Veterinary Technologist Vs Technician: Difference, Salary, Education & Job Outlook

People who love animals may find working with them to be a good career choice. This article compares the duties, pay and educational background necessary for positions working with animals.

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Comparing Veterinary Technologists to Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technologists and technicians enjoy working with animals at a vet clinic or a rescue center. Although they both work with animals, their responsibilities may be varied and the path to each career is different. Below is some vital information about both careers.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Veterinary Technologist Bachelor's Degree $32,490 19%
Veterinary Technician Associate's Degree $32,490 19%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Veterinary Technologists vs. Veterinary Technicians

Veterinary technologists and technicians typically work for a veterinarian in a variety of settings, from animal research to clinics to rescue centers. Professionals in both of these career options may take various samples, such as blood or urine, for testing. They work with animal owners to teach them about giving their pets medications or about proper nutrition.

Veterinary Technologists

Veterinary technologists need a bachelor's degree. Many technologists work directly for veterinarians or scientists. They can usually be found in animal laboratories running various tests. They keep patient animal records, prepare testing samples, and do a variety of research work.

Job responsibilities of a Veterinary Technologist include:

  • Following veterinarian's direction
  • Preparing testing equipment
  • Analyzing fluids and other biological materials
  • Recording findings
  • Discussing information with veterinarians and pet owners

Veterinary Technicians

Most veterinary technicians work in private animal clinics and are supervised by a licensed veterinarian. Technicians perform the majority of lab tests ordered by the vet. They deal directly with pet owners in delivering lab results and other information. They may show pet owners how to medicate their pets or feed and care for them properly. These positions require a two-year degree.

Job responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician include:

  • Collecting animals' biological samples
  • Processing blood tests
  • Performing x-rays
  • Keeping patients' owners informed throughout the process
  • Administering vaccines

Related Careers

Those interested in the work of veterinary technicians may find interest in work as a veterinary assistant, performing traditional assistance in animal care at a clinic. Those who like the idea of more responsibilities and education could apply to veterinary school and eventually work as a veterinarian, either with a variety of household pets or farm animals.

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