Veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants

Veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants help veterinarians in feeding, cleaning, comforting and providing medical and other services to animals. Most veterinary technicians work in veterinary offices, veterinary hospitals, kennels, research institutes or zoos. Others specialize in research, X-ray technology, surgical nursing, animal
anesthesiology and animal care. They are supervised by veterinarians or experienced technicians.

Veterinary technicians typically:
• take animals into treatment rooms.
• perform dental prophylaxis.
• secure restraints or hold animals during treatment.
• sterilize surgical instruments and other equipment.
• shave and prepare animals before surgery.
• administer medications and anesthesia.
• take and develop X-rays.
• perform laboratory tests on blood, urine and feces.
• maintain records of animals’ reactions to treatment.
• perform treatments on patients.
• provide client education.

Veterinary assistants:
• perform routine animal care such as feeding, watering, bathing and exercising animals.
• may greet and make appointments for clients, answer telephone calls and accept payments.

Average Salary Range
$18,000 – $35,000
Educational Requirements
Those interested in becoming veterinary technicians or veterinary assistants should prepare early by taking challenging course work in math and science in secondary schools and by seeking paid or volunteer opportunities in a veterinary setting. Veterinary technicians must earn a degree in veterinary technology from a school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and must pass a written exam in order to become licensed. Veterinary assistants receive on-the-job training and may have some post-secondary education, such as trade school or
junior college.

Professional Associations
American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumsburg, IL 60173
1-800-248-2862 or (847) 925-8070
North American Veterinary Tech
P.O. Box 224
Battle Ground, IN 47920
Virginia Association
of Licensed Veterinary Technicians
2821 Overbrook Ave.
Norfolk, VA 23513
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care
Society 6335 Camp Bullis Road, Suite 14
San Antonio, TX 78257
(210) 698-5575