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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.

Duties

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.

Education

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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Technician Career Paths

Technician
Service Manager Operations Manager General Manager
Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Specialist Operations Manager Human Resources Manager
Director Of Human Resources
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Director Of Information
Director Of Information Technology Services
12 Yearsyrs
Specialist Account Manager Sales Manager
Director Of Sales
10 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Technical Services Manager
Director Of Technology And Services
11 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Service Manager
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Human Resources Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Network Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Technical Support Specialist Systems Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Branch Manager Account Executive
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager General Manager Account Executive
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Field Service Technician Service Manager General Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Service Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Technician Project Leader Business Analyst
Product Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Service Manager General Manager Account Executive
Sales Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Senior Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager Director Of Information
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Technician Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    72.3%
  • Female

    26.0%
  • Unknown

    1.7%

Ethnicity

  • White

    78.6%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    12.1%
  • Asian

    7.1%
  • Unknown

    1.6%
  • Black or African American

    0.6%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    60.4%
  • French

    7.4%
  • German

    3.7%
  • Arabic

    3.0%
  • Carrier

    3.0%
  • Russian

    2.8%
  • Chinese

    2.7%
  • Portuguese

    2.4%
  • Mandarin

    2.0%
  • Italian

    1.9%
  • Japanese

    1.7%
  • Vietnamese

    1.5%
  • Polish

    1.3%
  • Hindi

    1.3%
  • Cantonese

    1.2%
  • Korean

    1.0%
  • Urdu

    1.0%
  • Dakota

    0.6%
  • Tagalog

    0.6%
  • Thai

    0.6%
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Technician

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Technician Education

Technician

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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 -
$190,000
Presls Tech Cons Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company Sunnyvale, CA Mar 03, 2016 $155,250 -
$179,088
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 -
$155,133
Tech MacYs.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 04, 2015 $134,638 -
$155,000
Tech MacYs.Com, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 06, 2015 $134,472 -
$155,000
Spclstmstr, Tech, Infomgmt, Prfrmncemgmttech(Pmt) Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Apr 21, 2015 $130,000 -
$175,000
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 -
$146,200
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid, Intermediate Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Nov 05, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
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 -
$128,000
Srcnsltnt, Tech, Infomgmt, Bi-Dw Deloitte Consulting LLP New York, NY Aug 04, 2015 $100,000 -
$158,000
Tech Yahoo, Paranoid, Interm Yahoo! Inc. Sunnyvale, CA Aug 28, 2016 $93,579 -
$121,800
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 Akutan, AK Feb 02, 2016 $51,132
Baader Technician Trident Seafoods Corporation AK Jan 03, 2015 $51,132
Baader Technician Trident Seafoods Corporation Sand Point, AK Jul 15, 2015 $46,436
Baader Technician Trident Seafoods Corporation Akutan, AK May 25, 2015 $46,436
Baader Technician Trident Seafoods Corporation Akutan, AK May 31, 2016 $46,436
Surimi/ROE Technician Arctic Storm, Inc. AK May 24, 2016 $45,914
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 -
$41,740
Salmon ROE Technician Ocean Beauty Seafoods, LLC AK May 01, 2015 $37,483
Herring ROE Technician North Pacific Seafoods, Inc. AK Mar 01, 2015 $37,483
Salmon ROE Technician Nomura Trading Co., Ltd. Juneau, AK Jun 01, 2015 $37,483

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Top Skills for A Technician

SafetyProceduresCustomerServiceTechnicalSupportCompanyVehicleHardwareInternetPatientCareWindowsXPEngineEmergencyLabFiberOpticSetupPreventativeMaintenanceOilChangesHandToolsDataEntryHvacVitalSignsComputerSystems

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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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