How Much Do Vet Techs Make?

vet tech job descriptionVeterinary technologists or technicians work to assist the work of a veterinarian.

They are usually employed in private veterinary clinics, but can also work in research programs and other animal facilities.

Vet techs work full time, and since clinics often operate round the clock, they frequently work overnight, over weekends, and during holidays.

Among their duties include evaluating an animal’s condition, administering diagnostic tests, restraining aggressive animals, giving emergency care, preparing animals for surgeries and procedures, administering medicines as prescribed by a veterinarian, as well as talking to pet owners regarding proper care.

Vet Tech Salary

How much do vet techs make? The average annual salary for vet techs is $34,420 per year, or $16.55 per hour. 

vet tech salaryVet techs can work in many industries and average salaries differ. 

Average starting salaries of vet techs also differ in industry, state, as well as the size of the clinic or industry.

Top 5 Paying States

Flag
State
Employment per 1000 Jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Alaska Flag
Alaska
0.66
$19.70
$40,970
Massachusetts Flag
Massachusetts
0.79
$19.29
$40,120
New York Flag
New York
0.48
$19.11
$39,740
Connecticut Flag
Connecticut
0.86
$18.56
$38,600
California Flag
California
0.58
$17.89
$37,220

Top Paying Industries

Industry
Percent of industry employment
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Companies and Enterprises
$26.95
$56,050
Federal Executive Branch
0.03
$24.01
$49,940
State Government
$20.79
$43,240
Local Government
0.01
$20.36
$42,350
Scientific Research and Development Services
0.15
$19.76
$41,110

Vet Tech Job Description

what does a vet tech doWhat do vet techs do? Vet techs work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Vet techs assist the veterinarian in terms of diagnosing, treating, and preventing illnesses and injuries of animals.

In May 2012, there were 84,800 jobs for vet techs, where 92% of those employed worked in the industry of veterinary services. Vet techs work in animal shelters, boarding kennels, zoos, animal hospitals, government research, and private clinic practices of veterinarians.

The rate of injury and exposure to animal diseases is fairly high. When handling scared or aggressive animals, vet techs can get bitten, scratched, or kicked.

A natural love for animals and a nurturing nature is ideal when pursuing a vet tech career, since a vet tech’s job is mainly about the care and treatment of animals.

Among the duties of a vet tech include: observing and evaluating animals, collecting laboratory samples such as blood, urine, and feces, perform lab tests such as urinalyses and blood counts, take and develop x-rays, provide nursing care and emergency first aid, prepare animals and equipment for surgery, administer medications, treatments, and vaccines as prescribed by a veterinarian, and collect a patient’s medical history.

A vet tech’s job can also include postoperative care, animal dental care, as well as specialize in certain specific fields. A vet tech can focus on a particular discipline such as anesthesia, dental technology, emergency and critical care, and zoological medicine.

Vet techs can also work in research-related jobs such as in biomedical research, food safety, and disaster preparedness.

Vet technologists and vet technicians vary in terms of qualifications and duties. Only those who have a Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technology are called vet technologists, and those who have associate degrees are called Vet Technicians.

Vet technologists often work in laboratories, collecting lab samples, analyzing them, and making conclusions. They can also work in research, under the guidance of a scientist. Vet technicians, on the other hand, mostly work for private clinical practice and the general care of animals. Often, vet technicians are responsible for talking to pet owners and helping to educate them about the proper care of their pets.

Vet Tech Job Outlook

The average projected increase in vet tech jobs from 2012 to 2022 is 30%, which is faster than other occupations. About 25,000 jobs are seen to be created within the next few years.

As more and more developments in veterinary medicine are being made, there will be a greater demand for vet techs to operate new equipment, as well as to handle an increase in the number of animals being brought to veterinary clinics.

As the general public is taking better care of their pets, more veterinarians will be needed, and hence, more vet techs as well.

There is an expected increase in demand for vet techs in the country especially in the rural areas. Those who have a large set of skills and can perform many specialized tasks are seen to have the most job prospects.

However, because of increased opportunities, the competition for employment is seen to be high.

Vet Tech Salary by State

Flag
State
Employment per 1000 Jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Alabama Flag
Alabama
0.451
$13.82
$28,740
Alaska Flag
Alaska
0.656
$19.70
$40,970
Arizona Flag
Arizona
0.918
$13.51
$28,110
Arkansas Flag
Arkansas
0.214
$13.52
$28,130
California Flag
California
0.583
$17.89
$37,220
Colorado flag
Colorado
1.23
$14.84
$30,880
Connecticut Flag
Connecticut
0.857
$18.56
$38,600
Delaware flag
Delaware
0.817
$16.02
$33,330
Florida Flag
Florida
1.069
$14.46
$30,080
Georgia Flag
Georgia
0.701
$13.44
$27,950
Hawaii Flag
Hawaii
0.609
$15.16
$31,520
Idaho Flag
Idaho
0.702
$13.85
$28,810
Illinois Flag
Illinois
0.641
$15.41
$32,050
Indiana Flag
Indiana
0.505
$14.14
$29,400
Iowa Flag
Iowa
0.522
$14.77
$30,720
Kansas Flag
Kansas
0.384
$15.21
$31,630
Kentucky Flag
Kentucky
0.736
$13.45
$27,980
Louisiana Flag
Louisiana
0.687
$13.18
$27,410
Maine Flag
Maine
1.225
$15.83
$32,930
Maryland Flag
Maryland
0.882
$16.04
$33,370
Massachusetts Flag
Massachusetts
0.786
$19.29
$40,120
Michigan Flag
Michigan
0.694
$15.13
$31,460
Minnesota Flag
Minnesota
0.832
$16.01
$33,310
Mississippi Flag
Mississippi
0.611
$15.13
$31,470
Missouri Flag
Missouri
0.446
$15.71
$32,670
Montana Flag
Montana
1.013
$13.66
$28,410
Nebraska Flag
Nebraska
0.643
$13.81
$28,720
Nevada Flag
Nevada
0.542
$17.00
$35,360
New Hampshire Flag
New Hampshire
1.175
$15.99
$33,260
New Jersey Flag
New Jersey
0.664
$16.51
$34,340
New Mexico Flag
New Mexico
0.515
$15.34
$31,910
New York Flag
New York
0.476
$19.11
$39,740
North Carolina Flag
North Carolina
0.761
$14.57
$30,310
North Dakota Flag
North Dakota
0.385
$14.78
$30,740
Ohio Flag
Ohio
0.656
$15.32
$31,860
Oklahoma Flag
Oklahoma
0.671
$13.69
$28,480
Oregon Flag
Oregon
0.861
$15.95
$33,180
Pennsylvania Flag
Pennsylvania
0.744
$16.69
$34,720
Rhode Island Flag
Rhode Island
0.743
$16.48
$34,280
South Carolina Flag
South Carolina
0.772
$13.79
$28,690
South Dakota Flag
South Dakota
0.738
$15.13
$31,460
Tennessee Flag
Tennessee
0.575
$14.02
$29,170
Texas Flag
Texas
0.79
$13.72
$28,530
Utah Flag
Utah
0.748
$13.11
$27,260
Vermont Flag
Vermont
1.341
$15.95
$33,180
Virginia Flag
Virginia
0.469
$17.87
$37,160
Washington Flag
Washington
0.58
$16.78
$34,900
West Virginia Flag
West Virginia
0.422
$11.72
$24,370
Wisconsin Flag
Wisconsin
0.688
$15.45
$32,130
Wyomin Flag
Wyoming
0.828
$14.64
$30,450

Top paying metropolitan areas

Area
Employment per 1000 jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Norwich/New London – CT/RI
0.79
$24.13
$50,180
Brockton / Bridgewater / Easton, – MA – NECTA Division
$22.58
$46,960
Poughkeepsie/Newburgh/Middletown – NY
0.69
$21.27
$44,240
Ithaca, NY
4.04
$21.15
$43,990
San Francisco / San Mateo / Redwood City – CA – Metropolitan Division
$20.90
$43,480

Top paying non-metropolitan areas

Area
Employment per 1000 jobs
Hourly mean wage
Annual mean wage
Southern Texas – nonmetropolitan area
1.17
$19.90
$41,400
Southwestern Washington – nonmetropolitan area
0.66
$19.53
$40,620
West Central Illinois – nonmetropolitan area
0.95
$18.75
$39,010
Northwestern Connecticut – nonmetropolitan area
1.14
$17.94
$37,320
North Central Colorado – nonmetropolitan area
0.98
$17.89
$37,200

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Noel Griffith

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