Is a Vet Assistant the Same as a Vet Tech?

The answer to this question is a little complicated. While both veterinary assistants and techs provide support to veterinarians, their roles and responsibilities can differ. Keep reading to learn more about the similarities and differences between these two positions.

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Job Description

Vet Assistants typically do not require any formal education or certification, but most have on-the-job training in animal restraint, basic animal care, and cleaning cages and kennels. Many Vet Assistants also learn how to handle customer service inquiries and perform basic office duties. Vet Techs must have at least an associate’s degree in veterinary technology and must pass a state-administered exam.

Duties of a Veterinary Assistant

The duties of a veterinary assistant are wide-ranging, from providing direct patient care to cleaning cages and stocking supplies. In general, veterinary assistants care for the daily needs of animals in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, and research laboratories. They may also assist with office duties such as answering phones, preparing treatment records, and scheduling appointments.

Veterinary assistants must be able to work well with both animals and people. They must be compassionate and have the ability to handle animals in a gentle and caring manner. They must also be able to follow instructions and have good communication skills.

Duties of a Veterinary Technician

A veterinary technician is a professional who helps veterinarians in providing animal care. They are also known as vet techs or vet nurses. The duties of a veterinary technician include preparing and administering vaccinations, taking X-rays, caring for wounded animals, giving medications, and performing lab tests. They may also assist in surgeries and provide postoperative care. In addition, they may educate pet owners on animal care and help with the management of animal shelters.

Education and Training

If you are interested in working in the veterinary field, you may be wondering if a vet assistant and a vet tech are the same thing. The short answer is no, they are not. A vet assistant typically has on-the-job training, while a vet tech has formal education and training.

Veterinary Assistant

A veterinary assistant is a professional who provides support to a veterinarian by performing routine tasks and caring for animals. Veterinary assistants work in a variety of settings, including animal hospitals, clinics, and shelters.

Veterinary assistants perform a wide range of tasks, from feeding and walking animals to cleaning cages and kennels. They may also prepare animals for surgery, take x-rays, and assist in the examination of animals. In some states, veterinary assistants may be allowed to administer medications under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

While most veterinary assistants have at least a high school diploma, some employers may prefer applicants who have completed a formal training program. Certificate and associate degree programs in veterinary assisting are available at many community colleges and technical schools. These programs typically last one year or less and include coursework in animal anatomy, physiology, nutrition, and first aid.

Veterinary Technician

The majority of states require that veterinary technicians complete an accredited two-year degree program. Upon graduation, most states also require that vet techs pass a state-specific exam before becoming licensed. Some states have additional requirements, such as completing a certain number of continuing education credits every year or completing a specific type of training.

Veterinary technicians typically work alongside veterinarians and other medical professionals in animal hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare settings. They may assist with routine care, such as taking x-rays and giving vaccinations, or they may provide more specialized services, such as dental cleaning and surgical assistance. Vet techs must be able to handle all types of animals, from dogs and cats to reptiles and rodents.


If you Google “vet assistant salary” you will find a variety of different hourly wages. The average hourly wage for a vet assistant is $12.50/hour. The average hourly wage for a vet tech is $16.00/hour. As you can see, there is a significant difference in the pay between the two positions.

Veterinary Assistant

The median annual salary for veterinary assistants was $28,590 in May 2019, with a range of $21,610-$37,040. The median hourly wage was $13.80. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $18,850, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,700.

Veterinary Technician

While a veterinary assistant may perform many of the same duties as a veterinary technician, the two positions are not the same. A veterinary technician is a medical professional who has completed an accredited two-year program and passed a state-administered examination, whereas a veterinary assistant has not. In addition, veterinary technicians often have more responsibilities and are involved in more complex medical procedures than veterinary assistants. Veterinary technicians typically earn higher salaries than veterinary assistants.

Job Outlook

Veterinary Assistant

A veterinary assistant helps a veterinarian care for animals. The job involves cleaning cages and kennels, taking x-rays, preparing animals and equipment for surgery, and collecting blood and tissue samples. Some veterinary assistants also help care for animals after surgery.

Most veterinary assistants have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some have completed a 2-year veterinary technology program. Veterinary assistants typically learn on the job, working under the supervision of a licensed veterinarians or a more experienced veterinary assistant.

Veterinary Technician

Veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants are both important members of the veterinary team. But what’s the difference between the two?

The main difference is that veterinary technicians are required to have an Associate’s degree from an accredited Veterinary Technician program, while veterinary assistants only need a high school diploma or equivalent.

Veterinary technicians are also required to be licensed in most states, although the requirements vary from state to state. Veterinary assistants are not typically required to be licensed.

Another difference is that veterinary technicians typically have more responsibilities and do more advanced medical procedures than veterinary assistants. For example, veterinary technicians may take x-rays, give injections, administer anesthesia, and perform dental cleaning, while vet assistants typically do not.

So if you’re interested in working in the veterinary field but aren’t sure which route to take, consider becoming a Veterinary Technician. With proper training and licensing, you’ll be able to perform a variety of medical procedures and have a rewarding career helping animals.

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