Are you wondering where the highest paid veterinary technicians work? Most people assume that vet techs are limited to working in general animal practices, which is untrue. There are many different places where veterinary techs can find employment, and some of these pay better than others.
The list below was taken from NAVTA’s 2007 Vet Tech demographic survey. It shows where various vet techs work, as well as the average salaries for these employment types:
|Employment Type||2007 %||2007 Salary|
|Food animal practice||0.7||$39,800|
|Companion animal practice||52.2||$33,270|
|Mixed animal practice||12.3||$28,960|
Though the data is almost 4 years old at the time of this writing, it seems that the general salary trends have remained the same.
First of all, the average vet tech salary according to this survey is $36,120.
The highest earners are vet techs with positions in Research, Sales, and Education, which is to say that these people probably aren’t really vet techs in the sense you would expect! The truth of the profession is clear in these numbers – there is not a ton of money to be made working as traditional tech, though with your degree and skill you can get a related job that does pay a bit more. Keep in mind the actual availability of these jobs: less than 10% of all vet techs work in these fields.
Beyond these top earners are those working for the government and those working in specialty practices. This is no surprise as government jobs typically pay more than average no matter what you’re doing (and offer excellent benefits as well). Vet techs with NAVTA-recognized specializations can find job in specialty practices where they can deliver more value than the common vet tech, and therefore can expect to be paid more for their knowledge and skill.
The majority of veterinary technicians work in companion animal practices, which is a fancy way of saying clinics that deal mostly with people’s pets: dogs, cats, horses, goats, pigs, ferrets and some others depending on the practice. Average salary for these respondents is $33,270, and now you can see the numbers start coming back to earth. This is where most vet techs end up, and this is what most can expect to make.
Please don’t let my tone turn you off. It’s very important that veterinary technicians understand how much they can expect to make throughout their career. If low pay is the number one reason for employee turnover, I have to ask – why didn’t you just find out how much you were going to be making before you decided to become a vet tech!
Use this information to help you make an educated decision. Talk to other vet techs and see if they are having trouble making ends meet, and consider all of the benefits of the career as well before you make your final decision.