Have you ever wondered if a vet tech and vet assistant are the same thing? Well, wonder no more! We’re here to give you the scoop on what these two positions entail, and how they differ from one another.
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The job duties for a veterinary technician are much like those of a veterinary assistant. Both typically work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and perform many of the same tasks. They may work in private clinics, animal hospitals, or research laboratories. However, there are some key differences between the two positions.
A veterinary technician is a medical specialist who works alongside veterinarians to provide animal care. Vet techs typically have an associates degree in veterinary technology, although some have a bachelors degree. In addition to their formal education, vet techs must also complete a professional certification process.
Vet techs perform many of the same tasks as vet assistants, but they also have additional responsibilities. Vet techs may administer medications and vaccines, take x-rays, prepare animals for surgery, and provide post-operative care. They may also perform lab work, such as blood tests and urinalysis.
The title “veterinary assistant” is a broad term that covers many different types of positions in the animal health care field. A veterinary assistant may be responsible for providing routine care for animals, such as feeding, bathing, and exercising; assisting the veterinarian during examinations and surgeries; taking and develop X-rays; collecting laboratory samples; and performing clerical tasks. Some veterinary assistants also receive on-the-job training in pharmacy, dentistry, radiology, and laboratory procedures.
A vet tech is a licensed professional who has completed a two- or four-year college program in veterinary technology. In most states, vet techs must pass a state-administered exam to become licensed. They may then find employment in private veterinary practices, animal shelters, zoos or other animal care facilities. Vet techs typically work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and perform a variety of tasks, including animal care and handling, laboratory work, X-rays and pharmacy duties.
Vet assistants are not required to be licensed in most states, although some employers may prefer to hire individuals who have completed a formal training program. Vet assistants typically work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a registered vet tech and perform a variety of tasks, including animal care and handling, feeding and cleaning cages, and assisting with laboratory work.
A Veterinary Technician is a professional who has graduated from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited two-year program and has passed a state credentialing exam. Most states require licensure in order to practice. A Veterinary Assistant is someone who works under the direct supervision of a licensed Veterinary Technician or Veterinarian and supports their work. There are currently no nationally recognized credentialing programs or exams for Veterinary Assistants, although some states have very specific training requirements.
The median salaries for both professions are quite similar. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers was $28,590 in May 2019, while the median salary for veterinary technicians was $33,780.
Vet techs are medical professionals who provide animal care under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A typical day for a vet tech may include cleaning and caring for animals, performing lab work, taking X-rays, and providing emergency care.
Vet techs typically have an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, although some have bachelor’s degrees. The majority of vet techs are certified by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), although certification is not required in all states.
Vet assistants perform many of the same tasks as vet techs but are not required to have formal education or certification. In most states, vet assistants can perform basic tasks such as taking X-rays and drawing blood under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
The median annual wage for vet assistants was $28,590 in May 2019. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $20,710, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $39,950.
A Vet Tech is an Registered Veterinary Technician who has graduated from an AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) accredited program and has passed a state board exam. A Vet Assistant is someone who has on the job training and is not registered or licensed.
Vet techs and vet assistants are both important members of the animal health care team, but they have different roles. A vet tech is a trained professional who provides medical care for animals under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Vet assistants generally do not have as much training as vet techs, and their duties are more limited.
Vet techs must complete an accredited veterinary technology program, which typically takes two years. These programs include coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, animal husbandry, and clinical practices. Upon graduation, vet techs must pass a national exam to earn their certification.
Vet assistants do not need to complete a formal education program, but most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a postsecondary animal health care program or have some prior experience working with animals. Vet assistants typically perform administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments and handling customer inquiries, as well as providing direct patient care such as feeding and exercising animals.
The career outlook for both vet techs and vet assistants is positive, with job growth projected to outpace the average for all occupations between 2018 and 2028. Because demand for animal health care services is expected to continue to grow, there will be plenty of opportunities for both vet techs and vet assistants to find employment.
Vet assistants help support veterinarians and vet techs in animal hospitals and clinics. They may feed and bathe animals, take x-rays, and provide other basic patient care. They also may collect blood and tissue samples, administer medicines, and prepare animals, instruments, and equipment for surgery.