Animals, Everywhere: Vet Tech Career Options Abound
Published on December 13, 2017 by Staff Writer
When you first think of a career as a vet tech, working in a veterinarian’s office may come to mind. That’s a common job option, but this field offers many more opportunities for animal lovers. Here’s an overview of places you may be able to look for work after you complete your veterinary technology associate degree.
Pets are an extension of our families, and, as a vet tech, you can help keep these furry family friends happy and healthy. Working in a traditional veterinary clinic gives you a chance to get to know people and their pets as they come in for routine visits. You’ll assist vets with exams and procedures, and you may administer vaccines and meds, gather samples for tests, and provide information to pet owners. Some clinics may also specialize in large animal care, where vets often make farm or stable visits; often, a vet tech may go along to assist on site.
Sometimes our pets experience an emergency or require critical care that a traditional clinic cannot provide. Animal hospitals or emergency clinics provide around the clock service for these situations. Vet techs here may take x-rays or lab samples, clean wounds, apply bandages or casts, give fluids, monitor vital signs, administer medication, or assist vets with surgery and other procedures. Since emergency clinics are usually open 24/7, vet techs may be required to work evenings, overnights, weekends, and holidays.
Vet techs interested in emergency medicine may also at some point be interested in getting certified in a specialty area such as anesthesia, surgical, or critical care.
Animal Shelter or Rescue Organization
Many people enter the veterinary field because they’re concerned for the welfare of animals. If that sounds like you, a career with an animal shelter or rescue may be right for you. In this role, you’d have many of the same routine animal care duties as a traditional vet practice, but you’d be doing it for a nonprofit organization that has a specific mission. Working in a shelter also means reuniting lost dogs and cats with their owners, or helping animals find their forever home through pet adoption. The Humane Society and the ASPCA are two of the larger, more well-known organizations, but cities and small towns alike are also home to smaller, local shelters and rescues.
Home to exotic and often endangered species, zoos and other animal preserves need specialized animal care professionals. Rather than pets, you’ll be working with wild animals and with routine and emergency care. Since these attractions are open to the public and since “patients” live onsite 24/7, hours may vary a bit more than a traditional office. To work in a zoo, you may need to begin as a veterinary assistant to gain experience in the environment. Becoming a certified zoo vet tech, a needed qualification in some zoological organizations, requires work experience and some specialized continuing education.
Universities and biomedical companies often use animals, such as rodents or primates, in scientific research. Lab animal assistants and technicians in these facilities help care for and monitor these animals, as well as gather samples for testing. The difference here from other vet tech careers is that instead of working under the supervision of a veterinarian, you’d be working with a scientist.
A career in veterinary technology offers you a variety of work environments and the chance to work with animals from a small rodent to the largest in the animal kingdom. Qualifications for many positions will vary from state to state, as well as by employer.
If working with animals is something you’ve always wanted to do, consider a career as a vet tech. Learn more about Broadview University’s veterinary technology program.