Are you a student in high school who hopes to one day become a vet tech? Wondering if there’s anything you can do to prepare yourself for school and get a better idea of what the job might be like? Here are a few things you can do that will increase your chances of being accepted into a vet tech program. These things will also help you get a better feel for the vet tech career so you know whether it is right for you.
Should You Become A Vet Tech?
Before you start worrying about what high school classes to take and which vet tech colleges are the best, you should first think about whether veterinary technician is the right career for you. There are a few things you can do to answer this question, but nothing beats actually spending time observing a tech in action during their daily routine. Keep that in mind while making your way through this list.
- Online research. To get a general feel for the job duties of veterinary technicians, as well as other basic info like salary, pros and cons, school options, etc. there are plenty of sites like this one. Read as much as you can to help you gain a better general understanding of the job while still in high school. If during your research you come across things that are deal-breakers to you, such as information about low salaries, you might end your research right here. However, if the things you read are encouraging and you feel that you would be a good fit for the career, you can take your research to the next level.
- Talk to actual veterinary technicians. During your research you’re bound to come up with some questions you can’t find the answer to. Or maybe you’d just rather hear about the career from someone who actually works as a vet tech. Talking to a tech who’s worked in the industry for years is a great way to get a first-hand account as well as answers to any specific questions you had. You may be able to learn about basic salary info from your online research, but talking to an actual tech about their financial life (if they are willing to discuss it) will give you a better idea of the reality of the situation. You can find techs to talk to online, or you can even talk to techs at your local vet’s office. Make sure to tell them you are a high school student considering the career and ask them if they have any advice for you.
- Shadow a vet tech. If you talk to some techs and find yourself really excited by what they have to say, it’s a great idea to actually shadow one for a day or two. Watching a tech in action is the ultimate way to decide whether or not the career is right for you. You may have certain images and expectations built up in your head that may or may not be accurate. Shadowing a veterinary technician is the perfect way to know whether or not you’d be happy with this occupation. To shadow a tech it’s best to contact a few vets in your area and let them know you are a high school student looking to learn more about the career. You can even offer to volunteer cleaning kennels or doing some light office work in exchange for a shadowing opportunity. Most vets should be receptive your your shadowing requests.
If you make it through these three steps, you should have an excellent feel for whether or not you really want to become a vet tech. Choosing a career is a big decision that will affect your entire future, so it’s worth taking the time to really make sure a certain job is right for you. Even if you do your research, talk to techs, shadow them, and eventually decide that being a vet tech is NOT the right decision for you, you still did the right thing! Too many people just go straight to vet tech school after they graduate high school and never really know if they made the right decision until it’s too late.
If you have done your research and really do want to become a vet tech after high school, continue to the next step: Vet Tech Advice for High School Students: Part 2