Where do veterinary technicians work?
When you make the decision to enroll in a veterinary technology program, it’s important to think about the environment in which you would like to work after graduation. Veterinary technicians have the opportunity to help animals in a variety of environments, including offices, private clinics and animal shelters.1 Not sure where you want to start your job hunt? Begin by deciding which work environment is most compatible with your interests.
Private veterinary practice
Although they are the most common places for veterinary technicians to work, private veterinary practices are always in need of more trained vet techs.2 At these private clinics, veterinary technicians work as members of the health care team and assist the veterinarian with treatment of animals, as well as surgery, laboratory procedures, radiology and client education. Veterinary technicians may also be asked to perform more administrative duties, such as obtaining and recording the case histories of patients and preparing instruments for surgery.3
Because animal shelters care for a wide variety of animals, they need to staff veterinary technicians who are capable of dealing with many different health issues.4 Vet techs who are employed by animal shelters like the Humane Society work to make animals in their care are as comfortable as possible. They may help examine newly recovered animals, complete clinical laboratory tests and assist in surgery if necessary.5
Believe it or not, research laboratories often keep veterinarians and veterinary technicians on hand to ensure that their subjects are cared for properly and in a humane manner. Vet techs who work for research labs may be responsible for giving food and water to the animals, examining them for signs of illness or injury, and cleaning and disinfecting their cages. Duties also include sterilizing surgical equipment and providing post-operative care.6
1 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Veterinary Technologists and Technicians – Work Environment,’ March 29, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-3
2 Vet Tech Career Guide, ‘Where Do Vet Techs Work?’ 2013 – http://www.veterinary-technician.net/where-do-vet-techs-work/
3 VetMedTeam, ‘The Veterinary Practice Team – Delegation of Tasks,’ 2013 – https://www.vetmedteam.com/courses/247/team_roles.pdf
4 Vet Tech Career Guide, ‘Where Do Vet Techs Work?’ 2013 – http://www.veterinary-technician.net/where-do-vet-techs-work/
5 The Humane Society of the United States, ‘Veterinary Technician Job Openings,’ Aug. 30, 2013 – 2 Vet Tech Career Guide, ‘Where Do Vet Techs Work?’ 2013 – http://www.veterinary-technician.net/where-do-vet-techs-work/
6 National Institutes of Health Office of Science Education, ‘Assistant, Veterinary, and Laboratory Animal Caretakers,’ 2010 – http://science.education.nih.gov/lifeworks.nsf/alphabetical+list/Assistant,+Veterinary,+and+Laboratory+Animal+Caretakers?OpenDocument&ShowTab=All&