Veterinary Technician Salary
The salary for veterinary technicians can depend on where they work in the U.S. as well as factors like time on the job, prior experience and even specialized certifications obtained. However, vet techs are often paid at an hourly rate, particularly if they work part-time or less than 40 hours a week. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median hourly wage for vet techs, as of May 2014, was $14.94 per hour. According to May 2014 information from the BLS, vet techs in the lowest 10 percent earned as little as $10.28 per hour while those in the upper 10 percent earned as much as $21.98. Overall, the median annual pay for vet techs, as of May 2014, was $31,070.
Learn more about veterinary technician certification.
Is this profession in high demand?
Job opportunities for vet technicians are expected to grow by 30 percent from 2012-2022, according to the BLS. This is faster than average job growth for all occupations, and could lead to 25,000 new positions becoming available during this time. This demand is expected to come about as a result of veterinarians needing vet techs to complete more general tasks and even help with lab work, particularly in animal hospitals and clinics, reports the BLS. Consequently, when it comes to hiring, veterinarians may seek out highly-skill vet technicians over veterinarian assistants, who have less training.
Is there room for advancement in this field?
The BLS reports that some of the best opportunities for vet techs could be for those available to work in rural areas or who are interested in biomedical research, national disease control, or public safety. However, most vet techs begin their vet tech career after completing a two- or four-year vet tech program at a postsecondary college. They then go on to complete credentialing, typically done by taking the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), on which successful passage is usually necessary to seek employment within specific states.
After that, they might pursue specialty certification by applying through one of the academies comprising the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). Dentistry, internal medicine, nutrition and other specialty areas are available. This specialty certification could help with advancement. At some point, vet techs might advance to managing other vet techs, helping bring training and education programs to a clinic or even setting up work schedules. If employed in a laboratory animal field, sales, or research, vet techs could also find advancement opportunities that lead to supervisor or upper management positions, many of which could be available at larger companies, according to the BLS.
- Specialties, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, no date. http://www.navta.net/?page=specialties
- Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292056.htm
- Veterinary Technologists and Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, January 2014, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-technologists-and-technicians.htm#tab-6