Veterinary Technician degree and Physical Therapist Assistant degree at the same time?

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Nitch.Taymer in New York, New York

73 months ago

I realize this question might seem odd.

I have come to a point in my life where I am looking for a new career. I have had certificates in the past, but it is my first time going to college (am turning 30 this year).
I am very torn in choosing a major.
If I really listen to my heart, I would love to get a degree to work as a Veterinary technician (and maybe down the road go to Vet school, but that is not something I am planning on deciding for a while.) Sadly the position as a Vet Tech is very underpaid, and I am afraid that I will not be able to contribute enough financially to my future plans (starting a family..and living in either NY or FL).
But I also do not want to enter a major just for the potential pay I might get later. I want to have a job that makes me happy.
Another major I am interested in is a degree as a Physical Therapy assistant. I've researched the field a lot, and find it very interesting, plus the pay seems a little higher.It is a second choice, as working with animals would be the ultimate thing for me if finances weren't an issue, but I could very well see myself working in that field and it making me happy as well.
Do you think it would be realistic to start pursuing both those degrees at the same time? I am planning to go to LaGuardia Community College in NYC which offers both programs.Provided I get in,since both have limited seating. If I do get into both,I am thinking that it might take me about a year longer or more than just one degree, considering that I already have the majority of the core requirements for both.
Upon graduation my plan would be to first look for a job as a Vet Tech, and seeing how it goes, and maybe even get a part-time PTA job at the same time if it is at all possible. I would love to work with both humans and animals, but I have not seen such a career.
Is my plan on having two careers (ex. 2 part-time jobs in different fields) simultaneously realistic?
Any input is greatly appreciated!

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Sulsapj in Overland Park, Kansas

70 months ago

I realize your post is a little dated but hopefully this will be helpful. I have been working in veterinary technology for over twenty-five years less a couple of "sabbaticals" working with two-legged patients. It has been very challenging being a primary breadwinner and staying in this field but I always find myself coming back to it because career-wise veterinary medicine is my first love.

Most on campus veterinary technology programs are closed programs requiring an interview and having a very finite number of seats available. I imagine the PTA program would be similar and I doubt LaGuardia would allow the dual enrollment, but even if they did I think you'd find it pretty challenging to do your best with that type of course load.

If you truly want to work with both human and animal patients I'd pursue a career as a physical therapist and get a certificate in veterinary phsical therapy. There are a couple of certificate programs available, the better known of the two is at the University of Tennessee.

State laws vary (and will probably be in flux for a while) on whether you can work on veterinary patients with or without the supervision of a veterinarian and at what level of supervision. While certificates are available to PTAs you'd still have to work under a PT and I'm not sure there are enough paying clients available to supporta a PT and a PTA.

Whichever you decide, you're young, I'd suggest you first get some volunteer time in both types of practice and see what you're in for. Then if you decide on one go for your doctorate (or MPT if that's still an option). I can't speak for PTAs but VT is not a step towards becoming a veterinarian, it's a sidetrack.

Life happens while you're still making plans and life's responsibilities are cumulative in nature, the less responsibilities you have the easier it is to be successful in school.

Good luck with whatever you choose.

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KS_08 in Roseville, California

70 months ago

Nitch.Taymer in New York, New York said: I realize this question might seem odd.

To be frankly honest, I went to get my Dental assistant degree when my true passion was for animals. I thought I could not handle it due to euthanasia but after volunteering at a County Animal Shelter I learned the moral behind it and made me stronger and to understand what sufferings these animals can have. But, to your question, it is not odd. In this economic times everyone is worried and even Dental Hygienist who are suppose to make about over 30.00 an hour are only earning 17.00.

Number 1 fact, it takes a lot of hard work and elbow grease to get where we want to be and with earning money, it all takes time and experience in ANY field. Take it from me, having my Dental degree that I had never used put me in a bad spot where I can not even pay for the degree that was not even for me, thank goodness for my husband supporting my mistake! I even wanted to go to UC Davis for Animal Science, I could not even do that because I went to another college, if I didn't I could of been enrolled, now I have to go take more classes before I can even start which will take two years. :< I am wanting to go back myself to go for my true passion, which is animals.

You will not be truly happy and in the animal world, you do work with people and help touch them in ways to connect better and educate clients about their pet(s).

In the future, if you do want to make a good income you will need to get experience. A few good years and clinics are the best for that since it is hard work and shows your motivation and loyalty the longer you stay at a location. Lab work I hear makes a very good income, plus it is something that you will enjoy for years and never look back on.

The last thing you would want to do is get into a career that you can not take back and it only waste your time and money. Do what you love and work hard to get what you deserve.

Hope this helps you out some.

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Dog Mom in Las Vegas, Nevada

29 months ago

I am just curious what you ended up doing? I myself have felt it is time to transition and am slightly older than yourself. I also have looked at Physical Therapy assistant only because it is a gateway to Certification as an animal rehabilitation tech. I feel that working with animals is my calling too and there is more money to be made than people think. I feel that the personal and moral rewards would outweigh the money made by far though.
I started my work with animal massage courses with acupressure courses added in. Hoping to continue that this year and start using it more. There is only one rehab facility currently in my state and would love to be the second some day.
Hope you are closer to living your dream!

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IslandGirl in Nanaimo, British Columbia

7 months ago

KS_08 in Roseville, California said:

I worked as a vet assistant for 6 years and LOVED it. I considered going back to school to become a registered veterinary tech, but I was discouraged by the poor pay (which is also why I left my job as a vet assistant). I'm currently going to school to become a dental hygienist. I thought I was prepared to leave veterinary field and ready to move on to something else, but I have found myself missing it more than ever :( KS_08, are you working with animals?

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vettech 1 in Collegeville, Pennsylvania

27 days ago

I have been looking at doing the same thing . I work full time as a vet tech want to animal massage courses and animal physical therapy course. I wanted to know how it worked out for you an how it improved your salary?

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