Veterinary Technologists and Technicians

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About the Job

Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

It is also Called

  • X Ray Operator
  • Veterinary X-Ray Operator
  • Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech)
  • Veterinary Surgery Technologist
  • Veterinary Surgery Technician
  • Veterinary Nurse
  • Veterinary Laboratory Technician (Veterinary Lab Tech)
  • Veterinary Assistant
  • Surgery Technician (Surgery Tech)
  • Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT)
View All

What They Do

  • Conduct specialized procedures, such as animal branding or tattooing or hoof trimming.
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals' hair.
  • Perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Supervise or train veterinary students or other staff members.
  • Provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains.
  • Give enemas and perform catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working condition.
  • Dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.
  • Provide information or counseling regarding issues such as animal health care, behavior problems, or nutrition.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Relationships, but also value Support and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $35,880 with most people making between $23,930 and $49,460

Outlook

1.83%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,260 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 5,040 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 78 openings due to growth and about 42 replacement openings for approximately 120 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education