What jobs can I get? How much can I get paid?
Degrees and certificates in the Vet Tech program may lead to the following jobs or careers:
Veterinary Technologist/ Technician
Entry Hourly Wage
review current job openings and contact your advisor to review your options. All data gathered for Dallas/Fort Worth. Source: Dallas College Labor Market Intelligence
Why is This a Good Career Bet?
Veterinary technologists are listed as eighth overall and in the top 30 fastest-growing occupations requiring at least an associate degree by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor. Vet techs are also listed as 12th in its top 36 occupations with the most openings through the coming decade.
What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?
Technologists and technicians usually begin work as trainees in positions under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
- Answer client concerns by phone or in person
- Clean and sterilize instruments and maintain equipment
- Help prepare animals and assist in surgery
- Perform lab tests used to treat and diagnosis diseases in animals
- Prepare vaccines and serums
- Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples and execute laboratory tests
Job Abilities and Skills
Successful vet techs should have:
- Good communication skills, both verbal and written
- Excellent scientific aptitude, with a good understanding of animal anatomy and physiology
- Good observation skills, with the ability to look for subtle clues in animals’ behavior
- Creativity, since tools and procedures may need to be modified to fit a particular animal or species not commonly seen
- The ability to multitask
- Physical strength to be able to hold and restrain larger animals
- Organizational ability
Job Locations and Working Conditions
Veterinary technicians work for:
- Animal shelters and humane societies
- Attorneys as paralegals who work as veterinary specialists or consultants in veterinary lawsuits
- College and university veterinary programs and teaching hospitals
- Government regulatory agencies such as the
Texas Animal Health Commission
- Large-scale ranching operations
- Private animal clinics
- Research facilities
- Veterinary hospitals
- Veterinary medical suppliers or distributors
- Veterinary pharmaceutical industry
People who love animals get satisfaction from working with and helping them, though caretaking work includes repetitive, dirty and unpleasant tasks. Veterinary technicians may clean cages and lift, hold or restrain animals, risking exposure to bites or scratches. Workers must take precautions when treating animals with germicides or insecticides. The work setting can be noisy.
Veterinary technologists who work with abused animals or who help perform euthanasia may experience emotional stress. Those working for humane societies and animal shelters often deal with the public, some of whom might react with hostility to any suggestion that owners are neglecting or abusing their pets.
In some animal hospitals, research facilities and animal shelters, a veterinary technician is on duty 24 hours a day, which means that some work night shifts. Most full-time veterinary technologists work about 40 hours a week.
Licensure and Certification
Depending on the state, candidates may become registered, licensed or certified. Commonly used terms include:
- registered veterinary technician (RVT)
- licensed veterinary technician (LVT)- Used by the State of Texas
- certified veterinary technician (CVT)
Most states use the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Prospects usually can have their passing scores transferred from one state to another, so long as both states use the same exam. Some states also have a State specific exam as well.
Passing the state exam assures the public that the technician has sufficient knowledge to work in a veterinary clinic or hospital. The exam includes oral, written and practical portions and is regulated by the state board of veterinary examiners or the appropriate state agency.
Our associate degree program graduates are eligible to take the Texas Licensing Examination for Licensed Veterinary Technicians (LVT) and the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE). Both exams are required for registration in the state of Texas, and the VTNE is required for credentialing as a technician by most other states.
For more specific requirements for each state, please refer to the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB)
VTNE information site.