Tips for getting your first job as a veterinary technician
Individuals undergoing veterinary technician training will have a lot going for them when they enter the workforce following their education. They’ll be knowledgeable about the latest trends in the field, highly qualified and eager to find their first true job.
One thing that they may be lacking, though, is experience within the industry. Potential employers will care about this more than you may think, but not having any on-the-job experience doesn’t eliminate you from the candidate pool. If you’re looking for a leg up in getting your first job as a veterinary technician, then take a look at these tips:
Target your job search appropriately
As the old saying goes, it’s often best to fish where the fish are, so to speak. If you’re searching for a job as a veterinary technician, then you’re going to need to look for employment at institutions that have jobs to offer.
According to About Careers, clinics that work primarily with small animals, like cats and dogs, are more likely to have openings, as they require a larger staff than those that treat larger creatures like horses.1 This is because these facilities will board animals overnight more frequently and therefore will more manpower to carry out their operations.
Have reasonable compensation expectations
You’d be surprised at how many job offers don’t get made based on the applicant asking for far too much money. Do your research before applying to a veterinary technician position and know what to expect when the conversation about compensation inevitably arises.
According to the United States Department of Labor, the median salary for this position in 2012 was $30,290 annually.2 Use this as a starting point in any contract negotiations and you should have a firmer ground to stand on.
Show professional courtesy
Whether you’re trying to be a veterinary technician, an astronaut or an accountant, it’s absolutely imperative that you show professional courtesy when looking for your first job after school. Be polite in your cover letters and application documents, show up several minutes early to all scheduled interviews and dress appropriately.
Perhaps most importantly, be sure to send a brief thank you note to anyone who has interviewed you. Use this to reaffirm your interest in the position and that you enjoyed speaking with them. You’ll be shocked at the difference these small courtesies can make.
1) How to get a job at a Vet’s office, About Careers, Mary Hope Kramer, 12/1/14 http://animalcareers.about.com/od/Animals/a/How-To-Get-A-Job-At-A-Vets-Office.htm
2) Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, United States Department of Labor, Press Release, 2013 http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm