Also, I do know of a Vet Tech who travelled with race horses as a career and made really great money at it.

August 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm
(233) Lisa says:

135 Laura- I feel ya! I just graduated with a B.S in Animal Health Science ,AVMA accredited University about two months ago and just like you two interviews later still no job. It is very depressing, because I worked my butt off. My issue though is that the job opportunities are too far away from me and the pay they offer will not support me on relocating. So for now I am trying to volunteer at the humane societies in my area and study for the state board exam. hopefully everything will work out for both of us!!!

August 12, 2010 at 10:07 am
(234) Kristen says:

Wages have increased in most areas though we still are not paid for what we are really worth. It is unfair however that I have seen seasoned veterans who are paid less than new graduates. I am paid 14/hr while the salary varies amongst techs where I work. One tech hired 9 mos. Before me makes 13. Another hired only a year before me makes only 12. My husband and I both work, have no luxuries not even cable tv, and we can’t make our monthly bills. Let alone pay for daycare, preschool, or food in the house for our kids. I am currently looking for another job and intend to ask for higher wages. Daycare for me to go to work costs 14/hr. So I need paid more than that. Or else I’m not making anything.

August 12, 2010 at 10:30 am
(235) Kristen says:

OMG. I just read Barbara Saunders’ post. Are you trying to get RVT’s to lose their license? As a hospital manager you should know better. Most state laws prohibit technicians from practicing if not under the supervision of a veterinarian. You can’t just freelance technician. You are not allowed to administer medications or treatments on your own. If you were doing it THROUGH your clinic with the direction of you vet that is different. What if you made a crazy mistake and administered the wrong insulin dose or the client sued because an infection developed near the spot you administered fluids? The laws hinder technicians but it also offers a certain amount of protection.

August 17, 2010 at 12:46 pm
(236) Stephanie says:

Wow. I am so glad I found this forum. I have been thinking about changing careers and Vet Technician was a consideration since I love animals and have a medical background. This has been informative and a little disheartening. I knew Vet Techs didn’t make great money but I thought it was enough to live on.

August 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm
(237) tnote says:

Just wanted some advice–I’d like to become a vet tech and was wondering what schools in NYC area are reputable and recommended…

August 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm
(238) amanda says:

I’m currently a student at Portland Community College in Oregon and will have all my pre reqs done by this winter to apply for the vet tech program in May. I was wondering if any of you or if you guys know anyone that has ever completed this program and if there vet techs are in such “high demand” as the school says they are. I also was thinking about the animal cop thing and was wondering if this degree would be any help toward that if i eventually decide to change my mind?

August 30, 2010 at 6:24 pm
(239) Rachel says:

Some of these comments are a little discouraging but caring for animals has always been my passion. Im currently going to miami-jacobs career collge in ohio for vet tech, and theyre not accredited YET, but it was the only school that wasnt 2 hours away and i really needed to get my life togethr and with the economy being so crappy im just hoping to God I will get into a stable work place with a good income..

August 30, 2010 at 9:32 pm
(240) Lisa says:

I have already started college somewhere with the intentions of becoming a vet…i believe i might have changed my mind and want to be a vet tech. Do you have to take some classes before vet tech school? or is it only vet tech school?
i have already been through a year of college…

September 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(241) Sonja says:

I wouldn’t get into it for the money, but the love of animals. When I was around 16-17 My friend worked and went to school at the same time, by the time she was certified she was making 1,500.00 weekly. I say this because I saw the actual pay check. This was like 15 yrs ago. I myself plan on going into it very soon. I’m NOT deluded to think I’ll be rich & famous. I made 10-15 an hour I’d be good with that, I just love animals and that is a good place for me. Seriously? All I’m reading here how unappreciated you all are, how crappy you are treated. geez really? You do realize that you are NOT the only one’s who are treated like that, that you are not the only one’s that have to SLAVE. But really, 15.00 an hour and you are living pay check to pay check? I gotta agree with (226) Summer, you all are living beyond your means. Hell, my husband makes nearly 16.00 an hour & while its not great, it is NOT as bad as you claimed. If you are so broke all the time then you are doing something wrong. all talk about you “love” for animals, but yet you were hoping to be rich & desired by everybody? Who raised you with such delusions? Any and all jobs you have to START at the bottom, you can’t go to the top. It doesn’t work that way. See this is why thinks are so bad, everyone expects to be top of it all and be paid high dollar, what’s sad is no one cared enough to bring you back down to reality. No one is appreciated at their job when they are the little people. Geez you all are so Pessimistic.

September 16, 2010 at 1:28 am
(242) Melanie says:

WOW! I’m really glad i read all these comments! I am currently a vet tech student at Cedar Valley College,in Lancaster,TX.. in a distant education program. i love it and can’t wait to finish and become a L.V.T! After high school I was so unsure about going into the field because i knew money wasn’t necessarily going to be awesome, so i went to a local community college and got my associates degree. After i graduated not sure what i was going to do i realized there was nothing else i wanted to do but become a vet tech! Doing something i would love is more important than the money. Even though reading these posts, depending on where you live it is not bad! Hopefully i still feel this way in 10 years =)

September 16, 2010 at 7:29 am
(243) shannon says:

Well I thought about going back to school for this, I make $22 per hour now and dont think I want a pay cut.
glad Iread threw the post’s. I think I will keep my job and then do some more volunteeer work at the shelters.
thanks for all of the feed back!

September 17, 2010 at 12:40 pm
(244) Carol in StL says:

To convert pay per hour into salary, you can double the hourly rate and multiply it by 1,000. For example, $20/hour equals approximately $40,000/year.

September 20, 2010 at 12:39 pm
(245) lisadoesburg@yahoo.com says:

I am feeling a little ill right now because I am currently in my first semester of Vet Tech school and from what I am seeing, I am not improving my living situation at all! Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t even go into the field if I didn’t love animals and want to help, but I also would like my own house someday and financial security. Now what?

September 21, 2010 at 12:37 am
(246) Dennis says:

When I first got into the field, I was little more than a kennel attendant. Now, I’m an 8 year “veteran”, with all the technical skills needed to be a surgical tech, as well as a X-ray tech, PLUS I am the sole medical staff at the shelter i work for, AND was just promoted to a supervisory position, and I’m also enrolled in a program to get a dual AS in Animal Science/Veterinary Technology and will sit for my state boards. I only make 12.60 an hour.

My point is this…We don’t go into the veterinary field for the money..we do it to make a difference. Would I like to earn more? Of course. Will I once have my degree and cert? Again, yes. But I wont be buying that Jaguar anytime soon. Despite the fact we are a monetary driven society, there is more to life then material wealth.

September 23, 2010 at 10:17 am
(247) selfreliantguy says:

Becoming a veterinary technician is like a vocation. You don’t expect to earn a lot from the profession. It’s a calling that requires passion for animals. Compensations may not be monetarily great but other forms are even priceless.

September 28, 2010 at 12:02 pm
(248) susan says:

I am gald I read thru all the comments and found this site. I am an RN with a BSN and nurses are having similar problems as vet techs. In doctor offices MA’s or medical assistants are hired because they are much cheaper than RN’s.I see similarities between the professions of vet techs and nurses. Like the controversy between registered or not and assistant or not. In nursing homes now–LPN’s run the show and RN’s–BSN or associate degree administer huge amounts of meds but are not the ones coordinating care or speaking with the doctors.I think it wise for those vet techs looking to clarify the credentials and to increase their pay and respect for all they know and do—take a look at the nursing profession and do not believe all the hype. I have supported a family on my own for 19 years and Nursing allowed me to do so frugally. I am always looking into vet schools and vet tech programs.t The vet tech way seems like jumping from the fry pan to the fry pan and with much less pay. Vet school is so inclusive,so long and so expensive I am slowly giving up that dream. I agree with some of the posts I can help animals thru voluntering. Even though I believe in following your heart:I tell my daughter to do so, but maybe that is something you have to do from the getgo. Its hard to start over, at the bottom,and its hard to work hard and not be respected. Sadly my pets have died in the past year except for my one cat and trying to budget in her vet appt for a check-up is no easy task–and I make a lot more per hour than a lot of vet techs it seems. It is very unfair but I hear vets complain they make so much less than human doctors and they do have to know as much if not much more than human doctors. So reading all the posts has been very helpful to me and Goodluck to all.

October 14, 2010 at 12:57 am
(249) KC says:

Thanks everyone for your comments. I’m an equine tech and yes, fully aware of the low pay, but I was wondering how many practices provide health insurance for techs? I have no insurance and at $11.00/hr it’s not in the budget. I handle horses all day and I often wonder how long I can keep pushing my luck.

October 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm
(250) Balanaced says:

10 years ago I completed my vet assistant certification through PIMA and discovered that vet assistants were lucky to make $10.00 an hour when I was already making $12.00. I stayed working in the tech industry while completely my degree in biology thinking I would be a zookeeper. They only make 30k. I now make 50k+ a year in the tech field. To do what I love, I became a docent at a local zoo. The fun jobs don’t pay, because they are fun. I balanced it out by working a job that pays my bills and doing something fun and good for my community.

October 23, 2010 at 5:57 am
(251) cm says:

WOW! There seem to be a lot of people unhappy with their current pay! Though I do agree that none of us will ever get rich in this field, we should definitely be able to support a decent lifestyle. I’ve been in the field for about 10 years but only 7 of them have been as a registered technician. I worked in a emergency only practice for almost 6 years prior to changing to a specialty/referral and emergency practice. I make close to $18/hour and have full health benefits (my employer pays 100% of my insurance). With the couple of hours of overtime I seem to somehow accrue every week and the holiday pay we receive, I make over $40,000/year and own my own home. I have no spouse or roommate to help me with the payment (though I don’t have children either) and am able to live quite comfortably (I drive a car I bought brand new about 3 years ago and have already payed off, have the latest smart phone and have satellite tv with premium movie channels).

I defnitely recommend the field and believe that specialty/emergency medicine is where you make more money. This is probably because it does require a stronger skillset and the ability to multi-task as well as knowing you will have to work many weekend shifts and some holidays.

I make a comparable amount to what both of my sisters make and they have grad school degrees compared to my 2 year degree (one is an elementary school teacher and the other is a police officer).

October 23, 2010 at 6:18 pm
(252) Michelle says:

Yeah, I agree, there are a lot of people here that are unhappy with their pay. However, there is a need for distinguishing between assistants and technicians that needs to be taken into account, along with whether the person works for a major industry like Petsmart or a private practice. Then there is LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION, as well. I have spent my entire life trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up and I am now 35 years old. lol. I went to a University in NC to become a Chemist, I have become a real property appraiser and am currently a Radiologic Technologist RT(R). I like my current job, however, there is NO MARKET for it here and to be honest, it’s not my passion. To wake up and “dread” going to work is just not worth it to me. My passion is working with animals. I do anything to help them. All of my animals are rescues and I just found a home for 2 dogs I took in that were abandoned in a FedEx parking lot when they were 8 weeks old. They’re now 3 yrs old and have found a new home with 200 acres and cows out in the country :) ). I believe this field is my calling, regardless of the pay, because I am 35 years old, I’m not getting any younger and I WANT to WANT to go to work!! I am sick of DREADING work, everyday. THAT is stressful enough! Let alone the stress of the job! I want to do something that I would be willing to do for free. Pay is just a bonus. ;) I believe that becoming a vet tech would bring me this enjoyment that I am missing in my life. Thank you all for your posts and Good Luck!! LOVE WHAT YOU DO, OR GET OUT, that’s my motto and that’s what I’m gonna do.

November 9, 2010 at 1:21 pm
(253) Robin says:

I am currently an RN, and I am going to apply to vet tech school. I make about $45 an hour but I hate my job. I’ve been an ER nurse for 15 years and I am starting to be one of those”cold” nurses. It”s not the pts. It”s the system. I’ve always love animals and wanted to be a vet. my entire life. I read some of the blogs about people wanting to RN’S for the money, please think about this. I put my husband through medical school and residency for 8 years, I basically supported a family of 4 living paycheck to paycheck. When I started working as an RN in 1995 I made $10.95 and I was happy to get it. Try to remember that nurse’s salary went up so much because supply and demand. Maybe the same will happen for vet techs. My final point is I’d rather be happy then have money any day.

November 14, 2010 at 7:13 pm
(254) Rachel Carafiello says:

So happy I saw this..
I have been an uncertified vet tech in CT for over 6 years (you do not need to go to school to be a vet tech in CT). The current job that I have now I started out at making $13/hr. I now make $19/hr and have been capped for almost 2 years. Only one person that I know of at the clinic makes more than I at $20/hr and she is an LVT.

I love what I do and I’m good at what I do and the Doctors trust me to make my own decisions if I know it’s the right one. But now I have a husband, child, and house and the pay isn’t cutting it.

I’m looking to go to school to become an RN. You can’t make $60,000 as a Vet Tech if thats how much some Vets make.

November 24, 2010 at 12:52 pm
(255) JP says:

I was a RVT for 10 years here in Ohio. I was “maxed out” with pay at $14.00 per hr. As a vet tech, there is no room for advancing your career, the next level of pay would be an office manager. Which is something you did not go to school for, and you have very little hands on with the animals and more bussiness. The hours are bad, and so is the pay. For the amount of what you need to know to become an RVT it blows my mind that starting salary is maybe $10 per hr here in Cleveland, Ohio after you finish school.
ALSO, in the last few years, there were some changes in Ohio’s laws as to what a vet assisant can do. The assistants are NOW allowed to take radiographs without a DVM or RVT present, and draw blood. SOO why did I pay all that money and go to school? And it does not look good that the OVMA (ohio vet. med. lisc. brd) let this law pass. They should be pushing education in this field, cause it still is a life that you personally are in care of. Plus, vets do not make much money as well, and if youre at a small practice, in this economy, a vet may want to pay an assistant to do a RVT’s job to save themselves money.
As an RVT, it is such a emotionally rewarding position and important part of an animals/clients life. BUT that does not pay the bills, your car payment, or rent. It is very hard to live on this salary as a single person. I am not a spender and I have struggled a lot!!!
Because of this I went back to school for human medicine, and now make triple my yearly income as a RVT. I now volunteer cause I have the time and financially not struggling.

November 26, 2010 at 7:23 pm
(256) MF says:

I currently work as a Veterinary Assistant and in less then 3 years I have went from 10.00 to 14/ hr. I had no former training what so ever in the field at all and I am only 21! I am now going for my Vet tech liscence and I know that the starting pay here in NYC is about 20 – 23 if you work in the speciality hospitals. Its all about where you live. Those who live in major cities make more money. I know I won’t be rich, but I do what I love. I have been told by my bosses that I should try being a RN. I just don’t like working with people so I know I am making the right decision sticking with animals. Do it for the love of the animals, NOT THE MONEY

November 29, 2010 at 1:21 pm
(257) kezkat says:

Hey….. I am a senior and I’m terrified (well kinda)of college..and trying to find a job i like that and also pays ..o.kay. I have an intense love for animals so I am thinking that this job may be okay. any advice for a youngin before I persue this field.

November 30, 2010 at 12:59 am
(258) farideh says:

i would like to learn veterinary assistant in collage but no online at home,where i can learn it ,How long will it take and how much the cost,could you give me information?thank you

December 5, 2010 at 2:37 pm
(259) Hazel says:

I am a licensed vet tech on Long Island. Been licensed since 2008 and been working at my practice (4 dr) since 2005. I make $21/hr and am due for my annual raise.
I started as a kennel worker at $10/hr and worked up to an assistant at $13
When I graduated and passed my exam I started at $19
I expect to be making $22/hr starting Jan 1st. Plus I also have benefits, sick days, personal, and 3 weeks paid vacation.

December 23, 2010 at 12:25 am
(260) Debbie says:

To Glen 200- Thanks for your inspiring words! You have helped me make my decision! For that I am very grateful! I’ve been researching for schools for months. I’m in another state and I found a school that I can be a Vet Assistant/Vet Tech/Pet Nurse/Pet Groomer. The school is only 32 to 38 wks long, depending on what you want to go to school for. I’m going for a Vet Assistant II for 38 wks. The tuition is $10,450.00 + $400 for Books & Supplies, for 3 days a wk. But Vet Assist I & Pet Groomer is only $6,000.00 for tuition & $1,200.00 for Books & Supplies & 32wks. long, plus it’s 2 days a wk. It’s a Diploma Program. They have Scholarships now, that you don’t have to pay back. Also, there are other schools that cost less money. I would look in your State for an “Institute Of Animal Arts”. It’s never too late to do what you Love! Good Luck to you Glen:)

January 8, 2011 at 3:35 pm
(261) adrienne says:

i was looking into becoming a vet tech, and looking into, ive noticed they receive a low salary……so im very nervous …

January 11, 2011 at 4:30 pm
(262) Hilary says:

I work at a 6 doctor practice that makes over $2 million a year, and I make $10.95/hr. This town is a low-income area in Southern California, I live with my parents and I still can’t afford my basic necessities.

January 14, 2011 at 9:49 pm
(263) Jennifer says:

I am getting ready to start at Penn Foster for my associate in the Vet tech program. I have researched ALOT. I called around to vets today and asked them if they would hire me after getting my degree online and they all said yes. Penn Foster is accredited by the AVMA. I have read mixed reviews about Penn Foster but you cant beat the convience of online classes and it being affordable. My husband is military so I wouldn’t be doing this for the money but because of my passion for animals. You are not limited to vet clinics with this degree, you can work at zoo’s, humane society’s and lots of other places. IF anyone else has graduated from Penn Foster or any other online school with an associates in Vet tech, please let me know how your experience was and jobs you got after.

February 3, 2011 at 12:03 am
(264) Jessica says:

I’m going to be graduating this May with a BS degree in Zoology. I have already started the job search and I’m not having any luck. I am considering going to school to become a Vet Tech because there is more job availability.However I am wondering if its worth it to add more debt in student loans and to go to school for an extra year or two. I’m really confused as to what I should do and I need to make a decision soon. I know working with animals doesn’t pay well, but if I do this will I make enough money to support my self and pay off my student debt?? Please advise. Thanks!!

February 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm
(265) Madeline says:

I love love love animals! I’m only 15 and m dream is to do something for animals. I’ve always thought of vet tech, I’ve even take the courses need just to become one. I never knew the pay was that low, i live in a real small town, so i know the pay isn’t going to be good. Do any of you know any other job or careers with animals that need the same skills and courses??? :D

February 23, 2011 at 3:23 pm
(266) jonathon says:

i love animals and reptiles and anything to do with them i may get in this field

March 13, 2011 at 3:27 pm
(267) Anonymous DVM says:

Veterinary Technicians are always in high demand. I value the education and motivation necessary to pay my techs well and they are prominently known and recognized in the practice as LVT’s, with the emphasis on LICENSED. My “head” tech has been with us since graduation, that is 3 years–and I gladly pay her over $19/hr. That’s a bargain, however, my services are also a bargain–a DVM also makes relatively little pay for his/her services compared to other professionals. I think veterinarians on the whole are starting to value licensed technicians more; if you guys value yourselves and ask for more money, you will get it–if not at the position you are in, then probably from the hospital down the road!

March 23, 2011 at 10:05 am
(268) Terri says:

I have been a certified vet tech for 11 years now and I still can’t afford to live on my own salary. After all these years of hard work, I am only making $12.50/hour and am still paying off my school loan in the meantime. The practice I work in makes over a million dollars a year and the Vet I work for seems to be doing more than okay – he spends money like it’s nothing yet refuses to pay his techs what they are worth. And he doesn’t even provide health insurance! I would strongly recommend anyone going into this field to either seek employment in a large practice or emergency hospital and/or specialize in a certain area. Those who specialize earn much more than those who don’t.

March 28, 2011 at 3:47 pm
(269) Karsen says:

Hi, I am 17 years old and I would like to become a veternarian and I would like some advice about the job. If anybody has any advice can you e-mail me at cookkarsen@hotmail.com. Thanks!

April 13, 2011 at 10:11 am
(270) Lori says:

Hi everyone,
I am reading this because I too am considering a career change to something involving animals. The Vet Tech career path is still high on my list, even with the low pay. You’re comments are really helpful for having realistic view if I do decide to follow-through with this career path.
While I don’t have experience in this field, I did want to add something on the pay issue. When I got my Bachelors seven years ago, I pursued a field I was interested in, criminal justice. I ignored my deep passion to go into an animal field because of fear of not making enough money and not finding a job. I was eighteen making a decision for the rest of my life and now, I can see I was ill-equipped.
I currently work in government with good benefits making ~45K a year and I am miserable! I am single and can support myself but I absolutely loathe my job. I maintain a lot of outside interests but spending 40+ hours of your life every week, solely to make money is a terrible idea. I wish I had realized that back then. I just offer this to the younger people who are afraid to get into a field because of money. Be realistic, you don’t want to earn zero for your education. But, if you are headed to college, pursue what you know is your passion. If you don’t, you might be like me, almost 30, and regretting throwing away your chance to obtain a four year degree in animal science and possibly veterinary medicine so you could have a “comfortable” life. Comfortable doesn’t always equal happy.

April 13, 2011 at 7:29 pm
(271) Brian says:

I really do appreciate everyone hashing out the details of the job on this comment section. I have always trained dogs as a past time and my girlfriend has done so professionally. Now she’s looking for a career change and I was considering suggesting Vet Tech to her. The money isn’t really an issue, as I’m in aviation and it’s been good to us financially, but if it entails working 70 hour weeks, I may keep my mouth shut. Call me selfish, but I enjoy spending time with the woman.

April 19, 2011 at 11:18 pm
(272) AMS says:

These comments have been golden to me. As so many up above have mentioned, I am also at a career turning point in my life. I’m currently an unemployed accountant. I started out as a biology undergrad and changed my major to business in fear of not having job security with a bio major. Yeah, well, now I’m 35 and keep getting laid off in the finance industry. I regret not following through with biology.

I thought vet tech might be a little less of a rigorous path than pursuing the biology degree. However, it scares me to see that the pay is so low. I completely agree that people are in this for the passion and not the money – but you have to be able to pay bills and put food on the table. That is just not possible at $10 – $15 an hour. *sigh*

April 28, 2011 at 7:07 pm
(273) Channy says:

I think luck of the draw sometimes is a factor, I have been an uncertified tech for 5 years, started in a small town on the western slope of colorado at 7.25/hr, moved to denver and had one job offer 13.00/hr, another offer 11.00/hr, then my passion, a feline only practice offer 12.50/hr. So I’ve been there for 2 years now and am at 15.50/hr, which seems to be on the higher scale of things. I also work at a VCA animal hospital part time, and only make 11.75/hr, my cousin who is certified and same years experience, only makes 14.00/hr. Clinics will vary, and specialty clinics usually pay better

May 3, 2011 at 2:07 pm
(274) Jennie says:

I’ve read through almost all of these comments and I just don’t get where anyone is coming from. I’ve worked as a bartender for the last 10 years of my life, never making more than minimum wage (and the tips really aren’t that great… anywhere) and I’m barely managing to get by. I can just afford my modest life. Times are hard but my daughter is well cared for and my animals (and rescue animals from time to time) are also well cared for.
I am currently in school to be a veterinary assistant. $10-$12 an hour sounds pretty good to me right now. I’m not planing to stay an assistant. I am going to work in the field for the experience and the meager pay while I continue my education to as a DVM. I don’t ever expect to make a lot of money, but if I’m able to keep myself and my family afloat while I work toward my goal of opening a no-kill dog rescue and training facility, and be able to afford to work with horses on the side, I’ll be more than happy.
I do this because I absolutely love animals and I want to be able to help them and their people. I know my life will be better for it. It’s not how much you have, it’s how much you enjoy what you have. I wish everyone on here the best.

May 5, 2011 at 10:26 pm
(275) Rachael says:

I would like to know if anyone has ever gone back to school for a bachlor’s degree after their associates as a vet tech? I graduated from SUNY Delhi in NY in December and am working as a full time tech in a small animal clinic. I do love the work but would like to know if there is any way to advance. What major is best to get into and what kind of work can be found with a higher degree but still in the veterinary field? Can work in research be found with just an associates, does this offer more pay and advancement? Does any one know what its like to work for an university?

June 18, 2011 at 6:29 pm
(276) Jacqueline says:

So glad I found this forum!
I agree with the other commenters here regarding the fact that the work IS in fact strenuous and the pay IS, generally low. I do NOT agree, however that the solution to the problem is necessarily that everyone should just “get out of the field and find something else”. Could you imagine if everyone in every ‘service-oriented’ occupation did this? It would be absolute chaos. I suppose one option is to strike, but then I instantly think that the ones suffering at that point are the very animals we swore to care for (a Certified Veterinary Technician Oath)not to mention more chaos…
No, the REAL solution, the MATURE solution (assuming you even WANT to remain in the field) is to assertively ask for it as part of an organised, established group. Look, let’s face it. The demands of the field are not going away any time soon, but the pay can and should certainly be better! Veterinarians can either: A) Hire additional support, or B) Pay us more.

If we want change, we have to STAND UP for it, NOT run away. I will say that I certainly have my fair share of reasons for wanting to get out of the field. After several back-breaking years of being under-appreciated by a Veterinarian whose knowledge was still trapped in the 1970s, I’ve decided that my HEALTH and well-being was not worth the low pay. Here are my reasons:
-The exposure to radiation, day in, and day out (I worked with small exotics that did not allow us to step away from the X-ray table)
-The exposure to anesthetic gas
-The non-stop, daily barrage of stress (emotionally and physically).

I urge those of you who don’t mind all of the above to fight for the pay that you want. If this means approaching your boss in an assertive, respectful manner, or joining a group for better pay, then so be it! Then, perhaps society will take notice and respect us a little more. But until then, we will just keep being walked on.

June 21, 2011 at 1:20 am
(277) Brittany Schoonmaker says:

Hi everybody!! I have spend the last 2 years going to Baker College of Muskegon in Michigan… Even though this school is over an hour away from my home this was the closest AVMA accredited school to my home. Baker only excepts 24 people a year into the Vet. Tech. program… I got all A’s in my classes except for 2 B’s and have a 3.75 GPA…. and I still wasn’t accepted into the program… because of recently losing my job and being on unemployment now is the perfect time for me to go to school full time… A Sanford Brown just opened and is only 20 mins away from my house!! However they are not accredited by the AVMA yet because of just opening… they told me they are in the process of applying for the accreditation but they can’t garuntee that it will for sure happen… I guess I’m just looking for a little advice! Should I go to the new school and hope that they get accredited before I would graduate next Sept. or should I wait another whole year and apply to Baker again even though I may still not get accepted?!? This is a huge decision for me and I am scared….

July 12, 2011 at 11:07 pm
(278) Suzanne LVT says:

I found this forum interesting. My first job as a LVT started at 14 an hour. I had no benefits as well. After a year I felt I had learned all there was to learn from the veterinarian (it was a 1 dr practice in the country) so I did some job hunting. I found a job starting at 20.50 per hour. After 5 years, I currently make 23.75. I have just accepted a job with a veterinary dentist for over 50,000 a year with a raise at 6 months and 1 year. If you work hard, make a good name for yourself as a technician, and know your value, there are good paying jobs out there.

July 17, 2011 at 3:52 am
(279) vetdoc says:

Whereas I believe that most techs do go into the field for the love of animals, etc (and I can’t understand how/why they would do so if they did not have this love……they can also make a respectable income in doing something they love doing. I own a general small animal veterinary practice in the northeast with 5 doctors – most of my receptionists and techs (NON certified) make between $15-$20 range with an extremely generous benefits package: 100% of health insurance coverage for full time employees (a huge huge benefit), 100% coverage for dental for the employee and spouse/significant other and children (also huge) , 401 K matching, all personal pet care free/at cost, meds – free/at cost, 2-3 weeks paid vacation time (depending on years of employment), 5 paid personal/sick days (all vacation days, if not used, are paid for at the end of the year), all major paid holidays, uniforms, plus….very generous end of year bonus. (usually about 1-1.5 weeks salary) (including benefits – my cost to employ each non certified tech/receptionist is approx. $40,000-$60,000+)

July 18, 2011 at 10:28 am
(280) Arrysha says:

Morgan (13)..hi i Did complete the vet assistant program with penn foster but unfortunaly I live in milwaukee WI and it seems to be no jobs for me in that field!

July 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm
(281) Magic says:

VetDoc where are you located?

July 30, 2011 at 1:41 am
(282) vetdoc1 says:

New Jersey

August 24, 2011 at 1:13 pm
(283) hemicat says:

I have been a licensed technician since 1997. I started out as a volunteer in a hospital, went to school, came out as a Technician making $7.40 / hour. I gained experience, worked in research, then a mixed animal practice, and finally went back to small animal clinic. My pay ranged from $9-$16 an hour in the clinics, going up to about $20/hr in research. Benefits were included in all but one practice. I ended up working as a medical sales rep in the veterinary field, making about $45-55k per year. I used that experience to move up, and while still a tech in the veterinary field, I make more than before. I do not do this for the money, but it is rewarding to know the career path is there…you just have to be willing to search it out, and probably even move for it. Had I stayed at my first clinic..and there are some that STILL work there….I would never have had these opportunities. That is not to say there is always greener grass…if you are happy where you are…stay there! There is something to be said about being a great, well respected technician at your current hospital!

August 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm
(284) katelyn S says:

Hi im wanting to became veterihary technicians and what i see is its not about the money you get. Im doing it for the anmails not for me. They need us to live and do things.

September 1, 2011 at 11:18 pm
(285) Emma says:

I’m heading into the vet nursing field in Australia. Our minimum wage here is about 15.51 an hr. The pay here is still not great but there are senior nurses at big hospitals on around 50,000 a year. I couldnt imagine earning $9 and hr….. to be honest i wouldnt work for 9 and hr once i was qualified.

September 8, 2011 at 10:42 pm
(286) Jenny says:

The pay for a CVT in Colorado is very low, I work in a small animal clinic & none the CVT’s make more than $13/hr. This is a field that you go into for love, not $$$.

September 18, 2011 at 11:21 pm
(287) vettek04 says:

To all the aspiring techs out there: Go to an accredited, well respected college and gain everything you can from it. Next, choose your employer wisely. Find a hospital that can offer you as much hands on work as possible. Look for hospitals with well known vets or ones that have a outstanding reputation. This helps your resume. Salaries for vet techs range so do some research and talk to actual techs! I started at a small animal clinic for just over 7/hr In ’03 but now make about 20/hr as head tech, overseeing all staff. I currently am applying for a new position and will be asking for 23/hr. There are still some vets who are willing to pay well for a tech who proves themselves. If you aim to move up, it is possible. It all boils down to who you choose to work for and what you are willing to put into your career. Our private practice turned corporate three years ago and our poor new techs are lucky to make 9/hr with 25 cent raises every year or two. Prior to corp takeover, 1 to 3/hr raises every year were fairly standard, thank goodness I got my salary up prior to turning corp. Atleast in my area, I feel the market is swamped with new grads, who are not willing to put the effort in to keep up the tech rep and this is killing all of us techs who are in it for life! Ok so this was a very disconnected paragraph, but my point is, you get what you put into it. You want to be a tech? Put your blood, sweat, and tears into it and it can take you places. It is not just a career, it is a lifestyle. And an amazingly rewarding one at that!

September 24, 2011 at 2:34 pm
(288) amana wilder says:

i live in laurel,md 20707 i love working with animals i do not have a job, i want to go to penn foster online but i dont know if i will get a job do i need experience or can i go to banfield to get trained… is there any loans i can get to pay it off for my school???

October 27, 2011 at 5:49 pm
(289) Jesse says:

Dirty Jerzey – Like many others have said, you won’t become rich in this field unless you become an actual veterinarian. However, there are things that you can do to increase your prospect of getting jobs and a higher salary. Especially if you are younger and still in school, work/volunteer/intern at as many jobs as possible that involve animals! I volunteered at animal shelters, worked at a zoo, a vet office, and interned with other wildlife programs. As soon as I graduated college, I handed out my resume and got 6 phone calls within the next two weeks with job offers (starting at $14-16/hr). I chose one that was closer to my house, and provided the best benefits & great training. As soon as I become licensed, my pay will increase by $2-4/hr.

November 28, 2011 at 4:34 pm
(290) Sue212 says:

Hi! I was wondering if anyone knows what the difference in wages should be for a tech who is on call after regular office hours. Thank you for any input!

December 8, 2011 at 10:07 pm
(291) gg says:

I wanna be a vet tech when I graduate. I’m not really wanting the money…is to be with the animals. I’ve grown up knowing what I wanna be. Ever since I remember I’ve told everyone I wanna be a vet tech. Is it hard though? im not very good at math but I truly wanna be a vet tech. thanks GG

December 10, 2011 at 2:26 pm
(292) Laura says:

I’m just curious if anyone knows anything about the Colorado Academy of Vet Technology. The tuition isn’t outrageous compared to other schools in the colorado springs area but it also is provessional accreditation. Does anyone know anything about this school or other good schools in the colorado area? I know this is what I want dispite the neg money aspect. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I’ve been looking into this for a year and a half but can’t decide on a school.
I’m 21 and it’s time to start doing something with my life!!!

December 11, 2011 at 3:28 pm
(293) Chris says:

To everyone considering becoming an RN – think CAREFULLY!!

I am an RN to LVT and I can tell you that being an LVT, even with the pay cut, is a much more sane position.

I went from critical care/ER nursing to a critical care/ER vet facility. When I left nursing, I was making $32/hour, now I make $22, I have great benefits and I get yearly raises. I don’t care about the pay cut because I am no longer:

Dealing with substance abuse impaired nurses and/or doctors and/or patients
Being in charge and trying to cover multiple sick calls
Have clueless residents either breathing down my neck, or asking me to hold their hand and tell them what to do
Attempting to move and do wound care for a 600 pound diabetic with a leg ulcer
Dealing with patients who come in armed

Do I still do some home care nursing on the side? Yes. Why? Because I love caring for people and animals. Would I ever go back to a hospital, no matter how much money they offered? No. No matter how busy I’ve been at my job, it can never compare to the back breaking work I’ve done in the 12-16 hour shifts I’ve put in the ER.

Nursing is NOTHING like you see on TV. The nursing profession is short staffed with very low morale. A hospital couldn’t exist without nursing staff, but sometimes even your UNION won’t stand behind you in a crisis.

If money is want you want – then you’ll last. But if you want love of your job, and good pay – then look elsewhere…maybe go to medical school. I hate to say things like this, but there is nothing sadder than to see an eager new graduate leave the field after 3 years, which is the average time they stay in the hospital environment.

Money isn’t everything. With some adjustments to lifestyle, it *can* work out. Trust me, I had to make A LOT of adjustments. But it was worth it. : )

December 30, 2011 at 8:18 pm
(294) Lorie says:

Madelyn, If you read more of the comments, you’ll see that kids being hired right out of high school 1. aren’t certified vet techs, so have no experience, so make minimum wage 2. haven’t spent all that money to become a vet tech, so they have no debt involved. Obviously, the more training you get, the more salary you should expect for said training. You probably work in a field where you are underappreciated, too, so you know how it is.

January 5, 2012 at 12:57 pm
(295) Matt says:

im 22 yrs old i live in myrtle beach sc i just finished my veterinary assistant certification currently doing my exturnships im hoping in about a year going bak to school for pre-vet ik its going to be alot of work but ive wanted to be a vet since i was around 5 or so i was told but so far i love it! i want to be an emergency room vet i did my research and my teacher who is a vet-tech who worked at a emergency room told me they make $60-$100 a hour which sounds great! does anyone have any advice? anyone who has emergency room experience? or maybe taking pre-vet courses atm? im never on here too busy working but heres my number if anyone can help 516-582-5885 thanks! :D

January 16, 2012 at 7:42 pm
(296) Michelle says:

I’m a graduate from a three year veterinary technology program (St. Lawrence College, Kingston On). Our program was not only small animal practice related but also biomedical research oriented. Upon graduation in 2007, I started at 21.95$/hour and went up to 27.5$/hr within a year. I’m currently between 30-40$ an hour. If you’re smart and hard working you can make a name for yourself. You can be a valuable member in a research team with full responsibility anesthetizing pigs, rabbits, rats and mice. It’s a great career and it doesn’t feel like work. It’s fun to be a person for scientists to go to for advice and it’s nice to work for a group of people that consider you a valuable resource. I think it all just depends on your work ethic and wether or not you are a hard worker and go for your dreams.
Today, a lot of people have bachelors in science degrees and are unable to find jobs. The vet tech program provided me with the knowledge necessary through lectures and hands on experience. I wasn’t sure if the 4 bachelor + 4 year vet school was really something I could get into. (Only 100 people per year are accepted at the vet school here in Ontario. It’s harder than med school). The vet tech program was a GREAT choice. There are many supervisor positions (in research) that require 5+ years experience with a vet tech degree. Once you have that you can make the money. Until then, just work hard and love what you do.

January 17, 2012 at 3:04 pm
(297) Emily says:

I am a 12th grader at Aiken High and I want to become a vet. tech. I have always loved animals.. all animals even reptiles. I adore them. I am just have trouble with applying for a good college. I need HELP!!!!

February 13, 2012 at 10:41 am
(298) Dani says:

I am a Registered Veterinary Technician in New Mexico and I can say that unfortunately it is true, you will never make what you think your position is worth as a Veterinary Technician. I have worked with the same company for going on five years now and every time I get any kind of raise, my hours get cut as well. It seems that the people who could not run a practice without you get a kick out of keeping you down. I have a mortgage and student loans to pay off and if it weren’t for my love of animals I wouldn’t be doing this. Think very carefully before going to school for this profession because what you see is not always what you get. If you don’t have the passion for animals and a tough hide, don’t do it!

February 24, 2012 at 9:58 am
(299) nicole says:

I am an RN with only 1.5 yrs experience. I only finished by BSN so that I could have a bachelor of science degree. But I want out of the nursing profession so badly that my life literally depends on it. I am seriously considering becoming a vet tech even with the pay cut. I live in a state that is one of the top lowest paying for nurses, and nurses are barely making $20/hr here anyways for all the work we must endure. Don’t go into nursing because the worse day at a LVT is nothing compared to nursing. I’d go back to be a vet but the opportunity costs is too high, especially since I do not want to go into major debt. I figure I could pay out of pocket to become a vet tech and still do some nursing on the side. I know ppl are saying dont get be a vet tech but going to work miserable everyday? I dont know but that’s a hefty price to pay.

March 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm
(300) Kristy says:

Wow these comments have really scared me. I’m currently enrolling in a vet tech program in July. After reading all of these posts I dontknow if I want to go through with it. I love animals but Im really nervous about the salary. Want to be able to afford things in life and not live paycheck to paycheck. I was planning on becoming licensed vet tech and then going onto to specialize in surgery. Can anyone give me any advice? Also, if I do go through with this and in 10 years want a new job ideally have no back up and would just have to go back to school. Someone help :(

March 11, 2012 at 5:51 pm
(301) Tammy H says:

I live in Florida and have no college experience but have been working in the veterinary field for 8yrs and make $16.75 an hour. Trust me, you’ll be paid what your worth. Dont work for money hungry jackass vets and youll be rewarded and paid well. I get full benefits, time off when i want it, 3weeks paid vacation, and my boss matches what i put in to my IRA. Youve just gotta find the right person to work for.

March 17, 2012 at 6:43 pm
(302) Viviana says:

I was reading most of the comments and advices here , I’m still confused, well I will say still insecure to study this field or go for dental assistant. Every career has their good and bad. My passion has always been help animals in need, especially that ones on the street and be part of ASAP but the salary, the years to put into this? plus the hours to work here,. I don’t know. Now to being a dental assistance is not bad, they pay decent but I hear a lot of doctor are jerks! and salary is not too good like they say. I will need some help here please, I wouldn’t like to spend my time and money studying a career that I can’t find any job and takes me for granted. ( by the way, I live in Midland, Texas now)

p.s: I’m married, so my husband is the one who makes money .

March 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm
(303) RM says:

I’m perusing this message board because I miss working as a Registered Veterinary Technician. I graduated from Purdue eons ago, practiced on and off in the field for about 10 years making less than $10/hr. Because humans are also mammals I decided to apply my medical knowledge in the human medical field working as “back office staff”. The pay was better. I’ve always lived paycheck to paycheck until about 5 years ago when I got a job as a phlebotomist for a large health insurance corporation. I now make over $21/hr which allows me to work only part-time. HOWEVER, this job is not challenging and I do not get to utilize the medical knowledge I learned on animals at Purdue. Therefore, I’m considering going back into Veterinary Technology to work with the beloved animals. I’m confident I’ll find a job with a large specialty practice that will enable me to pay my mortgage, live comfortably and be satisfied with my contributions helping animals. Comments?

April 19, 2012 at 1:11 am
(304) Brittney says:

I’m a jr getting my Bachelors in Animal Science. I really need some advice!! I am applying to vet school but I also need a backup. I was going to do a vet tech program to get licensed but I’m curious if ill make more money than the usual vet tech since I’ll have a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science already?

May 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm
(305) CM says:

I just graduated a week ago from Vet Tech school. It was the hardest 2 years of my life. I had never worked at a vet until a year ago, after my first year of VT school was completed. I wish that I had worked somewhere in the veterinary field before starting down this road. I have tons of experience working with animals and was hoping that this degree would open doors for me that had remained closed. So now I’m done, working in a clinic that has several on the job trained assistants that do a helluva lot more than I do. I just finished 2 years of hell, ignoring my family and being away from my kids to study, all for a job I don’t really like. It’s nothing like what I expected. I feel guilty because I sacrificed so much for this degree but I don’t like the work. I had hoped to go into exotic and work at a zoo, but so far have been turned down every place I’ve applied. I make way less than I did before I went to school. I totally regret everything. I’m hoping with time it will turn around, but reading these posts kinda confirms my suspicions that it won’t. I was alot happier and had more money before getting a degree than I do now. Look into it first! This job isn’t for everyone. Some of the people I work with love squeezing pus out of infected wounds and collecting aborted kittens in jars. I’m not a squeemish person, but I also don’t enjoy most of what being a vet tech entails. So much death, pain, and suffering. Wish I never did this. And when all the time and money you just spent seems wasted when the vet hires someone off the street then trains them to do the same stuff you just went to school for, it’s super frustrating!

October 13, 2012 at 12:49 am
(306) Karin Walker says:

I have been a Dental Hygienist for about 30 years . My first love was to be a Vet. .Love my job as a Hygienist . I’ve recently had two new additions to my family, they have periodontal issues ( Biscuit and Mango ) . My Vet says that I can not help with out a Vet tech degree. I do realize that they have to be under sedation.What do I need to do to be able to be a part of this amazing team ?

October 16, 2012 at 6:22 am
(307) Gaby says:

@ Brittney ~ Look into your state laws. Since you already have an AS you may not need to complete a Vet Tech program in order to get licensed.

In general…I have been a LVT for the last 8 year here in NV & I absolutely LOVE my profession and do make over $20/hr. The pay will come; however, it comes with experience and responsibilities. It was up until 2 years ago that I reached this pay when I became Head Tech for a 10 doctor, extremely busy hospital. If you want it go for it. Just remember it takes time to get to where you want to be.

March 8, 2013 at 5:01 pm
(308) Annie says:

I was surprised to see all the sour grapes comments, particularly about the money veterinarians make and charge to clients. I challenge you to look at what it takes to run a business, pay associate veterinarians their percentages (~20-25% and up), pay overhead, pay themselves a salary, etc.

Any job/career should be chosen with your eyes wide open. You don’t go into private practice as a veterinary technician, assistant or customer service rep/receptionist and have unrealistic expectations of making a good living. Deliver your value to the business and ask for what you deserve – you may actually get it.

I went into the business as an RVT in emergency care and private practice. I eventually left for industry (hired in originally as a RVT) because I couldn’t pay the bills anymore. I was considered very highly paid at the time too, but my group health care costs took 1/5 – 1/6th of my monthly salary, then there was my share of rent, utilities, car expenses etc. I lived frugally too.

Industry salary was immediately 2x what I had been making plus benefits. It allowed many additional salary increases and benefits over the years as I gained new skills to add value to the business. My industry salary at retirement was about 4-5x what current vet tech salaries are now.

So do your research and open your eyes BEFORE you invest in your career. You’ll be able to make informed choices.

March 17, 2013 at 2:44 am
(309) Cynthia says:

Sad to see all the comments about ” rich vets”. Most of the vets are in the same boat as the techs. Unless you own 3-4 practices and are an administrator, you’re not making much compared to the hours you put in. National statistics show that since the 1970s vet salaries are DOWN and vet tech salaries are UP( adjusted for inflation of course). Yes, vets make more dollars but they are paying off HUGE debts ie $150- 200, 000 range and couldn’t start working until age 26+. Compare that to a 1-2 yr tech program and entering the workforce at age 19-20. I worked for many years for ~ 70k as a dvm and I’ve read post here from techs making 50k. If they’re in sales I bet they can make 60k+. I’d tell my kids to skip the vet school debt and get RVT

March 23, 2013 at 10:29 pm
(310) Christine McMannis says:

First I want to say THANK YOU to everyone who has commented on here! It has been very interesting and educational. I am a licensed Veterinary Technician who graduated from an accredited school in Maine in 2008. At the time I was working in a Vet Clinic.First as a kennel assistant making $8.50 an hour, and then for about 3 months as a Vet Assistant making the same pay. Before I graduated from my program I did a 6 week externship. 3 weeks at the clinic I worked at and 3 weeks at a world-renowned laboratory. The laboratory offered me two different jobs while I was there! Both of them for more pay than I would have gotten at the clinic, with no experience. I chose the best paying job I was offered at the laboratory. At first it was performing embryo transfer surgeries on mice. But I didn’t like the job. Now I work in the same labs Biobank storing mouse sperm and embryos in Liquid Nitrogen. I really like my job. But it isn’t what I went to school for. Would I prefer to work with animals? YES! But I chose the job that was going to pay me the best wage. And that isn’t Vet Tech. Not up here in Maine! So I would say if you are going into it to make decent pay as well as the rewards of working with animals, you won’t find it! Not here. Like quite a few have said. The larger clinics and hospitals pay the best. And clinics and hospitals that are in suburban and city areas will pay better as well because they get more clients who make good money and can afford vet care for their animals. Then there is the debt I’m in for the loans I had to get to get my degree! Think about it, because school loans suck! Especially if you aren’t really using the degree you paid for.

April 4, 2013 at 6:45 am
(311) Mindy Feman says:

Any technicians out there looking for work close to Albany NY If so call me at 518-283-2700

April 30, 2013 at 1:52 am
(312) Serena says:

I feel I got lucky as well…I just got a job as a tech at a small animal hospital with 3 doctors. I haven’t even finished school yet and i’m being offered $14 dollars to start.

April 30, 2013 at 1:53 am
(313) Serena says:

Oh, I live in NJ.

May 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm
(314) Matthew says:

Ok vet techs do most of the work, they need to have an increase in there salary BIG TIME!!!!!!!

May 20, 2013 at 12:35 pm
(315) Lisa says:

Does anyone know what a vet tech in Canada would make?
i understand the majority of people posting on all sites work in the States.
Can anyone help me?
Im trying to figure out what i want to do with my life, when i was younger i wanted to be a vet but i realized that might be a little much for me so i have been looking at the Vet tech program, my boyfriend advised me to do more research as the failure rate is high and the demand for jobs is low.. is this true? please help i was so happy when i decided this is what i would do but im becoming discouraged .

June 9, 2013 at 3:32 pm
(316) Jennifer says:

I have worked as a vet tech for the past 3 years. I am currently making $17.50/hr. I have always asked for more money and I usually get it because I am extremely confident. There are several animal hospitals out there that are willing to pay techs what they are worth.

July 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm
(317) Matthew says:

Vet tech salaries need to INCREASE we do alot of work in a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

July 22, 2013 at 8:38 pm
(318) Rachel Smith says:

Well, vet tech salaries all differ depending on the region of the country you’re in. And, of course, the living expenses matter. From my research the highest-paying states for vet techs are Alaska ($39,380 median annual salary), Virginia ($27,330), Connecticut ($37,280), New York ($37,150), and Delaware ($36,780).

August 28, 2013 at 4:52 pm
(319) M. says:

I have been an RVT for 5 years at an emergency clinic in Canada and make $23/hr. As a new grad I started at $12/hr at regular practise. You have to be willing to take on extra responsibility and to develop your skills every day. Keep challenging yourself. It is a very tough career with little recognition and low pay so you have to enjoy it and you have to fight to be a valuable member of your team.

February 5, 2014 at 1:49 pm
(320) VetaHolic says:

As a practice owner, I visited this site to see what RVT’s are expecting to make as one of my techs recently finished school and is now a RVT. This is the first opportunity I’ve ever had to have a RVT on the staff. There just aren’t any in our area and I’ve never been able to talk one into moving here.

It is interesting to see you all’s side of things. You may feel that you’re under appreciated based on wages, but I tell you that is untrue at least for me and most vets I know. We HIGHLY appreciate our assistants and would love it if they could all be RVTs. I am always telling my staff that I’d love to pay them what they are really worth, and that I know they are way underpaid.

Here’s the deal, though: the veterinary industry does not bring in anything like the kind of money that human medicine does, so everyone, including veterinarians, is “underpaid” for what they do. If you are the primary bread winner for yourself or your family, I definitely would not recommend choosing a career as a veterinary technician. It is a job that is ideal for the person in the family who is the “secondary bread winner”. Although, in our area, our single techs should be able to live just fine on what they make since expenses are low here – but, they will not likely get rich unless they’re very good at living frugally and investing (which is possible, although not easy — I’ve seen it done on similar incomes).

February 5, 2014 at 1:50 pm
(321) VetaHolic says:

Also, regarding the not so large gap in pay between non-credentialed folks and RVTs: first, our business does not profit enough to pay more than we do (union lovers, go right ahead – you’ll put the whole vet industry out of business if our dear president doesn’t beat you to it), second, unless you’re in a state that requires assistants to be credentialed (I don’t), there really is not much reason for us to pay a lot more for a RVT. We train all of our assistants to do everything we need them to do — even with schooling and/or other experience, we still have to train or “retrain” everyone we hire to do things our way. Those with schooling and/or job experience CAN jump in and learn quicker, therefore being productive quicker — so, their starting pay will be slightly higher and they will earn raises quicker as they learn different phases of the job duties. Also, we do definitely appreciate the fact that they know more of what’s behind what we do – why we’re doing what we do.

February 5, 2014 at 1:51 pm
(322) VetaHolic says:

To those of you on here who mentioned things like “the veterinarians charge exorbitantly high prices for what they do…” Hello….. As our profitability is very low, we don’t make enough ourselves (remember we’re not only paying off our 100k+ student loans for our 8-10 yrs of schooling but many of us are also paying on business loans close to or above 1 million!), and all of our staff is underpaid – tell me again how you think what we charge clients is TOO HIGH?! Sorry, that doesn’t begin to make sense. Our costs of doing business are very fixed in our industry, so the ONLY way for any of us to earn even close to what we should for the work we do is to CHARGE MORE MONEY. We are NOT ripping people off here, we’re trying to run a business, make a living ourselves, and provide all of our staff with a decent living. IF I ever heard one of my staff saying that we rip people off, I’d fire them on the spot. We do open books with the staff here — if they’re not smart enough to look at our financials and see that we’re not charging too much for what we do, they need not work for me.

April 20, 2014 at 8:15 pm
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