Career Research Project

By: Jodi More

The Career of a Veterinary Technician

Career Overview

Veterinary Technicians are responsible for the health and well being of animals while they are in the care of the pet clinic or hospital.

They work under the supervision of the Veterinarian helping them carry out tasks such as scrubbing in on a surgery, restraining animals so the Veterinarian can work with ease, run tests, if need be euthanize an animal, they are also responsible for explaining to the animal's owner about it's condition and possible actions they could take to healing or protect from any possible diseases such as vaccinations.

Veterinary Technicians are considered to be Nurses for animals of all kinds.

Career Skills and Abilities

In order to be successful in this career there are many different things that you would need to be able to do on a daily basis such as...

Communication skills. They spend a large amount of their time communicating with supervisors, animal owners, and other staff and counsel pet owners on animal behavior and nutrition.

Compassion. They must treat animals with kindness and must be sensitive when dealing with the owners of sick pets.

Detail oriented. They must pay attention to details and be exact recording information, performing diagnostic tests, and giving medication so nothing goes wrong in any way.

Manual dexterity. They must handle animals, medical instruments, and laboratory equipment with care. They also do difficult tasks, such as dental work, giving anesthesia, and taking x rays, which require a steady hand.

Problem-solving skills. Last but not least they need strong problem-solving skills in order to identify injuries and illnesses and offer the correct treatment.

Career Working Conditons

Veterinary Technicians tend to work in private clinics, laboratories, and animal hospitals. They might also work in boarding kennels, animal shelters, rescue leagues, and zoos.

This job may be physically and emotionally demanding. They may witness abused animals or may need to help euthanize sick, injured, or unwanted animals.It is possible for them to be exposed to hazardous situations, on occasion they will go on call to the owners house to care for check up on the animal.

Career Wages and Outlook



Hourly $14.86

Yearly $30,910


Hourly $14.94

Yearly $31,070

Employment Outlook


23.8% Growth


29.5% Growth

Career Related Occupations

Animal Care and Service Workers

Animal care and service workers provide care for animals. They feed, water, groom, bathe, and exercise pets and other nonfarm animals.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

Medical laboratory technologists and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Radiologic and MRI Technologists

Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.

Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Nursing assistants and orderlies help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes.

Surgical Technologists

Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries.


Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals.

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers look after animals in laboratories, animal hospitals, and clinics. They care for the well-being of animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of veterinarians, scientists, and veterinary technologists and technicians.

Learn More

More Information on Veterinary Technicians

Program of Study- Veterinary Technician

Overview of Program

The Veterinary Technician program includes courses that offer in-depth study in nursing skills, laboratory procedures, equine medicine and nursing, and livestock animals, as well as lab animal and exotic animal medicine.

Program Admission


A high school diploma is required also in addition, students applying to the Veterinary Technology program are required to complete one year of equivalent high school biology and chemistry, earning a grade of C (2.0 GPA) or higher in each. Applicants must complete the college placement test with specific minimum achievement scores:

Reading - 78

Sentence skills - 70

Math - 56

Typical Program Course Work

Here are a few classes they will require you to take to complete your degree...

Canine and Feline Clinical Management

Dentistry Techniques

Diagnostic Imaging

Large Animal Medicine

Principles of Anethesia

Understanding Animal Disease

Veterinary Office Management

Related Programs

Veterinary assistant



Schools That Offer The Program Of Study

Ridgewater- Willmar, MN

Rochester Community and Technical College- Rochester,MN

University of Minnesota- Minneapolis/St.Paul, MN

College Choice

Ridgewater College

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College Information

It's located in Willmar, Minnesota

Admission Requirements

The basic requirement is a high school diploma or GED.

Completion and submission of a standard application form.

Submission of a $20 application/records fee. This fee is required and should be attached to the application for admission.

College Expenses

Category Undergraduates

Tuition & Fees $5,400

Semester Tuition $2,695

Part-Time Tuition (Credit/hr) $161

Books & Supplies $1,100

Total Cost of Attendance $6,490

Financial Aid

Possible scholarships:

Minnesota Veterinary

Medical Foundation, Veterinary Technology

(Endowment), Veterinary Technology

(Non-Endowment),and Veterinary Technology



Their campus communities are thriving regional centers, they offer tremendous opportunity for employment and entertainment. Ridgewater does not own or maintain dormitory facilities on either campus. However, both communities have adequate housing and rental units available both adjacent to campus (walking distance) and away from campus (transportation required). If you seek housing early in the summer, you will have a very good choice of apartments. Rental lease agreements are usually



I could get into the Helping Hands and Occupational Skills Clubs that are offered.

Informational Interview

I Interview Lisa Burtzel at All Pets Veterinary Clinc in Mapleton, Minnesota.

When I was interviewing Lisa she seemed to love her job she continued to tell me she had a great time everyday with a variety of things happening, she said "it's very hard to be bored when working in a fasted paced work environment." when i asked her what excites her most about this job she responded by saying "I love seeing a pet that has been in our clinic for a decent amount of time trying to recover sees it's owner walk through the door coming to pick them up, they get so excited. It's fun to see how much people mean to their pets and vice versa." I asked her about some of the frustrating parts on the job she thought the worst possible part is euthanasia and then trying to calm pets that are scared. She considers her part in the her job to be staff support. "Everything we do here we would not be able to do without teamwork.It is what keeps our business up and running." She works standard hours Monday through Friday 7:00 AM - 6:30 PM and on occasion Saturdays, "It is a very flexible schedule". All major holidays she has off. If needed to work on a holiday she would only be doing routine check-up's on the animals boarded at the clinic, which can take anywhere from one hour to three at most. We talked a little more about the types of things she does on a daily basis, which consists of being a multitasker, quick on your feet, articulate, communication skills is a must, deciding on whether or not further care is needed for the animal, and that it is rare to go out on a house call. I asked her how she got to be where she is now she replied with "hard work, memorizing, networking and hard work." I asked her about what the possible advancement opportunities are for this career would be. She told me that I could start out as a vet assistant then go to school to become certified and eventually if I would like to make more money I could specialize in a certain area of the career. I thanked her for her time and helping me with any doubts i had about the job and I went on my way.

Plans For Reaching My Goal

My plans for reaching my goal after high school are to go to South Central College in Mankato, MN, do my two years of generals and then transfer to Ridgewater College in Willmar, MN and start pursuing my way to become a Veterinary Technician. But until then I will be gaining as much experience as I can to help me in this field. Things such as volunteering in animal shelters, walking dogs or be a helping hand in a pet store/clinic while networking with other possible experience opportunities.