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Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
SOC Code: 29-2056.00

Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.

Sample of reported job titles: 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)

Tasks

  • Care for and monitor the condition of animals recovering from surgery.
  • Maintain controlled drug inventory and related log books.
  • Administer anesthesia to animals, under the direction of a veterinarian, and monitor animals' responses to anesthetics so that dosages can be adjusted.
  • Restrain animals during exams or procedures.
  • Administer emergency first aid, such as performing emergency resuscitation or other life saving procedures.
  • Observe the behavior and condition of animals and monitor their clinical symptoms.
  • Perform laboratory tests on blood, urine, or feces, such as urinalyses or blood counts, to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of animal health problems.
  • Prepare and administer medications, vaccines, serums, or treatments, as prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Clean and sterilize instruments, equipment, or materials.
  • Collect, prepare, and label samples for laboratory testing, culture, or microscopic examination.
  • Prepare animals for surgery, performing such tasks as shaving surgical areas.
  • Discuss medical health of pets with clients, such as post-operative status.
  • Fill prescriptions, measuring medications and labeling containers.
  • Take animals into treatment areas and assist with physical examinations by performing such duties as obtaining temperature, pulse, or respiration data.
  • Maintain laboratory, research, or treatment records, as well as inventories of pharmaceuticals, equipment, or supplies.
  • Take and develop diagnostic radiographs, using x-ray equipment.
  • Prepare treatment rooms for surgery.
  • Provide veterinarians with the correct equipment or instruments, as needed.
  • Perform dental work, such as cleaning, polishing, or extracting teeth.
  • Clean kennels, animal holding areas, surgery suites, examination rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Schedule appointments and procedures for animals.
  • Provide information or counseling regarding issues such as animal health care, behavior problems, or nutrition.
  • Dress and suture wounds and apply splints or other protective devices.
  • Maintain instruments, equipment, or machinery to ensure proper working condition.
  • Give enemas and perform catheterizations, ear flushes, intravenous feedings, or gavages.
  • Provide assistance with animal euthanasia and the disposal of remains.
  • Supervise or train veterinary students or other staff members.
  • Monitor medical supplies and place orders when inventory is low.
  • Perform a variety of office, clerical, or accounting duties, such as reception, billing, bookkeeping, or selling products.
  • Bathe animals, clip nails or claws, and brush or cut animals' hair.
  • Conduct specialized procedures, such as animal branding or tattooing or hoof trimming.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - FileMaker Pro; Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Medical software - Animal Intelligence Software Animal Intelligence; McAllister Software Systems AVImark; Veterinary practice management software PMS
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Air rifles or air handguns - Capture rifles; Dart guns
  • Ambulances
  • Analgesic infusion sets or kits - Infusion sets
  • Animal catching devices - Animal capture nets; Animal catching poles; Animal snares
  • Animal husbandry equipment - Cattle chutes; Dehorners; Hoof picks
  • Animal shearing or clipping equipment - Electric animal clippers
  • Animal weighing scales - Electronic animal scales
  • Anti shock garments - Medical anti-shock trousers MAST
  • Arterial line catheters
  • Artificial airway holders
  • Automated external defibrillators AED or hard paddles - Semiautomated or automatic external defibrillators AED
  • Benchtop centrifuges
  • Binocular light compound microscopes - Optical compound microscopes
  • Blood collection needle - Venoject needles
  • Blood collection syringes
  • Blood gas analyzers
  • Blood pressure recording units - Blood pressure recorders
  • Butterfly needles - Scalp vein needles
  • Cages or its accessories - Squeeze cages
  • Cardiac output CO monitoring units or accessories - Cardiac monitors; Portable cardiac monitors
  • Cardiac pacemaker generator or cardiac resynchronization therapy pacemaker CRT-P - External pacers
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation CPR protective shields or masks - One-way valve pocket masks
  • Chemical or gas sterilizers - Gas sterilizers
  • Chemistry analyzers - Automated chemistry analyzers
  • Coagulation analyzers
  • Dental finishing or polishing discs - Prophylaxis angles
  • Dental hand pieces or accessories - Dental handpieces
  • Dental probes - Dental explorers
  • Dental scalers or accessories - Ultrasonic dental scalers
  • Dental x ray units - Veterinary dental x ray equipment
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital cameras
  • Electrocardiography EKG transmitter or telemetry or accessories - Telemetry units
  • Electrocardiography EKG units
  • Electrosurgical or electrocautery equipment - Electrosurgery units
  • Emergency medical service intravenous IV kit - Intraosseous kits
  • Emergency medical services head immobilizers - Head immobilization devices
  • Emergency medical services obstetrics kits - Obstetrical OB kits
  • Emergency medical services suction units or accessories - Airway suction units; Battery-powered portable suction units; Fixed-suction equipment
  • Emergency medical services tracheal tube or cricothyrotomy kits - Cricothyrotomy kits
  • Emergency medical services triage tags - Triage tags
  • Emergency response litters or stretchers or accessories - Multi-level wheeled cots; Stair chairs
  • Emergency resuscitator or aspirator kits - Resuscitation devices
  • Endotracheal tubes - Endotracheal ET tubes
  • Enema kits or accessories - Enema equipment
  • Enteral feeding administration sets - Enteral feeding equipment
  • Esophageal tubes - Esophageal tracheal airway devices
  • Extremity restraints - Limb restraints
  • Finger ring removers - Ring cutters
  • Flow sensors or regulators or components - Wall-mounted oxygen regulators
  • Forced air or mechanical convection general purpose incubators - Laboratory mechanical convection incubators
  • Full body immersion hydrotherapy baths or tanks - Veterinary immersion hydrotherapy equipment
  • Gas anesthesia apparatus - Veterinary anesthesia machines
  • Glucose monitors or meters - Glucometers
  • Handheld refractometers or polarimeters - Handheld refractometers
  • Harnesses or its accessories - Head halters
  • Hemocytometers
  • Hypodermic injection apparatus or accessories - Epi-pens; Preload syringes
  • Hypodermic needle - Hypodermic needles
  • Intermittent positive pressure breathing IPPB machines - Mechanical intermittent positive pressure ventilators
  • Intravenous infusion pumps for general use - Intravenous IV pressure infusers; Intravenous IV pumps
  • Intravenous or arterial arm boards - Long arm boards; Short arm boards
  • Intravenous or arterial cannulas or accessories - Intravenous IV cannulas
  • Intravenous or arterial tubing adapters or connectors or locks or caps or protectors - Saline locks
  • Intravenous tubing with catheter administration kits - Intravenous IV administration sets
  • Intubation forceps - Adult Magill forceps
  • Intubation gauges or guides - Esophageal intubation detection devices
  • Intubation stylets - Adult stylets
  • Laboratory balances - Laboratory scales
  • Laboratory diluters - Automated diluters
  • Laryngoscopes or accessories - Curved adult blades; Laryngoscopes; Straight adult blades; Straight pediatric blades (see all 5 examples)
  • Manual or electronic hematology differential cell counters - Differential blood cell counters; Electronic blood cell counters
  • Medical acoustic stethoscope or accessory - Mechanical stethoscopes
  • Medical aspiration or irrigation syringes - Bulb syringes
  • Medical computed tomography CT or CAT scanners or tubes - Computed tomography CT scanners
  • Medical gas cylinders or related devices - Fixed-oxygen equipment; Portable oxygen equipment
  • Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI scanners - Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems
  • Medical nasal cannulae - Oxygen nasal cannulae
  • Medical oxygen masks or parts - Adult non-rebreather oxygen masks; Child oxygen masks; Infant oxygen masks
  • Medical radiation films or badges - Radiation detecting film badges
  • Medical radiological positioning aids for general radiological use - X ray patient positioning equipment
  • Medical radiological shielding aprons or masks or drapes - Lead aprons; Lead thyroid collars
  • Medical radiological shielding gloves - Lead gloves
  • Medical staff isolation or surgical masks - Protective face shields
  • Medical syringe with needle - Anesthesia syringes; Hypodermic syringes; Multiple dose syringes
  • Medical ultrasound or doppler or pulse echo or echography units for general diagnostic use - Veterinary ultrasound equipment
  • Medical x ray darkroom equipment or supplies - Manual darkroom developing equipment; X ray film processors
  • Medical x ray film or cassette - X ray cassettes
  • Medical x ray intensifying screens - X ray intensifying equipment
  • Medical x ray units for general diagnostic use - Digital x ray equipment; Portable veterinary x ray equipment; Stationary veterinary x ray equipment
  • Microcentrifuges - Microhematocrit centrifuges
  • Microscope slides
  • Mobile or transportable medical linear accelerators - Linear accelerator equipment
  • Muzzles
  • Nasopharyngeal tubes - Nasopharyngeal airways
  • Nebulizer or accessories - Aerosol nebulizers; Humidification equipment; Nebulizers
  • Needleless intravenous injection syringe set or injection cannula - Interlink syringe cannulas
  • Needleless vial or bag withdrawal cannulas or adapters or decanters - Vacutainer adapters; Vial access cannulas
  • Non vacuum blood collection tubes or containers - Blood tubes
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Ophthalmic tonometers or accessories - Ophthalmic tonometers
  • Ophthalmoscopes or otoscopes or scope sets - Ophthalmoscopes; Otoscopes
  • Orthopedic splint systems - Cardboard splints; Rigid splints; Splints
  • Osmometers
  • Oxygen insufflator or its accessories - Transtracheal jet insufflators
  • Oxygen therapy delivery system products accessories or its supplies - Oxygen administration equipment
  • Patient stretchers or stretcher accessories - Stretchers
  • Periodontal curettes
  • Personal computers
  • Protective gloves - Bite gloves
  • Pulse oximeter units - Pulse oximeters
  • Respiratory monitoring kits or its accessories - Respiration monitors
  • Restraints - Bovine tail restraints; Nose tongs
  • Resuscitation masks or accessories - Ambu bags
  • Sledge hammer - Sledgehammers
  • Specimen collection container - Specimen collection containers
  • Steam autoclaves or sterilizers - Steam autoclaves; Vacuum autoclaves
  • Surgical calipers or rulers - Surgical calipers
  • Surgical retractors for general use - Surgical retractors
  • Surgical scalpels or knives or blades or trephines or accessories - Surgical scalpels
  • Suture needles
  • Suture removers - Suture scissors
  • Tablet computers
  • Therapeutic heating or cooling units or systems - Veterinary patient warming systems
  • Tourniquets
  • Ultrasonic cleaning equipment - Ultrasonic instrument cleaners
  • Urinary catheterization kit - Urinary catheters
  • Vacuum blood collection tubes or containers - Evacuated blood collection tubes
  • Veterinary blood pressure testers - Ultrasonic blood pressure monitors
  • Veterinary castration instruments - Veterinary emasculators
  • Veterinary clinical thermometers - Digital veterinary thermometers
  • Veterinary electrocardiograph ECG - Animal electrocardiograph ECG units
  • Veterinary injection or suction units or accessories - Balling guns; Veterinary suction equipment
  • Veterinary nail trimmers or cutters - Animal nail trimmers; Hoof trimmers
  • Veterinary speculums - Veterinary oral specula; Veterinary vaginal specula

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).

Interests

  • Interest code: RI
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Work Context

  • Contact With Others - 95% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone - 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 77% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 73% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 66% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 88% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 64% responded “Very important results.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 50% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 65% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 48% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 48% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Exposed to Radiation - 42% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 39% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 44% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 65% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 65% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 47% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 41% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 44% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 35% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 34% responded “About half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 41% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 46% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 43% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
68%Associate's degree
12%High school diploma or equivalent
11%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $16.06 hourly, $33,400 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 102,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Much faster than average (15% or higher)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 10,700

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