What are the CONS of being a vet tech?

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Natasha in Fontana, California

70 months ago

Athena in Concord, California said: I am a Registered Veterinary Technician in Cali. This job can be very difficult and very rewarding. The pay can be good if you go in the right direction. As soon as i got my license I went from $13 an hour to $18...immidiatly. After a year of having my license I was promoted to Dept. Lead and was making $26 an hour with full benefits.

Now the down side is that it is a physically and emotionally demanding job. I herniated two discs, was exposed to rabies and have been bitten too many times to count. Some times the vets are really rude. I have worked for vets that cuss, throw things and act like two year old. Many vets are very cheap and find any way possible to save a buck...whether it be at your expense or the animals...it happens way too often. Many techs are WAY under paid for the tasks they are expected to do. The hospital dynamic can also be very challenging. It is mostly a female dominated field and with that comes cattiness. It has happened at every hospital I have been to.

WOW thats great! was the reason for the $13hr because of no experience or no license? I applied for a vet tech position and I have no experience or license. I saw a job posting in Pasadena that said non license salary pay avg range $14-17hr and licensed $17-21hr. Do you think I would get a job with no experience as a vet tech especially in california? And is your hospital hiring?

natasha_hylton@msn.com

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mary in Alhambra, California

69 months ago

Natasha in Fontana, California said: WOW thats great! was the reason for the $13hr because of no experience or no license? I applied for a vet tech position and I have no experience or license. I saw a job posting in Pasadena that said non license salary pay avg range $14-17hr and licensed $17-21hr. Do you think I would get a job with no experience as a vet tech especially in california? And is your hospital hiring?

natasha_hylton@msn.com

The pay you make depends on location, type of practice, experience and license. I am licensed about 5 yrs exp. went from $11/hr non-license 3 yrs exp. to $17/hr newly licensed 3 yrs exp, I actually found another job that payed me $20/hr( you dont get paid that unless your skills/knowledge are great) the catch was: way more responsibility,physical labor, and a horrible wrk environment: dr. break/throw stuuf like oxygen tank, catheters, break cahirs,other tech doing some surgeries like declaws, feline neuters, laceration repair etc.. for real, needless to say I left after 8 months, now w/ the economy the way it is, It took me over a month as RVT to find a job, now I only make $13/hr w/ almost 5 yrs. exp.!! its not bad where I am now but I'm definetly looking for somewhere to wrk where my skills/license will be appreciated. As for the job in Pasadena you saw w/ pay of non-license $14-17; license $17-21was eye care for animals; the catch to wrk there was as tech must be on call 24/7; I applied & had a phone interview w/ them. You can get a job as a technician assistant w/ no exp in CA, but more than likely start off as a kennel attendent.

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kristin in Gilbert, Arizona

68 months ago

i am currently going to kaplan college, which is an accredited school by the AVMA. its an associates degree as a vet tech. i know there are campuses all over the US and i wanted to go there because it is at an actual campus and pretty hands on. i am going to be dissecting a sheep's eyeball tonight! haha. its a 2 1/2 yr program because i take night classes and its year round! which is tough balancing the course load and full time work. but ive heard good things from graduates and they also help with studying for the CVT test and help find you jobs. im only 8 months in and its definately not easy but im excited to get into the field.
unfortunately ive been hearing that many clinics are feeling the pinch from the economy and are laying people off. so i am waiting until my externship next june or so to hopefully get my foot into a clinic and the job market is a lil better by then.

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Susan in Saint Petersburg, Florida

67 months ago

tburris in Odessa, Florida said: I agree with the "lumbering idiot" comment. Some days are better than others, but some days I just don't know how I'm going to make it. I'm new to the field. I am a student in the St.Pete College Vet Tech program with 5 semesters to go. I worked in a kennel for one year to start and now I'm at a different clinic. I'm getting more experience now, but get treated, for the most part, like a "lumbering idiot". I feel so degrated most days and I am a 37 year old woman. It's really hard and some days I go home crying wanting to quit.

Hello tburris! I'm also in St. Pete, and will be entering the SPC VT program in August. A tall hurdle for me right now is getting the observational hours before I enter the program. Do you have any suggestions about vet clinics to approach?

And...please don't quit!! It WILL get better (though it doesn't look it right now.) I don't know a hill of beans about VT, but plenty about persistence & not giving up...you are sooooooo close!!

Hang in there, for as Eleanor Roosevelt said,
"Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water!"

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Mandi in New London, Wisconsin

67 months ago

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: I'm studying to become a Vet Tech with Penn Foster college. It's a self paced online course, they send you the books & homework/exams in the mail. They are full accredited with go through the AVA - Anerican Veterinary Association.

The reason why I want to work with animals is because they agreeable patients & the give no critisim. Unlike people & human patients, you can hear them grumble, complain... but not animals. The only thing you'd deal with is caring & concerned owners who treat their pets as family members.

I'm sorry to inform you that not all owners are as caring or concerned as you'd like. There are those who will drain their savings and take off work to give their pet the best care, but there are those who will wait 2 weeks on something that should've been seen immediately and then not want to spend over $50 (and drive off in their brand new Cadillac). And you will have those owners who grumble and complain about the care you give their pet no matter how hard you worked and will argue about their bill when you came in early and stayed late everyday to give their animal the best care. And not all patients are aggreable, they will bite, kick, claw and struggle because they dont understand what you are doing to them or why.

I'm not saying this to discourage you from becoming a Vet Tech, I can't imagine getting as much satisfaction from any other career field. Most patients and owners are good to work with and you will meet some of the nicest people and really love a lot of your patients, but you need to understand there will be tough days, people who are never satisfied and those who dont understand or appreciate what you do.

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POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona

66 months ago

anna in Shreveport, Louisiana said: You need to read over Penn Foster. If im not mistaken it not a accredited school for Vet tech. They don't even say Vet Tech classes they call it Vet Assistant. Even though you are taking the same classes you want be able to sit for the exam. They are getting your money i do believe. Here is a website for Vet Tech accredited schools www.avma.org

No it's fully acredited. I made sure before I paid! They're on the AVMA website. They've been fully acredited since 2006

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: I'm studying to become a Vet Tech with Penn Foster college. It's a self paced online course, they send you the books & homework/exams in the mail. They are full accredited with go through the AVA - Anerican Veterinary Association.

The reason why I want to work with animals is because they agreeable patients & the give no critisim. Unlike people & human patients, you can hear them grumble, complain... but not animals. The only thing you'd deal with is caring & concerned owners who treat their pets as family members.

I can tell you that you will need to get a state license for veterinary technology. I seriously doubt that the socalled accredited agency will be recognized. By now you realize that working as a vet tech is a medical job having little to do w/liking pets. The worst aspect to working as a vet tech is that veterinarians are not trained in management & many do not like people particularly & really resent paying a staff. I worked in a real vortex to hell environment which is unfortunately very common. I LOVED the job, but the abuse (our vet owner/manager would shriek @ us, you're all slackers & none of you is earning her salary), the work overload (chronically understaffed), the unreliable ancillary staff that those of us trained and/or degreed were supposed to train in our on the job "spare time" (ha ha) . . . yes, the pets/owners are sometimes grateful (sometimes not), the associate veterinarians (paid so poorly that many need second jobs selling Avon, etc) are grateful sometimes (sometimes not; one got in my face, telling me that she hated the fact that I was quick witted & intended to get me fired one way or another) . . . low pay/high responsibility . . . your license will not be posted although legally required by the state licensing board (mainly because the staff trained on site are permitted & encouraged to ridicule you for "wasting your money going to school") . . .

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

Lauren in Joliet, Illinois said: I'm aware that the money isn't there, but that's not why people get into this business. Other than money, what are some of the cons of being a vet tech? Is the work physically draining? Will you burn out after only a few years? Do you get bit a lot? Do you clean up messes/fluids a lot? Are owners rude/disrespectful or hard to deal with?
I'm looking to change careers because I deal with a lot of corporate dissatisfaction right now and I'm wondering if there is just a different kind of hardship to deal with in this industry or not. Look forward to your feedback!

"Other than money"? I LOVED the career (bioscience & its challenges), but I needed a profession where I would support myself. Of course, associate vets are paid so poorly that they need second jobs. The average burn out rate is five years. I lasted 11 before I began a mental decline from which I am just recovering; I worked in chronically understaffed/double & triple scheduled facility for 13 + years. I did everything for which I was trained . . . pre & post op, surgical assist, anesthesiology, radiology, lots of clean up, phlebotomy & IVs, pharmacology (compounding & prescriptions), ALL lab work (manual & mechanical, sample prep, protocol for send outs) + . . . , for owners/vets whose attitude was, how cheap can we get you/keep you? & told us, "you're all slackers & none of you is earning her salary." Who installed a $50K new chem analyzer in the lab, had two people trained for free by the company, & then allowed those two people to refuse to train the rest of us -- when I figured out the machine myself & could get it to work even when those two people couldn't, they hated me even more). Good vets/incompetent & abuse managers is the norm @ 3-4 clinics (I did a lot of networking in 13 + years). & yes, you will be bitten no matter how careful or well trained & exposed to exotic diseases if your vet is licensed for wildlife &/or handles exotic pets . . .

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

Athena in Concord, California said: I am a Registered Veterinary Technician in Cali. This job can be very difficult and very rewarding. The pay can be good if you go in the right direction. As soon as i got my license I went from $13 an hour to $18...immidiatly. After a year of having my license I was promoted to Dept. Lead and was making $26 an hour with full benefits.

Now the down side is that it is a physically and emotionally demanding job. I herniated two discs, was exposed to rabies and have been bitten too many times to count. Some times the vets are really rude. I have worked for vets that cuss, throw things and act like two year old. Many vets are very cheap and find any way possible to save a buck...whether it be at your expense or the animals...it happens way too often. Many techs are WAY under paid for the tasks they are expected to do. The hospital dynamic can also be very challenging. It is mostly a female dominated field and with that comes cattiness. It has happened at every hospital I have been to.

You are very fortunate to earn a living wage; I can assure you, it is NOT the norm. A coworker/vet tech who was THE "right hand" in a world famous OH clinic for 16 + years never made more than $14 an hour. W/every raise, I had more workload, so in effect, I never received more money (average $8 hour). Many vets are great veterinarians but incompetent/abusive managers, & "cattiness" is hardly gender specific any more than bullying or territoriality. Most of my classmates opted for a different medical degree after trying 3-4 clinics (different expression of the same bad vibes).

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

Natasha in Fontana, California said: WOW thats great! was the reason for the $13hr because of no experience or no license? I applied for a vet tech position and I have no experience or license. I saw a job posting in Pasadena that said non license salary pay avg range $14-17hr and licensed $17-21hr. Do you think I would get a job with no experience as a vet tech especially in california? And is your hospital hiring?

natasha_hylton@msn.com

Will the cost of living in Pasadena allow for a working wage @ $14-17 (or $17-21 an hour?

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pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio

66 months ago

Assistant tech in North Hills, California said: Honestly, I don't mind the physical labor at all. I personally love being on my feet all day because you never know what's next, and the workday stays interesting that way. I spent a lot of time collecting data for labs before becoming an assistant tech (more dirty work than a tech, less experience, far less pay), and although I got generous stipends for it, it was so boring that I would fall asleep at the table in the middle of the day (hoping no one would see). Ten or twelve hour shifts at an animal hospital and if you are busy the entire time, it really doesn't feel like a ten or twelve at all, unlike with desk jobs where you are just wishing the clock would move faster.

Having said that I'll tell you that one of the huge cons is potentially that you are stuck working with people who'll treat you like you're completely inept. I KNOW I'm not a lumbering idiot, but sometimes I don't know where things are in the hospital (just started) and I don't know how certain protocols work there, so they treat me like a lumbering idiot. It is more of an issue with the techs than the vets in my case, but I have heard some horror stories about bad/mean vets (who call their techs stupid, etc.). I'm dealing with it, though, so I can get enough experience and then find work elsewhere. If you are lucky enough to find a hospital with good, caring people, that's really awesome.

It took classmates of mine 3-4 clinics before finding a place w/good veterinary owner/management. Some just stayed @ their fast food jobs/gas station attendant while going back to college for useful medical degrees (living wage + benefits).

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Julie in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

HELLO=)

ANYONE IN THE SACRAMENTO CA AREA? JUST WONDERING IF SOMEONE CAN GIVE THE PAY RANGE FOR A NEW RVT, I AM IN MY FIRST SEMESTER OF VET TECH TO GET MY 2 YR DEGREE.....

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answers4me in Rio Grande, Ohio

66 months ago

anna in Shreveport, Louisiana said: You need to read over Penn Foster. If im not mistaken it not a accredited school for Vet tech. They don't even say Vet Tech classes they call it Vet Assistant. Even though you are taking the same classes you want be able to sit for the exam. They are getting your money i do believe. Here is a website for Vet Tech accredited schools www.avma.org

You are mistaken. Penn Foster is an accredited school, for vet tech.

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Athena in Concord, California

66 months ago

Natasha in Fontana, California said: WOW thats great! was the reason for the $13hr because of no experience or no license? I applied for a vet tech position and I have no experience or license. I saw a job posting in Pasadena that said non license salary pay avg range $14-17hr and licensed $17-21hr. Do you think I would get a job with no experience as a vet tech especially in california? And is your hospital hiring?

natasha_hylton@msn.com

The $13/hr was due to no license. I had about two years experience but was still pretty "green" in a lot of the surgical areas. I am sure you can get a job as a tech asst. with no experience, they will just pay you very low. If you have problems getting hired as a tech asst try starting as a kennel tech and work your way up. I know a lot of people that started that way. If you find you love being a tech i highly recommend getting your license. You will get a HUGE pay raise and more respect in general from clients as well as your co-workers.

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Athena in Concord, California

66 months ago

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: No it's fully acredited. I made sure before I paid! They're on the AVMA website. They've been fully acredited since 2006

If for some reason you are not 100% sure graduating from Penn will allow you to sit for the state boards test you can call your state office or go online to the state veterinary office and ask them. I think that would be the safest way to go.

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Julie in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

Thanks Athena...hopefully its more towards the high teens low 20's, but I know being brand new is tough in any field! Do you find you job to be enjoyable,or is it what you expected? I had a hard time deciding between rvt and lvn...I know you can make more as an lvn, but rvt is what I found the most interesting.

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Athena in Concord, California

66 months ago

pebcle in Cleveland, Ohio said: You are very fortunate to earn a living wage; I can assure you, it is NOT the norm. A coworker/vet tech who was THE "right hand" in a world famous OH clinic for 16 + years never made more than $14 an hour. W/every raise, I had more workload, so in effect, I never received more money (average $8 hour). Many vets are great veterinarians but incompetent/abusive managers, & "cattiness" is hardly gender specific any more than bullying or territoriality. Most of my classmates opted for a different medical degree after trying 3-4 clinics (different expression of the same bad vibes).

In the Bay Area it is not that uncommon to make this amount of money. I am not sure how the hospitals are out where you live but we have many high end clinics that make a lot of money and will only hire RVTs. These are the hospitals to look for. They are going to have the highest wages as well as the best benefits. The living expenses out here are extraordinarily high so that may seem like a high salary but it is just enough to support myself on.

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Athena in Concord, California

66 months ago

J. Reichert in South Bend, Indiana said: Penn Foster DOES offer an Veterinary Technician Associate's degree www.pennfostercollege.edu/vettech/index.html . I myself am looking into this, because I can't afford NOT to work full-time and would rather learn at my own pace and in my own home.

But I have the concern that future employers (vet hospitals, zoos, etc.) would not take this seriously, even though it is accredited by the AVMA (partial accredidation given to new status placements for the first 5 years). There are two 9-week practicums and proctored exams, not to mention the price is significantly less than popular schools like Purdue.

But will this degree be taken seriously against degrees from Purdue, MSU and other well-known schools? I'd hate to waste my time and money to be laughed at and out of a job in a year or two. What does everyone think?

As long as you are able to sit for your state board examinations and pass I don't think the employers cares too much about where you went to school.

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Athena in Concord, California

66 months ago

Julie in Sacramento, California said: Thanks Athena...hopefully its more towards the high teens low 20's, but I know being brand new is tough in any field! Do you find you job to be enjoyable,or is it what you expected? I had a hard time deciding between rvt and lvn...I know you can make more as an lvn, but rvt is what I found the most interesting.

If you don't have a lot of experience as an RVT I would expect a pay around $14-$16 an hour. If you have say 5 years + as an RVT then I would not work for less than $18 an hour. Although in this terrible economy it may be difficult to get a high starting salary anywhere you go.

I love being an RVT but as with any job it has it's down sides. You are expected to do a lot of work vs. the pay ratio. You are put in dangerous situations constantly. Not many hospitals follow the laws in place by OSHA and the AVMA. Try to work for a hospital that is AAHA approved. Some times the doctors can be complete arrogant jerks but there are also very great doctors that treat you as an equal. Try to get in at a specialty clinic or a ER hospital. You will get a lot of valuable experience at a ER clinic and specialty clinics generally pay higher wages. Techs also have a lot of physical strain put on their bodies. I cannot stress enough how important it is to lift properly and to always ask for help when lifting a large animal. Do not let yourself get a back injury because your hospital in understaffed,,,, wait until someone can help you lift or restrain a heavy animals. It is not worth hurting your back for life.

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Julie in Sacramento, California

66 months ago

that is all so good to know...thank you. It seems like there is such a huge range of pay here in CA, I guess its hard to know until you're actually offerred something. I just read an article that said there is a huge need for rvt's, so hopefully things get better with the economy!

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Roxanne RVT, CCRP in Dallas, Texas

66 months ago

J. Reichert in South Bend, Indiana said: Penn Foster DOES offer an Veterinary Technician Associate's degree www.pennfostercollege.edu/vettech/index.html . I myself am looking into this, because I can't afford NOT to work full-time and would rather learn at my own pace and in my own home.

But I have the concern that future employers (vet hospitals, zoos, etc.) would not take this seriously, even though it is accredited by the AVMA (partial accredidation given to new status placements for the first 5 years). There are two 9-week practicums and proctored exams, not to mention the price is significantly less than popular schools like Purdue.

But will this degree be taken seriously against degrees from Purdue, MSU and other well-known schools? I'd hate to waste my time and money to be laughed at and out of a job in a year or two. What does everyone think?

Why don't you look at San Juan College in NM, or even Cedar Valley in TX? Distance programs, no need to quit your current employment. The folks at SJC are GREAT! They started the CVC program, but are much less expensive. I think a little more involved though and you can take the board exams.

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T in Menifee, California

65 months ago

anna in Shreveport, Louisiana said: You need to read over Penn Foster. If im not mistaken it not a accredited school for Vet tech. They don't even say Vet Tech classes they call it Vet Assistant. Even though you are taking the same classes you want be able to sit for the exam. They are getting your money i do believe. Here is a website for Vet Tech accredited schools www.avma.org

Actually there Veterinary Technician AS Degree program is an accredited distance learning program approved by the AVMA. I am in California and by completing this course it will allow me to sit for the California State Board license to become a licensed Vet TEch. They also do have a Vet assistant program that is not the same as the Vet Tech.

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Becky in Grover Beach, California

65 months ago

Julie in Sacramento, California said: that is all so good to know...thank you. It seems like there is such a huge range of pay here in CA, I guess its hard to know until you're actually offerred something. I just read an article that said there is a huge need for rvt's, so hopefully things get better with the economy!

I'm going to be moving into the Sac area at the end of Summer to start the RVT program at Yuba College. I was laid off and had a choice to make, I decided to change careers. I did talk to my vet and he told me there is a shortage of RVTs in California, and that they'd been looking for one for over a year. The one thing he did say to do was tech thru school so that you have some experience aside from your new degree! What school are you going to?

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Kelly (Dayton, Ohio) in Louisville, Kentucky

64 months ago

Thanks soooo much for amva accredited school link! This is very helpful to me!

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: No it's fully acredited. I made sure before I paid! They're on the AVMA website. They've been fully acredited since 2006

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S in Xenia, Ohio

64 months ago

I have a BA and a Masters degree in business and have been working in the corporate world for many years- needless to say I've been driven crazy! I need a job where I can move and where I am doing something that matters. I run a feline rescue and rehabilitation group near Dayton, OH and I feel that being a Vet Tech would compliment this very well- as I would increase my knowledge and skills in working with rescue animals. I am thinking about signing up for classes at Penn Foster. I know there was a little discussion previously on here about Penn Foster. I see that they are AVMA accredited. I must work full time while going to school, so this program would be great for me. What are your thoughts on Penn Foster's program? Anyone who has taken or is taking classes through them? Anyone out there who has graduated from this Vet Tech program and gotten a job? Your thoughts? Thanks in advance for your input...

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

64 months ago

If at all possible, I would recommend that you take one of the on-site programs in Ohio. This is for 2 reasons, the first being that the out-of-state tuition can be a real killer and because you have to be working in a veteinary hospital under a DVM or RVT that is willing to mentor you in order to take the online degree programs.

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Tina Burris in Odessa, Florida

57 months ago

Wow. A little harsh reply to Anna, don't you think? She was just trying to provide some info to you. Even if she is wrong, that's no reason to be so snotty! Try to be a little nicer in life. There's enough people in the Vet field with your attitude. We need more kind and patient people in the vet field.

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mandyg363

57 months ago

I am currently in the process of looking for a school. I have been debating if I should spend the extra money and time and go right into a Vet Tech. I would much rather spend a quarter of the money and half the time and complete an on-line vet assistant program. I looked into the Animal Behavior College and it all felt a little shady, too good to be true. After researching, it seems like it is not much of a difference to enter as a assistant and get experience that way since the pay between the two is not significant. What assistant schools are good? Which do I do vet Assistant or Tech?

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

That depends, what state do you live in?

Veterinary technicians are required (in most states) to have a degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited veterinary technology program, to have passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam and a state exam in order to be credentialed. There are 2 degree levels offered in veterinary technology---a 2 year associates degree and a 4 year bachelors degree. Those with an associates degree are termed "technicians" and those with a bachelors degree are termed "technologists". The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a list of accredited degree programs on their website: www.avma.org/education/cvea/vettech_programs/vettech_programs.aspvettech
No state in the US has any educational requirements for working as a veterinary ASSISTANT. This is an entry level-position in a veterinary facility and training is generally done on the job. There are voluntary educational opportunities, however these are not equivalent to a college degree program and are instead basic vocational training. There is no over-sight by a professional body to ensure that the majority of these programs provide adequate or correct information. Veterinary assistants are not required to have any educatiton related to the field of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology. There are voluntary educational opportunities, however these are not equivalent to a college degree programs and are instead basic vocational training. There is no over-sight by a professional body to ensure that the majority of these programs provide adequate or correct information. There is no requirement for hands-on training and instructors often have little or no experience or education in the veterinary field. There are a handful of certification programs that are designed and approved by veterinary professional organizations or that are offered by colleges which also offer accredited veteirnary technology programs and these are better choices.

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

57 months ago

If you live in a state that requires licensure (there are many of these) then a certification as a veterinary assistant really is going to do very little for you. Tasks in these states are divided into what can be performed by a licensed technician vs. other non-licensed personnel. This also means that you will get less pay in these states because your usefulness to the hospital will be more limited.

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kelli wilson in Nashville, Georgia

54 months ago

Lauren in Joliet, Illinois said: I'm aware that the money isn't there, but that's not why people get into this business. Other than money, what are some of the cons of being a vet tech? Is the work physically draining? Will you burn out after only a few years? Do you get bit a lot? Do you clean up messes/fluids a lot? Are owners rude/disrespectful or hard to deal with?
I'm looking to change careers because I deal with a lot of corporate dissatisfaction right now and I'm wondering if there is just a different kind of hardship to deal with in this industry or not. Look forward to your feedback!

This is lame. (:

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kelli wilson && kara maxwell in Nashville, Georgia

54 months ago

hey its kara...lol.kelli needs help mentally and emotionally.and i think im gonna go get her some.anyways were high school students ....and im planning on being a vet when i get older and just needed some info.well kelli says hi. (:
haha.this was random.

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alex h in Oceanside, California

53 months ago

Athena in Concord, California said: I am a Registered Veterinary Technician in Cali. This job can be very difficult and very rewarding. The pay can be good if you go in the right direction. As soon as i got my license I went from $13 an hour to $18...immidiatly. After a year of having my license I was promoted to Dept. Lead and was making $26 an hour with full benefits.

Now the down side is that it is a physically and emotionally demanding job. I herniated two discs, was exposed to rabies and have been bitten too many times to count. Some times the vets are really rude. I have worked for vets that cuss, throw things and act like two year old. Many vets are very cheap and find any way possible to save a buck...whether it be at your expense or the animals...it happens way too often. Many techs are WAY under paid for the tasks they are expected to do. The hospital dynamic can also be very challenging. It is mostly a female dominated field and with that comes cattiness. It has happened at every hospital I have been to.

when you were bit was it bad???? have u ever had to get stiches becuse of it?? what do u think would be a good job with animals but not worry bout getting hurt

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sarah in Troy, Ohio

52 months ago

Alex: Yes, you can get VERY serious bites from working in a vet clinic. I once received a cat bite that landed me in the hospital for 3 days on IV antibiotics. I almost had to have surgery on my hand to open up my knuckle joints and clean them out, but the orthopedic surgeon assigned to me decided literally about an hour before the surgery was scheduled not to do it (there was concern of infection inside the joints of 2 of my fingers, but he decided that I was improving enough on the IV antibiotics that he would wait and give the joints a chance to heal on their own.) Not to mention the excruciating pain in my hand as it swelled so tightly that I truly felt the skin was going to split, and waking up in the middle of the night crying in pain bc i had lightly bumped my hand....

You also have to worry about zoonotic diseases (ex: cat scratch fever, intestinal parasites, MRSA--increasingly common in the pet population, etc.)

Not trying to scare you away, but please consider such things when making your career choice. I was wisely cautious of the aggressive/defensive animals before, but now I struggle every time one comes in to the clinic bc I'm terrified of being bitten again.

About the job in general, there are pros and cons, just as any other job. It can be rewarding helping a sick pet back to health, pleasing a concerned owner, or bringing a new life into the world assisting in an emergency c-section. but it's a very high stress job (lives are in your hands every day), most clinics are always understaffed, you'll be asked to perform 10 tasks at once (turning one down bc you are busy is often just not an option),& doctors will always assume you're incompetent just bc they are standing around doing nothing for 10min while you set up the anesthesia machine, monitoring equipment, & surgical supplies, and induce the patient, hook them up to the machine and monitors, and clip/prep the surgery site.... =(

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sarah in Troy, Ohio

52 months ago

truthfully, if i had to do it over again, i would put a lot more thought into the career before i chose it. i love the work itself: i've always loved animals, and i find the medical aspect fascinating, but i don't know if it's worth the stress.... or the part where you're constantly overworked and EXTREMELY underpaid. (look at the salary for the human equivalent RN degree... you would expect to make twice as much with it).

so, i guess i'd say get a job as a kennel attendant or assistant for a while if you can. while you're there, pay attention to the little things: do you see the technicians frequently asked to juggle multiple tasks? do there seem to be enough staff for all the work that has to be done? are techs frequently stuck standing around waiting because there is no one available to help restrain a patient, draw a blood sample, etc? how stressed do the technicians seem on an average day? how late are technicians stuck at the clinic each night after closing? (both clinics i've worked @ so far, techs are usually stuck there for at least an hour after closing doing end-of-day procedures, cleaning, etc.) how long are working shifts? are staff members frequently being forced to not take lunch breaks bc there is too much work to be done and not enough people to cover it?

make a list of things that are important to you in any job situation and pay attention to those as well. (ex: if you enjoy teamwork, is the clinic environment one that seems to promote that?)

obviously don't completely base your career decision on what you see at one specific clinic, but try and learn what things are common throughout the field (understaffed clinics, long hours, high stress levels, etc.).

if you still like what you see after having assessed the field, then by all means, go for it! =)

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ottertot in Wichita, Kansas

50 months ago

POOL_GODDESS in Scottsdale, Arizona said: I'm studying to become a Vet Tech with Penn Foster college. It's a self paced online course, they send you the books & homework/exams in the mail. They are full accredited with go through the AVA - Anerican Veterinary Association.

The reason why I want to work with animals is because they agreeable patients & the give no critisim. Unlike people & human patients, you can hear them grumble, complain... but not animals. The only thing you'd deal with is caring & concerned owners who treat their pets as family members.

They are only agreeable because they can't speak english. Are you thinking about how the animals feel?

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Tiffany

50 months ago

I've been reading everyones comments I've been trying to decide weither to go to school to be a vet tech or just start out as an assistant but my question is what is the difference between a licensed vet tech and a registered vet tech (obviously the license and being registered) but is the registered where you go to school for 4 years? And the license vet tech the 2 year program? I am also looking into going to st pete community (in florida) any reviews on the program and school? Thanks guys!

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isabella in Buffalo, Minnesota

50 months ago

check out vet technical institute in florida

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CindyRVT in Henderson, Texas

50 months ago

The reason that there are different types of credentials for veterinary technicians is because each state sets it's own laws governing the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology. So in some states you may see LVTs while in others you may see RVTs or CVTs. All 3 types of credentials generally require that the person have a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an AVMA accredited school though there are a few states that have approved programs at colleges that aren't AVMA accredited.

Licensure refers to a legal right to do something that is granted by a governing body. Just like a license to practice medicine or drive a car. It means that without having earned that license, it is illegal for you to perform certain actions. Registeration refers to keeping lists of people who have achieved set requirements. It doesn't necessarily imply a legal right to perform tasks/duties that others may not but it does in certain states. Registration may be granted by a governing or professional body. Certification is generally granted by a group other than a governing body. It doesn't imply a legal right to perform certain duties and is generally a voluntary achievement. It is often offered by an educational entity or in the case of veterinary technicians by a professional organization.

Don't be fooled though, some states don't use the credentials in these standard ways and call a technician registered or certified when it boils down to the same thing as being licensed. Meaning that the use of the title "veterinary technician" is still restricted to credentialed vet techs only and there are tasks that may only be performed by a credentialed vet tech.

It is a good idea to go ahead and take a job at a veterinary hospital before you enroll in a vet tech program. In general it is just a good way to really see what the profession is like before you put time and money into a degree and then find out that you don't like it.

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Sarah in West Salem, Ohio

50 months ago

Tiffany said: I've been reading everyones comments I've been trying to decide weither to go to school to be a vet tech or just start out as an assistant but my question is what is the difference between a licensed vet tech and a registered vet tech (obviously the license and being registered) but is the registered where you go to school for 4 years? And the license vet tech the 2 year program? I am also looking into going to st pete community (in florida) any reviews on the program and school? Thanks guys!

Basic differences:
1) a person who works in a veterinary office w/ no education is considered a vet assistant (You can get a certificate from some online schools for this, but honestly don't waste your money, as most places would rather just train you on the job for this)

2) a person with a 2 year degree in veterinary technology from an **AVMA accredited** school is called a veterinary technician. having this degree allows you to sit for the VTNE (veterinary technician national exam). upon passing this exam, and fulfilling other requirements as designated by the state in which you plan to work, you can apply to receive credentials (RVT, LVT, or CVT) in your state.

3) a person who completes a 4 year degree in veterinary technology is considered a veterinary technologist. not every school that offers 2 year degrees will offer a 4 year degree, but for the ones that do, it's typically a 2+2 program, meaning that you will complete the 2yrs toward an associate's degree, and then take 2 more years of classes to expand upon your animal health knowledge. people who receive this degree from an **AVMA accredited** school are also elidgeable to sit for the VTNE.

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tburris in Odessa, Florida

50 months ago

I worked in the Veterinary Field an entire 3 years! LOL! Yeah, I made it for 3 years. It was awesome learning all that I did, but I'll tell you now that I have never known a more self-righteous, hypocritical, snobby bunch of people as I did working in the Veterinary Field. Good luck to you.

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chickenfried in Tampa, Florida

50 months ago

the burnout rate for this field is alarmingly early and high. i wonder if there is anyway we can form union? i think that might solve the poor treatment/pay/benefits for all the hardworking techs out there who deserve better. anyone know how to go about doing that?

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Nicole in Brooklyn, New York

48 months ago

I was very passionate about becoming a vet tech 10 years ago. I went to veterinary nursing school and was the top of my class, loved it and passed my licensing exam with a high score. I have tried every type of small animal practice and have excelled in dentistry, emergency and critical care and even got promoted to be practice manager. All I can say is that I am indescribably disappointed in my career choice. Since there are no unions, vet techs are almost always exploited because they care so much about pets. They are underpaid, underappreciated, often work many hours with little compensation for their hard work. Vet techs are very frequently exposed to many job hazards (many illegal)without protection because employers prey on your willingness to be self-sacrificing because of your passion for love of animals and medicine. I always knew it would not be a high paying career but I’ve seen so many fellow vet techs get screwed over by hospitals (e.g. job related injuries) because there are no unions. I’ve had many jobs in both large and small hospitals in 3 states and it’s the same everywhere and the best technicians usually leave the field after working in it for about 4-5 years due to burn out and frustration. I wish that I could still love my career, but employers don’t take this career seriously. I strongly discourage anyone from entering this field until unions organize and develop into something similar to nurses unions in human hospitals today. Like many others, I have given up and plan to leave the field, because I too can no longer stand the exploitation.

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X in Alhambra, California

47 months ago

Wow! u are dead on. that's exactly the way this field is. Go all the way to D.V.M. IT'S NOT worth the risk of injury to your body and the compromise your health( x ray gloves impossible to use functionally %99 of time) for a career (if u can call it one) that barely pays the bills. its not IF you'll get hurt, its When! i speak from experience.

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CHADAMAYADA in Shreveport, Louisiana

47 months ago

OH MY GOSH, DID YOU GET GLOVES FOR X-RAYS....LOOK IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE CLINIC YOU WORK FOR. I DID NOT KNOW THIS TIL RECENTLY. IT REALLY IS ALL ABOUT THE ANIMALS...PAY SUCKS, BUT CLIENT EDUCATION RULES

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dachshund lover in Sugar Land, Texas

46 months ago

Susan in St. Pete. I realize that your post is many months old, but have you tried contacting Dr. Mark Brown DVM in St. Pete. He has two practices in the city and has been practicing in town for quite a number of years. I have also been looking at the St. Pete program but from a distance learning perspective. Did you start the Vet Tech program?

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Manxkats in Mantua, New Jersey

45 months ago

This is the best job in the world, for me. There lies the difference. You are either a "lifer" or this is your job. Yes it is a hard job. Sometimes a very hard job but for all the various reasons listed in all the above posts. Started work as someone with no experience at all and have had jobs in several hospitals over the last 12 years (only 2 bites, both from cats). Some were terrific and others not so much. I have worked in Emergency hospitals and in Regular practice. I do not neccessarily need my techs to be certified because I would hire someone with real experience over education and do not have a problem hiring with no experience because I can teach you what you need to know. It is the best job if it is right for you. More often than not I can't believe I get paid to do my job.

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sb in Tulsa, Oklahoma

44 months ago

Nicole in Brooklyn, New York said: I was very passionate about becoming a vet tech 10 years ago. I went to veterinary nursing school and was the top of my class, loved it and passed my licensing exam with a high score. I have tried every type of small animal practice and have excelled in dentistry, emergency and critical care and even got promoted to be practice manager. All I can say is that I am indescribably disappointed in my career choice. Since there are no unions, vet techs are almost always exploited because they care so much about pets. They are underpaid, underappreciated, often work many hours with little compensation for their hard work. Vet techs are very frequently exposed to many job hazards (many illegal)without protection because employers prey on your willingness to be self-sacrificing because of your passion for love of animals and medicine. I always knew it would not be a high paying career but I’ve seen so many fellow vet techs get screwed over by hospitals (e.g. job related injuries) because there are no unions. I’ve had many jobs in both large and small hospitals in 3 states and it’s the same everywhere and the best technicians usually leave the field after working in it for about 4-5 years due to burn out and frustration. I wish that I could still love my career, but employers don’t take this career seriously. I strongly discourage anyone from entering this field until unions organize and develop into something similar to nurses unions in human hospitals today. Like many others, I have given up and plan to leave the field, because I too can no longer stand the exploitation.

I am in high school still and I plan to be a vet in the future, but can you clarify to me what the union thing is all about???

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Matt in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

40 months ago

I found this article about the cons of being a vet tech: www.veterinary-technician.net/2010/06/15/the-cons-of-becoming-a-vet-tech/

It seems to be in line with what people are saying.

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Blair in Lafayette, Louisiana

39 months ago

I am about to graduate highschool. I am choosing from a RN or a vet tech. The real downer about being a vet tech is that they are so underpaid, but I love working with animals. Where do you know of where they are respected and get paid? Is that possible in louisiana since vet techs dont even have to get certified?

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