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All About Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Career Description Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

List of Veterinary Tech Job Duties

  • Prepare and administer medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Prepare animals for surgery, performing such tasks as shaving surgical areas.
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals’ responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.

What a Veterinary Tech Should Know

When polled, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Other Veterinary Tech Job Titles

  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech)
  • Veterinary Laboratory Technician (Veterinary Lab Tech)
  • Veterinary X-Ray Operator
  • Veterinary Surgery Technologist

Job Demand for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

In the United States, there were 102,000 jobs for Veterinary Technologist or Technician in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 20% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 20,400 new jobs for Veterinary Technologist or Technician by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 10,700 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Veterinary Tech are Utah, Nevada, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Veterinary Tech Average Salary

The typical yearly salary for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians is somewhere between $23,490 and $50,010.


Veterinary Technologists and Technicians who work in Nevada, New York, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Veterinary Technologists and Technicians in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $31,480
Alaska $39,550
Arizona $33,910
Arkansas $29,990
California $41,920
Colorado $36,390
Connecticut $43,340
Delaware $34,670
District of Columbia $37,140
Florida $33,280
Georgia $31,690
Hawaii $35,950
Idaho $31,660
Illinois $36,750
Indiana $32,030
Iowa $35,500
Kansas $33,920
Kentucky $32,450
Louisiana $26,410
Maine $36,760
Maryland $36,190
Massachusetts $40,990
Michigan $37,420
Minnesota $38,740
Mississippi $36,060
Missouri $31,910
Montana $31,580
Nebraska $33,190
Nevada $46,370
New Hampshire $34,900
New Jersey $37,630
New Mexico $34,150
New York $43,190
North Carolina $32,760
North Dakota $35,990
Ohio $33,170
Oklahoma $29,600
Oregon $36,670
Pennsylvania $36,860
Rhode Island $35,670
South Carolina $31,630
South Dakota $33,720
Tennessee $31,150
Texas $31,010
Utah $30,560
Vermont $34,680
Virginia $39,060
Washington $38,220
West Virginia $30,360
Wisconsin $33,870
Wyoming $31,620

Tools & Technologies Used by Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Veterinary Technologists and Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • FileMaker Pro
  • McAllister Software Systems AVImark

How do I Become a Veterinary Tech?

Individuals working as a Veterinary Technologist or Technician have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinary Tech?


Where Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Veterinary Technologists and Technicians employed by various industries.


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Veterinary Technologist or Technician may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Veterinary Technologist or Technician in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Ryan Conroy via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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