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Veterinary Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Requirements

A Veterinary Technician, also known as a Veterinary Technologist, is essential for helping animals stay healthy and comfortable while visiting a Veterinarian. Their duties include handling pets, encouraging them to remain calm during examinations, keeping exam areas and the rest of the office clean, and administering treatments to animals.

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Veterinary Technician duties and responsibilities

Veterinary Technicians help with a wide range of tasks. They spend most of their time caring for animals, but they may also explain bills to customers, process payments, and order medical supplies like protective gloves when needed. Duties and responsibilities in a Veterinary Technician job description may include: 

  • Updating patient records
  • Transitioning paper records to a digital format by performing data entry
  • Cleaning and preparing exam rooms before appointments
  • Sending tissue and fluid samples to a lab for analysis or using on-site equipment to conduct tests
  • Helping a veterinarian treat injured animals in emergencies
  • Answering phone calls
  • Calculating billing amounts
  • Explaining medical procedures
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Veterinary Technician Job Description Examples:

What does a Veterinary Technician do?

Veterinary Technicians often groom dogs and cats. They also take urine, blood, or stool samples. They give injections and oral medications, and implant microchips that help reunite lost pets with their owners. Before surgery, they sterilize the operating room, shave the area around the incision, and administer anesthesia. Veterinary Technicians can assist during surgeries, sterilize medical instruments, and operate X-ray machines, ultrasound equipment, and other devices. They sometimes interview pet owners and record medical histories of animals.

Veterinary Technician skills and qualifications

Successful Veterinary Technicians usually have a combination of social and technical skills. They’re friendly and compassionate, they can operate complex veterinary equipment, and respond effectively to stressful situations. Top skills and qualifications for Veterinary Technicians include: 

  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Inventory management skills
  • Outstanding written and verbal communication skills
  • Understanding of anatomy, animal behavior, and the benefits of the procedures that healthcare providers perform
  • Ability to lift large dogs and other animals and spend long periods of time standing

Veterinary Technician experience requirements

Most Veterinary Technician jobs require at least two years of previous experience in a similar role. Experience as a Veterinary Assistant or other related roles can be beneficial. Experience volunteering at animal shelters or animal rescue organizations is desirable for entry-level positions.

Veterinary Technician education and training requirements

Most Veterinary Technician positions require a two- or three-year Degree in Veterinary Technology. In many provinces, Veterinary Technicians must also pass an exam and register with the local Veterinary Technicians’ association. Degree programs usually include practical training, and on-the-job training is often required as well.

Veterinary Technician salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary for a Veterinary Technician in Canada is $37,601 per year. Pay rates for individuals depend on locations, experience and education levels, and employers.

Job description samples for similar positions

If a Veterinary Technician isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, some other job description samples that may fit your needs include:

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Veterinary Technician job description FAQs

What is a typical day like for a Veterinary technician?

Veterinary Technicians work in animal hospitals, veterinarians’ offices, research laboratories, zoos, and schools of veterinary medicine. Some specialize in treating pets, and others mostly treat farm or exotic animals. Veterinary Technicians usually work in the same place every day, but some travel with Veterinarians to take care of patients on location. Uniforms or scrubs are often required, and most Veterinary Technicians work regular hours. However, some Veterinary technicians at emergency clinics and hospitals work on nights and weekends.

Who does a Veterinary Technician report to?

A Veterinary Technician must work under the supervision of a Veterinarian at the same location. Veterinary Technicians can report to the Veterinarian, the company that owns the clinic, or an employment agency. They work with Receptionists, Laboratory Technicians, and medical supply vendors, and they sometimes help train new employees.

How is a Veterinary Technician different from a Veterinary Assistant?

There is some overlap between the Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant roles. However, Veterinary Technicians spend most of their time treating animals and performing medical procedures. They know how to use medical equipment, assist Veterinarians, and assess the vital signs of cats, dogs, and other animals. Veterinary Assistants don’t have the licensing or certification needed to administer treatments. They focus on keeping kennels and treatment areas clean, feeding the animals, grooming them, and performing administrative tasks like sending bills to owners.

What makes a good Veterinary Technician job description?

An effective Veterinary Technician job description tells people what location the new Veterinary Technician will work in and what the hours will be like. It should also include whether the Veterinary Technician will need to travel to farms, zoos, or other locations to treat large or exotic animals. If they’re required to have special certification to operate certain equipment, such as X-Ray machines, make sure to list that as well.

Job Description Examples

Need help writing a job description for a specific role? Use these job description examples to create your next great job posting. Or if you’re ready to hire, post your job on Indeed.

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