People with a genuine love of animals often pursue careers in the veterinary field. Treating and taking care of animals is a career which animal lovers find incredibly rewarding.
When it comes to careers in the veterinary field, there are a few to choose from, depending on the type of animal that you want to take care of, and the amount of schooling you want to commit to.
Veterinary technicians work very closely with the animal who they are treating, and have many duties. Some of these duties include:
Handling lab work
Monitoring the animals
Assistance during surgery
Assistance during examinations
Taking animal’s vitals and history
Educating owners on care and diet of their pets
Cleaning the animal’s cages
Clerical work (depending on the office that you work in)
As a veterinary tech, there are a variety of places that you can work. Some of these places include:
Animal shelters and pounds
The work schedule of a vet tech varies, depending on where you work. If you work at a 24 hour animal hospital, you could end up working the day or night shift, or even holidays. If you work at a private facility, you could work business hours, with the occasional evening and weekend.
Requirements and Training
Before you are admitted to vet technician school, you must meet the minimum requirements. First, you must have either a high school diploma or a GED. Next, while getting your diploma or GED, you must have completed the following courses with a C average or better:
1 unit of biology
1 unit of algebra
1 unit of chemistry
Proficiency in high school English
If you did not take any of these courses in high school, or received a grade lower than a C, you can take college courses to meet the requirement. Students are also required to complete a liberal arts program. This course can be taken before applying to veterinary school, or after being accepted to the program.
Veterinary tech school is a two year, Associate’s degree course. There are several courses which a student must pass in order to be a certified vet tech.
These courses include:
Introduction to Communications
Humanities or Fine Arts
Mathematics for Allied Health
Lifetime Fitness and Wellness
Social Science Elective
Orientation to Veterinary Technology
Introduction to Veterinary Technology
Anatomy and Physiology of Domestic Animals
Animal Breed and Behavior
Clinical Practices 1 and 2
Clinical Pathology 1, 2, and 3
Anesthesia of Domestic Animals
Animal Diseases 1 and 2
Intro to Lab/Zoo/Wildlife Medicine
Advanced Clinical Practices
Animal Hospital Client Relations
Veterinary Technician Salary
As a veterinary technician, you can expect to earn $32,000 per year, or $16.56 per hour.
A veterinarian has some of the same duties of a veterinary technician, however, they also diagnose and treat animals, and if necessary, perform surgery. The work environment of a veterinarian is also similar to that of a veterinarian technician. What does differ greatly, is the requirements and training necessary to receive a veterinary license.
Requirements and Training
In order to become a vet, you must obtain a doctoral degree from an accredited school of veterinary medicine. Some schools allow students to enroll in veterinary school without earning a bachelor’s degree first, however, most students have earned their undergraduate degree before enrolling.
The subjects studied in veterinary school include:
The first three years are spent in classroom instruction, laboratory work, and clinical practice. The fourth year is completed in an animal hospital. There, you would rotate between different specialties and will work with different types of animals.
In order to become a veterinarian, every state requires you have a license. Depending on the state where you wish to practice, you may be required to pass state exams.
The starting veterinarian starting salary is between $45,000 and $48,000 per year. The median veterinarian salary 2015, is $70,490, and you can expect to make up to $99,690 at the highest point of your career.
A career as a zoo vet is just what it says, a veterinarian who works in a zoo. As a zoo veterinarian, you would be responsible to treat emergency injuries which occur in the wild, diagnose sickness, give appropriate treatment, prescribe medications, offer preventative health service to healthy animals, provide vaccinations, and perform surgery if necessary. You may also be asked by the zoo to create proper living arrangements for the animals.
As a zoo vet, you would be required to work with potentially dangerous animals. Before choosing this career, you would need to feel comfortable with these animals. One day you could be working with a cute little money, and the next you could be working on a dangerous lion or tiger. In order to be a good zoo veterinarian, you would need to be ready to take care of any type of animal who is in need.
Zoo vets can work in a variety of places, including zoos, museums, historical sites, and wildlife reservations. The hours that a zoo veterinarian work, depends solely on the place where you are working.
Requirements and Education
In order to become a vet in a zoo, you must earn a bachelor’s degree, or have at least 45 college credits in pre-veterinary courses as an undergraduate. This will allow you to enroll in a veterinary medicine school, so that you can earn your Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. After graduation, you would complete a year long internship in zoological medicine.
After that, you would complete a 3 to 4 year residency in zoological medicine, overseen by the ACZM. If you do not want to complete that program, you can work for 6 years is zoological medicine. This is enough work experience to take the board certification test in zoological medicine.
Zoo Veterinarian Salary
The average salary of a zoo vet is $78,710. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job opportunities for zoo veterinarians will rise by 12 percent by the year 2022.
If you are an animal lover, and believe that you could have a rewarding career treating and caring for them, there are a variety of career options. With the proper training and dedication, you can flourish in a veterinary career. Whichever course and career you choose, you can be sure that you will be making a difference in the animals’ lives, as well as their owner’s lives.
What the video above to learn everything about how much veterinarians get paid.