What Is A Veterinary Technician?

A veterinary technician is the main source of help for a veterinary doctor. Just like medical doctors work with nurses, vets count on vet techs to assist them with a variety of things.

The type of work that you will do as a veterinary technician varies widely depending on your experience, what type of setting you are working in, and your specialties.

For example, a vet tech in a small-town clinic does different things than an experienced vet tech specializing in anesthesia does while working in an emergency hospital.

Despite the these differing responsibilities, there are some general things that almost all vet techs do during their careers. Here is a short list, in no particular order!

What Does A Vet Tech Do?

According to a study conducted in 2012, the majority of a vet tech’s time is spent on:

  • General animal nursing
  • Talking with and educating clients
  • Inducing/monitoring anasthesia
  • Collecting and analyzing lab samples
  • Radiology (taking x-rays)
  • Supervising other staff members

Other roles and responsibilities included:

  • Dental care assistance
  • Surgery preparation and assistance
  • Cleaning (cages, instruments, patients)
  • Patient restraint
  • Updating case files
  • Dressing wounds
  • Office work (filing, answering calls)
  • Exercising/walking patients
  • Vaccinations
  • Euthanasia

Things A Vet Tech Doesn’t Do:

  • Patient diagnosis
  • Surgery
  • Prescriptions

So, as you can see, the list of vet tech responsibilities is pretty lengthy. Anything the vet needs help with, that’s what you’ll be there for.

Many people confuse vet techs with vet assistants. Read more about the important differences between these two jobs here: Vet Assistant vs. Vet Tech: What’s The Difference?

8 thoughts on “What Is A Veterinary Technician?

  1. Cat lover

    Vets and Vet Techs do a lot of things. They do surgery, dental, x rays, even ultrasounds. They are always there to help you. It isn’t always fun cuz sometimes an animal can’t be helped. It is stressful andit doesn’t pay that great. But it is rewarding to help animals who can’t help themselves!!! (:

  2. stephanie

    the annual salary for a vet tech is 21,000-44,030$. 44,030 would be for when you’re in states like New York so you’d be lucky if you made even close to 35,000 a year. the paychecks may not be impressive but what you do makes up for it.

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