The first step towards a vet tech career is enrolling in a program that leads to a two-year associate degree in veterinary technology, animal science, or a related discipline.
Upon completion of this program, aspiring vet techs must meet the necessary credentialing requirements, which vary widely by state and getting their regional license, certification, or registration, allows them to start working.
However, some vet techs may decide to continue with their education by enrolling in a specialized training which will equip them with skills necessary to work with a specific animal population or to perform specific tasks.
These specialized skills will enhance their employment candidacy or salary prospects.
There are various academies available to become credentialed vet tech specialists (VTS) and having in mind the fact that some people would benefit from a list of five exceptional jobs for veterinary technicians, we decided to gather all the necessary information about relevant credentialing and professional associations so as to help those individuals decide the ideal career path for themselves.
Table of Contents
- 1 Veterinary Surgical Technician
- 2 Marine Veterinary Technician
- 3 Animal Nutrition Technician
- 4 Veterinary Zoological Technician
- 5 Animal Behavior Technician
Veterinary Surgical Technician
Veterinary Surgical Technicians come into play when animals are at their most vulnerable conditions.
They assist the vet when serious treatments or invasive procedures are in question.
This is a rewarding career as a veterinary surgical technician is the one who takes part in saving the animals’ life.
Vet surgical techs are trained to assist veterinarians during surgical procedures, thus these professionals have a direct impact on the lives of numerous sick or injured animals.
How to Become a Surgical Vet Tech
Just like with any other specialization, so as become a veterinary surgical technician you first pursue education as a veterinary technician which is a two-year degree and being that you will be an aspiring surgical tech, you are highly suggested to seek out exposure to a surgical environment in their place of work.
You can ask veterinarians to assist with procedures in order to gain experience specifically in surgery.
In order to become certified, vet techs may then apply for credentialing through the Academy of Veterinary Surgical Technicians (AVST) for recognition as a surgical tech.
Not everybody can get this certification, as it requires that applicants possess at least 10,000 hours of work as a credentialed vet tech (6,000 of those hours in a surgical environment), along with 40 hours of qualifying continuing education, an extensive case log review, two letters of recommendation, and a passing score on an exam.
How Much Do Surgical Vets Make?
According to the data provided by The Balance, veterinary surgical technicians earn an average annual salary of $37,000.
Furthermore, employment opportunities are numerous for those with qualifications as a veterinary surgical assistant.
Marine Veterinary Technician
Marine Veterinary Technician career is a perfect match for veterinary technicians who live near facilities such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium or SeaWorld.
They can look for a job working with the sea animals and SeaWorld is home to a wide array of them.
What your task as a marine vet tech will be is to perform routine checkups or additional medical care.
Marine vet techs are also known as aquatic vet techs if they work with both fresh and saltwater species.
Their duties involve assisting the veterinarian, as well as collecting urine and stool samples, handling imaging equipment, giving injections to animals, and helping to maintain accurate medical records, including any preventative healthcare measures taken.
Furthermore, they are expected to assist with surgeries and other procedures.
How to Become a Marine Vet Tech
If you are wondering what is needed to become a marine vet tech, we would like to mention that eligible applicants for this occupation must have a degree in animal health or marine biology from an accredited institution.
Additionally, taking into consideration the fact that ill or injured animals can be difficult to handle, interesting vet techs must possess the strength necessary to assist veterinarians.
You will need to be able to work with, for example, a Pacific harbor seal that can weigh up to 300 lbs.
How Much Do Marine Vet Techs Make?
As a marine vet tech, you can look for jobs in facilities such as Monterey Bay Aquarium, SeaWorld, and unfortunately, these facilities do not provide any information regarding salary expectations for veterinary technicians.
What determines the salary is the experience of the applicant.
Animal Nutrition Technician
Nutrition is not only related to human beings anymore and there is a well-developed industry aimed at ensuring that animals receive an adequate diet and supplements.
According to the claims of the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians, there are three influences that affect the life of an animal – genetics, environment, and nutrition.
So, they have developed a program that trains and educates veterinary nutritionists and veterinary nutrition technicians.
How to Become an Animal Nutrition Tech
These animal healthcare professionals can gain their credentials through the Academy of Veterinary Nutrition Technicians.
To qualify at a VTS (Nutrition), you must first hold certification as a veterinary technician that is, a completed two-year associate degree in the field.
Also, you must obtain at least 4,000 hours of work experience in the field of animal nutrition—clinic- or research-based—along with 40 hours of continuing education related to veterinary nutrition.
Additionally, you must provide proof of competencies in the form of case logs or letters of recommendation from supervisors so as to be considered eligible for this certification.
How Much Do Animal Nutrition Techs Make?
Unfortunately, animal nutrition techs cannot expect to have abundant employment opportunities.
Being that job opportunities are not that great, the average salary of these professionals is difficult to determine.
Vet nutrition techs can expect to earn as much as non-specialized vet techs, who according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics have a median salary of $32,490.
Veterinary Zoological Technician
There are many veterinary technicians whose dream job is working with animals of all varieties.
They are a perfect match for a veterinary zoological medicine technician career.
Those who enter this filed claim that it is one of the most rewarding options available as their main tasks are assisting a veterinarian in a zoo environment with a variety of animal species.
They are involved in numerous activities such as helping with surgeries, routine checkups, facilities sterilization, patient record-keeping, or emergency procedures.
All these depend on the needs of the refuge, zoo, or wildlife park where the vet zoo tech will work.
The nature of the job requires that veterinary zoo technicians work with exotic and dangerous animals, and they may have an unpredictable work schedule.
How to Become a Vet Zoo Tech
Becoming this type of vet tech is very similar to the path required for other specialties.
First, the individual must become a licensed veterinary technician, and he/she should apply for membership to the Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians (AZVT).
This is an organization dedicated to providing continuing education and support for these professionals.
However, receiving membership is not the only requirement.
These vet techs must gain significant experience in the field and only then apply for the certification examination from the Academy of Veterinary Zoological Medicine Technicians.
To be eligible for vet zoon tech profession, the candidate must have:
- A minimum of 10,000 hours of work experience in the field of zoo medicine
- A minimum of 40 hours of continuing education in zoological medicine or related topics
- Successfully completed the advanced skills list for veterinary zoo technicians
- A case log of at least 40 medical or surgical cases recorded
How Much Do Vet Zoo Techs Make?
There are many factors that can impact the salary of vet zoo techs.
The wages of a zoological technician may vary widely as they depend on the location and size of the zoo, as well as other factors.
The greater your knowledge, experience, and expertise are, the more likely it is that you will get higher compensation than that of a general technician.
However, job opportunities are not so great for these workers and according to Indeed, there are only 71 zoo veterinary technicians across the country.
Animal Behavior Technician
With the increasing number of pets, there is a greater need for veterinary technicians with an interest in animal training and behavior.
These aspiring individuals who consider becoming veterinary behavior technicians can expect to deal with social or training problems of animals relating to their mental states, personalities, or environments.
What they have to offer is behavioral therapy techniques and they are very similar to psychologists being that they treat animals’ mental as opposed to physical ailments.
How to Become an Animal Behavior Tech
Vet behavior techs are required to first become licensed veterinary technicians.
Then, they should join the Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians in order to receive access to continuing education opportunities and other benefits that go with this membership.
Upon receiving some experience, prospective candidates may apply for certification in this specialization through the Academy of Veterinary Behavior Technicians (AVBT).
Have in mind the fact that not everyone will become an animal behavior tech.
So as to be eligible for credentialing as a VTS (Behavior), you must have at least 4,000 hours of work experience in the field of animal behavior, 40 hours of relevant continuing education, a clinical case log, five case reports, and two letters of recommendation, among other requirements.
If you meet all of these requirements, you are highly encouraged to apply.
How Much Do Animal Behavior Techs Make?
Unlike the previously mentioned occupation, job opportunities for animal behavior technicians are relatively plentiful.
Similar to other specialties, salary may vary depending on the experience, education level, region, credentialing, and a facility where these techs work.