U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

August 27, 2013 – 14:25

Veterinary technologists and technicians What Do Veterinary Technologists and Technicians? Veterinary technicians typically analyze laboratory samples.

The veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests and trials under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to treat or to help veterinarians diagnose diseases and injuries of animals.


The veterinary technologists and technicians typically perform the following:

  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals
  • Provided from nursing or first aid in recovery care emergencies or injured animals
  • Anesthetized animals and control their reactions
  • Laboratory samples collected such as blood,urine or tissue for testing
  • They perform laboratory tests such as urinalysis and blood counts
  • Expose and develop radiographs
  • Prepare to animals and instruments for surgeries
  • Administer medications,vaccines and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Collect and record patients' medical histories

To provide excellent care for animals,veterinarians rely on the skills of veterinary technologists and technicians who perform the same tasks repeatedly for a veterinarian,just as they would for a doctor nurses.Despite the differences in formal education and training,veterinary technologists and technicians perform similar tasks.

Many veterinary technologists and technicians work in private clinics,veterinary hospitals and animal testing laboratories.They perform a variety of clinical and laboratory procedures,including postoperative care,dental care and skilled nursing.Veterinary technologists and technicians

The veterinary technologists and technicians who work in jobs related to research similar tasks.For example,are responsible for ensuring that animals are handled with care and compassion.They tend to help veterinarians or scientists in research projects in areas such as biomedical research,disaster preparedness and food security.

The veterinary technologists and technicians typically work with small animal practitioners who care for cats and dogs,but also can perform a variety of tasks with mice,rats,sheep,pigs,cattle and poultry.

The veterinary technologists and technicians may specialize in a particular discipline.Specialties include: dental technology,anesthesia,emergency and critical care,and zoological medicine.

Differences between technologists and technicians are:

Veterinary technologists usually have a 4-year degree in veterinary technology.While some technologists work in private clinical practice,many do more advanced research-related jobs,usually under the direction of a scientist and sometimes of a veterinarian.Working primarily in a laboratory setting,may administer medications,prepare tissue samples for analysis or record information about genealogy,weight,diet,food intake and signs of pain of an animal.

Veterinary technicians usually have an associate degree in two years in a veterinary technology program.Most work in private clinical practice under the direction of a licensed veterinarian.Technicians may perform laboratory tests such as urinalysis,and assist veterinarians with a variety of other diagnostic tests.Although some of the jobs are done in a laboratory environment,many technicians also have to talk to the owners of animals.They explain,for example,the condition of the pet or how to administer the medications prescribed by the veterinarian.

Veterinary technologists and technicians

Source: www.bls.gov

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