Veterinary Technician/Technologist  What They Do

Just the Facts

Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Career Video

Performs medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepares vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepares tissue samples, takes blood samples, and executes laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Cleans and sterilizes instruments and materials and maintains equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Diagnostic Services pathway.

A person in this career:

  • Cares for and monitors the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Maintains controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Administers anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitors animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Restrains animals during exams or procedures.
  • Administers emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life saving procedures.
  • Observes the behavior and condition of animals and monitors their clinical symptoms.
  • Performs laboratory tests on blood, urine, or feces, such as urinalyses or blood counts, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of animal health problems.
  • Prepares and administers medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Cleans and sterilizes instruments, equipment, or materials.
  • Collects, prepares, and labels samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves kneeling, crouching, stooping, and/or crawling more than one-third of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Exposed to radiation more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Picking out a particular sound in the presence of other sounds
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) --
  • Emergency Veterinary Technician --
  • Internal Medicine Veterinary Technician --
  • Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT) --
  • Medical Technologist --
  • Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) --
  • Veterinary Assistant --
  • Veterinary Laboratory Technician (Veterinary Lab Tech) --
  • Veterinary Nurse --
  • Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech) --