Veterinary Technician Advancement Opportunities

Jan 02, 2019

Veterinary technicians work closely with veterinarians to provide animal care. After pursuing this position, some vet techs may wish to advance to other positions in animal care or research.

Career Growth Opportunities for Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technicians play a crucial role in animal care in veterinary offices. Requiring an associate's degree, veterinary technicians work with animals by providing medication and first aid. Vet techs also prepare animals for surgery. After gaining experience through this position, some veterinary technicians will want to seek further education so as to have greater opportunities in the care and study of animals. Some opportunities are presented below.

Job Title Median Salary Job Growth (2016-2026)* Education
Veterinarian $90,420 (2017)* 19% Doctoral degree
Animal Scientists $60,760 (2017)* 6% Bachelor's degree
Fish and Game Wardens $56,410 (2017)* 4% Bachelor's degree
Animal Shelter Manager $36,066 (2018)** 8%(animal control workers) Bachelor's degree

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), **

Career Information


Veterinary technicians who wish to advance quickly to a high level in the field of animal care may wish to become a veterinarian. Veterinarians are the primary health practitioners for pets. Some veterinarians specialize in the care of exotic animals or animals on a farm. Veterinarians treat various animal diseases. They may prescribe medications or vaccinations. To become a veterinarian, a candidate must first earn a bachelor's degree. Undergraduate classes in the sciences are required. They must then apply and complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program. Upon completion of the educational program, potential veterinarians must pass a licensing examination.

Animal Scientist

Veterinary technicians who have worked with veterinarians in farm animal care may consider a position as an animal scientist. Animal scientists primarily conduct research related to food production and livestock. They might conduct experiments regarding the diseases of these animals or their growth or reproduction. Animal scientists also look at the safest and most effective ways to process animal products in the food chain, like milk and eggs. To become an animal scientist, a minimum of a bachelor's degree is required. Many animal scientists earn master's or doctoral degrees, and some earn Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees.

Fish and Game Wardens

Some veterinary technicians may wish to monitor the safety of animals outside of a veterinary office. These individuals may wish to consider becoming fish and game wardens. Wardens are responsible for ensuring that fishing and hunting licenses are effective. They patrol the areas where these activities take place and investigate violations or accidents. Wardens may be responsible for completing reports related to their duties. Fish and game wardens typically have a bachelor's degree

Animal Shelter Manager

Veterinary technicians who wish to provide more outreach to animals in need might consider becoming the manager of an animal shelter. Animal shelter managers examine the health of animals who are brought to the shelter on an emergent basis and develop a plan to improve the animal's health. The manager must we well-versed in care for a variety of different types of animals. The animal shelter manager must also manage the budget and reporting for the animal shelter. Positions as an animal shelter manager typically require a bachelor's degree.

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