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Veterinary Technologist and Technician

What they do:

Veterinary technologists and technicians handle lab work, radiology, nursing care, surgery assistance and dozens of other tasks related to animal health care. They basically do it all except diagnose, prescribe and do surgery.


Veterinary technologists and technicians earn two- or four-year degrees in veterinary technology. While they share many of the same responsibilities, technologists typically hold four-year bachelor’s degrees in veterinary technology, whereas technicians hold two-year associate’s degrees. They must also pass an exam and become certified, licensed or registered, depending on the state. Strong science and math backgrounds are essential since much of the job involves drug calculations and lab tests.

What they make:

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that veterinary technologists and technicians earned a median annual wage of $31,800 in May 2015.

Where they work:

Veterinary technologists and technicians often work in private clinics and animal hospitals, assisting veterinarians with the care of animals.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is projected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment will grow as more veterinarians utilize technicians and technologists to do general care and lab work, and as they continue to replace lower skilled veterinary assistants.



Updated February 2017