Veterinarian and veterinary technician—for the general population, they’re just the same.
But this isn’t quite the case.
Although both provide animal health care, they don’t operate in the same capacity.
A vet is a medical professional who:
- Treats diseases
- Performs surgery
- Oversees the overall health and well-being of animals
Meanwhile, a vet tech assists vets in diagnosing and treating animals.
To learn more about how distinct these two careers are, we listed the differences below.
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A vet studies far longer than a vet tech does.
For them to become a doctor of veterinary medicine, they are required to study a:
- Three to four years of pre-professional studies, and
- Four years of professional program
On the other hand, a vet tech only needs a two-year associate’s degree.
After which, they can opt to take an exam to get certification and license to practice.
If they want to, they can pursue a four-year bachelor’s degree to become a certified veterinarian technologist.
This guarantees them more responsibilities and more income.
A vet is often equipped with nearly all the medical skills regarding animal health care.
As such, they shoulder more responsibilities such as:
- Carry out surgery
- Do diagnosis
- Recommend medication
On the other hand, a vet tech will be the vet’s assistant.
They may be required to carry out the least technical duties such as:
- Do blood tests
- Keep health records
- Give medication
In veterinary care, the more responsibilities you have, the higher your income will be.
In this case, it’s not surprising that a vet earns more than a vet tech.
Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020), these are the average annual salary of the two:
Moreover, it’s been known that some states pay more than others.
So here are the top five paying states for you to check out.
|State||Annual Mean Wage||State||Annual Mean Wage|
The best thing about both careers is that finding a job won’t be a hard task for you.
With the way people willingly spend money on animal care, the demand for vets and vet techs will continue to rise.
The table below shows the employment level sourced from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (May 2020).
|Employment 2020||Projected Employment 2030||Percentage of Change|
|Veterinary Technician||114,400||131,500||15% increase|
The same with earnings, some states are known to employ more vets and vet techs than others.
So here are the top five states with the highest employment level for each career.
Note: The estimates don’t include self-employed workers.
A vet and a vet tech may be the same at first glance, but they’re different at their core.
Despite that, both generate good income and have employment demand.
So whichever career you choose, know that your future as a vet or vet tech looks bright.
Just remember to maintain professionalism and adhere to ethical conduct.
Most importantly, the love, respect, and care for animals.
Overall, these two highly depend on each other to provide quality animal health care services.
If you intend on becoming a vet, it’s best you start by being a vet tech.
As a vet tech, you’ll be able to gain mentorship from a seasoned professional who’ll equip you with all the right skills.
Remember, as important knowledge is, practical skills and experience are what matters most in the end.