Veterinary Technician Career Guide – Traits, Training, Jobs

Aug 16 2019

Cat sniffing a stethoscope
Do you love animals? Would you enjoy working with them on a daily basis? If so, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together everything you need to know about the traits that make a good veterinary technician, the career opportunities, average salary, and how long it takes to become a veterinary technician. Read on to learn more!

The Ideal Personality Traits of a Veterinary Technician

If you already know what a Veterinary Technician is and you’re considering becoming one, you’re probably wondering if it is a good fit for you or not. Many people assume that being a veterinary technician is only for those who love animals and have lots of experience caring for animals. While it’s true that most veterinary technicians do love animals, the best veterinary technicians have more than just a love for animals. They are also:

  • Patient
  • Team-oriented
  • Adaptive
  • Good at communicating

No two days are ever the same for a veterinary technician. They often work with a variety of different types of animals. Even if you work exclusively with dogs, no two dogs are exactly the same! Being patient and adaptive through the constant change is a must.

Caring for animals is also a team effort. Sometimes caring for an animal means doing tasks that might not be very glamorous but are still essential, which is why veterinary technicians need to be team players.

Veterinary technicians work with each other and veterinarians, of course, but they also often work with owners to ensure that pets receive the care they need. Effective communication is crucial in this process. This is especially true when a pet is injured or unwell and emotions run high. While being a veterinary technician can be challenging, if you have these traits, it could be a very fulfilling career for you.

Career Opportunities for a Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technicians do more than just help take care of cats and dogs in a veterinarian’s office. That’s one of the things that can make it such an interesting field to be in! As a certified veterinary technician, you could assist a veterinarian at:

  • Veterinary offices
  • Animal shelters
  • Equine facilities
  • Farms
  • Zoos
  • Animal hospitals
  • Aviaries

Vet Tech feeding cows at a farm
These are some of the most common careers for a veterinary technician today, but the possibilities are growing with each passing year. As veterinary science expands and new species are discovered, new specializations are always evolving. This means that career possibilities in Veterinary Technology are always expanding.

Average Salary for a Veterinary Technician*

No one likes to start a job without knowing how much money they’ll make, so let’s talk money. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, veterinary technicians in 2018 made an average of $34,420. As an industry, it’s also experiencing much faster growth than the national average. Jobs are expected to grow nationally by about 7% from 2016-2026, but predictions show veterinary technician jobs will grow by roughly 20% over the same period.
*PCI cannot guarantee job placement or salary for graduates. This information is provided for reference purposes only.

How Long it Takes to Become a Veterinary Technician

The specific requirements to become a veterinary technician vary slightly from one state to the next. Typically, some sort of license or certification is required. In Pennsylvania, you need to be certified, which requires completing a Veterinary Technology program and passing a certification exam.
Woman checking heart rate of a beagle
Our Veterinary Technology program is an Associate of Specialized Technology program that could be completed in as little as 18 months. You can then take the American Association of Veterinary State Boards’ Veterinary Technician National Exam, which is currently offered three times per year and has limited seating. After passing the exam and receiving your results, you will need to submit an application for certification through the online Pennsylvania Licensing System (PALS).

Depending on when the next VTNE opening is after your program graduation, you could be certified in as little as three years after the start of your veterinary technology program.

Start Your Journey Today

Are you ready to get started? Contact us today to request more information about our Veterinary Technology program.

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Mindy Jollie
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That’s good to know that there are so many opportunities for veterinary technicians. My nephew is thinking about pursuing that as a line of work. Perhaps he can find a veterinary internship as a starting point.