Approximately 112,900 veterinary technicians and technologists are employed in the United States. Veterinary technicians are employed by veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, zoos, schools, universities, and animal training programs. In rural areas, farmers hire veterinary technicians as well as veterinarians. Jobs for veterinary technicians in zoos are relatively few, since there are only a certain number of zoos across the country. Veterinary technicians with an interest in research work at schools with academic programs for medical science or veterinary medicine. The majority of veterinary technicians find employment in animal hospitals or private veterinary practices, which exist all over the country. However, there are more job opportunities for veterinary technicians in more densely populated areas.
Veterinary technicians who complete an accredited program and become certified or registered by the state in which they plan to practice are often able to receive assistance in finding a job through their college's career services office. Students who have completed internships may receive job offers from the place where they interned.
Veterinary technician graduates may also learn of clinic openings through online classified ads. Opportunities in zoos and research facilities are usually listed in specific industry periodicals such as Today's Veterinary Nurse (https://todaysveterinarynurse.com), among others.
There are various career paths veterinary technicians may follow, based on their interests and training. The opportunities are unlimited. With continued education, veterinary technicians can move into allied fields such as veterinary medicine, nursing, medical technology, radiology, and pharmacology. By completing two more years of college and receiving a bachelor's degree, a veterinary technician can become a veterinary technologist. Advanced degrees can open the doors to a variety of specialized fields.
Tips for Entry
Visit the career sections of professional associations' Web sites to find job listings for veterinary technicians.
Attend conferences held by the Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, and the American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians to network and participate in continuing education classes and workshops.
Read The NAVTA Journal (https://www.navta.net/page/overview) and the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (https://www.avma.org/journals) to learn more about the field.