Veterinary Technician Salary
Careers in veterinary medicine yield a wide range of salaries. While a Veterinary Technician salary will depend on a number of factors, they can be both competitive and lucrative. Today, the median annual wage (the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less) for a Vet Tech is $34,420 annually. This equates to approximately $16.55.
On one end of the spectrum, the top 10 percent of earners in this occupation will make over $50,010 each year (about $24.04 per hour). Alternatively, the lowest 10 percent will earn less than $23,490 ($11.29 per hour). These salaries must all remain somewhat competitive due to the nature of the work. In short, Vet Techs do the work of a Nurse, Lab Technician, Surgical Tech and Anesthesiology, but all within the realm of veterinary technology.
Location and Regional Factors
When determining how much a Veterinary Technician will make, the primary factors to consider are geographic region, education, workplace setting and level of experience. These influential elements can separate those who are in the top 10 percent of earners and those who are in the bottom 10 percent of earners.
As for geographic regions, Nevada is known to be the top paying that within this occupation. The next highest paying state is Connecticut, followed by New York, California and Massachusetts. Furthermore, the top paying metropolitan areas in this career in healthcare is the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA area. This is because this is a very congested region, with a lot of opportunity in the field. There are a lot of pet owners in this region!
The following are the next top metro areas: the Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA area, the Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford area CT, the Santa Cruz, Watsonville, CA area, Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV area, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA area, Ithaca, NY, Lansing-East Lansing, MI area and the Kingston, NY area. In terms of nonmetropolitan areas, the top paying are the Southeast Mississippi area, Southwest Iowa area, Southwest Minnesota area, West Central Illinois area and the Southeast Missouri area.
Just as impactful as location, a Vet Tech’s level of education can be pivotal in securing a higher paying salary. For example, those who have obtained their associate’s degree will typically earn less than those who choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology. Taking continued education credits can help set Veterinary Technicians apart from their colleagues fiscally. Basically, the higher one’s educational, the more qualified they are and the greater their salary will become. What do Vet Tech programs teach?
Working for a top-paying employment setting will help Vet Techs optimize their salaries as well. The top paying industry in this healthcare career is in academics, including junior colleges, universities, professional schools and vocational schools. These employers tend to pay their Vet Techs approximately $40,400 annually. The next highest paying facilities are social advocacy organizations, who tend to pay employers roughly $33,080 per year.
Following these facilities, veterinary services tend to pay their Vet Tech employees around $33,010 per year. Veterinary Technicians working in research positions also tend to earn more than those in other fields. This branch of veterinary medicine can provide Vet Techs with the ability to advocate for animal health and well-being through their research. So, Veterinary Technicians are able to assign of degrees of urgency to wounds or cases of illness to ensure intervention is provided only when necessary.
Other workplaces where Vet Techs can find work include boarding kennels, animal shelters and zoos. Plus, because many clinics and laboratories and animal care facilities must be staffed 24 hours a day, Veterinary Technologists may be eligible for a great deal of overtime. However, they may be required to work evenings, nights, weekends or holidays. Therefore, for those willing to put in extra work, this medical career can undoubtedly prove lucrative!
Salaries aren’t the only aspect to consider when seeking employment as a Vet Tech. Equally as important to some is the opportunity to collect benefits. This is because benefits can be critical to maintaining the physical and emotional well-being of Veterinary Technician employees.
Within the field of veterinary medicine, the majority of employers do offer some type of benefits to their full-time employees. These benefits typically include medical, dental and vision benefits. Due to the nature of their work, sany clinics also offer great incentives on pet care. This means that Vet Techs can have their pets vaccinated and examined by Veterinarians for a discounted rate.
Another likely benefit in this career is financial assistance in terms of continued education credentials. As continuing education is a requirement in maintaining a Vet Techs state and national accreditation, most veterinary hospitals will offer reimbursement on continuing education classes. They may also choose to offer funds toward individual courses, conference attendance, books and potentially travel expenses. The hope is that helping to bolster the education of their employees will eventually benefit their clinic’s efficiency and effectiveness.
For those hoping to continue to advance their career and salary, there are a number of different avenues and options. Some Vet Techs may come to assume managerial roles, while others will move into the realms of academics or research. Moving to a region which tends to pay Veterinary Technicians high salaries is yet another possibility!
Veterinary Technicians are known to frequently move into positions as Registered Veterinary Technicians or Certified Veterinary Technicians. This is because, with these credentials, Vet Techs are capable of earning $1,000 to $3,000 more than their coworkers and additional Vet Techs in the field.
Many Veterinary Technicians hoping to earn higher wages will additionally choose to move into a Veterinarian role. This career, which requires a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, can yield a salary of over $70,000 per year. However, the transition will involve enrolling in a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, which can take an additional four to six years to obtain. Becoming a Veterinarian may also involve the completion of hundreds of clinical hours and potentially a post-graduate internship or residency.
Another exciting aspect of earning a Vet Tech salary today is that the career is expected to keep growing!. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veterinary Technician employment will rise 20 percent over the next decade. In contrast, employment for Veterinary Assistants is also expected to grow by 19 percent, while all other occupations in the United States are projected to grow only 7 percent over the same time span. Check out this national Vet Tech career outlook!
This means that Vet Techs can get excited about their salaries, and the strong possibility for raises with increased experience. As with any career, location and experience will play a major role. Ultimately, the growth in this industry can be attributed to a greater emphasis on pet comprehensive and preventative medicine by pet owners and animal caregivers. New treatments and procedures available to keep animals healthy and alive longer will also help boost demand for this occupation.
Today, Vet Techs are qualified to perform comprehensive and preventative care in a number of ways! For example, they can provide nursing care or emergency first aid to recovering or injured animals. They can also bathe animals, clip nails or claws and brush or cut animals’ hair. Other responsibilities of Veterinary Technicians include collecting and recording animal’ case histories, observing the behavior and condition of animals and administering medications, vaccines and treatments prescribed by a veterinarian.
There is no better time than now to become a Veterinary Technician! This career is something to be proud of. If you aspire to work in healthcare, help make a difference in animals lives and constantly keep learning and evolving as a professional, you will love a career in veterinary medicine!
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018-19 Occupational Outlook Handbook
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