Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

veterinarian
$38,240 Median Wage (2022)
14,800 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
20.50% Projected growth (2022-2032)

Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
  • Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
  • Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

Related Work Experience: Over 6 months, up to and including 1 year

On-Site or In-Plant Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Maintain medical facility records.
  • Train medical providers.
  • Supervise patient care personnel.
  • Maintain inventory of medical supplies or equipment.
  • Order medical supplies or equipment.
  • Position patients for treatment or examination.
  • Communicate detailed medical information to patients or family members.
  • Schedule patient procedures or appointments.
  • Monitor patient conditions during treatments, procedures, or activities.
  • Administer anesthetics or sedatives to control pain.
  • Monitor patients following surgeries or other treatments.
  • Prepare medications or medical solutions.
  • Administer non-intravenous medications.
  • Immunize patients.
  • Test biological specimens to gather information about patient conditions.
  • Treat medical emergencies.
  • Collect biological specimens from patients.
  • Prepare biological specimens for laboratory analysis.
  • Sterilize medical equipment or instruments.
  • Clean medical equipment or facilities.
  • Assist healthcare practitioners during examinations or treatments.
  • Prepare patients physically for medical procedures.
  • Process x-rays or other medical images.
  • Operate diagnostic imaging equipment.
  • Administer basic health care or medical treatments.
  • Prepare medical supplies or equipment for use.
  • Maintain medical equipment or instruments.
  • Treat dental problems or diseases.
  • Provide health and wellness advice to patients, program participants, or caregivers.
  • Apply bandages, dressings, or splints.
  • Merchandise healthcare products or services.
  • Perform clerical work in medical settings.
  • Process medical billing information.
  • Assist patients with hygiene or daily living activities.
  • Care for animals.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Tasks

  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Perform laboratory tests on blood, urine, or feces, such as urinalyses or blood counts, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of animal health problems.
  • Prepare and administer medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Restrain animals during exams or procedures.
  • Administer emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life saving procedures.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments, equipment, or materials.
  • Provide veterinarians with the correct equipment or instruments, as needed.
  • Perform dental work, such as cleaning, polishing, or extracting teeth.
  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals and monitor their clinical symptoms.
  • Give enemas and perform catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.
  • Prepare animals for surgery, performing such tasks as shaving surgical areas.
  • Take and develop diagnostic radiographs, using x-ray equipment.
  • Discuss medical health of pets with clients, such as post-operative status.
  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Take animals into treatment areas and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature, pulse, or respiration data.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Maintain laboratory, research, or treatment records, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, equipment, or supplies.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working condition.
  • Dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.
  • Provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains.
  • Schedule appointments and procedures for animals.
  • Provide information or counseling regarding issues such as animal health care, behavior problems, or nutrition.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Supervise or train veterinary students or other staff members.
  • Perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals' hair.
  • Conduct specialized procedures, such as animal branding or tattooing or hoof trimming.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.