Leah Stenzel

A Career as a Veterinarian Technician

Career goal -- veterinarian technician

Career OVerview

Veterinary technicians help diagnose and treat animal illnesses and injuries. They work under the supervision of veterinarians. They do many of the same tasks for veterinarians as nurses do for doctors. Technicians talk to animal owners and prepare animals to be seen by the veterinarian. They may hold animals during exams, treatments, or shots. They draw blood, collect tissue samples, and do laboratory work.

career skills and interests

Veterniary technicians need to express ideas clearly when speaking or writing, listen to others, understand, and ask questions, and read and understand written information.

They need to notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, use reasoning to discover answers to problems, analyze ideas and use logic to determine their strengths, develop rulers or follow guidedlines when arranging items, combine several pieces of information and draw conclusions, judge the costs and benefits of a possible action, identify problems and review information, understand new information or materials by studying and working them, and concentrate and not be distracted while performing a task.

Veterinary technicians check how well one is learning or doing something, go back and forth between two or more activities or sources of without becoming confused, manage the time of self and others, motivate, develop, and direct people as they work.

Being able to work with people. Be aware of others' reactions and change behavior in relation to them and look for ways to help people.

They need to identify a pattern that is hidden in a distracting material, quickly and accurately compare letters, numbers, objects, pictures, and patterns, and imagine how something will look if it is moved around or its parts are rearranged.

career working conditions

In a typical work setting, veterinary technicians have a high level of social contact, often deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous animal owners, and they're moderately responsible for the health and safety of animals and coworkers.

The physical work conditions almost always work indoors, but may also work outdoors while exercising animals, they're exposed to diseases or infections on a daily basis, and are exposed to hazardous situations and conditions that can produce bites or scratches on a daily basis.

Their work performance must be exact in their work. Errors could endanger the health of animals or other staff, must repeat the same physical activities, such as holding animals during examinations, and make decisions that affect animals and owners on a daily basis. They consult veterinarians for some decisions, but make most without talking to a veterinarian.

The hours and travel generally have a set schedule each week, may work part time or full time, but most work 40 hours a week, and may work days, evenings, weekends, or holidays. Some research labs and animal hospitals are open 24 hours.

Career wages and outlook

Veterinary technicians who work full time often receive benefits. Typical benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance.

$14.87-- hourly and $30,930-- yearly

The outlook in Minnesota is high and the employment is medium.

Career related occupations

The related occupations are

  • Animal Caretakers
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians
  • Veterinary Assistants
  • Zoologists

Program of study -- Veterinarian Technician

Program OVerview

Veterinary technology programs teach people to work with animals under the supervision of veterinary doctors. Veterinary technology programs include these topics:

  • Animal health and nutrition
  • Anatomy and physiology
  • Clinical procedures
  • Radiology
  • Anesthesiology
  • Surgical assisting

Students may be able to specialize in working with small or large animals. This program prepares people to work in veterinary offices, laboratories, and zoos.

Program Admission

Proprietary schools, colleges, and universities all offer this program. Program admissions vary. You may need to take placement or competency tests in writing, math, chemistry, and biology. Some programs require good scores on the ACT or SAT.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

  • Animal Science
  • Community Health
  • Safety and First Aid
  • Healthcare Occupations
  • Healthcare Sciences Work Experience
  • Anatomy and Physiology

Program Typical work course

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Animal Care Skills
  • Animal Diseases
  • Animal Management
  • Animal Nursing
  • Comparative Anatomy
  • Emergency Animal Care
  • Introduction to Animal Science
  • Laboratory Animal Methods
  • Small Animal Diseases
  • Veterinary Clinical Pathology
  • Veterinary Clinical Techniques and Instruments
  • Veterinary Dentistry
  • Veterinary Pharmacology
  • Veterinary Radiography

Related Programs

  • Animal Training
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Laboratory Assisting
  • Pre-Veterinary Medicine

SCHOOls that offer my program of study

  • Ridgewater College - Willmar
  • Rochester Community and Technical College

College choice

Ridgewater College - Willmar

College info

  • Size and Location - population is about 18,000 and its in Willmar and Hutchinson Minnesota.
  • Admission Requirements - High School Education and Accuplacer Test
  • College Expenses - it's $179.66 per credit. The book expenses range from $250-$1200.
  • Financial Aid - FAFSA
  • Housing - There is no housing.
  • Activities - Choral groups, drama or theater groups, and student government

INformational Interview

  • Date of Job Shadow Experience: 03/18/14
  • Job Shadow Contact: Dr. Cary Adams
  • Name of Company: Minnesota Valley Pet Hospital
  • Type of Company: Pet Hospital
  • Position: Doctor
  • Phone Number: (507) 345-5900

Briefly record your thoughts and feelings about the workplace and the person you just visited. I thought that it was a really cool experience to be there. Everyone was so nice and I felt welcome right away. I wasn't nervous at all.

What did you learn in the interview? That to become a Veterinary Technician, you have to be good with people.

What did you like? What didn't you like? I liked that everyone there was very friendly. What i didn't like was that you are constantly busy.

Did you uncover concerns or advantages to this occupation? They have a set schedule. If they're not on-call they have some free time also.

What advice did you receive? That you have to be a people person and know how to handle animals correctly.

Did you discover another occupation to explore? No.

How was the work environment? Everyone was happy and very friendly. They also kept the place clean throughout the day.

Do you think you would be happy in this occupation? I think I would be happy in this occupation, but I have to explore more first.

Plans to Reach your GOal

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