Veterinary technicians provide support to qualified veterinarians for animal healthcare. The role is a versatile one that may include diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions, perform medical tests, assist in surgeries, help with dental care, grooming, provide nursing care and administer medication orally or intravenously. Veterinary technicians generally specialize in the care of small animals such as pets or larger animals such as horses and cows.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 36 percent rise in employment figures for veterinary technicians between 2008 and 2018. As medical advancements provide better animal healthcare opportunities and the number of household pets increase, the demand for veterinary technicians is expected to increase.
Veterinary technicians are expected to enjoy excellent job opportunities at least over the next 10 years or so. Job opportunities are expected to be plentiful in clinical practices, veterinary hospitals, zoos, aquariums, wildlife facilities, humane societies, animal shelters, animal husbandry and self practice.
How does a positive work environment and the high demand for veterinary technicians translate to compensation and benefits?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics presents the veterinary technicians’ earnings as follows:
- Median annual wage – $28,900
- Middle 50 percent range – $23,580 to $34,960
- Lowest 10 percent – (less than) $19,770
- Highest 10 percent – (more than) $41,490
Nationalized annual pay scale data provides the following information on salary structures for veterinary technicians, certified veterinary technicians (CVT) and registered veterinary technicians (RVT).
Veterinary Technician Salary
- Hourly rate – $9 to $18.25
- Overtime – $14.50 to $29.25
- Bonus – $98.25 – $2,000
- Annual salary – $19,028 to $ 39,704
Certified Veterinary Technician Salary
- Hourly rate – $10 to $18.50
- Overtime – $14.50 to $26
- Bonus – $99 – $2,000
- Annual salary – $22,330 to $40,681
Registered Veterinary Technician Salary
- Hourly rate – $10.75 to $23
- Overtime – $11 to $30.50
- Bonus – $74.50 – $2,000
- Annual salary – $22,751 to $50,789
A veterinary technician’s salary will depend on a number of factors including education qualifications, work experience, type of employer and geographical location.
Employers with the highest numbers of employment opportunities for veterinarian technicians include: other professional, scientific, and technical services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; scientific research and development services; social advocacy organizations; federal executive branch.
The top paying industries for veterinarian technicians include:
- Federal executive branch – $48,430
- State government – $47,060
- Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing – $42,980
- General medical and surgical hospitals – $42,630
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories – $40,960
The top paying states for veterinarian technicians include: Connecticut, New York, Alaska, California and Massachusetts
States with the highest employment numbers for veterinary technicians are California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania
The majority of people who choose a career path as a veterinary technician seldom do so for the money; they do it for a genuine love of animals. The statistics show that a well qualified and well trained veterinary technician’s salary will not bring great financial reward. Of course the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures are for 2013 so the figures could go higher in 2014!
Few people are fortunate enough to work at a job they love doing and get paid for it.