What does a Veterinary Technician do?

Veterinary technicians work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and assist in the treatment and diagnosis of illness or injury in pets or livestock.

Veterinary technicians collect and record the animal’s health history, and they perform medical tests for pets or livestock and observe the behavior and habits of animals. They perform laboratory tests including a urinalysis or running a blood count and take and develop X-rays. As second in command to the vets they assist, when needed, they can provide emergency medical services and nursing care to pets or livestock. They also administer any medicine, vaccines, or treatments as prescribed by a veterinarian, and provide dental care and post-operative care. They also assist by administering anesthesia and performing various clinical care and laboratory tests. Veterinary technicians need a two-year degree and to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination, which is administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

What responsibilities are common for Veterinary Technician jobs?
  • Restock supplies and upkeep the treatment area and exam rooms.
  • Prepare for surgical procedures, using aseptic and sterile techniques.
  • Provide updates to clients regarding the status of their pets.
  • Maintenance of all medical records for all responsible animals.
  • Follow a regular schedule for cleaning and sanitizing all cages, runs, wards and related areas, and changing of litter boxes and food/water bowls.
  • Assist veterinarians in all aspects of patient care where needed.
  • Ensure working areas are cleaned, stocked and maintained in accordance with policy.
  • Assist in patient procedures: preparation of patients, instruments, equipment.
  • Participate in the training of new staff members and general dissemination of knowledge as required.
  • Collect and prepare laboratory samples such as fecal, urine, and ear cytologies.
  • Record daily observations and maintain accurate animal and sanitation records.
  • Perform diagnostic tests and submit blood work and lab specimens.
What are the typical qualifications for Veterinary Technician jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in animal sciences or veterinary technology.
  • Hands-on experience with infusions and injections.
  • Requires careful attention to detail.
  • Basic understanding of writing protocols.
  • Strong leadership, time management, and critical thinking skills.
  • Able to maintain a positive attitude.
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
2.9 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Veterinary Technician make?

$41,921 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Veterinary Technician Career Path

Learn how to become a Veterinary Technician, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Veterinary Technician
Senior Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Technician

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Veterinary Technician Insights

Read what Veterinary Technician professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Veterinary Technician
Feb 3, 2022

“The best part about this place is the amazing and best staff I worked with .”

Jimmy John'sJimmy John's
Jan 18, 2022

“i make good money and I love helping animals get better and it makes me feel better about myself.”

Kensington Veterinary HospitalKensington Veterinary Hospital
Veterinary Assistant
Aug 6, 2021

“They do give a nice discount and a yearly bonus.The patients are the best part of the job.”

Boston Veterinary ClinicBoston Veterinary Clinic
Veterinary Assistant
Nov 12, 2022

“I do agree with some of the previous reviewers that extra PTO would be nice!”

Mayo ClinicMayo Clinic
Lab Animal Technician
Oct 25, 2022

“When I was hired by W (the interim manager who was absolutely amazing) things were good.”

TriCity Veterinary HospitalTriCity Veterinary Hospital
Veterinary Assistant
Aug 23, 2021

“Great learning experience as you get to handle a wide range of issues in a day.”

WellHaven Pet HealthWellHaven Pet Health
Veterinary Assistant
Dec 9, 2022

“Not enough employees: I was hired directly after finishing my veterinary assistant certification training.”

Vet-I-Care Animal Hospital
Veterinary Assistant
Mar 10, 2022

“The pay was terrible for a veterinary technician but I loved the vet I worked for.”

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Veterinary Technician Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician

When working as a Veterinary Technician, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are CPT Coding, Microsoft Office Software, Excellent Communication, Strong WORK Ethic, and Responses.

The most similar professions to Veterinary Technician are:
  • Pet Groomer
  • Pet Trainer
  • Animal Care Technician
  • Sales Representative

The most common qualifications to become a Veterinary Technician include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

Pet Groomer
Pet Trainer
Animal Care Technician
Sales Representative
13% skills overlap

Veterinary Technician Jobs