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As pets become more of an integral part of the family, the
demand for skilled veterinary technicians continues to rise.
Veterinary technicians play an integral role in your pet's health.
If you're a self-motivated, personable individual who likes working
with animals and people, you may want to consider a career as a
"A veterinary technician is the equivalent of a nurse in the
human health field, only they work with animals," says Mary
Sanders, a registered veterinary technician in the College of
Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M
University. "Veterinary technicians typically assist the
veterinarian with exams, administering medications, bandaging,
laboratory work and assisting in surgery and post op recovery,"
Sanders says. " In some private veterinary practices, the
technician may also be running the front desk and cleaning out the
cages in the back."
In addition to working in private clinics and animal hospitals,
veterinary technicians also may work in research facilities,
pharmaceutical sales, federal and state government agencies,
wildlife medicine, zoos, livestock management, boarding kennels,
animal shelters, stables, grooming shops and more.
"Persons interested in a veterinary technician career should
have a solid background in math and science, be personable, and
possess good communication skills," says Sanders.
"Because technicians at times deal with pet owners who are under
duress, it is helpful to know how to explain what is happening to
their pet in a compassionate manner. Other beneficial qualities
would include the ability to think on your feet and good
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredits
veterinary technician programs throughout the United States, notes
Sanders. Most AVMA-accredited programs lead to an associate's
degree after two years, but some lead to a four-year baccalaureate
"Graduation from an AVMA-accredited veterinary technology
program allows students to take the credentialing exam in Texas as
well as many other states in the country," explains Sanders.
"Candidates are tested for competency through an examination which
includes oral, written, and practical portions.
To maintain their certification status in Texas, technicians are
required to have a certain number of Continuing Education Units
(CEU) each year.
Pet owners today are more willing to pay for advanced care
because pets are considered a family member in many households,
spurring employment growth for skilled veterinary technicians. "In
the old days, your family was no more than two miles away from you
in any direction. Now, you may not even see your parents once a
year or longer because of the distance that people live apart,"
Sanders says. "We live in such a transitional society and people
need the comfort of coming home to something. In many cases that is
a pet. Also, people are staying single longer and they want the
Veterinary technicians earn salaries that compare favorably to
those in other fields requiring a similar education. Salaries vary
according to experience, responsibility, geographic location, and
employment type. In May 2008, median yearly earnings of veterinary
technicians were $28,800.
Veterinary technology offers a fast growing and challenging
career for mature and motivated individuals. Sanders says that if
you are a self-starter who likes to work with people and animals, a
career as a veterinary technician may be the perfect career
The Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine &
Biomedical Sciences has partnered up with Blinn College, in Bryan
Texas, to offer a Vet-Tech program. The first set of classes is
scheduled to start in the fall of 2010. For more information on
this unique program, contact (979) 209-7203 www.blinn.edu/twe/vet_tech.
ABOUT PET TALK
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