A Veterinary Tech & Vet Assistant Career Guide

If you have a high affinity towards animals you came to the right place. This website will be our contribution as a complete resource that seeks to underscore the path towards becoming a vet tech, vet assistant, or maybe even a veterinarian physician.

This website is aimed at providing first-hand information regarding veterinary as a career, the differences between a vet assistant and a tech, qualifications and duties of each one, as well as where to pursue one’s education in either field.

Our belief is that this information is vital towards enticing more people to enroll in animal related medical fields in order to bridge the ever-rising deficit of animal health care professions and to ease their pain when sick and get them better and back to their owners hands.

How To Become A Veterinary Assistant

A vet assistant handling a cure puppy.

A vet assistant giving much needed tender love and care to a sick puppy.

A veterinary assistant is one among the few jobs that are more rewarding and brings fun when working. A high school diploma coupled with on the job training will play a principal role towards improving your skills as a vet assistant.

Your role as a veterinary assistant includes keeping animals under your care clean and safe. These will include cleaning, and disinfecting animal cages, performing regular care-taking tasks like weighing and feeding animals, as well as sterilizing surgical tools.

In addition to this, you will assist in:

  • administering medications
  • gather urine
  • tissues
  • gather blood samples for lab testing
  • monitor the animals during surgery
  • follow up on dietary changes especial major ones like switching to home cooked dog food.
  • remind patients on up coming vaccinations

As well as performing other required task delegated by the vet. These are just a few duties from many that a vet assistant has to do on a daily basis.

A vet assistant can have multiple meaning to many. So don’t fret if at some clinics you find yourself doing receptionist tasks in an animal hospital or personal assistant work for the veterinarian at the clinic. You are there to assist.

How To Become A Veterinary Technician

A vet tech checking the pulse of a pitbull puppy.

A vet tech checking the pulse of a pitbull puppy.

The best way to become a vet tech is after about a year working as a vet assistant or interning in a local animal hospital. This will give you hands-on experience and first hand knowledge of where you are interested in becoming a vet tech and further your career in the field of animal healthcare.

Once you know for sure that you want to become a veterinary technician, you will then need to choose a school or an online program to get the best education for the job you are applying to. In your journey to becoming a veterinary technician, you will undergo a compulsory two-year program in an AVMA accredited school. In addition, for your credentials to be considered, you have to pass a Veterinary Technician National Examination, also known as the VTNE.

The main responsibility as a veterinary technician pretty much revolves around providing technical support to a veterinarian in all areas of animal care, such as dog with skin problems and physical pain.

sick dog in pain

This dog might be exaggerating just a bit.

Moreover, your education in various aspects such as laboratory technician, anesthetics, radiography technician, client educator, and surgical nurse will play an instrumental role towards equipping you with the necessary qualifications to perform your veterinary tech job duties that include:

  • Administering anesthesia
  • Assisting in surgery
  • Collecting samples and carrying out laboratory tests such as blood counts and urinalysis

How To Become A Veterinarian

As you will interact with more animals as a vet tech, your attraction and care for them will only grow and continue to intensify. This might compel you to go back to school and become a veterinarian physician. A feat, that once completed, will increase your income dramatically from your current vet tech salary. Your strong aptitude for science will give you a boost to your passion of working with animals.

However, this time you can’t just enroll in an online vet program. You will need to attend a real brick and mortar school to get the education needed.

As an individual endowed with very good critical thinking, listening, speaking, and problem solving techniques – all of which are attributes relevant to becoming a veterinarian physician, you will have no problem completing the required additional education.

Furthermore, after the 2-year college program that equipped you with the skills learned in a vet tech school (Tip: Go to a local community college in your area to save money on tuition),  you will have a much easier time enrolling and completing the 4-year degree program necessary to get your degree. Once completed it will earn you the highly sought after Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree.

A vet intern at work.

In veterinary school, your coursework will cover:

  • Animal health and diseases
  • Animal food diets and nutrition
  • Gross anatomy
  • Parasitology
  • Pharmacology
  • Radiology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Animal Behavior and more

Bare in mind with greater career comes greater responsibility. At the end of the you will become the main person people will look to to take care of their pets. This will include giving bad news about their dog’s worsening skin condition or the fact that the pain they are going through requires an expensive operation that is not included under their pet insurance.

Career Guide For Animal Lovers

This website is an important guide for anyone who aspires to further their careers and earn an income with a decent salary in the animal care career field. There is a shortage of veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants, as well as inadequate information on these careers online. These are some of the primary reasons that drove us to create this guide.

Unlike other career choices one might make (such as becoming a paralegal), working with animals day in and day out will be a satisfying move that will give you a sense of gratification for years to come.

This video titled: “Treat me like a Dog” is well worth watching, as it puts a perspective between pet care and human health care.