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Become A Technician

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Working As A Technician

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • $58,920

    Average Salary

What Does A Technician Do

Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.


Veterinary technologists and technicians typically do the following:

  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals
  • Provide nursing care or emergency first aid to recovering or injured animals
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals’ hair
  • Restrain animals during exams or procedures
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, and monitor their responses
  • Collect laboratory samples, such as blood, urine, or tissue, for testing
  • Perform laboratory tests, such as urinalyses and blood counts
  • Take and develop x rays
  • Prepare animals and instruments for surgery
  • Administer medications, vaccines, and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian
  • Collect and record patients’ case histories

Veterinarians rely on technologists and technicians to conduct a variety of clinical and laboratory procedures, including postoperative care, dental care, and specialized nursing care.

Veterinary technologists and technicians who work in research-related jobs do similar work. For example, they are responsible for making sure that animals are handled carefully and treated humanely. They also help veterinarians or scientists on research projects in areas such as biomedical research, disaster preparedness, and food safety.

Veterinary technologists and technicians most often work with small-animal practitioners who care for cats and dogs, but they may also perform a variety of tasks involving mice, rats, sheep, pigs, cattle, birds, or other animals.

Veterinary technologists and technicians can specialize in a particular discipline. Specialties include dentistry, anesthesia, emergency and critical care, and zoological medicine.

Veterinary technologists usually have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Although some technologists work in private clinical practices, many work in more advanced research-related jobs, usually under the guidance of a scientist or veterinarian. Working primarily in a laboratory setting, they may administer medications; prepare tissue samples for examination; or record information on an animal’s genealogy, weight, diet, and signs of pain.

Veterinary technicians usually have a 2-year associate’s degree in a veterinary technology program. They generally work in private clinical practices under the guidance of a licensed veterinarian. Technicians may perform laboratory tests, such as a urinalysis, and help veterinarians conduct a variety of other diagnostic tests. Although some of their work is done in a laboratory setting, many technicians also talk with animal owners. For example, they explain a pet’s condition or how to administer medication prescribed by a veterinarian.

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How To Become A Technician

There are primarily two levels of education for entry into this occupation: a 4-year program for veterinary technologists and a 2-year program for veterinary technicians. Typically, both technologists and technicians must pass a credentialing exam and must become registered, licensed, or certified, depending on the state in which they work.


Veterinary technologists and technicians must complete a postsecondary program in veterinary technology. In 2015, there were 231 veterinary technology programs accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Most of these programs offer a 2-year associate’s degree for veterinary technicians. Twenty-three colleges offer a 4-year bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Nine schools offer coursework through distance learning. 

People interested in becoming a veterinary technologist or technician should take high school classes in biology and other sciences, as well as math.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although each state regulates veterinary technologists and technicians differently, most candidates must pass a credentialing exam. Most states require technologists and technicians to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), offered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards.

For technologists seeking work in a research facility, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) offers the following certifications for technicians and technologists: Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT) and Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG).

Although certification is not mandatory, workers at each level can show competency in animal husbandry, health and welfare, and facility administration and management to prospective employers. To become certified, candidates must have work experience in a laboratory animal facility and pass the AALAS examination.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Veterinary technologists and technicians spend a substantial amount of their time communicating with supervisors, animal owners, and other staff. In addition, a growing number of technicians counsel pet owners on animal behavior and nutrition.

Compassion. Veterinary technologists and technicians must treat animals with kindness and must be sensitive when dealing with the owners of sick pets.

Detail oriented. Veterinary technologists and technicians must pay attention to detail. They must be precise when recording information, performing diagnostic tests, and administering medication.

Manual dexterity. Veterinary technologists and technicians must handle animals, medical instruments, and laboratory equipment with care. They do intricate tasks, such as dental work, giving anesthesia, and taking x rays, which require a steady hand.

Problem-solving skills. Veterinary technologists and technicians need strong problem-solving skills in order to identify injuries and illnesses and offer the appropriate treatment.

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Technician jobs

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Real Technician Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Oct 26, 2016 $170,000 -
Presls Tech Cons Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Sunnyvale, CA Mar 03, 2016 $155,250 -
Tech On Deck Capital, Inc. New York, NY Jun 04, 2016 $155,000
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Jul 06, 2016 $135,133 -
Tech MacYs.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 04, 2015 $134,638 -
Tech MacYs.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 06, 2015 $134,472 -
Spclstmstr, Tech, Infomgmt, Prfrmncemgmttech(Pmt) Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Apr 21, 2015 $130,000 -
Manager of Esports Tech NA Riot Games Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 02, 2016 $125,000
Technologist/Conventional Tech Monsanto Company Luling, LA Sep 11, 2015 $119,704 -
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid, Intermediate Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 05, 2016 $110,000 -
Lean Technician Armstrong World Industries, Inc. Aberdeen, MD May 05, 2016 $109,179
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Sep 23, 2016 $108,000 -
Srcnsltnt, Tech, Infomgmt, Bi-Dw Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Aug 04, 2015 $100,000 -
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid, Interm Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 28, 2016 $93,579 -
IS Tech HGST, Inc. San Jose, CA Jul 20, 2016 $61,755 -
Technician Delta Technology Corporation Houston, TX Aug 18, 2015 $60,195
Neograft Technician Advanced Hair of Seattle PLLC Bellevue, WA Oct 15, 2015 $60,000
Tech-Netwk Cntrl Tech Verizon Business Network Services Inc. Ashburn, VA Jul 08, 2016 $60,000
Corrosion Technician Russell Corrosion Consultants, Inc. Columbia, MD Sep 08, 2015 $57,726
Technician Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Oct 22, 2016 $53,000
PLC Technician Mobis Alabama, LLC Montgomery, AL Apr 08, 2016 $52,291
Baader Technician Trident Seafoods Corporation AK Jan 03, 2015 $51,132
Technician B Columbia University New York, NY Feb 01, 2015 $38,998
Diving Saturation Technician Benmar Fabrication LLC Green Bay, WI Aug 17, 2015 $38,750
Hplc Technician Twentyfirst Century Biochemicals Incorporated Marlborough, MA Jan 09, 2016 $38,200
Granite and Marble Technician Atlantic Stone Works Inc. Kenilworth, NJ Jun 14, 2016 $37,690
Genius Technician Apple, Inc. Austin, TX Aug 01, 2015 $37,566 -
Salmon ROE Technician North Pacific Seafoods, Inc. AK Jun 01, 2015 $37,483
Salmon ROE Technician Nichirei U.S.A., LLC AK Jun 10, 2015 $37,483

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Top Skills for A Technician


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Top Technician Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Customer Service
  3. Technical Support
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Promoted safety awareness and complied with all applicable safety procedures and regulations.
  • Performed bench repairs and customer service for servers, notebooks and desktop computers.
  • Selected in the first group of technicians to be converted to portables support, as well as Gold Technical Support.
  • Provided superior customer service and properly safe use of the company vehicle, ladders, and tools.
  • Installed internal hardware such as optical drives, sound cards, network cards, etc.

Top Technician Employers

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