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Learn About A Career As A Veterinary Technician


Working with animals requires a love of animals and the knowledge of how to work with them safely to properly take care of them. People who work as Veterinary Technicians learn the necessary handling skills and knowledge by attending veterinary technical school or by learning the skills on-the-job. What is involved in a veterinary technician career? What is the salary range for this career? Learn the answers to these questions and more here.

1. What is a Veterinary Technician?

Veterinary technician monitoring a patient's vital signs © Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
© Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
Veterinary technicians also go by the term veterinary nurse and may also have the initials LVT, RVT or CVT after their name. What does it take to be a technician, and what do those letters mean? Find out in this FAQ.

2. Meet Jenna Stregowski RVT and Guide to Dogs

Jenna Stregowski RVT and Chloe © J Stregowski
© J Stregowski

Each year, the second week of October is designated National Veterinary Technician Week by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

In honor of this celebration, I interviewed Jenna Stregowski, RVT, a vet tech and fellow About.com Guide to Dogs for her perspective on veterinary technician careers.

3. Meet Lisa Randon RVT VTS (Anesthesia)

Lisa Randon RVT VTS(Anesthesia)/ Allandale Veterinary Hospital, Canada
Like veterinarians, veterinary technicians may choose to specialize in an area of medicine or surgery. In this interview, meet Lisa Randon RVT VTS (Anesthesia) of Allandale Veterinary Hospital in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Lisa has completed additional training and certification in veterinary anesthesia.

4. Meet Melissa Spooner LVT VTS (Behavior) BS KPA-CTP

Melissa Spooner, LVT, VTS (Behavior), BS, KPA-CTP / Oakland Veterinary Referral Services
In this career interview, meet Melissa Spooner LVT VTS (Behavior) BS KPA-CTP of Oakland Veterinary Referral Services. Melissa is one of only 11 Academy of Behavior techs in the US. Learn what a "typical" day is like for Melissa in a practice dedicated to veterinary behavior.

5. Vet (Tech) School Diary - Bethany

Diaries and Journals © Getty Images
© Getty Images

This article is an introduction and first post for Bethany, who was a legal assistant prior to attending vet tech school in 2005 to prepare for a career as a veterinary technician. Bethany has since graduated, and is now working as a veterinary technician in a busy practice.

Complete listing of Vet (and Tech) School Diaries can be found in the Pre-Vet and Career forum.

6. A Day In The Life - Veterinary Careers

Veterinary technician placing an IV catheter in a dog © Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
© Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
Are you curious about what life is like as a veterinarian or veterinary technician? What other "animal-related" careers are there for those who do not wish to pursue vet school? How is a specialty referral hospital different than an emergency clinic? Find the answers to these questions and more in these "Day In The Life" stories submitted by viewers working in various animal-related fields.

7. Veterinary Technicians - A wide range of job responsibilities and emotions

Veterinary technicians applying a post-op bandange on a dog's leg © Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
© Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
The life of a vet tech is often demanding; long hours, lots of lifting and lots of cleaning up of smelly substances. Not to mention the chance of getting bit or scratched while assisting the doctor with a variety of pets. Is it worth it? Does the love of animals override the demands? Is the salary adequate for the demands and responsibilities of the job? Read some opinions from viewers.

8. Veterinary Technician Salaries

Veterinary technician scrubbing a dog's leg for surgery © Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
© Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
Questions about veterinary salaries are a common theme in the Pre-Vet & Career Forum. The topic of veterinary technician salaries has garnered more comments than any other blog post on this site. Do people enter this career for love of animals? Income potential? Can love and money coexist in this career? 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.

9. Can Love and Money Coexist?

Let's play! Photo credit: Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM
Photo credit: Janet Tobiassen Crosby DVM

After learning about this career and reading responses and opinions from other viewers, what do you think? Can love of animals and an income commensurable with job-related experience and duties coexist?

You are invited to post your thoughts and experiences here. Think of this as your own mini-article.

Please note: questions or responses to others cannot be published. All entries are moderated prior to appearing live on the site.

10. Tell us about your vet tech school

School Bus by Caitlinator on Flickr
by Caitlinator on Flickr

Let's hear about your vet tech school - why did you choose it, and what do you feel are the strengths and weaknesses of your school or curriculum?

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