Veterinary professionals with dog

If you’ve been curious about entering the Veterinary field, you may be considering training to become either a Veterinary Assistant or Veterinary Technician. While these career paths may seem very similar on the surface, there are a few key differences between the two. Compare the similarities and differences of a Vet Assistant vs. Vet Tech before you decide to enroll in a Veterinary training program!

Duties of a Vet Assistant vs. Vet Tech

The Veterinary field is best suited for someone who is compassionate, has a strong love for animals, and pays close attention to details. Success as either a Veterinary Assistant or a Veterinary Technician requires someone who is physically able, as the job often requires lifting and restraining animals during examinations. Find your Veterinary niche, compare and contrast the responsibilities of a Vet Assistant and Vet Tech!

Responsibilities of a Veterinary Assistant:

  • Looking after animals post-surgery and monitoring their health
  • Assisting with the provision of emergency care and first aid to sick or injured animals
  • Administering medication and immunizations
  • Feeding and bathing animals, as well as weighing, taking temperatures and collecting samples for testing
  • Maintaining a sterile environment for operations

Responsibilities of a Veterinary Technician:

  • Taking and developing animal x-rays
  • Preparing animals and equipment for surgery
  • Collect laboratory samples for testing
  • Administering medications, vaccines, and treatments
  • Collecting and recording the history of animals medical history

The duties of a Vet Tech include the same observational and care-taking skills needed to be a Vet Assistant. The main difference between these two career choices is that Veterinary Assistants have more one-on-one interaction with the animals, whereas, Veterinary Techs handle the more technical medical aspects of the job.

Pay and Career Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Vet Assistants earn an average of $12.50 per hour or about $27,000 per year. The career outlook is good for Veterinary Assistants⏤demand is expected to grow by 19% between 2016 and 2016. Veterinary Technicians, on the other hand, make an average of $16.06 per hour, or $34,000 salary per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shares that the demand is even higher for Vet Techs. The need for Veterinary Techs is expected to grow by 20% between 2016 and 2026. The expected growth rates for these two Veterinary career choices is much higher than average for all occupations.

The pay of a Vet Assistant and Vet Tech may vary depending on the chosen work environment. Aside from working in a standard Veterinary practice, you can also find Vet Assistants and Vet Technicians in colleges or universities, research facilities, or social advocacy organizations. Taking these various work environments into consideration, Veterinary Assistants may earn anywhere between $25,000 – $37,000 salary and Veterinary Technicians may earn anywhere between $33,000 – 41,000 salary.

Veterinary Training Required

If you’re pursuing a career as a Veterinary Assistant, you can expect to begin your new career in less than a year. On average, students complete the Vet Assistant program in about 30-weeks. However, completing the Veterinary Technician program takes closer to two years, students complete the program in 73-weeks on average. Training to become a Vet Tech takes a bit longer because you must first become certified as a Veterinary Assistant in order to go on to train as a Technician in the field.

Milwaukee Career College makes starting your Veterinary career a breeze. In addition to offering hands-on training, students gain real-world experience by completing an externship as part of the program. You won’t have to worry about finding a job after graduation, MCC provides job placement assistance to all graduates! Our dedicated Career Services team nurtures relationships with area employers to help you get hired.

Contact Milwaukee Career College today to take the first step towards your new career as a Veterinary Assistant or Technician!