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 How to Become a Vet Technician Job Description Veterinary Technologists and Technicians typically conduct clinical work in a private practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. They often perform various medical tests and treat and diagnose medical conditions and diseases in animals. They may also perform emergency aid and treatment to animal patients including suturing, skin incisions, administering anesthesia, casting broken bones, and bandaging wounds. Vet Techs also feed, water, bathe, groom, and exercise animals as well as sweep and clean animal quarters. Work Environment Vet Technicians perform clinical work in private clinics and animal hospitals under the supervision of a licensed Veterinarian. In an indoor work environment, Vet Techs perform a variety of duties for small pets, such as cats and dogs. Some Vet Techs work for large animal Veterinarians who care for pigs, sheep, cattle, goats, and horses where work is performed outdoors. Places of employment include animal clinics and hospitals, shelters, boarding kennels, animal control facilities, humane societies, biomedical facilities, diagnostic laboratories, wildlife facilities, drug and food manufacturing companies, and food safety inspection facilities. Career Outlook The California job outlook for Vet Technicians over the next decade is excellent, and the field is expected to grow. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a national growth rate of 25% through 2016, with 100,373 jobs available throughout the U.S. Competition exists for jobs working in zoos and aquariums due to expected slow growth of facilities, low employee turnover, and the limited number of positions. Income Income varies depending on location and the size and type of the employer. A Vet Technician’s salary in California ranges from entry-­‐level ($2,3430/month) to experienced ($3,500/month). National pay also depends on the type of employer and level or training, and some earn minimum wage to start. Salary ranges from entry-­‐level ($1,648/month) to experienced ($3,500/month). Education Requirements There are two levels of education and training to enter this occupation. Most entry-­‐level Veterinary Technicians have a two-­‐year associates degree from a community college vet technician/technology program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Graduation from an AVMA-­‐accredited veterinary technician/technology program allows students to take the credentialing examine in any State in the U.S. The second level of education is a B.S. Degree from a 4-­‐year institution to become a 1 How to Become a Vet Technician Veterinary Technologist who earn a higher salary with increased job responsibilities. Typical coursework includes Anesthesiology, Animal Care, Biology, Business Management, Chemistry, Communications, Economics, Instrumentation, Lab Procedures, Mathematics, Microbiology, Nutrition, Parasitology, Pharmacology, Physiology, Radiology, Surgical Assisting, and Toxicology. It is important for a student to gain hands-­‐on experience through courses taught in a clinic and laboratory setting using live animals. Local Colleges: Foothill College, A.S. Degree, Vet Technology West Valley College, Pre-­Vet major (coursework, transfer only) Marymount College, A.S. Degree, Pre-­Vet Medicine UC Davis, MPVM, Preventative Vet Medicine; DVM Vet Medicine * CSU and UC campuses do not offer a four-­year degree in Pre-­Veterinary Medicine. Students will major in Biology or BioChemistry for a B.S. Degree. To become a Veterinarian, students will need to go to graduate school for the Doctorate in Vet Medicine. Licensing Vet Techs are required to renewal their license every two years through: Department of Consumer Affairs Veterinary Medical Board 1420 Howe Ave., Suite 6 Sacramento, CA 95825-­‐3228 (916) 263-­‐2610 Each State regulates Veterinary Technicians/Technologists differently, but all States require students to pass a credentialing exam after coursework is completed. The State Board of Veterinary Examiners or the appropriate State agency regulates the testing procedures, and candidates take an exam based on oral, written, and practical knowledge using the National Veterinary Technician (NVT) exam. Special Consideration Veterinary Technicians and Technologists work both indoors and outdoors with animals that can scratch, kick or bite. The work environment can be physically and emotionally demanding, and sometimes dangerous. According to data compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic, full-­‐time Vet Techs experienced a work-­‐related injury and illness rate much higher than the national average. 2 How to Become a Vet Technician Sources of Additional Information Academy of Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Technicians Academy of Veterinary Technician Anesthetists www.avta-­‐ American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) American Association of Equine Practitioners American Association of Veterinary State Boards American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) American Zoo and Aquariums Association Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians www.azvt.org0 Human Society of the United States National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America Society of Veterinary Behavior Technicians Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-­‐2011 Eureka: The California Career Information System, Site Code: For current Foothill students only, please contact the Career Center Career Center Resource Library, Room 8329; (650) 949-­‐7229 3