Veterinary Technician Salaries

					Veterinary Technician Salaries

Veterinary Technician SalariesTuesday May 13, 2008Questions about veterinary salaries are a
common theme in the Pre-Vet & Career Forum. This post, originally from 2005, has garnered
more comments than any other blog post on this site. The comments for this post are as honest
and "real" as it gets for people discussing salary and other considerations for when they decide
on a career path.

Original forum post:MCPITBULL asks: "I know this is a little out-there and bold, but I was
wondering how much a vet tech makes hourly. I would like to become a vet tech through the
Education Direct, but I would like to know how much they make hourly round-a-bout before I get
too into it..."

March 2009 update - Please consider posting your own "mini article" on this topic in the new
Readers Respond area on this site: Can Love and Money Coexist?

For questions about a career as a veterinary technician, please see the Veterinary Careers -
Vet Tech section.

Photo credit: Getty Images / Michael Greenberg
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  - NextLeave a CommentCommentsMay 21, 2006 at 10:33 pm(1) Jensays:

I must be honest with you…if you get into this career, you will not be doing it for the money!!
Unfortunately, in the 10 years that I have been working as a certified veterinary technician
(meaning I went to school and took the national boards), I have come to realize that the pay
pretty much stinks no matter where you go or what aspect of vet tech work you get into (unless
you go into research) Trying to “live” as a single person (without roommates) is nearly
impossible. I am in Boulder, Colorado which has an extremely outrageous cost of living and the
“poverty level income” here is $16/hr. Needless to say, despite many years of experience and
everyone telling me that I’m the best technician they’ve ever worked with, I’m still only making
$14/hr. So, make your decision carefully. Don’t get me wrong…it is a very fun and rewarding
job but you will most likely always be living paycheck to paycheck without much hope of saving
any money. I tell you this in all honesty, it is not an easy way to make a living and I do not live
lavishly by any means. My boyfriend and I rent a small studio apt and I drive a 1989 pickup so it
isn’t as if the reason I have nothing left over is due to lots of debt or overextending myself. If
you can pull it off for the love of the profession, go for it…otherwise, think long and hard and be
sure to think about the cost of living in your area compared to the going wages for vet techs.

June 3, 2006 at 7:22 pm(2) LJsays:

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I would have to agree with Jen. I have been in this career for 20 years now and am supervising
technicians, I only receive 14.50 an hour. I also am licensed, yet my career choice will never
allow me to live beyond paycheck to paycheck either. I have chosen this career because I love
what I do, however it would be a welcome change in our community to be recognized financially
for all that we are trained to do.

June 8, 2006 at 4:52 am(3) MICHELLEsays:

I have to say look around at the different states and see what the pay wage is. I started as a
assistant 14 years ago now I have graduated took my boards and never looked back . I make
17.oo an hour in emergency , I tried research and it was great and the money too. If you want to
get in for money aspect then go to school and get into research or how about pharmacy reps,
the money to is equally good but look around. I do reccomend the school aspect you have more
doors opened to you. Good luck and just remember nobody gets rich in this business .

August 31, 2006 at 10:18 pm(4) Heathersays:

I have been in the field for seven years, and just became licensed this year. I make $20/hr in a
referral practice (and I have only been employed there for 2 years). The money is there, if you
are good at what you do, and you know where to look.

September 12, 2006 at 11:39 pm(5) Amysays:

I quit my corporate job (making $40,000/year) to follow my dream of becoming a veterinary
technician. I graduated in 2004 with no experience, except from the externships. I currently
work in an emergency/specialty/referral hospital and make $15/hour. It you look, you can find
where the money is at. You also must be dedicated and good at your job! But if you want to
work at a small practice with only 2 or 3 doctors, you won’t make much. I agree with the others,
however. This isn’t a job you do for the money. It’s fun, rewarding and challenging work. I will
never regret the career change!

December 7, 2006 at 9:27 am(6) kimsays:

That is a great question. I am hoping to go into the same line of work. I live in Maine and hope
to stay here but I also don’t want to have to live paycheck to paycheck.

December 15, 2006 at 8:55 pm(7) Jensays:

I am in this boat now. I have worked with animals for years and I am about to start vet tech
school in January. It is a 10 month program and what I want to do is be a rescue shelters vet
tech. I am sure they don’t make much money at all but the important thing is that I love working
with homeless unwanted animals who have nobody else.

My dad on the other hand is not going to understand this. It is all about making money…

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December 27, 2006 at 9:37 am(8) Bethsays:

Wow, I just realized how underpaid I really am. I have been working as a certified veterinary
technician for ten years. I currently make $10.20/hr. I live overseas at a military facility. This is
the most I have ever made and I previously worked in New Jersey..which has one of the highest
costs of living around. Before I was married I lived pay check to pay check and never had any
left over. Sometimes not even enough to buy food! It is a profession that is truly a labor of love.
Do not expect to make decent money in the field. Beyond that the job may not be worth the
stress. I have suffered frequent emotional burnout due to my deep passion and love for my job.
It is a frustrating career…but one I would love to stay in forever if I could survive on it. Instead I
decided to become an RN so I could survive financially. (But I can’t work as an RN fate
has brought me back to the field). I suppose if you look really hard you might be able to find a
position that pays well..but I have never known a technician who made more than $15/hr and
that is with over ten years of experience. I have known technicians who have made as little as

January 1, 2007 at 9:16 pm(9) Katiesays:

Wow… It is definitely different from state to state. I live in NY and I am only a part time
assistant/kennel worker and I already make $13/hour. I will be finished with tech school and
hopefully licensed in 2008, and I am already promised $23/hour to start where I am now. Which
is a 4 doctor hospital. I have not checked out many places in my area… maybe I just got

January 7, 2007 at 2:23 pm(10) jackisays:

Hey just a word of advice, be very carefull with education direct. I took the vet assistant
program with them and could not find a job. Be advised that you need that clinical experiance
that a technical school or college offers. I did learn valuable information, but of all the apps and
resumes I sent out I got no responses with education direct listed as my educational backround
and after speaking with a few human resource managers in several hospitals they basicly told
me that my “credentials” with an online program were no good. Do the research before you
spend the money!

January 17, 2007 at 6:28 pm(11) Jimsays:

Education Direct has changed to Penn Foster College. The Veterinary Technician program is
an Associate In Science Degree program now and is accredited by the American Veterinary
Medical Association (AVMA). You can even transfer credits from another college up to 50% of
courses. Don’t confuse this with the Penn Foster Career School Veterinary Assistant program
which is a diploma program, not a 2 year degree. The Vet Assistant program is not accredited
by the AVMA.

February 1, 2007 at 12:22 pm(12) Andisays:

I have been in the vet tech program at CCM in NJ only to have to leave it to work. I started a

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petsitting business, making a heck of alot more than vet techs do. Now, I am trying to become
an RN, because the money is great. I’d love to go back to school to be a vet tech though. The
earnings is the big deterrment. My heart is saying yes, but my head says, your just going to
keep being poor. Is there any hope for people like me?????


February 1, 2007 at 2:31 pm(13) Morgansays:

Has anyone graduated from the Penn Foster College for the Vet Tech program? There isn’t a
school here in Orlando and it looks like that is my only choice unless I move. So my question is
has anyone grauated with an online degree and sucessfully got a job as a Vet Tech?

February 6, 2007 at 7:39 am(14) dansays:

Katie – what part of NY are you in?

February 22, 2007 at 12:20 pm(15) Christine Crossleysays:

Katie, there are a few on-line programs that are accredited by the AVMA. Try San Juan College
(Which is due to be accredited in April 07′ or Cedar Valley College which is accredited already.
You do the program Part time, must be employed in an approved animal health facility and wind
up with your AA in Veterinary Technology. Perhaps the place to start is by getting a job in a
practice where maybe you can start cleaning cages and runs like I did. . . GOOD LUCK.

February 23, 2007 at 7:36 am(16) Marysays:

Hey, try checking out Banfield. They hire vet tech without experience and are willing to train on
the job.

February 25, 2007 at 1:59 am(17) Jennsays:

Well as far as i know the vet tech program at penn foster just recently became certified, so you
probably wont find anyone just yet. I am also enrolled in the program, and also working as a
tech making 7 dollars an hour. So don’t feel so bad guys! It truly is a career of passion, but if
the passion is there for you it is very rewarding regaurdless of the pay. I wouldn’t leave this field
for anything.

March 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm(18) erinsays:

I am 14 years old,I have huge intrestes in being in the vet business world. I love animals I am
willing to do anything to help them out . They are my passion.So right know you are probably
thinking you have no idea about the money they are getting paid. but i have actually heard that
vets are rich. call me crazy, but thats what is going around, and is probably true , since the

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animal population is increasing. but its not about the money anyways its about the animals.

March 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm(19) T.B.says:

I am a senior tech and office mgr at an equine practice. I have been in my position for 14 yrs.
Our technicians and myself all make $15 / hr. for our tech work. We also have health benefits,
401K plan, profit sharing and other perks. I am fortunate enough to have taken over the
management end which entitles me to a % of the gross as well. I strongly believe you have to
look really hard at the employers before making that commitment, as most of them will pay as
little as possible to keep their help. If you proove yourself as excellent staff, they will recognize
that. Then they need to be made aware what options are out there for you. If they know that
they have good staff and they will go elsewhere unless they offer a compatable salary/benefits,
which can be obtained elsewhere, they will be more likely to try harder to meet your needs.
Good Luck!

April 3, 2007 at 3:05 pm(20) Megansays:

I am considering doing a vet tech. distance education program, but decided first to pursue a
position as an assistant (not needing a degree) to make sure I could handle it. Like others are
saying..the money is out there. You’ll never make a Vet’s salary, but Im in WV and just got a
position as a vet assistant making 9 dollars an hour- with no degree or anything (I know
someone above said they were only making 10 something and HAD a the state
obviously matters.) I feel sure that if the Veterinary practice works for me and I get an A.A. in
science to be a R.V.T then I could make enough money to be happy.

April 17, 2007 at 11:42 am(21) Tammysays:

I just got out of high school last year and I am on my way to being a vet tech. The thing is I don’t
want to work with dogs and cats, I would love to work with monkeys and exotic animals is this
the right field?

April 18, 2007 at 11:44 am(22) Angiesays:

I want to be an Avian Vet Tech, specifically for exotic birds (parrots & toucans) but I bet they
make less than ordinary vet techs. (Which only sucks becuase I don’t want to live pay check to
paycheck for the REST of my life, and I couldn’t afford my own parrots!)Anyone know the
average salaries of avian vets?

April 21, 2007 at 2:43 am(23) Ksays:

I graduate from a well-known vet tech school in Colorado this June and have been trying to
“rally the troops” since the first day of school. I firmly beleive that one of the reasons techs
make so little money is . . . BECAUSE WE ACCEPT THE LOW PAY. Over and over, people
are saying to “not expect much” or that it is a “labor of love.” Yes, it is. I agree. But, that does
not mean that our hard work, educational investment and training should go uncompensated.
Techs accepting $7.00 per hour should be absolutely ashamed of themselves! We are

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well-educated and trained professionals and should demand to be compensated as such.
There is a huge shortage of certified and licensed technicians in this country (reports say there
are 6-8 jobs out there for every certified tech), so we should have the upper hand when it comes
to negotiating salaries. Why do we continue to let ourselves be taken advantage of? Look
around at your clinics. Would they be able to operate at all without their techs? They know they
can’t, but they also know they can get the better end of the deal by paying you a minimal wage.
Collectively, we all need to start requiring that our skills be valued and our passion for the
industry rewarded. Be sure though, that your work ethic is solidly in place and your commitment
to the betterment of veterinary medicine is second to none. Give your employers no reason
whatsoever to tell you that you’re not worth your weight in gold. This may mean being the first
to arrive and the last to leave each day, volunteering to help where needed, and going the extra
mile whenever possible. Oh wait, we all do that already! Let’s rally together and I promise you,
vet tech salaries WILL increase. They’ll have to. Think about it and please share stories.
Thank you.

April 23, 2007 at 8:22 am(24) Kanyasays:

I work at a vet clinic as a receptionist/Assistant while I am going to school to get my Vet Tech
degree. I actually asked to be salary instead of hourly and I am making $20/hr there now. When
I was hourly I was making $15/hr so the money is out there you just need to find it. Also the
Veterinarians tend to pay better if you ask for salary instead of hourly. Just something for you to
guys to think about.

May 3, 2007 at 2:17 am(25) Monikasays:

Kanya (or anyone else) what are the salary equivalents of $20/hour and $15/hour, etc? I am a
VERY soon-to-be college graduate with a B.S. in Animal Science. I’m looking at other career
options because it seems my passion will have to wait. I’m trying to get a handle on how much
money I should be asking for when I apply to different jobs. I really despise money, and could
use some help!

May 22, 2007 at 8:40 pm(26) Marielizsays:

I’m interested in going back to school to pursue Vet Tech. Has anyone heard anything about the
Bradford School of Business’ Vet Tech Institute? I’m also having a hard time finding a school
close enough (live close to Orlando). Do Vets usually hire people with no experience?

May 30, 2007 at 2:23 am(27) Tishsays:

If you are interested in a distance education program, i would really recommend that you attend
a program that is accredited by the AVMA…I think there are currently only 5 or so. Being a
resident of Florida, I would look into St Petersburg College. They have both on campus and a
distance program, they are accrecited, and they have a Bachelors program if you opt to
continue on beyond your AS.

July 10, 2007 at 8:46 am(28) LIsasays:

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I have been an unlicsenced vet tech for about 10 yrs now. Yes, the pay is horrible. I started at
$8. and now I am at $18. per hour. You get burnt out. The clinics charge people an arm and a
leg compared to what it actually costs!!! It is not all about petting Fluffy. It is a business. In
addition, You do have to wrestle aggressive dogs at times…cats too. You must always be on
your “toes” or accept the fact that you will get bit. A cat bite can be quite nasty. As much as
you love that fluffy animal, it may be scared and not love you. I feel that being a tech is a fun
job for a while but also a dead end job. Where is the advancement if you do not attend
veterinary school? So if you have zero aspirations of becoming a DVM, choose another career
that makes more money. This will enable you to pay your bills and you can always volunteer at
clinics or shelters and help out with the animals.

July 24, 2007 at 7:10 pm(29) Philsays:

Been a technician for 14 years…about time we get a union started and stop worrying what that
AVMA is gonna say about it!

August 1, 2007 at 9:29 am(30) MIchellesays:

Wow, I am really glad I found this forum. I am 21 and making 43k per year without having
completed either of my degrees yet ( i am 2+ years away from completing a double major in
marketing and business management). I think I would starve to death making $10-15 dollars an
hour… I *was* considering getting into a vet tech program, but the pay mentioned on here is
stagering. I love animals, and would be very interested in going in as a DVM, but the closest
school is 5 hours away and the vet I spoke with said the curriculum was so rigorous that you
really arent allowed to have a job, so my 43K a year could be kissed goodbye, plus the insane
debt of going to vet school would be added. It really is ashame that a) the pay for a tech is so
low and b) there are only 15-20 veterinary schools in this country.

Both of those aspects makes it increasingly difficult for those of us with the passion and drive to
be good in this field to actually take a leap. Yes I love animals, and specifically would excel in
equine studies, but I cannot be happy with my job if I am constantly in a state of financial
distress. What a shame…

August 4, 2007 at 12:13 pm(31) Stephaniesays:

I’m so nervous. I’m going into a vet tech program at PIMA Medical Institute. I’m registered and
am enrolled. I knew before hand the money was tight, but I’m just nervous of living my entire life
paycheck to paycheck. I know it’s possible, but it’s almost terrifying knowing I can’t do anything
about it.

The job I love doesn’t pay much.But I know it’ll be worth it because my heart lies with animals,
but im just so confused about how I’m gonna handle this.

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August 8, 2007 at 9:18 am(32) Kaylasays:

I live in Florida, and i just recently enrolled in a local community college. AFter taking my pre
reqs i plan on going to get my vet tech degree. I’ve been applying at local clinics as a
receptionist, or anything i can get, to hopefully get some hands on training while going to
school, but so far ive had no luck at all. Is there anyone that could give me some pointers?
Maybe something extra i could do? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


August 12, 2007 at 4:04 pm(33) Megansays:

Kayla,I’m also planning on applying for a position in a vet tech program next fall, and i’m not
sure how it works elsewhere, but here in oregon, the acceptance into the program is based on a
point system, and experience in a vet clinic gets you uber points. i’m going to volunteer at a
clinic while at my full time job, and then maybe try to be a part-time receptionist while in school.
i think volunteering is a great way to get your foot in the door. if you show that you are willing to
work hard for no money, the employer will likely be eager to hire you knowing that you’ll just
work that much harder when you’re actually getting paid. this is what has been suggested to
me by a friend whose step-father is a vet, and she’s worked with him in his clinic for about 10
years. hope this helps a little!


August 19, 2007 at 1:06 am(34) Aaronsays:

This has been a lifelong dream of mine to become a vet tech reading some of your comments
has me scared as far as the money aspect but in life sometimes you have to sacrifice and
compromise to fullfill a dream so i won’t be discouraged i know it will take alot of hard work and
dedication to succeed

August 30, 2007 at 1:15 pm(35) Nicholesays:

I have an interview today for a Vet Tech position but i do not have much experience nor a
degree in this field but they were impressed with my resume. I have a whole lot of experience in
Public Health but not animals in particular. What should i expect? I live in TN

September 3, 2007 at 9:21 pm(36) Rick Dsays:

hey guys i was reading through what all of yall are saying about the vet tech stuff and i think all
of what you are saying is true. i am currently at a high school that gives majors (one of the few
in the country to do this) and im in the Vet Tech program. im a jr. and when i graduate i have a

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liscense as a vet tech. i just wanna know what i should do from here. keep goin. i love animals
and i would like to work with farm animals in the country where there arent many vets. do i need
to go all the way to vet to open my on place in the backwoods or what? i work at a clinic right
now making $12 bucks an hour and paying for gas is about 1/3 my paycheck every week. i
wanna know how much longer would i need to go to school to get to be a vet and is it worth it if i
wanna be happy in the long run. college isnt cheap guys and i might need to take the student

October 8, 2007 at 7:57 pm(37) GLsays:

K, in comment #23 above (April 21, 2007), is absolutely right. Nothing will change until vet techs
join forces and collectivly refuse to work for such low pay. You may have to put up with being
considered a troublemaker in the short term, but that will change when the vets can’t find
anyone willing to do the work that supports their own salaries (the median salary for a vet in the
U.S. in 2004 was $66,590/annum, and 10% earned more than $118,000, US Dept of Labor
stats). So don’t just give in to dismal pay, as if it’s ordained in heaven and cannot be changed.
Get together and create the change.

October 21, 2007 at 7:38 pm(38) Feliciasays:

Anyone that hopes to get involved in the profession of veterinary technology should never
expect to make much money. That was drilled into my head on my very first day at tech school.
 Several years later, I’m speacialized (VTS), published, and lecture locally and nationally. I still
barely make enough to make ends meet – and I do not live beyond my means at all!It’s more
than just caring for animals. It’s about continually learning, science, working with people that
make you want to do better, and yes…a deep caring for people and their pets.Money – no
way.Personal satisfaction – great but you have to work for it.

December 4, 2007 at 5:18 am(39) Ashli Johnsonsays:

For me, I am a 22 yr old college student and in my 5th year. ya….5th year. I have been from
Atlanta(which is where i am from) to Connecticut and back to Savannah Ga. I began as Pre-vet
but with the high demands for vet school and requirements i have changed my major to other
things in the medical field-now in health science. I got offered a job at a vet while i was in school
in CT but ended up not taking it because they thought my schedule was too demanding with 17
hours of school a semester and college cheerleading, which is understanding. At this point I am
ready to graduate with something and to stop living off of a waitress pay in a restaurant and bar.
I just decided to apply to a school in Charleston which is about an hour and a half away and go
back to the closest thing that was my original major and livelong dream. IS it a good decision?
When i was 13 my mother worked in an internal medicine vet and i used to work there for free
all summer and clean cages, weigh in animals, take temps, walk them, sit in on surgeries and
acupuncture. i loved it and i have alot of science behind my belt like chem 1 and 2, botany,
anatomies, and some health classes. is it hard to get into the programs????just trying to finally
figure out where my college life is finally going to end.

December 6, 2007 at 9:55 pm(40) Jen Heidensays:

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I am 22, I have attended a few different schools for a few different things. I have recently started
a vet tech program and i knew going in that the pay they made was average 12.50 and hour.
and I thought well i guess i could make a living off of it. But the more i think about it, the more i
don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck. of course i can save some but still. i want to be able to
live life. do exciting things, and maybe a career as a vet tech isn’t the way to go for that. I love
the program so far. i love working with animals but…i just wish they weren’t underpaid. Right
now i am deciding weather or not i should continue with my vet tech program or switch to a
different school for a different major. I believe that a vet tech is a career for someone who is in a
two income household. not for a single person trying to support themselves own their own. My
vet tech teacher told me she left the field because of the pay. its rewarding in every other way
except the money.Just from what i heard.

January 8, 2008 at 7:24 pm(41) Bsays:

I am currently in my first semester at an accredited school in Ca for the Vet-tech program. It’s
very important to become specialized in a particular field of your choice once you finish the
vet-tech program. Yes, it’s more schooling but you will be heads above the rest who do not go
further with their education. The choice is yours.

January 9, 2008 at 7:03 pm(42) Ellesays:

Whew… Where do I begin??? I am currently a Licensed (in two states) Head Vet Tech with
25 continously employed years of experience. I love my job, but am leaving the profession.

I worked for 20 years at the same practice, until I relocated with my husband. EVERY position I
interviewed for, I was offered. My professional references are excellent… I have worked
waaaay too many 10-14 hour days, waaay too many over 40 hour work weeks with no overtime,
(just “comp” time) nights, weekends and holidays. I truly belive in capitalism and God bless the
business person making a lot of money… BUT, veterinary practice owners know and have
known for the longest time that people- mostly women, go into this profession for the love of it
and exploit that fact!!! (Most) Young men do not want to go into a profession for the kind of
money MOST veterinarians are willing to pay. Yes there are niches that exist as well as vets
that pay decent monies, but for the most part, that is the exception to the rule!!! Yes, we can try
to band together and refuse low slaries, but behind closed doors, most vets just hire kids to do
the work an LVT does, ie: everything an RN does PLUS what an anesthsiologist does, a
radiology tech does, an office manager etc, etc.

I would say to ANY young person, do your homework concerning salaries- as I did so many
years ago, but be sure to realize that you will not be 20 years old forever. Think about where
you see yourself in 10-20 years and how many hours a week you want to work later on in your
career. Do you want a life outside of vet medicine??? Unless you use your tech schooling as a
stepping stone to vet school… Find another career. Because to have a janitor in a school

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district with 3-5 years experience making more money than I, PLUS the fact that we have
MINIMAL benefits to boot, is just NOT worth it!

You can continue to feed the part of your heart that made you consider being an animal nurse
by volunteering your time to a worthy animal cause!!!

If you don’t really want to go to college, then start now looking for an entry level federal, county,
state or city job. You will then have a NORMAL scheduled work week, REAL benefits as well as
the opportunity to advance your career- and maybe have your education subsudised further
with tuition assistance!!

I have been fortunate to have a husband that through the years made the REAL money we
needed to live comfortably!! Now, I plan to change careers and use my skill and dedication
elsewhere… AND be compensated appropriately!

P.S.- You can love another profession where you feel you are helping/ nurturing, doing
something that in the bigger picture matters for your heart and others… Some examples: An
RN, a respiratory tech, a physical therapist or PT tech, a radilolgy tech. Check out THEIR
salaries!! Also, be sure to talk to people IN the profession to get the real low-down!!

Godd luck young people in your future endeavors!!

January 9, 2008 at 8:10 pm(43) M.M.says:

Trust me, veterinarians can afford to pay their technicians well. You just can’t be afraid to ask
for it. When you apply for the job, they almost always ask you to write down your expected pay
on your application. If you write $10/hr, they’re going to give you $10/hr. So don’t undersell
yourself! The first vet tech job I took, I made $9.50/hr. Eventually, I got so sick of working so
much for such little pay, that I quit and found a new practice. This time, I asked for $16/hr, and
wouldn’t ya know? I got it. You just have to find the right practice with the right doctor. Don’t
work for someone who doesn’t appreciate the hard work and long hours that you will most
definitely put into this job. Work for someone who will compensate you fairly. If they are
unwilling to pay what you ask, there is always another hospital to apply at! Don’t just take any
job, be picky! Because as much as we all love working with animals, we still have to be able to
upport ourselves. And let’s face it, the veterinarians rely upon us heavily every single day so
they’re willing to pay enough money for the right person.

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February 12, 2008 at 5:39 pm(44) Caitlynsays:

Im very interested in becomint a veterinary technician. The problem is that there are no school
close to where I live. I was lookinga at Penn Foster that is now acredited by the AVMA. I just
dont really understand how it works. If anyone one has any info or advise please let me know.
I know this is what I wanna do and really want to get started but dont know where to begin.

February 19, 2008 at 5:11 pm(45) Melodysays:

Now I feel discouraged to look into Vet Tech school. I’ve volunteered at an animal clinic and I
loved it, but now knowing how the pay is for technicians, I’m not sure. I’m a senior in high
school, and I need help!! Kiss this dream goodbye or stick to it :/

February 20, 2008 at 10:32 pm(46) Victoriasays:

I was going to say the same thing as comment #44. I am almost 25, and tired of my current job.
I am going to go nowhere where i am and they dotn appreciate my hard work. i was looking into
the penn foster college to become a vet tech. I dont care about money, i just want a job that i
can enjoy going to. i would appreciate any information that anybody has on this program.

February 21, 2008 at 3:45 pm(47) Felixsays:

I am about to enroll in a vet tech program at HCC in Tampa. I hope to specialize in working with
excotic wildlife not just pets but any creature in need. I notice that the pay isn’t much but i
believe that it is much more important for me to find something that i can enjoy. I can’t go on
being a cashier even though i am full time with insurance making 9 an hour. I am starting to
hate people more and more everyday. It sucks living in FL with it being a right to work state.
There should absolutely be an union for vet workers. Exspecialy in FL. I hate to think a 3 year
program will only get me a buck or two more that what i make now. I just need to remember I
am doing this for something i can love rather than bitch about everyday.

February 24, 2008 at 2:52 pm(48) petlvtsays:

If you’re looking to make money as a vet tech, forget it. I’m in NY and started in 1983 as an
assistant at a spay/neuter clinic, then in a hospital when I decided I wanted to go to school to
find out why I was doing what I was doing! “Monkey-see-monkey-do” didn’t sit well with me.
With alot of blood, sweat and tears I became licensed in 1997. My salary today in 2008?
$15/hr. The highest salary I know of is $18/hr. (I work for a known cheap-skate!) Sometimes I
am totally discouraged by my profession because vets in general do not want to pay, nor do
they have respect for LVTs. They pay assistants and LVT’s alike. They just want their work
done – period, they don’t care if it’s a high school kid off the street or an LVT who has loads of
experience, knowledge, and skills. If I had to do it all over again? I wouldn’t. I would’ve gotten
my associates (2 year)degree in veterinary science, become an LVT, and then I would’ve gone
to Cornell as a Junior as they had offered. (Only needed an additional chemistry class!) My
advise? If you don’t want to become a vet, just apply at a hospital – they’ll train you to be a

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March 3, 2008 at 9:51 pm(49) Summersays:

I am actually attending Penn Foster as we speak, and i live in SC, one main reason i went with
them, is because we DO NOT have a college here where I can take an online course and get
an associates degree. i work full time, and do not have time to go and sit in a class all day after
work, so Penn Foster was the right choice for me. They have Online deicussion groups, student
forums, etc. Is really helpful. If your interested, check out their website! I also was aware of the
salary, but like ive seen in previous comments, its the love of the job! I’m thinking that when i
get my assoc. degree, im going to go back and actually get certified to be a Vet. and then
maybe one day open my own clinic. those are my dreams!! Good luck to the ones who are
thinking about school, and to those who are not. If you feel in your heart that this is what you
want to do, please please go for it!

March 4, 2008 at 2:16 pm(50) Jennifersays:

I got my veterinary assistant career diploma at thompsons education direct. which now is called
penn foster, I recieved my diploma about four years ago. I have applied at three counties
around where I live nothing.I have been to one interview the vet told me he would not hire me.I
have lost my previous job two months ago and now I can not find another one. I do not suggest
penn Foster to anyone I want my money and time wasted back.I am very dissapointed and hurt
I worked so hard for that.

March 9, 2008 at 6:36 pm(51) beckysays:

i am a and have been one for 25 years,and love every min. of it.but make sure its what
you want before you do it.

March 10, 2008 at 8:56 pm(52) Amandasays:

So, would anyone here agree that becoming a Vet Tech is a good stepping stone to beginning
one’s career as a vet? It has always been my dream to be a vet (with a specialty in herpetology)
and I want to do the most I can to ensure I can make it into one of the schools in the US. I am
23 and on my way to a good career in advertising (soul-crushing) and more and more I want to
go after my life-long dream. Would anyone here say that this is not a good idea – to be a vet
tech to gain experience for veterinary school?

March 11, 2008 at 10:04 pm(53) Christinesays:

This is truely a labor of love. But please do not let others talk you out of it. I am an R.V.T and
have worked through blood, sweat, and tears to gain respect in my hospital. Within 5 years (I
know it seems long, but not when you look at lifetime career goals) I have gone from a start of
$7.00 to a middle management postion of $18.00 hr – salary actually round about 37,XXX. If
you prove yourself, and your employer is decent you can go places, aim for management. Over
doubling your salary in 5 years isn’t too bad, plus if you work for a corp. you can even go above
a clinic type job.

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March 14, 2008 at 11:48 am(54) Megansays:

Amanda: Maybe to get experience working in a vet hospital it would be an ok idea, but the two
different tracks are very different education-wise. All programs I’ve seen make it clearly stated
that a vet tech program is NOT a prerequisite for a veterinary medicine program. I wouldn’t
waste time in vet tech school if what you really want to do is become a veterinarian. Volunteer
at a vet hospital or shelter, or maybe even a part-time job, to get experience. That’s just my
opinion and I’m just re-stating what vet tech schools have told me. Good luck in your career
path and I hope you can pursue your dream!

March 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm(55) Tiffanysays:

I am currently attending a Vet Tech program in Iowa and the average salary here is between
$10 and $13 an hour. The more critical and specialized the field, the more money you’ll make.
In Iowa, VT programs are NOT stepping stones to full Vet degrees. Most colleges will not allow
you to transfer VT courses to Vet school.

Being a tech is like being a SGT in the army. You get a little more respect than the
privates(assistants), but you still do the grunt work and live in townhouses on post while the
officers (Vets) live in the bigger, single homes on the other side of the post casting orders left
and right. Officers who started as enlisted tend to give their SGT’s a little more respect.

If you want to get paid a little more, find a vet who started as a tech. We have one near here
who gives each of her techs a set of assistants and they get paid well above average. Go into
research, work for a zoo or put in your grunt time and got to work for the State as an inspector.
Expecting $30/hr for this field right now is ludacris. People just aren’t willing to pay as much for
their animals as they do for themselves, although that is changing every year.

As for me, my husband is military and he supports us on what he’s making. My career is purely
for my happiness and any money I make is just gravy. I will not, however, accept anything under
$12/hr after I graduate. I truly believe that accepting anything below that is keeping our salaries
at their dismally low levels. — Just do your research, work cleaning kennels and think about
what you really want from this job before heading off to school. —-Good luck and Godspeed to
those who join us in this field!!

April 2, 2008 at 7:45 pm(56) Nicsays:

I would suggest to anyone that is starting to go to school to be a tech…work at a clinic part time
while you’re going to school. If you know that you don’t care about the pathetic pay we
make…for education sake you should work at a clinic. I went to an AVMA accredited school at

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18 and wasn’t too passinate about my studies just the job I would have in future. I wish I had
worked in a clinic while going to school because things would have made more sense to me as I
was learning them. Remember to those that are going to school you have to get out and pass
your boards. Without passing your boards you’re on the same pay as those that didn’t go to a

Like I said when I started school when I was 18; they warned us that if we wanted to make lots
of money that this profession wasn’t for us. At 18 I was like $30,000 isn’t awful (it sure was a
hell of a lot more than I was making) and thought I could live at least decent on it. Well only 5
years later I realize that one needs a lot more money to survive! If it wasn’t for me being in a
relationship and being able to share rent with my boyfriend it would be impossible to live on my
own.I cannot even wrap my head around eventualy trying to afford children in future…it’s
already hard enough. I make $14 and hour which seems to be around, if not more, than what
others are saying. So just remember right now it may not matter that you won’t make money
because you’re living your dream..but in future you may want to have children (other than 4
legged ones)I love my job but not only does the pay not do us justice…we can bit, scratched
and peed on, on a regular basis.

April 14, 2008 at 5:48 pm(57) Jsays:

I am 26 years old and have been working as a tech in a 4 doctor clinic in NJ for 5 1/2 years. I
took and passed the state vet tech exams without goin to school(all on the job training). I am the
head technician, in charge of 6 and I make $44,000 a year. Hard work and stepping up to
responsibilities has paid off for me. I am also lucky to have been able to take the tech exam
before schooling was a requirement in NJ. I have worked with techs who went through college
programs that were still unprepared to “work” in the field. I’m not saying that the schooling is
worthless, but on the job experience is the most important thing to have.

April 15, 2008 at 11:28 pm(58) Sarahsays:

To Amanda (comment 52):I would say that if you are willing to stay in school a couple extra
years, vet tech is a GREAT way to get experience for vet school. No, the classes don’t count
towards pre-requisites for vet school, but they do give you experience. And unlike the
experience you would get by simply being trained as an unlicensed tech in a clinic, you will
actually learn the science/reasoning behind everything you are doing in tech school. It’s the
route I am currently taking, and is a route that many of the students in our tech program take.
I’ve also discussed this with my academic advisor, who is one of my vet tech professors and a
DVM who has been in practice for approx. 20yrs or more (and, by the way, began her studies
for vet school at Colorado State University–one of the top vet schools in the country–before she
even finished a bachelor’s degree), and she highly recommends it. But whatever you choose,
good luck!

April 18, 2008 at 12:11 am(59) Noellesays:

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This was awesome to come upon. It feels as if everyone is drowning in the same thoughts as
my own. Such as.. the salary and Penn Foster College. What a coincidence. I was finally happy
to think I had my future figured out when become a vet tech came to mind, but now i’m hesitant.
A majority of people work their asses off expecting to make good money, especially if they go to
school for it. And of course, that is what i first thought. But now.. i don’t know what i want to do.
I’m not saying that anyone stomped on my dreams, i’m actually really happy i came upon this,
but now i’m thinking about become a vet. How long do they go to school for anyway? And has
anyone ever considered about animal control? they help animals as well. Maybe i just watch too
much animal cops on animal planet. I think i might just go with Penn Foster since i need some
form of education to jump start my life, since I just turned 19 and had my first child. I just need
some answers.

April 23, 2008 at 1:03 am(60) Melissasays:

I am very glad I came across this because i am currently looking into the Vet Tech Program and
live in Beloit. I have a 3 year old son and have to stay at home but I did some research and
have found a college that is accredited called San Juan College in New Mexico and is a
distance learning program. I was considering being an accountant because everyone needs an
accountant and actually took a semester in it and did very well. I started taking the next
semester and had to finally drop out. I found that I am not a business woman and spending any
more time doing my schooling would be a waste. Sure an accountant could potentially make
pretty good money but where is the fullfillment in it all? My boyfriend makes pretty good money
and we went back and forth on whether if I should make money or be happy at what I am doing
and we finally decided that if we could live off of his income with having a child then we will do
just fine by me being a vet tech and not making the best pay. I am really excited to start taking
classes. I did wonder about the pay though because we learn everything a nurse does about
people but actually do the job of many other health professionals. And once again if anyone is
looking for a distance learning college to go to then look up San Juan College. It is accredited
and am also wondering if anyone out there has graduated from this school yet?

May 12, 2008 at 4:44 pm(61) Aileensays:

I am very happy to have come across this site. It’s full of first hand experience. Thanks to all of
you who has taken the time to type up your opinions and thoughts. I’ve been deciding like
others whether to pursue happiness or money. After weighing the pros and cons, I’ve finally
come to accept that I need money. Money is very important to a person who constantly needs
security. Of course my love for animal is also important but I think I first need to take care of
myself and then the lovely pets. I’ll soon be moving to Toronto so I will need to look for a full
time job. After I settle, hopefully I’ll be able to get trained to be a vet technician so that I can
work at animal shelters. Those unwanted pets really need us!!! Don’t give up everyone –
there’s always a way to help and fulfill your heart to helping animals!!

May 19, 2008 at 4:28 pm(62) Nichisays:

Everyone here has mentioned working in private practice, which by all the comments doesn’t
pay all that well. I though want to take a VT degree in a different direction, that would be Animal

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Control, here in western Washington it has a salary of between $40,000 – $50,000, and there is
the added benefit of saving animals from unresponsible owners. Check it out in you area!!

June 5, 2008 at 12:06 am(63) Melsays:

You guys are so right about needing to form a union and that if techs didnt put up with the pay
out there – it wouldnt be out there!!!!!!!! I live in CANADA and our pay isnt much better!!! I am
not a licensed tech – but have more experience than some of our licensed that have come and
gone ( have trained them) I make $13/hour – left a $14/hr + job to work with avian and exotics
loved the experience but am leaving to attend a vet tech program at canada’s best college for
techs (we only have 6 to choose from all over Canada!!!!)and I soo believe and have
experienced the PAY is out there – soooo have to be in the right place at the right time and
LOOK also. The tech i work with who has trained me and taught me alot ( I Love her to pieces)
BUT she makes around 75,000 a year with NO vet bills for her pets and time off when she
needs no questions asked while the rest of us live paycheque to paychegue – at the SAME
practice!!!!!! –

Anyway overall – it is about the passion of your work – not to get rich – BUT dont except low
pay when you know you deserve MORE!!!

June 15, 2008 at 1:56 am(64) tommysays:

If you really want to be a veterinary techincian you will do it for the love of animals, sure it dont
pay that great but it pays off to the enviroment. If your interested in being a vet tech, why not
become a veterinarian?. Their pay is much better and especially in emergency medicine. Im
studying to be a vet tech through penn foster college while i get my bachelors of science at
ferrum college, then i will pursue my career at vjrginia-maryland regional college of veterinary
medicine. But that is my opinion on the vet tech thing. Do if for the love or not at all…but who
am i to tell you that …

June 21, 2008 at 1:28 pm(65) Barbara Saunderssays:

As a manager in a large veterinary practice, my suggestion to someone who loves the work but
not the pay is to do it part-time. Create a side business – perhaps even doing tech work, such
as visiting people’s homes to administer fluids and insulin.

I’ve worked at many kinds of jobs and also operated as a freelancer (writing, personal training.)
I firmly believe that people ought to take their lives into their own hands and not settle for the life
left over after arranging one’s life around what is most convenient for employers.

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With pensions and lifetime employment guarantees eradicated, with each of us forced to be a
kind of “entrepreneur” it’s time for us to demand all of the things we formerly traded for that
security and do what “entrepreneurs” do: set our own hours, prices, and working conditions. The
more of us do this – the easier it will be.

June 23, 2008 at 6:07 pm(66) jackiesays:

i’ve been working as a vet tech for 2 years. i learned on the job. i started out working at a 1
doctor private practice and was making $9. I moved and was working for a 2 doctor small
animal/exotics/avian practice and was making $12.50 (w/ 6 months experience). I was then
hired by a specialty/emergency hospital associated with a university and was making $13.75
and later raised (after 3 months) to $14.50. I am now working for a different
specialty/emergency hospital making $16.50-$17.50/hr (w/ pay differential). I received a signing
bonus of $1000. I receive health/dental/vision/life insurance benefits, 401k after 1 year and
$800 a year for CE. Its not a ton of money. Its enough to live on right now while I’m in school
studying to be a veterinarian.

June 25, 2008 at 3:11 pm(67) Cindysays:

well i’ve been a cva for 15 yrs and i just got a raise last week to $15 an hour. I agree with the
most of you who have said….”dont do it for the money”. The pay is minimal the only benifits I
have is paid vacation and a 401k, no health benifits at all although i have practically begged for
that to happen. The doctor that I work for is burnt out as well as the rest of our staff. There is
absolutely no insentive to further your education or skills and it is no dout a dead end job. Dont
get me wrong the job was fun for me up untill about 4-5 years ago. Very rewarding and exciting.
But after 15yrs and not enough money to pay for me and my son….well…..keep looking
because this is not the field to get rich in.

July 9, 2008 at 10:42 am(68) Ninasays:

I am currently training as a Veterinary Technician. I started less than two months ago with no
experience and I make $10.00/hour. I am living paycheck to paycheck at the moment and it is
not fun at all! BUT I love going to work everyday. My clinic states that I can make up to

July 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm(69) Melissasays:

I’m in High School now and it’s been a dream to become a veterinarian. But I know my chances
of getting into a veterinary school is very low because I’m only a A B student. Is it true that if
you become a Veterinary Technician and work as one for a few years first, then you can go
apply at a veterinary school and the chances of them accepting you is much greater. Is this
true? Thanks for ALL your help!

July 22, 2008 at 9:52 pm(70) darlenesays:

i’ve been employed in the veterinary field for 15yrs. i started out as a receptionist making

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$5.15/hr. i worked my way up to technician status. in nj, i was salary and made about $31,000. i
recently moved south and now am making considerably less. i love my job and knew i would
never get rich in this field, but i’m happy. it’s better than sitting behind a desk!!

July 24, 2008 at 12:16 pm(71) Khadeijahsays:

I’m only 13 years old but i love animals. I have a dog named Teddy. N I saw most of the
comments that were mention n i just couldn’t believe how much some vet companys pay there
workers. I mean almost all my life i wanted 2 b a veterinain.! But i wanted a company that waz
goim 2 pay well engough so that i wouldn’t have live paycheck 2 paycheck. Cauz i wanted 2 b
able 2 support my family.! Cauz i c how my mom iz now as a single parent n she have 2 live
paycheck 2 paycheck n it gets hard some times but we get through it becauz of family.! So i
guess my opions would b that i just find some company that will pay a good amount of money
so i would have 2 b in the same condition as my mom waz in. Or i’ll just b a pediatrician cauz i
love little kids n babies but i din’t want any til i finish college.! But anyway do any1 have any
advise on what i should do.? If so plz send a message 2 me at

July 24, 2008 at 12:17 pm(72) Khadeijahsays:

If any1 have any advise 4 me plz send me a message 2

August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm(73) Kerisays:

I want you to see another perspective on vet staff salaries: The veterinary industry is not very
profitable! This is because we are paying the same prices for drugs and rent as a human
hospital would and charging 1% of what they would. The payment for our fees comes from
families disposable income and we have to compete with their food and gas bills to get paid! I
run a vet clinic and I can tell you that it is a non-profit business and my salary is modest too. Vet
techs will never make the money that RNs make just as DVMs never will catch up with MDs.
Some things will help however and your LVTs are part of the solution. 1) encourage the human
animal bond. people who love their pets are willing to pay more, 2) encourage your vets to
charge appropriately for everything. – your mechanic doesn’t give you services for free or let
you pick up your car with out paying so don’t let it happen where you work 3) encourage clients
to use pet insurance (studies show they are more likely to accept the best treatment options 4)
ask for raises (at least a cost of living raise) – this keeps the vet on his toes raising prices along
with inflation cause he feels pressure from you. Most vets I know are compassionate people
who value their staff and when the bank account is fat, they DO pass on profit to staff in the way
of bonuses, wages and benefits. So while it doesnt feel that way, the more you help the clinic
profit the more likely you will get paid. Want a quick raise? Volunteer to be audit charts to make
sure all the charges are entered every day – every day of boarding, every injection, every
minute of surgery time, every fecal that got dropped off on the front desk…..keep a list the
missed charges you find and present them to your boss and show him how much money you
are making for him.

August 15, 2008 at 6:04 pm(74) Kerisays:

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I want you to see another perspective on vet staff salaries: The veterinary industry is not very
profitable! This is because we are paying the same prices for drugs and rent as a human
hospital would and charging 1% of what they would. The payment for our fees comes from
families disposable income and we have to compete with their food and gas bills to get paid! I
run a vet clinic and I can tell you that it is a non-profit business and my salary is modest too. Vet
techs will never make the money that RNs make just as DVMs never will catch up with MDs.
Some things will help however and your LVTs are part of the solution. 1) encourage the human
animal bond. people who love their pets are willing to pay more, 2) encourage your vets to
charge appropriately for everything. – your mechanic doesn’t give you services for free or let
you pick up your car with out paying so don’t let it happen where you work 3) encourage clients
to use pet insurance (studies show they are more likely to accept the best treatment options 4)
ask for raises (at least a cost of living raise) – this keeps the vet on his toes raising prices along
with inflation cause he feels pressure from you. Most vets I know are compassionate people
who value their staff and when the bank account is fat, they DO pass on profit to staff in the way
of bonuses, wages and benefits. So while it doesnt feel that way, the more you help the clinic
profit the more likely you will get paid. Want a quick raise? Volunteer to be audit charts to make
sure all the charges are entered every day – every day of boarding, every injection, every
minute of surgery time, every fecal that got dropped off on the front desk…..keep a list the
missed charges you find and present them to your boss and show him how much money you
are making for him.

August 27, 2008 at 7:26 pm(75) Erinsays:

I completely agree with Keri. It is a business. Just because you have your certificate doesn’t
mean the money should be rolling in. I have been looking at this profession for a long time now
and this is the only way to get some experience in regards to obtaining a DVM. I currently have
my BS in Business and making $55k/year, but I don’t LOVE my job. That is why I have been
saving like crazy to keep myself after I have to quit to take a vet tech job. Planning is key!It is a
business! The DVM isn’t going to pay you more just bc you feel you “deserve” it. You need to
prove it. Stay late, pick up shifts. All states have labor laws that pay some variation of
overtime. Take advantage of it if you can. DVM’s need to eat too (not to mention pay off their
HUGE student loans) and most aren’t in it for the money either.If you have a true passion for it,
then stick with it. Be a dedicated vet tech and the money will come with advancement if you
want it. Don’t be afraid to ask for a raise when you feel that you have earned it.

September 6, 2008 at 12:34 am(76) Nicolesays:

I started working at a humane society in 2005 as an “animal care specialist” (cleaning kennels,
cat cages, drawing blood, giving vaccines, fecals, adoptions, etc.) and I started at $7.00/hour (in
a small town in Florida). After a year of doing that, I decided to go a little bit further by applying
for a Vet Tech position at an animal hospital. I got the job and started at $8.00/hour (having one
year of animal care experience and no tech experience). I worked there for a little over a year
and unfortunately had to move. My ending wage was $9.00/hour. Then, I started working at
the local SPCA and they started me at $9.00/hour as an “animal care specialist”. I got
promoted to the “shelter lead” (basically the assistant shelter manager). My pay was bumped
up to $11.00/hour. So, this week, I quit my job at the SPCA and pursued another Vet Tech

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position at a local animal hospital (I’m in Orlando, FL now). I’m now getting paid $14.65/hour.
I’m actually impressed with the fact that I do not have a degree/certification and I came this far
in just 3-1/2 years. I feel that my hands-on experience and willingness to learn has helped me
out a lot. I know how to do my job and I do it well. I do plan on getting a degree/certification to
make it “official”. I love working with animals and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!! It’s a
very rewarding career and I enjoy every day. I’ve heard the saying “you won’t get rich doing
this”, and that may be true for the Vet Techs that stay in one place too long. You do get passed
up when it comes to pay. You have to “shop around” (as my Dad says) and see if there is
another hospital in your area that can offer you more than what you’re making at your current
job. If you feel that you are worth more than what you’re making, go out there and see what
other places will start you at. I’ve done this and it’s working for me. Good luck!

September 6, 2008 at 4:23 am(77) kimberlysays:

I am not a vet tech, it does not make enough money. But it seems to me that vet assistants
make the same amount of money. It does not seem right that one needs two years of training to
only make between 8 and 20 dollars an hour especially in California. It sounds like a union is
needed. I dont know much about starting one but I was wondering if anyone out there might be
interested in starting one.

September 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm(78) katesays:

I have read many responses and no one is taking in location, demand, and each individual
practice etc.. I am a CVT with 10yr experience and have worked in many areas across the us.

1st each state has its own requirements, most do not require a tech to be certified, so owners of
practices may figure if they teach people off the street to do things the way they want it to be
done then they can pay less to do it.

If you live in NYC- where cost of living is much higher a visit to the vet cost most likely double or
more than that of a smaller community then a tech will have a higher hrly wage, but $23 in nyc
may average out to $17 in a different state.

Also some practices especially old school ones, may not completely utilize a techncians
abilities. So a tech may only be making 10/hr but they also may only be restraining the animals
or really minimal tech skills.

And then again some may just be cheap….. I was working in e. greenwich ri, highest paid

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community in ri and with 5 yrs exp at that time they wanted to start me at $8/hr- I said no.

To the 14yr old girl who said that vets make a lot of money and are rich. Some may start out
decent but average for a new grad is about 60-70 grand. However, when they owe a minimum
of 250,000 is student loans no one is getting rich quick. Another thing is we in the animal field
use a lot of medical equipment, testing, medication that crosses over into human medicine- and
the charges to clients is probably 75% less than if they had the same test done thru a human

In the end if you love it you love it, may need a second job to live but at leat you have one you
are happy at…kate

September 13, 2008 at 11:16 pm(79) Carolsays:

we as licensed veterinary technicians are under paid for what we do. I have been in this field for
26 years and make 15.35/hr at a hospital I have been at for 18 years. The reason our pay is so
low is that people think that just by working at a veterinary hospital you can become a tech. You
are only a tech if you are a graduate of a program, otherwise you are a veterinary assistant. It is
about time we make the distinction! Veterinarians are very much to blame as they hire
untrained/educated people to fill the positions for less because they can. No where in the
human medical field can this be done. Would you want a medical receptionist putting in your I.V.
catheter? I wouldn’t. Yet the states ( at least in Maine) who say they require Veterinary techs to
be licensed don’t even check to if each hospital has a licensed vet tech on staff. I have to pay
annually to keep my license up to date. The other issue I have is the clients don’t know that the
person they have working on their animal is not formally trained. I know that not all vet hospitals
let their tech do everything they are trained to do, but I do everything from the lab work, blood
draws, x-rays, to seeing annual physical exams, etc. I get used as a secondary doctor but I
certainly don’t get compensated for it. You’re probably asking why I’ve stayed at so long, and
the answer is because I do like what I do. I just wish I could pay my bills and have something
left over.

September 15, 2008 at 11:45 am(80) Kksays:

How many of you went to vermont tech college. Ive been looking to go there and thought id ask
if it was a good equine college.

September 16, 2008 at 1:09 pm(81) Josays:

I have been in this field for 14 years, working in both a day practice and an emergency practice,
and am currently a manager at a luxury boarding facility. In South Carolina, the pay is not good
for vet techs, I made 10.50 per hour. But I knew that going in. This has been the most rewarding
field I have ever worked in, and I would not change my choice. I want to keep expanding my

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skills and to keep working in as many areas of this field as possible.

September 17, 2008 at 8:59 am(82) leahsays:

i love being a vetXOXO

September 18, 2008 at 8:47 am(83) Lexisays:

I got into this field and became an LVT in NY for the love of animals….then I found out that
nobody cares about the profession aspect to this. THEY WILL HIRE ANYBODY to do my job
and pay them almost as much as me and if they have experience – they pay them the same or
more. I am VERY GOOD at my job as well. I actually have had doctors tell me they don’t see a
difference in a tech that went to school and is licensed versus ones who just got experience. I
am lucky I get paid $19/hr. My advice, only get your license if you feel you are gonna make it a
career, otherwise do yourself a favor and just volunteer at shelters and get a degree in
something that can support you and respect you at the same time.

September 19, 2008 at 10:53 am(84) rachaelsays:

Hi Wondering if anyone from new york went to SUNY Delhi for their vet tech program? I live on
a dairy farm and that is a career that pays nothing with a 24/7 work schedule. Is there vet tech
work in large animals? Or is it mostly small/exotic animals.

September 30, 2008 at 7:21 pm(85) Josays:

Omg!! I’m making a mistake then!! I want to work with animals, but I don’t want to become a
veterinarian.. I’m spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to go to MSU and I’ll only be
making $15/hr., if that? I’m still a freshman, but now I feel like I’m making a terrible mistake. I’m
going to be in debt forever!! =[

October 1, 2008 at 5:32 pm(86) Davidsays:

I work for a small college in Rockford Illinois. We have a Vet Tech program that has recently
received its initial accreditation from the AVMA. We are one of only 4 schools in Illinois with
AVMA accreditation. For more information on becoming a vet tech; just go to . good luck in your search for college and career

October 1, 2008 at 5:40 pm(87) Davidsays:

I do apologize, the website for Rockford Business College would be
http://www.rockfordbusinesscollege.eduThank you again

October 3, 2008 at 8:37 pm(88) molly Osays:

Don’t get discouraged! I’m starting my vet tech program next semester, but i’ve been doing

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research on the web, checking out actual vet tech openings. In Southern California with two
years of experience, i’ve seen hourly wages from $18.00 to $29.53!! If you get your ALAT
Certification (which is just an exam away) after vet tech school, you’re eligible for bonuses and
raised pay. Do your research! Not all Vet Techs everywhere get paid peanuts.

October 4, 2008 at 12:19 am(89) STsays:

I am a licensed vet tech in Michigan and I have been in the field for 5 years now. I work at a
referral hospital as do many of you whose responses I have read. I currently make 17.52 an
hour and for that I am not complaining. The problem comes in when I have to pay my half of the
rent, I am married, and we also have 1 child. If I was by myself, I would be doin’ pretty good but
raising a family on a vet tech salary, if it can be called that, is for the birds! It just amazes me
how much of a right hand we are to the doctors and how instrumental we are in keeping our
practices running and keeping our clients coming back, yet our pay in no way shape or form
reflects that. I would encourage those of you who have long standing relationships with your
doctors, to have frank discussions about how much you have contributed to their practice and
helped to make THEM money and they need to show their apprecation in that monetary form.
Obviously this doesn’t apply if it’s a situation of a clinic having financial problems, but if you feel
that you could have this type of conversation without fear of loosing your job, by all means do it!
At least you can say you tried to get paid what you are really worth. Thanks for reading:-)

October 9, 2008 at 10:44 pm(90) Katesays:

Hi everyone! I need advise,I quit my restaurant management job in pursuit of a career change,
and I am currently applying to any jobs with animals available in my area, including receptionist
and assistant positions. Can anyone give me an idea how to tweak my resume and cover letter
to land the job? Also, if I do eventually get an interview, what should I wear and what salary
should I ask for? I am looking through these posts and getting more and more confused…
Thank you

October 11, 2008 at 8:41 pm(91) Carolsays:

I’ve been a licensed Veterinary technician for 19 years in the state of Maine, with 6+ years
before working in Massachusetts. The problem with our profession is that people who are on
the job trained think they are technicians. No other profession would take a receptionist and
promote them to tech! A C.N.A would not go into a hospital and get promoted to R.N. yet the
veterinary profession seems to do this all the time. This is why our pay is so low for what we do.
I do everything from Annual physicals to labwork etc. I can bring in over $1000 a day with my
appointments alone yet I make 15.50 an hour. Veterinarians don’t realize what they have in us
because they can hire unqualified people to do the work without the knowledge( this is probably
good in some cases because you may question their knowledge!!!)I think it’s time we break the
standards up into Assistants( no formal training) and technicians who have been through a
course and taken the national test to be licensed. Until we do something about this it will just
continue. If anyone knows how to get the ball rolling let me know.We also need the States that
do licensing to police that every hospital has a licensed tech on staff(which in Maine they don’t
they just take our money for the license). Don’t get me wrong I do like what I do, but after so

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many years and so little money it’s growing old fast.

October 11, 2008 at 8:54 pm(92) Carolsays:

I’ve been a licensed vet tech in Maine for 19 years. Before that I worked in Massachusetts for
6+ years. The problem I see with our profession is that we have no distinction for what a tech is
compared to people who are on the job trained. The person who said they were a receptionist
and got promoted to vet tech is not really a tech.They may have been taught how to do
something but they don’t have training why they are doing the task. I think some vets like it that
way because they would never know when to question if some thing was right or wrong. I can
see annual physicals and other appointments and can bring in over $1000 a day, yet my pay is
15.50/hr. Don’t get me wrong, I like what I do, I just think I should get paid for my knowledge. I
sucks when a receptionist/manager assistant at work makes 50 cents less an hour and they
have been there less time and no college education. I think It’s time to differentiate between a
vet assistant and a vet tech by using the fact of education and National tests. In Maine they
don’t even check to see if each hospital has a licensed vet tech on staff, yet we pay for a license
every year. A C.N.A. would not be able to work in a hospital and work their way up to being a
R.N. so why should we tolerate this behavior in our profession. If anyone knows how to get the
ball rolling to start something like this let me know.

October 11, 2008 at 9:02 pm(93) Carolsays:

If anyone know a way to make it so vets would have to hire a licensed vet tech let me know. I
think it’s time to help ourselves!!

October 13, 2008 at 6:04 pm(94) beccasays:

im about a year away from starting college. i love animals and i think it would be a fun career. i
just want to make enough money to live comfortably. one main thing i dont really understand yet
is the difference of an associate’s and a bachelor’s degree…could you make the same amount
of money with just an associate’s??? because i dont want to be in school that long!!!! ??

October 14, 2008 at 9:31 pm(95) Tinasays:

I am 43 years old and am looking into a Vet Tech program as a second career. I’m wondering if
it is all worth it. I make about $43,000/year right now, I’m married and can keep my health
benefits from my husband’s job. I really wonder if there isn’t a better way of making more
money by taking care of animals! Maybe I’m just missing something! I live on Long Island, New
York -about 40 minutes east of New York City and as far as I can tell there is only ONE Vet
Tech. program in my whole area!Tina

October 15, 2008 at 6:42 pm(96) Leahsays:

There is only one Vet tech program on Long Island in Suffolk, but if you want to travel into
Queens you can go to Laguardia Community College which has an accredited
program-although it is tough to get into.

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October 20, 2008 at 3:38 pm(97) Darlene Izzosays:

I am so Happy that I read this, I was laid off in accounting and I have been in accounting for the
past 23 years but I have 4 greyhounds and wanted to go back to school to be a vet tech but
when I read on here the pay???? I am not sure I could survive. I am very disappointed but I
have been the bread winner for over 24-years and my dogs and my family rely on me. I so bad
wanted to go into Greyhound rehab. But I live in SC and the wages down here are already low
so I am sure it would be in the lower range, thanks so much for all the input.

October 21, 2008 at 4:43 pm(98) Jessicasays:

I just joined the vet tech force and im getting paid $22.77, but I do it for the animals not the

October 29, 2008 at 11:19 pm(99) Jaciesays:

Im a high school student trying to figure out what I should do when I gradute. What all does a
vet tech. do and how muchn will I possibly be making? Thanks!!!

October 31, 2008 at 2:10 pm(100) Amandasays:

I’m also in high school and i’m in the middle of doing a career paper for my english class. When
it comes down to it , would a vet tech get paid more than an elementary school teacher??

November 9, 2008 at 10:35 pm(101) Marissays:

I work as a Vet Tech for over 5 years now, Would like to a Cert. Vet Assistant. How do I do this?

November 11, 2008 at 3:57 pm(102) ktmosays:

Hello people. What a very interesting post. I currently work in a 9-5 boring office job. I have
been pondering a career change myself. I have always considered getting a job as veterinary
assistant or going to school to become a vet tech. I love animals, I have 3 dogs I really love and
care for.

I might not agree what with most people are posting here about the pay for veterinary
assistants/technicians get. But I will tell you this, here in southern California more specifically in
the Long Beach area, I know for fact it can’t be that low. They are paid quite well.

Throughout the years I’ve made friends with some of the vet receptionist/assistants/techs at vet
hospitals where I take my pets and have asked them if they were happy with the type of work

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they do. And if they would encourage anyone who cares about animals to follow this path. And
for the most part they have said they were happy and it is a very rewarding career. I never got
into the topic of money but they always volunteered to tell me pay was decent.

I can tell you the veterinary assistants, not techs, which work at my local vet hospital, get paid
really well. When you drive up to the hospital every car in there lot are all brand new vehicles,
Toyota SUVs, Honda Accords, BMWs. One of the office receptionists even has a brand new
Toyota Prious hybrid car. I recently visited the hospital on a slow Friday, took my dog to have
her check-up done, she also needed to have her blood drawn. While in the lobby, one of the
vet assistants, maybe 19 years old, drove up in a brand new black 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse
convertible, that car is worth over 30 grand at least. I am not kidding here the entire office/staff
crew working that morning walked out of the hospital to look at the guy’s new car. I went myself
to look at it, it’s a sweet looking convertible. When we all went back in to the hospital, I jokingly
asked one of the receptionists if they were hiring. She laughed and said not at the moment.
But what I’m getting at is they are paid well, somehow they are.

November 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm(103) JESSIEBOOOsays:


November 12, 2008 at 8:56 pm(104) Beckysays:

I just happened to run across this site. First of all, I’m a Certified Vet Tech of 10 years. We are
all in this field b/c the love we have for animals, definately not the money. For all of you that are
interested in becoming vet techs, please go to an accredited tech school, then sit for the
National boards. This will allow you to make more money and be put above another canidate
when applying for a job. Also, they are working on making it a requirement to be licenced to
work as a tech. Some states already require that. Whwn I started out as a tech, I made $10/hr.
After doin this for 10 years, I know make $16.50 an hour in a small animal practice. As another
poster said, don’t underestimate yourself on an application, ask for the money that you deserve!

November 13, 2008 at 5:21 pm(105) ..*Abby*..says:

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hi im 13 years old and ive always dreamed of becoming a vet since i was seven i REALLY love
anaimals…but i just found out you have to so to collage for over 6 years and i cant do i
recently thought of being a veterinary technician..but it out of all these comments none of them
are from tenneesse..i would like to know if anyone knows how much vet technicians get paid?if
you do please leave a comment and ill read it……thanks…love ya

November 16, 2008 at 4:21 am(106) Carlossays:

My wife and I own a small animal clinic in a rural area. She is the vet. As I write this it is after 1
am and a client just arrived with an emergency. We love our techs and all have been here for
several years. We realize the pay is not high enough. We bought the practice a year ago. It is
our goal to raise the pay and offer benefits to all our employees. It is a myth that the
veterinarians are getting rich off the pay of their employees. If money is your primary reason for
the job, I’d advise look to another field. We offer better wages than most employers in our area
and we look for employees who truly love their job and are willing to dedicate themselves to this
profession. My wife actually makes less than any employee and puts in the hours because she
believes in what she is doing with all her heart. I never hear her complain when someone calls
at 3 am with an emergency call, she goes to work. I’m sorry if that is not the norm but they are
out there and if you are lucky enough to work with a vet like my wife then you will find
satisfaction in your career. One big thing I see is that all of our employees have a partner and
thus two incomes. I’ve come to the conclusion that we will not get rich in this profession but will
build equity eventually and that will be the financial reward when and if she retires.

November 17, 2008 at 1:34 pm(107) Candicesays:

Can some please explain the difference between a veterinary technician and a veterinary
assistant? From what I have read so far the vet assistant takes a few classes to achieve a
certificate and make a salary of around 25,000.00 annually and a vet tech completes around
110 quarter credit hours, achieves a degree and makes between $30,800 – $38,400.00
annually. Does this sound correct? Any information on the difference between these two job
titles would be appreciated. Thank you!

November 18, 2008 at 11:22 pm(108) Pamelasays:

well am in college now in NJ. I’m 18 and after reading all these comments i definetely feel more
depressed. The college am in doesn’t offer a vet tech degree but i thought if u just take classes
as someone who’s doing pre-vet you could be a vet technologist. i was very wrong. i can’t
believe am here and i dont even know what am doing. i know i want to study photography but i
also want to work with animals. i was planning on going to the bergen community college and
maybe getting a minor or major in photography. i was also thinking about studying photography
in SVA in NY. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO?!?!?!? I know i have to finish up my freshman year
here n leave becuase i’ll just be wasting money here if i dont know what i wanna do. Any advice
will be greatly appreciated. i’m starting to think i should have just gone into the marines :/

November 20, 2008 at 4:10 am(109) patricksays:

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i was considering this as a career change? Hm, not so much anymore I live in LA, CA.
$15/hr=$120/day less taxes, so I brimg home $80 ? I could wait in the parking lot at home depot
and get more. And from the sounds of it, have less responsibility to an already unappreciative

November 23, 2008 at 1:32 am(110) Cortney Kopischkesays:

I am currently in my 4th year in college going for a biology degree, when I first got here I was
aiming to be a vet but then I realized that I wouldn’t be the job for me, I still don’t know what I
want to do but now I’m thinking about being a vet tech, I know after I graduate I could do lab
work somewhere and make much more money than I would make at being a vet tech and not
have to do extra schooling, but I have come to realize that I rather do something I love and am
passionate about even if I’m not making the money since I know I could probably get a job in
retail to help me out. So it’s basically comes down to just doing what you love.

November 27, 2008 at 4:24 am(111) PuppyPokersays:

This is in response to the question regarding the difference between a technician and an
assistant. If you ask someone who has paid thousands of dollars to become an RVT (registered
veterinary technician)they will tell you that any veterinary nurse who is not registered is an
assistant, not a technician. If you ask someone like me,a head tech who was trained on the job,
and they will tell you that the person who has been trained, (on the job or class room)can do the
job and do it well is a technician, registered or not. Yes, there a few things that legally a
non-RVT is not SUPPOSED to do, but to be honest most vets will allow a skilled tech to do
these as well. Financially, there may be a difference of 1 or 2 dollars an hour, but what most
vets look for in a tech is simply the ability to do the job well. Most do not care if you are
registered or not. I am a non-registered tech,have been working in the field for over 6 years, and
make $20 an hour. The only thing I don’t do at my current hospital is tooth extractions, and
that’s ok with me!

December 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm(112) Kellisays:

Fellow Animal lovers:

After reading your comments I have become really concerned about the reality of becoming a
vet tech and cost of living involved. Its really scary really. I love animals. And I am about to
finish my second year in college and was planning on enrolling into a vet tech program. But I
just don’t see how after the money i spent for my AA and then for tech school could possible be
compensated in even 10 years with a salary of 14/hr! Am I wrong to think this??I won’t be able
to pay back my loans, much less my living expenses… Guidance?

December 5, 2008 at 10:39 am(113) Amysays:

It’s true that the veterinary technician community has to help themselves when it comes to

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regulating the profession. It’s up all credentialed technicians to educate the public in whatever
way they can about veterinary technicians and the role that they play in veterinary medicine. If
you live in a state that does not regulate the profession, then join forces with your state
association and find out what you can do to contribute. Being employed as a veterinary
technician is rewarding, but there is more that you can do to further your career if you want to.
There are a number of veterinary technician specialty academies that you can pursue. Visit the
AVMA website or NAVTA website for information. There are lcture opportunities, publishing
opportunities through Veterinary Technician Journal, etc. Become a leader in the field, set an
example of excellence, raise the bar!

December 5, 2008 at 1:44 pm(114) Tonniesays:

I am a senior graduating in may 09 and am almost certian that i am going to get a vet tech
degree. i am also considering one other career and i thought that i could get a vet tech license
and then go back to school to get a second degree in a totally different field( but it is another
passion of mine) will it be hard to attend school part time

December 5, 2008 at 2:58 pm(115) Jillsays:

I live in Canada and I just got a job at a vet hospital as a vet assistant. I have no certification
and have not gone to school, it will all be on the job training. I will only be making $10 an hour to
start, going to $10.50 after 3 months. This is a huge pay drop from what I had been making at
my last job. HOWEVER, at least I will be doing something I love and following a passion.
People have come to think that money is the end all and be all of life. I was unhappy at my last
job, stressed out and didn’t feel passionate about my job. Sure, now I will be making less
money, but at least I can be happy at the end of the day and know that I am making a
difference. Stop worrying about the money and take a look at your heart…wouldn’t you rather g
oto work everyday loving your job, than make a fair bit of money but be burnt out and hate
waking up in the morning??? I know some people don’t understand why I chose this job, but
sometimes you have to follow your heart…not your wallet!

December 15, 2008 at 11:25 am(116) Im confused!says:

I’m really confused on what to do. I’m almost 18 and a senior in High School and want to
become a veterinary technician because I love animals and I want to help them live happy and
healthy lives. But through my whole childhood I grew up with not much money at all and I had to
live with (and still do live with) low income. My point is, is that I don’t want to have my kids
(when I have them in like 5-10 years. haha!) live with low income. Should I still pursue this
career field?!

December 17, 2008 at 3:52 pm(117) Tomsays:

I am soooooooooooo grateful I came across this forum. I live in Binghamton NY–an
economically depressed area overall, let alone the national crisis.I was considering this path for
a career change being recently laid off from a local marketing co, but seeing the salary as
practically break even or less than I was making, I heavily doubt I will. Having children on the

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brink of college and working for “less” than I was making seems absurd. One person said it well
in the forum when they said with an education in a field you would think you’d be paid well.
Apparently that isn’t the case in Veterinary unless you are a DMV. Sidenote- I checked into the
Penn Foster and it seems they are pushy. I no sooner did an online interest questionnaire and
they called to talk to me. I could be wrong, but what is wrong with mailing the info–and then
follow it up with a call. Just seems a little desperate to me. I read what one person wrote about
not being able to gain work after taking the course with them and knowing I live in a small
market economic part of the state, somehow my gut tells me this would an uphill climb at best. I
agree with those who have said volunteer at a animal hospital or shelter, or support a animal
activist group to fill your heart. Either that or become a DMV itself. The “in between” positions
seem an economic loss. Why pay for a certificate or diploma you could attain from just
“experience” itself. Seems educational formats should be ashamed for charging for something
you can learn from experience itself. Best of luck to anyone considering this, and if anyone
wants to write me about what I wrote, I would love to hear from you. You can email me at….just label it like maybe–Vet Tech/from format–that way I’ll
know your not spam. Thanks!

December 17, 2008 at 7:56 pm(118) allisays:

I am a vet tech in research and feel I make pretty good money…($40,000). But I got to this
position because I LOVE my work! So my advice to you is.. go into this because you love it.
Then you will become very good at it and get a good reputation. After about a year of that, look
into jobs in research and you will have an excellent recommendation for a job. Seriously, it is all
about the recomendation in research!!! Good luck!!

December 19, 2008 at 4:08 am(119) bethanysays:

SO…what is the difference between a vet assitant and a vet tech??? and of the two, who gets
a higher salary??

December 22, 2008 at 2:42 pm(120) Julietsays:

Hey, I am thinking about going to school to become a LVT. I WISH I LIVED IN NYC! I went on
the ASPCA website… their Vet tech’s start @ $20/hr w/ annual increases. FULL benefits.

If you live in NYC, check out the ASPCA.

January 5, 2009 at 3:47 pm(121) ashleysays:

what exactly does a vet tech in research do? what kind of research needs a vet tech? I’m
always skeptical of how animals are treated in research. I’ve worked at a wildlife animal park
where the exotic hoofstock roam freely on appx. 2000 acres and the animals that need to be
penned up have extremely large facilities. So, to see animals being kept in small cages all day
except when being tested on would seem rather depressing. I really hope this isn’t the case.

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January 7, 2009 at 2:09 pm(122) Marysays:

I have a MS degree in Biochemistry and worked as a research scientist for 10 years. I decided
just last year after rescuing a pit bull from the animal shelter that I wanted to change careers to
become a Veterinary Tech. I don’t have the time or the $$$ to go back to school, and I’d like to
start a family!

I found this awesome accredited distance learning program at Purdue

I live in California, and I am taking weekly classes in Indiana!

January 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm(123) Heidisays:

I have been a vet tech/assistant for over 2 years now and I work for a corporation. DO NOT
WORK FOR A CORPORATION!!! You get paid less then Subway, you only get a raise once a
year and it’s 15-30 cents. Insurance sucks. I started out at $9 an hour and now i’m up to $9.36. I
work over 40 hours a week, have back problems and also have numbness in my right hand
from having to hold a dogs leg in surgery for over 1 1/2 hours. It’s hard work but if you want to
make a living you need to think about something else. Don’t get me wrong its a wonderful job
and its great to work with animals but for what we all do from x-rays to anestheia we should be
getting both of those salaries combined. A good perk though is i get a great discount on my pets
which i have many from dogs, cats, goats, birds, lizards and fish. Just think about it and decide
on whats more important and where you want to be in 10 years…still living with your parents or
owning a home!

January 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm(124) Denisesays:

I’m so glad I found this forum. I was in Art School and my life detoured when I had my 1st child
at 19. Plan B was the medical field, but knowing that I’ll be in the fetal position every night didn’t
sound too thrilling.

I decided to study to become a Vet Tech but wanted to do so via Vet Assist. certification. I was
thinking about using Penn Foster’s online program. I knew “provisional accreditation” didn’t
seem like enough. I’m now looking into San Juan College.

They pay doesn’t bother me, but you do have to sell yourself like your the best thing since sliced
bread. Y’all gave such good advice. Thanx!!!

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January 21, 2009 at 1:46 am(125) Alexasays:

Im currently in the end of my sophomore year at an art college, for advertising. In only about two
more years I will have my BFA, and a promising salary beginning at 40k right out of school, with
the potential to be making 80k salary by the time I am 25. The problem with this is, I despise the
cut throat aspect of the advertising industry, and after visiting firms and trying an internship, the
excitement aspect of the career has been completely sucked out of it for me.My heart, since I
was a child, has been with animals. I moved in High School during the middle of my junior year,
and when college applications came around I went for art, just because I’m talented at it and I
saw the potential to earn a decent living; without realizing I had no actual passion for the
career.So now, half way through a college costing 40k/year, I am thinking about leaving. I plan
to take the next year off, work as a vet assistant/receptionist, and really see if my heart is still
with animals, although I know it is, since I have spent my weekends volunteering at a near by
shelter and have rescued three cats and one dog, filling my Brooklyn apartment to its limit.Does
anyone have any advice on how to get a job as a vet assistant, I see it as a good way to
educate myself on the field as well as attempt to take a chunk out of my student loans.I plan the
following year to enroll at the University of Connecticut, which seems to have a great BS degree
available. The only other issue I see with that was i was on the VMCA looking at Veterinary
Schools for after I graduate from a pre-vet college, and each one requires that in your pre-vet
college you take a specific amount of material, which differs for each one.I have never been the
most talented Math/Chem student, but i feel as if I’m not going to let that hold me back. I don’t
think a Vet Tech salary is realistic, though the schooling would be much easier on myself. I want
to be a Vet at a clinic, for dogs and cats, and lend my services to local shelters. For Vet school I
am interested in traveling over seas, Murdoch University and the Unversity of London my top
two interests. Can anyone give me feedback on what pre-vet schools would be best for these
Vet schools, and how their programs are? I also havent even begun to look at the tuition, so any
information on them at all would be extremely helpful.

January 27, 2009 at 4:11 am(126) Emilysays:

I’ve been reading and reading, and many people have asked about certain distance learning
programs such as Penn Foster, San Juan College, Purdue, and Cedar Valley College. There’s
only been one real response about Penn Foster, which wasn’t accredited at the time. I’d
REALLY like to hear how people are liking the programs at each of the listed schools. All of
these are schools I have been looking at too, but have been a tad hesitant to apply. Also how
easily they were hired and such. I did get the desperate vibe from Penn Foster, but the
flexibility of the program is REALLY helpful for me. But if it’s not a great program, and I’m going
to have a tough time getting a job I’ll apply somewhere else. Another thing, anyone know if
graduating from a “full accredited” or a “provisional accredited” school makes a difference in pay
or being hired? Anyone who has been, knows, or has heard anything about these schools,
please let me know!!! Thanks!

January 27, 2009 at 12:07 pm(127) Roxannesays:

A lot of you have been asking the difference between registered technicians, technicians and
assistants. I’m a registered Animal Health Technician here in Canada, with university

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experience as well as private practice and teaching. Here’s what you need to know:

Registered Animal Health Technicians, as we’re called in Canada, are the most educated
veterinary staff members, after the doctors. In other places, we’re known as Licensed Veterinary
Technicians, Certified Veterinary Technicians, Registered Veterinary Nurses, etc. Our program
is accredited with the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and we have to pass board
exams to be licensed. We’re the equivalent to the Registered Nurse in human hospitals.

Certified Veterinary Assistants have taken a course somewhere. These range from good to
useless. There is no accreditation with the CVMA for vet. assistant courses. I taught for one for
several years and am familiar with many of them. Most are a waste of your money. Tuition can
cost more for six months than a two-year technician program, with no recognized diploma at the
end of it.

Veterinary Assistants are trained on-the-job and may receive excellent training from excellent
vets, or abysmal training from abysmal vets. There is no such thing as an on-the-job trained
technician, although many like to call themselves that. Without formal education, you’re an
assistant. To be a registered technician, you have to go to school at an accredited college.

Other positions within a veterinary hospital include receptionists (a vastly important and often
undervalued position), office managers and kennel assistants. Veterinary reception courses are
worthwhile taking, if you’d like to get your foot in the door of a hospital. Again, programs vary
widely so do your research.

Pay varies widely, but office managers tend to make the most, and a top receptionist can make
nearly as much as a licensed technician. Assistants, certified or not, will always (in an ideal
world) be working under the supervision of the veterinarian and/or the veterinary technician,
which can provide a wonderful learning environment.

If you’re thinking of taking a course, ask around at hospitals – talking to whoever does the hiring
– about what programs they consider worthwhile.

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Does that answer the questions?

January 28, 2009 at 8:51 pm(128) Leahsays:

I am a recent graduate of Penn Foster in the Vet. Asst. program. I found their call help line full
of rued, stressed out people who just want to talk in a rued tone at you and disagree with
everything you say. A lot of their tests had 1 or two questions in them with a question that
covered a subject not discussed in the section. That in turn knocks your score down. There
were other things I was not satisfied with, but finished anyway. Now I am out there applying for
jobs and so far no replies? I wonder if I wasted all that money? Some of the people on here
couldn’t find anything from Penn Foster either. I will keep trying for a while. I would not
recommend anyone take the online Vet Asst. program because you don’t get hands on training.
I was disappointed to find the pay is less than I make on my current job that I am ready to get
out of due to boredom and the usual things that drive people away from their jobs. At this point
in my career I would be excited to find a job in the vet office and just enjoy my job for a

January 30, 2009 at 11:10 pm(129) Rosannesays:

To Alexa,

I got a BA in Art many, many years ago. I thought I wanted to work in advertising. My first two
experiences with advertising agencies when first out of school were like yours. The people were
flat out nasty and back-stabbing. I ended up getting a job doing technical art which later turned
into computer graphics and graphic design. I did that for 30 years and got burned out. Now at
the ripe old age of 58 I will be graduating with an Associates of Applied Science in Veterinary
Technology from my local community college (CNM in Albuquerque, NM). I am hoping to work
in research taking care of the animals (because the money is better)for a few years. After that I
hope to work for a rescue group like Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah. If you really have
a love of design I’d suggest getting into web design instead of advertising. You can be really
creative and in my experience the web design people are not as egotistical as the advertising

Good luck in whatever you decide!


January 30, 2009 at 11:15 pm(130) Rosannesays:

Re the Vet Assistant versus Vet Technician. I was fortunate that the person I spoke with 4 years

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ago at PIMA was honest. She told me that if I took their Vet Assistant program I would only
make about $8.00 an hour and the program cost about $8000. As a graduate of an AVMA
accredited Associates program and after passing the state and national boards I should start at
around $30000 a year.

February 1, 2009 at 1:17 am(131) Laurasays:

To those of you who are techs (whether you’re registered or non-registered, but you do have
your degree), what did you make in a clinic starting out? I am trying to figure out what is a good
figure to tell the doctor when I am being interviewed. I have no idea what to say, but first
interview I stated in the $12/hr range (one of my instructors at school said she made 12/hr
starting out), then my next interview I said 11-12/hr.

I don’t want to get underpaid, but I looked at the facts. I just graduated a little over a month ago,
I am not registered and I’m not taking the VTNE til June and I don’t have any actual clinic
experience aside from my 2-month externship and 4 months of volunteer experience at a
shelter. I am trying to volunteer at Animal Care and Control as a surgical assistant to get more

Based on what I have given, is $11-$12 an hour a decent pay to ask for?

February 2, 2009 at 8:17 pm(132) Karlisays:

I will be graduating, from highschool, in a few months, and I was planing on taking the
veterinary assistant diploma course though Stratford Career Institute…I live in Alberta, Canada,
and was wondering if anyone knows if SCI is a online course that will be able to start my career
off?Is it approved by th “high up Vet people,” so I can get a decent job?Thanks

February 2, 2009 at 11:29 pm(133) Anonsays:

I have to say how outrageous I think it is that vet techs get paid as low as they do for the most
part.I am an RN and am paid well, but also attended vet tech school but did not finish due to a
family matter. My program was damn hard and very challenging. IN fact just as challenging as
my 4 year nursing. It seems to me that it is quite ridiculous that a person is expected to
accumulate such a vast amount of knowledge and skill, be put through such strenuous vigorous
testing only to be paid a pittance! Sure its a love of animals but come on, its also quite abusive
and in my opinion, direspectful to the profession itself. The salary should reflect the education
and experience that is accumulated by the hard working vet techs. It is an injustice.

February 3, 2009 at 1:31 pm(134) Vickysays:

It is very hard work and it isn’t fair. I’m at Argosy University right now for vet tech and working at

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a clinic for $11/hour. Lucky for me my school is 5 min away and is accredited by AVMA and
CVTEA. I think the pay changes drastically from place to place. There are other good ways to
make money while being a vet tech though. I’m planning on living in the country after I graduate
and boarding peoples horses while working as a vet tech. If this is what you want to do, don’t
take bad wages but don’t look back on your dream either. It’s a challenge and school is very
difficult but it’s great.

February 4, 2009 at 1:42 am(135) Laurasays:

My mom was an LPN, and she was pretty shocked at how in-depth my classes were for vet
tech. She would be boasting to her doctors about how her daughter was going to school for vet
tech, and they agreed it was a really hard program to go into. And she said a lot of my courses
were more in-depth than she ever had to go through.

I do think a lot of people don’t realize how much a tech really has to know. Outside people think
we’re just restraining animals and stuff like that, but it’s a lot more than that.

Apparently the human medical field is where all the benefits are, but I wouldn’t trade being a
tech for the world. It does suck cause nurses get paid way more than techs, and it’s hell of a lot
easier for a nurse out of school to find a job than it is for a tech. My mom says how she got a job
like 2 weeks out of school. I’ve been out of school for almost a month and a half and 2
interviews later, still nothing. It’s quite depressing.

February 4, 2009 at 2:14 am(136) Shannonsays:

First I would ask that all of you vet assistants calling yourselves technicians please recognize
the difference. If you did not graduated from an accredited or accepted veterinary technician
program and have not passed the national and state boards you are not a technician. Those of
us who are licensed technicians worked hard for the title. Perhaps that may be part of the
differences in wages being discussed. A licensed tech normally makes 8-10 dollars an hour
more than an assistant. The true money in this profession is in specialty,referral hospitals or
emergency/critical care hospitals. Everyone starts somewhere but you can work your way up.
The one thing to keep in mind is that this profession has very definate, very real salary caps.

February 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm(137) Mindysays:

Hi, I’m happy I found this. I have been going back and forth trying to find a career I would really
enjoy. I was thinking of phych. but I think I would get bored. I have always loved animals first
and formost. I will voulinteer and take animals in. I think this field would make me the happiest.
 Money isn’t really a factor for me or my spouse. I want to enjoy what I do. I’m just a little
confused of the differences between vet assistanst, technissians and technologists. Could
someone break it down for me and fill me in on what would be the best choice.

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February 22, 2009 at 7:26 pm(138) Concerned Fathersays:

WOW. Great site. My son is looking to start Vet Tech Institute in Houston and they are charging
$30,000 for tuition and another $10K for all of the add-ons. The program is 18 months. He has
many of the same feelings with a “love of animals” that y’all do but to come out and make
$10-15 hour it will take forever just to pay for the tuition.Should I steer him in another direction?
They are slick intheir presentation and put pressure that “we REALLY want you in this program.
The fatherly-radar went up.Does anyone have experience with the Vet Tech Institute in the
Houston area as to what types of jobs and what pay were offered.

March 1, 2009 at 7:40 pm(139) Meagansays:

I’m 20 years old and currently getting my bachelors in accounting, but have found that i don’t
really think it’s a field ill enjoy even though i know the money is there. Instead I’m looking to get
my bachelors degree in Veterinary technology from Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, NY. I was
just wondering if anyone could tell me if there is a difference in pay for someone who gets and
associates degree (which i read are called Technicians) and someone who gets a bachelors
degree (which i read are called Technologist)in Veterinary Technology?

March 1, 2009 at 7:45 pm(140) Meagansays:

Oh, and I also wanted to know if the majority of the people on here who have been saying
they’re licensed vet techs received their associates or bachelors degrees?

March 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm(141) Kimsays:

So, has anyone taken the Penn Foster Veterinary Tech (not assistant) program and then found
a job? Part of this program is doing work at a veterinarian’s office and it is an associate degree
that is earned. It is accredited by the AVMA.What about Pima? In California they only offer a Vet
assistant program at this time, but are supposed to be offering a Vet. Tech program that earns
an associate degree, in the future.any response on either of these programs

March 6, 2009 at 12:17 pm(142) Shaysays:

Hey guys, Right now I am in the same boat as some of you, Love animals, want to take VET
TECH, but online somehow? is there such a thing? I heard some bad things about Pen Foster,
but then again Im up in Canada and trying to find something a bit closer to take online. Vet Tech
deserve waaaay more money than most are receiving, in my opinion!

March 10, 2009 at 10:26 am(143) Shaysays:

Karli says:I will be graduating, from highschool, in a few months, and I was planing on taking the
veterinary assistant diploma course though Stratford Career Institute…I live in Alberta, Canada,
and was wondering if anyone knows if SCI is a online course that will be able to start my career

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off?Is it approved by th “high up Vet people,” so I can get a decent job?Thanks


I am looking into this, I can get back to you if you’d like. I am in Canada and also looking for a
course in this industry

March 12, 2009 at 12:47 am(144) brittanysays:

I want to become a veterinary tech.i love animal since i was a little girl. many people say that
they make alot of money and some say they don’t. although i love animals i must say that i’m
more about the money. I need to make money to help support my family. i am only 17 years old
and have a son he just turned two months. i wanted to know if i should still try to become a vet.
or look into something else that makes more money? what should i do?

March 13, 2009 at 1:34 pm(145) tashasays:

hi im doing a career projest. I can not seem to find out sometihng. can you help??Q:How can
your salary change over time?andQ: what technology is used?

March 13, 2009 at 5:26 pm(146) ashlesays:

Okay, I am a junior in high school taking dual in classes to receive both high school and college
credit at the same time. The plan has always been stay at home after high school and finish
taking as many classes at the community college I am enrolled in now then transfer to A&M’s
vet school. I know I want to have a career centered around animals but the idea of being a vet
seems quiet over whelming. I am now debating becoming a vet tech then after a year or two
working go back to school to become an actual vet if it seems to be what I want. This way I
won’t be taking a leap of faith with out a parachute. My biggest concern is finding a tech school
(preferably on line) that credits will transfer to a university such as A&M. So I guess my question
is does my plan seem realistic and what tech program should I use?

March 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm(147) Mollysays:

Don’t give up so easily!!!! I’ve been a vet tech in NY for 15 years and make $20 an hour; with
EXCELLENT benefits. Look to your institutions (colleges and universities that teach veterinary
medicine in any capacity), or industries like Banfields that might not pay much an hour, but by
the time you figure in health insurance and other benefits, you can be doing fairly well. I also
use my veterinary technician qualifications to run a THRIVING pet-sitting service. I have more
clients than I can handle, and it’s all because I’m an LVT. I charge the minimum of $17.50 a
visit to take care of cats, and I have a client with a kennel that pays me $35/hour. She is most
definitely the exception, not the rule, but she has realized, it would be hard to replace a vet tech

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alone, especially hard to replace one who knows each and every one of her dogs. So don’t get
depressed – go at it all from a different angle!

March 20, 2009 at 12:16 am(148) Sadiesays:

Has anyone reading this gone through PennFoster for their Vet. Tech. Distance Learning
program? OR know of anyone who has? I would be interested to know if the practicum hours
were enough experience to get the “hands on” and any other information. Does anyone know
about this college from personal experience?

March 22, 2009 at 9:28 am(149) Lauriesays:

Hi, I am currently attending Penn Foster College – for the vet tech program and I am just about
half way through. I am waiting for the response as well that will give information on who has
graduated from the program and their job prospects. I am 49 years old and not sure that I am
doing the right thing and considering switching to becoming an LPN because the pay for an
LPN is generally around $40,000 to start. In my area which is northern NJ, the average salary
for an LPN is $45,000 according to monster salary. As far as the Penn Foster Program goes, I
think it is a well put together program. It is accredited by the AVMA and it is a tough program.
The work is thorough and hard. You definitely earn every credit in this program. You have to
accomplish 2 practicums – which is actually a period where you work in a vets office before you
graduate. You also have to attend classes on line which are not – they haven’t always been but
are now structured very well and great classes. The director of the program has done a
wonderful job on getting it accredited and making sure it’s up to standards. So, while I have not
yet graduated, I do feel sure that there will be jobs for Penn Foster Vet Techs. However, my
thought of switching at this point come from being able to earn $10,000 – $15,000 per year
extra plus benefits. I also run a pet sitting business which I started about a year ago and it’s
doing well. That is also a lot of hard work although I have to say I enjoy it. However, to make
say $1,000 per week in pet sitting, you give us life as you have to be available 7 days a week.
My husband and I work it together and it is tough to get time off. Hiring someone is an option
but they have to love animals and be very, very reliable – that’s not always easy to find. Good
luck everyone we have some tough decision.

March 22, 2009 at 11:32 pm(150) Julianasays:

Hi all. I am a DVM graduated in Brazil and trying to get a job as a vet tech as I will start the
process to get the Vet License in the US. It is ridiculous that money vet techs make if you think
about all the hard work they have to do in a vet hospital. I do want to pursue the vet licence and
working as a vet tech is the way I found to get some experience working in a USA practice and
get back to business, since I have been working in research for 4 years. I love my profession
and most of all, I love animals and that’s why I became a vet back in Brazil. I am glad I have my
husband to support my family, otherwise would be really difficult to survive with such small
salary…but I will do and I will get my license ONE DAY, I HOPE.Good look for all of us who love
working with animals.

March 23, 2009 at 3:27 pm(151) Wendiesays:

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I am 16 and graduating early from high school to start my dream career. I wan to become a vet
or a vet tech. I want to be in it for the money and the job cause i just love animals. But I’m still
not quiet sure of it yet. Me and my boyfriend plan on living together when i get out of high school
so i can follow my dreams. He wants to be a mechanic and he currently works at discount tires
and a mechanic. With my paycheck as a vet and his mechanic pay check… do you think we can
get by and not live pay check for paycheck?

March 23, 2009 at 7:13 pm(152) Sadiesays:

Lori – how many hours (if you were to guess) of work do you put into the program? How long
have you been involved in it? I’m just weighing out all of the options and any info you have
would be awesome! Have you started either of your practicums yet? How’s that going?

March 26, 2009 at 11:43 am(153) Laurie Houghtonsays:

My son met a man who is an itinerant canine dental hygienist. He works in several vet offices
one or two days per month each and does dog tooth cleanings without anesthesia. He says he
has a nice income and does wonderful work. What kind of training/licensing is required for this
kind of work? I am a former human dental hygienist.

March 29, 2009 at 2:19 am(154) Sadiesays:

Sorry Laurie, I had your name incorrect on that last post. I apologize. Have you started your
practicum yet? I’ve got one small animal vet open to me interning there ater the 2nd semester.
I’m waiting to hear from another one for the 4th semester large/small animal portion.

March 30, 2009 at 5:07 pm(155) Desiree'says:

What a Veterinary Technician makes is relied on the STATE you reside in. I have read through
all the forums and everyone has made a comment about the pay. I have lived in several
different states and know from this that you can not just say “ oh the pay is absolutely horrible!”
There are several factors that sum this up.

 First, schooling (even distant learning) is always a GREAT option. Think of it this way. Would
you like to walk into a vet and have someone working on your animal not knowing the full
effects of different medicines or how to properly treat the animal? No. I am sure you would not
be too pleased.

I have researched online and campus schooling. Penn Foster Online has what you need to
graduate.People may say, “…but you don’t get hands on.” Guess what, you have to do weeks
of practicum. Which means you actually have to experience what a veterinary technician goes

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through. If you want to learn how to give a needle, put in a catheter, or other surgical measures.
ASK!! Vets want someone WILLING TO LEARN. You’re going through the practicum, it’s a
GREAT time to learn the same things you “think” you would learn at a campus college.

 Second, A Vet Technician is far more difficult that vet assistant . One, you do more. Two, you
are more educated. A Vet assistant is the to assist. If you are doing the EXACT same as a vet
Tech in your clinic and are being called a vet assistant…then perhaps you should ask for a

Research is a PLUS!

April 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm(156) Stacisays:

Wow! Look at this Kaleidescope of People! What an amazing site. I am 25, hold a double BBA
in Marketing and Accounting, and have ALWAYS wanted to be a vet. I just got off the phone
w/a vet who filled me in about a career path for a vet (I HATED what I call “cubicle land”, which
is every office I’ve ever worked in). She told me that to be a vet you’d start out working in a
vet’s office, go through technical college for a vet tech’s license (sorry if that’s poor
terminology), and then go on to vet school to be a DVM.

Well – I’ve worked in vet’s offices in high school and distinctly remember asking these folks
what they were paid. Now, the vet was corporate (All About Animals) and these ppl were quite
overworked. I remember them being very disgruntled and saying- Barely 30k/yr…Now this site
confirms that vet techs, indeed, are extremely underpaid. But, I always knew it’d be a labor of

Unfortunately, I’m an A, B…..C! Student – so that leaves me in the dark as to whether or not I
could even get INTO vet school.

I want to thank everyone – Techs, Assistants, Who cares about your Title (haha – I thought the
“declare yourself!” comment was humorous – who cares?!). Thank you for your comments and
disclosure of your salaries and experience. I’m still pretty undecided (I stay that way!)- my
search for another advertising job in this economy has been rough – but it’s been kind of half
hearted, too – so I’m thinking maybe some of the blame is on my enthusiasm for the career.
However, I’ll keep coming back to this forum when I’m on the fence! Any further advice for ppl
like me would be great, too!

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I worked in a few accounting offices and advertising offices after school – and let me give you
young high schoolers some advice:

There’s an old saying: “Do What You Love And You’ll Never Work A Day in Your Life”

That doesn’t sound crazy to me! I sure know what doing what you DON’T love will do to you –
so take it for what you will!

God Bless You All! Good Luck

April 2, 2009 at 2:03 pm(157) vetmedicinesays:

I too, wish to thank everyone for the variety of responses and shared information.

March 2009 update – You are invited to post your own “mini article” on this topic in the new
Readers Respond area on this site: Can Love and Money Coexist? Thank you!

April 5, 2009 at 4:08 pm(158) Jennsays:

Well I feel that same as the rest of you. Its a thankless job. Although when you see animals
recover from the most devistating situations thats thanks enough. I get paid $14 an hour after 5
years in the feild. I am not licencsed but would like to be. But I dont have the time or money for
school. We get a 1 dollar raise yearly so I guess I will just continue to be unlicensed But here
in Massachusetts things are a bit pricey.

April 7, 2009 at 12:37 am(159) SMsays:

I just wanted to address some of the questions/concerns out there, starting out by saying it
definitely varies from city to city, but here’s kind of an idea of how things work, at least in Los

Veterinary assistant vs. veterinary technician vs. doctor’s assistant – depending on the hospital
you work, each level may have different duties, although duties certainly overlap. Veterinary
assistants or kennel assistants may do more cleaning, restraining, and feeding.
Technicians–and I have heard them called technicians even if they aren’t licensed, it’s mostly a
matter of EXPERIENCE and ABILITY–will pretty much do everything that a vet doesn’t (place

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catheters, manage fluids, clean wounds, talk to owners, assist with surgeries and procedures,
etc.). Doctor’s assistants, for the hospitals that have them, work very closely with a vet and
handle talking to owners, managing cases, and generally assist with just that vet’s patients.

Pay – again, depending on where you are, is (I agree) not nearly what it should be. Some
technicians are extremely skilled but still make less than $20 an hour. You can make this much
without being registered if you have the experience and are hired by the right hospital, but being
registered makes it easier to get a job and get higher pay that you request. There is a lot of
on-the-job learning even with RVTs.

Vet school – if you are even considering this, read up on it. There is way more to getting into vet
school than just loving animals. It’s a long, hard road. You can’t just expect to apply with barely
any experience and a few community college classes. Research different schools–are they
AVMA accredited? What prerequisite courses are there to apply? Are you prepared to answer
difficult interview questions? Do you have the adequate depth and breadth of experience? Can
you handle the debt afterwards? It’s not a walk in the park.

And, addressing what someone wrote somewhere above: I don’t know who you talked to, but
vet tech salaries in Los Angeles are NOT high at all, especially considering how expensive
housing is here. Many techs work upwards of 50 hours a week at different jobs to support their
families, if they have any to support at all. If you are lucky you can find something in research
for more money, but there isn’t much demand.

I’m only a vet assistant but I do enjoy my job. It’s different every day, and I love caring for
patients. Truly, find a place where you can learn what it’s like to work hard for not very much,
but enjoy what you do and tap on a wide skill base. Then you can decide if this field is right for
you. If money is just too important, I would consider nursing as an alternative. You make at least
twice as much money with about the same amount of time in school.

April 10, 2009 at 12:42 am(160) Sadiesays:

Desiree’ – Thank you so much for your comment! I’ve been seriously looking into the program
at Penn Foster. I even have a vet here in my city that’s willing to allow me to do the small
animal portion of the practicums with them! They were very excited to hear they’d be able to
train me in and teach me the techniques in their style. I do appreciate your opinion. Have you
been looking at the program too? Have you started anything yet?

April 12, 2009 at 11:23 pm(161) Melindasays:

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I have been in this field for about 7 years. The more various places you work, the higher you
can ask for a wage because you have experience and knowledge and not be confined to one
place. It’s difficult for the first 2 months but then its better. I have worked 4 places.

April 24, 2009 at 1:50 pm(162) vettechinvasays:

Hi everyone. I just wanted to say that the money is there if you look for it. I currently make
$52,000 a year as head tech in an emergency clinic. Show that you know your stuff and are
eager to get ahead. Make sure you find a vet that is looking out for your best interests and the
growth of the clinic. I started out as an asst making 6.50/hr before going to college and getting
licensed. Also, mny vets are willing to pay for your education, but you have to start somewhere!

April 25, 2009 at 8:18 am(163) Debbiesays:

The reason that the salaries for technicians vary so much is due to the fact that the profession is
not very regulated. I have seen people who call themselves techs but are nothing more than
glorified kennel attendants. Techs that work in emergency/specialty/referral do very well
monetarily. I am a technician manager at a large specialty practice and I make a six figure
salary. Veterinary technician specialists and CVPMs in NY make 80k-90k/year. Technician
consultants also make $70-$90/hour. There is plenty of money for techs in this 4 billion a year
industry…you just need to further your education.

May 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm(164) Autumnsays:

I am currently in G.E.D. classes and I will start college for Vet Tech in August. The money is not
important to me. I love animals and want to work around them. I never planned on gettin rich by
workin in that field. People should do it for the love of the animals. I attend to apply my skills at
animal shelters and for the Forrestry Department. Later on in life I will get a degree and also
work part-time in a Zoo. So there is alot of money to be made if your not just being a Vet Tech
look into more trainin and see how far you can go!!!

May 5, 2009 at 9:44 pm(165) RosaEsays:

I have been a vet tech for 5 years and registered for 2 years. I love working with animals even
though it is emotionally draining. I went straight into research and that is where the money is at.
I make $18/hr after only 2 years. I think research animals need alot of care and veterinary
technicians can be the face and voice for them despite what PETA says!

May 19, 2009 at 8:02 am(166) Crystalsays:

Wow, reading all these comments has been great for me, to see feedback of the pro’s and
cons. I am currently enrolled in Penn Foster’s Vet Tech Program, in my 1st semester, but so far
so good. As far the type of learner I am, I am anxious to finish my second semester and start
the practium, mostly because I am visual hand’s on learner. So far I have no complaints about
the program. I am currently living overseas with my Marine husband and its a great time for me
to get in some of the schooling, since life here has been on a slow pace. I did not start this

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schooling with the hopes of making the big bucks. I think my biggest reward will be working with
the animals. As far as not finding jobs for those graduating from Penn Foster, I dont understand.
Because alot of places hire people with NO experience.

GL to everyone!

May 20, 2009 at 9:40 am(167) Ninasays:

I’m a senior in high school && graduating in June. Ill be going to the Vet Tech Institute in
Houston. Ill have hands on training and a promised job after wards. my starting pay will be no
less than 15-17 an hour && going up after that. You cant settle for less. I’ll be gettin hands on
training w/ an on-site kennel and an externship for the last semester. they have MANY job
opportunities if you have experience before this. I do. I’m a CVA 1. The vet tech program is the
first step towards becoming a vet. I will work and save some money && after apply at a vet
school. I know ill struggle a bit, but at least im working for what i want. I dont want it easy. I’m
engaged && yah it’ll be hard, but ill be happy. Animals are my life && if the pay sucks, oh well.
but 17 and hour ain’t bad. && this is from someone who DID work at subwayy.


May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm(168) Britneysays:

I am also in my first semseter for the vet tech program with Penn Foster. I think the program is
put together very well however distance learning is NOT for everyone; and I am slowly starting
to learn that. I have always been one to procrastinate through high school and everything.. If
you are also one of these people this type of schooling is not for you. Espically Penn Foster
because it is go at your own pace. But I love and want to be in the field to much to stop so I am
continuing my studies at a college in Sanford, NC that has a vet tech program as well as more
hands on experience as opposed to the 2 clinicals after your 2nd and 4th semsters with Penn

So far my only complaints with Penn Foster (other than the ones I bring on myself) are the
counselors you call to answer any questions you have. They are all VERY rude and I have yet
to have any of my questions answered, only recieved an attitude from the person on the
oppoiste end.

For people that want to work with animals but also need the money, look into animal
sonography (ultra sounds and such), this is something I’m considering doing after I become a

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LVT and do that for a few years. The money is def there but so is the schooling. If I’m not
mistaken you have to go to school for human sonography and then specialize in animal
sonography. There is such a demand for them right now that they travel to many different
practices/zoos/shelters ect because there aren’t enough animal sonographers out there to work
at one place and only one, so you have to be willing to travel; another upside is it is not a 5-6
day a week, 9-5 job, you pick your own days/hours you want to work or only work when your
needed. I know when my dog was sick my vet called in a sonographer and she got about $600
from us for about 30 mins of work.

If you are dedicated, it pays off. Good luck to everyone!

May 28, 2009 at 8:12 pm(169) Lissettsays:

Has anyone ever attended the VetTech Institute (Bradford School of business)?I am about to
start this July and just want to know what to expect and if it’s a good schoolI have always
wanted to work with animals since I was a kid. I just finished my fist year of college and was
going for pediatric nursing, but I just didn’t feel like it was something I really wanted to do. It was
more like family pressure.But now, I am enrolled at the VetTech Institute here in Houston and
am really excited to be doing something I actually will enjoy doing (not that I don’t like
kids/babies lol)I’m not all that worried about the salary as much, I still live at home with my dad
so I don’t plan to live out on my own just yet. And hearing some of the salaries, not that it’s
making me change my mind or anything, i don’t think i plan to go on my own anytime soon.So I
have a couple of questions that I would like someone to help me with.1. Can I work as a vet
tech in the zoo? if so, about how much will i be making?2. If after I become an RVT, do i have to
go back to school to specialize in research or sonography or other area? Or can I just learn it at
the work place?3. If I do decide to become a vet after getting my AAS degree, will it take about
the same (8 or so years) to complete?4. Does it really make a differece if the school you go to is
AVMA accredited?5. How can I volunteer at a vet clinic/zoo? Or do an extership there?

Thank ya’ll in advance!!

May 30, 2009 at 6:51 pm(170) Veronicasays:

You guys need to stop discouraging people! The pay you make being a vet tech is better than
any job right off the street. If your single it’s even better, you don’t have to worry as much. I
have four months of school left and I’ll be getting my Vet assistant certificate. I already found a
part time job which will be full time when I’m done with school. I am currently a vet tech with no
experience other than extern and I start at 9.50 and get a raise after 30 days. I think it’s great
and the longer you stay and prove yourself the more money they will pay you. Ya’ll are money

June 2, 2009 at 11:20 pm(171) JJsays:

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Yeah well, I went to a great school and got out was working at a great 4 doctor clinic in 95 and
was getting $9 until i got my board results back after officially passing i was bumped to 11 (that
was CRAZY) high for the area of NY i lived in that was saturated with LVT making us a dime a
dozen. So even tho i was paid really well by area standard I reember praying to make at least
$500 bi-weekly so i could make my car payment and student loans ( i still lived with my ‘rents
since Rent was out of the question) then i got a part time job squirreling away $$ until i had
enough to move with the BF and i took a “AWESOME” job moved to West Palm Beach Florida
were over the last 8 years I have worked at 2 private practices 1 huge referal center and spent 2
years in a “State of the Art research facility were i was paid (pardon the term (DICK!) so I must
say i laughed when i read you guys saying LVT are paid better in research well Scripps won;t
pay you squat and they are supposed to be or at least they like to tell you they are “THE TOP
RESEARCH INSTITUTION IN THE COUNTRY”. As for the DVMs in South Florida I have
concluded that client education is mostly non-existent, DVM feel it’s easier to tell the client what
they want to hear rather than practice a high level of Medicine ( keep seeing boo-boo for the
rotten ears and prescribing meds ($)and ear drops(more $)and flushing solution CHA CHING
$$$) rather than discuss food or environmental allergies, it would appear the common
consensus is I CAN DO IT! lord have mercy if I didn’t see all the specialist i worked with at the
referral center doing chronic damage control rather than corrective medicine. Like the
FUBAR’ed neck of the poor dog whose RDVM did a LAR PAR Sx that the ACVS surgeon had
to fix. Or the oncologist who had to tell the woman her cat was dying from the Chemo the
regular doctor was giving in addition the cancer since the regimine the RDVM was doing was
not effective for the strain of cancer affecting her cat, or the best yet a 4 hour ortho SX i
scrubbed in on where the surgeon had to re-break, pin and externally fix the leg of the Labrador
the RDVM tried to fix by ( I KID YOU NOT) internally wrapping circulage wire around the broken
area of bone to set it) at 5 months of age. My advice ? We need to unionize. and make a
federal law stipulating what is and is not a Technician. Because the problem is places like
Florida were you train your way out of a job. I was paid $20 hr ( with 6 years ECC, SX and
exotic exp) I was lead tech and was asked to start train two girls that had graduated from high
school and were AM and PM part timers. after one year i was terminated and they stayed on
doing all the things i had taught them to do and they made 8.75 and hour. Because here in
Florida anyone can call themselves a tech, and the title mean NOTHING!!! I have over 15years
experince working with some of the greatest doctors but in private day clinics they feel i’m worth
nothing since they in some kid off the street they can teach to do what I do for 1/2 the pay. I
mean lets put it in perspective. I want to call my self a Veterinarian… YOu cant. Why not? You
didn;t go to school. Those girls didn’t go to school but they told everyone they were technicians.
Well you have to get your boards and your license. I did I sat for the NY, the national, and
Florida boards. Oh well… um yes i see your point. But… NO BUT!!! IT’S BLACK AND WHITE
you either are a DVM or your not your either a tech or you not end of story. and until the
Doctors treat us like we matter and our education is just as valuable to the practice as there is
and we can be and should be used a integral member of the veterinary team we will remain
obsolete . After 17 years i am happy to say I am finally with a Dr that does feel this way and
while I’m still a smidgen under paid the amazing working environment and the professional way
i am treated and valued; not as a employee but as a colleague makes up for it. The Irony?? He
is from Italy and says he has seen and agrees with everything i just told you. and he thinks the
AVMA is retarded for the way they allow the public and DVMs to treat the Techs in this country.
So i guess you just have search ponder and pray you find the right place for you. In the end luck

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is they only thing you have going for you. It only took my half my life (well so far the last 1/2)

June 17, 2009 at 4:10 pm(172) Brendasays:

I am a liscensed vet tech in philadelphia. I am currently making $14/hour. Does anyome one the
average hourly rate if you are working in animal rehabilitation…and in emergency services?

June 17, 2009 at 10:10 pm(173) SMsays:

I work at a really expensive, high-tech critical care/emergency hospital in LA. I know one RVT
making $14 an hour. You can make probably up to $20 or so if you work a night shift and have
years of experience.

The doctors make upwards of $200,000. Oh, the justice in this world.

July 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm(174) Tim in San Franciscosays:

I live in San Francisco (one of the most expensive cities to live in) and am 47 years old and
about to embark on a 20 month vet tech program (Western Career College). Because I have a
BA I am able to bypass all of the general ed courses and so will be attending school from
4:45-6:45 pm Mon-Thur. So, I will likely be able to work part time during the day (although there
seems to be very few jobs at all).I love animals and realize that the money may not be great but
in this economy it seems like I should go for something I am passionate about (you know, do
what you love and the money will follow). I have management experience so maybe that will
help me once I finish the program. But consider this: a career as a vet tech is probably much
safer in this economy than most things. I don’t think they are getting laid off like most other
fields. I feel sorry for college grads with a business degree or someone going into accounting.
Computers are taking over so many jobs! I have been a graphic designer for 15 years and burnt
out on working in a corporate, cut-throat environment. Plus, I was doing print design which is
pretty much dead in the water. I started learning web skills and threw in the towel.If anyone
knows about Western Career College (in San Leandro) I would appreciate the insight. I went
there and was impressed with the facility, lab, staff, etc.

July 3, 2009 at 1:14 am(175) Trevorsays:

Wow! I am surprised vet techs don’t make more money! I was thinking of leaving my current
job and pursuing this but not if I will make $12.00 an hour.I currently make $35.00 an hour in my
job. Guess I’ll stay even though I hate it.

July 3, 2009 at 7:40 pm(176) J.J.says:

Back in question 138 Concerned Parent asked a question about the Vet Tech Inst. in Houston. I
did not see an answer and have the same “fatherly radar” questions about that same location.

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Can someone please comment on the Houston market vs the $30-40k pricetag> Having a
daughter that is also afraid of math, how is the ciriculum in this field?

July 5, 2009 at 4:46 pm(177) Melanie, LVTsays:

I am very surprised that so few people seem to connect the dots. Salary or Hourly Wages are
dependent on location, field employeed (i.e general small animal practice verses say internal
medicine specialty), educational background, experience, skills, personality and the owner. I do
not make the money that I should due to lack of restraint from non-credentialed persons working
in the hospitals and clinics in my region.The only way I see for technicians to be compensated
properly for the true job they perform, assistants have to learn their boundaries. This will only
help them in the pay scale scheme of things as well. In states that regulate, technicians should
stand their ground, and assistants to stay in line. This is not in any way shape or form to be
negative. Think about it. You are an assistant who plays the technician’s job role. You also
work with a technician. You get paid $10 per hour and she gets paid $18 per hour. You both
do the same job. Boy aren’t you stupid. Letting DVM’s exploit you for less money. Put your
foot down and say No Thank You. That will help everyone’s pay scale elevate to the level of
skill, duties, education and experience one employee has to offer. Vet Assistant’s seem to
forget that their Technician is their best chance for increasing their education, skill and
experience that will help them command a higher salary. Now that I am in the frying pan……

July 5, 2009 at 10:50 pm(178) Arlenesays:

Whew! Everyone has the same opinion about the VT field; and it’s disappointing! I’m a
preschool teacher, and teachers DON’T make enough either with ALL the duties we do in our
8-9hr/days!! I admire the VT, but if it’s SIMILAR to being a teacher, well…I guess, I have to
think of something else to get into! It’s really sad that WE have to ALWAYS think about HOW
MUCH we will make! Yes, it’s truly a “Labor of Love”; but doesn’t anyone believe in the Higher
Power…that those who do good for the sake of other will be rewarded in due time!?! Good

July 7, 2009 at 6:39 pm(179) Brookesays:

I am 20 years old & just recently moved to Orlando, Florida. I finally found a vet tech school. It is
called Florida Institute of Animal Arts. I was wondering if anyone has heard of or went to this
school? It is accredited but wanted to know if anyone has finished the program and had a hard
time finding a job after?

July 7, 2009 at 9:21 pm(180) LizzyBoosays:

Agreed with Melanie, LVT.It all depends on location, field employeed, educational background,
experience, skills, personality and the owner.

You ***can’t*** decide from the internet, you need to talk to people in YOUR area. I looked at

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this site when before I was even a vet assistant and still am perusing a career as a LVT and I
was disappointed to read the poor pay. Even so I perused my passion and I’m already making
more then a lot of these LVTs have made as an assistant, not because I’m better, it’s just so
variable.It is all variable, shop around where you want to work, usually the bigger more
demanding places will have more money to pay you well. If you are interested in money, go to
an emergency or specialty clinic, if you are not, they any clinic will do if you just want to be and
help animals.

July 8, 2009 at 7:21 pm(181) Kristisays:

Well, it’s nice of all of you to leave your feed back and I appreciate your honesty. I just signed
up for vet tech school after being laid off from my previous job as a journalist and now I’m just
depressed from all your comments. I’ve wanted to do this my whole life and now, it just seems
useless. Super.

July 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm(182) Terrisays:

To Brooke in 179 – I have heard of Florida Institute of Animal Arts. But to my knowledge that is
NOT a vet tech school. I haven’t personally researched it, but it is my understanding that they
give you a certificate as a veterinary assistant. That is completely different! You do NOT need a
certificate to be an assistant. You need only apply at a veterinary hospital (and possibly be
willing to start work in the kennel) and they will likely call you an assistant. St. Petersburg
College has an online course that IS accredited by AVMA and upon completion you can take
the board exam to become a CVT (credentialed veterinary technician or certified vet tech –
depends on state definitions). Try checking the AVMA website for schools they have accredited
as suitable for veterinary technician programs. This is the list for Florida
( You will notice that the FL
Institute of Animal Arts is not listed.

Just wanted to let you know because I hate for people to waste their time with useless
programs. Stick to the accredited ones for veterinary knowledge and training.

July 9, 2009 at 7:51 am(183) Melanie, LVTsays:

Kristi: It is never useless. If this is want you want…then do it. You can do sales, research,
university, teaching, specialty, emergency, or general practice. Only you can make your career
choice a happy worthwhile choice. If you are current student in an accredited program, start
resources. Call up various different types of practices and ask to shadow their LVT. Get a feel
for what they do, if they like what they do, if the pay and benies are good. Then go from there.
You can always relocate.

July 15, 2009 at 9:16 pm(184) julessays:

I am a vet tech at a 9 doctor clinic, we do small animal(dog cats) exotics(Monkeys, avians,

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reptiles, pocket pets, you name it) and make $10 a hour, I come home with bruises, bites, you
name it, and cannot affored to barely buy food for my family. Thank god my husband makes
really good money.I left a $40,000 a year job to do this, but I will have to say I am so burned
out. No lunch breaks in a 12 hr day, no vacation time. I am not sure how thses people are
getting $15 to $23 a hour, but its not happening here in Texas.I am currently considering going
back to what I did before, Medical Insurance. I so love the animals, but if you cant survive
financially whats the point.

July 19, 2009 at 2:28 am(185) Lucysays:

I have been working in with veterinarians for close to 10 years. In the past year, I completed the
CVT program online at Cedar Valley College. I highly recommend years of experience before
deciding to enroll in distance ed courses. It really helped. I make over $20/hour plus lots of
overtime. I have worked in private practice, ER and now currently a shelter. If you want good
money human medicine is the way to go.

July 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm(186) Melissasays:

Hello! I am a junior in college with a BA in psychology. I plan on going to graduate school for
school psychology. But before I go, I wanted to get a BS in Veterinary Technology (the state
that I live in has a program) and I figured it wouldn’t take long because I already would have
transfer credits for the core curriculum at another university. Anyways, the vet tech degree
would only take me 2 years (I’m guessing) and I love animals. I thought this would be a good
way to work a part time job doing something that I love while I finish graduate school. Any
suggestions? (P.S. I am not looking to make veterinary technology a lifetime career; my passion
is school psychology)

July 24, 2009 at 2:54 am(187) Ashleysays:

Hey guys – I’m 17 and always had the dream of being a vet tech, seeing as I absolutely love
animals. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4 years now and he’s going into the police
academy.No matter what, this is the career path I want to take. But I’m terrified that I’ll have to
live paycheck to paycheck, and have hardly any money to buy goods for me and my boyfriend. I
know with our money put together we’ll be living a decent life, but would this be a mistake? I
LOVE animals and would LOVE working with them, but I don’t want to waste 2 years just to do
something that will pay me horribly. No left money for vacations, hardly money for food, gas,
bills, etc.

I live in Missouri and planned on going to Vaterotts Veterinary Technician Program after I
graduate. I’d love any advice.

Basically, is it worth it to live paycheck to paycheck?

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July 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm(188) Lesliesays:

I am going back to school in October. I am trying to decide between becoming a CVT, or going
for Business Management. My passion is with animals, but we live paycheck to paycheck right
now, and it hurts. Sometimes we don’t have $5 to put gas in the car. If you love animals, there
are other fields as well. Animal control, management in a pet franchise etc. The more I think
about my huge investment into schooling, the more I realize that become a CVT has little to no
return on investment. So if you do it, do it because you love it. I currently work at a Petsmart
PetHotel make $11.25/hour. If I started going to school for business I would get promoted to
Assistant manager and make 15/hour, Operations managers make about 80K/year. So
business is definately a better option in my case.

July 30, 2009 at 1:29 am(189) SMsays:

Lissett, to address your questions (and for anyone else wondering the same thing), here’s how
it is in LA, and hopefully someone will weigh in on other cities and states:You can work as a vet
tech in a zoo but as far as I know these are extremely competitive fields. At the LA zoo, you
can’t just expect to apply with an RVT license and some volunteer experience under your belt.
Simply to be considered for a keeper training PROGRAM, you’ve got to have something like a
year or two of full-time paid experience working with wildlife, not just exotics in a hospital. If you
somehow manage to secure a job, you proably won’t make very much either, since zoos aren’t
businesses, and these jobs are in such high demand that people are willing to be paid not very
much. Tons of people want to be animal keepers, there are very few jobs open, and there are
very few windows of hiring.

If you decide to become a vet after becoming an RVT, it will take just the same amount of time
as if you didn’t have an RVT. Which is why if you want to go to vet school, you may be better off
simply trying to get in.

It makes a big difference whether or not your vet school is AVMA accredited. If you want to
practice in the US, you’ve got to go to an accredited school. If it’s not, and you want to practice
in the US (among other countries), you’ll have to transfer part-way to an acccredited school.
The ones in the US, along with a few international (some in the UK, some in Australia, New
Zealand, Canada), are accredited.

Check with the vet clinics or zoos you’re interested in and see if they have volunteer programs
or are accepting volunteers. I know if you want to handle animals at certain zoos, you’re
required to have some experience handling wildlife beforehand (this can be volunteer). Check
with non-profits or animal shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers if you want to go the exotics
route. They are usually very short-staffed in terms of volunteers, meaning you’ll get lots of

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hands-on experience.

July 30, 2009 at 1:34 am(190) SMsays:

Melissa – veterinary technician programs are two years for an associate’s degree, and you take
a qualifying test at the end. It’s not a BS; I don’t think there is such a thing.

If money isn’t that much of a concern, you may be able to find a job without an RVT license
starting out doing basic kennel work, then learning your way up the ladder. The two years may
be an extra burden. I do have a co-worker that’s in the same position, although she already has
her RVT and is still in undergrad. But I think child psychology is what she wants to do. So, it’s
really based on what you think is best.

However I was under the impression that you are basically paid to be a graduate student, and
find grants for your research, so you don’t really have time to do side jobs (except for TA-ing)?
Best to research this further by talking to a grad student in your department. Good luck!

August 10, 2009 at 2:26 pm(191) Pamsays:

I am presently an LPN. I am very interested in a career change & would like to know if my
medical training can be applied or if there is a bridge exam or can the exam be challenged?

August 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm(192) Davidsays:

I made a late career change and love it.Yes, the pay sucks, but not everyone pays poorly.

Things won’t improve until the term “Technician” is reserved ONLY for those who have
completed the required education and passed the board exams.Who would expect to leave high
school to work in a hospital and be called a “Nurse”?How much would a nurse earn if that was

Ask yourself how many nurses you know who can produce radiographs of their patient, perform
anesthesia and carry out a wide range of other duties including all important client education?

When Veterinarians begin to realize the true “worth” of a talented Veterinary Technician the pay
will reflect the skill level.

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A skilled Veterinary Technician can increase the income in a practice.

To all those Veterinarians wondering how, talk to your talented and skilled Veterinary

August 24, 2009 at 4:43 pm(193) Emilysays:

I have 5 years of experience as a CVT (certified veterinary technician) in Minneapolis, and I
make 13.25 an hour. The burnout rate in this career is really fast – usually about 5 years. It’s a
high-stress job that pays very little, so a lot of people leave it because the pay doesn’t make up
for the stress. I’m considering leaving the field and starting a pet sitting business because I can
make so much more money for so much less stress. It’s a little risky because the jobs will be
sporadic, but I think it will be worth the risk. Don’t go into this career if you don’t have someone
to fall back on financially. If I weren’t married, I would have to live with my parents. The
rewarding parts of this career wear out quickly when you are worrying about money all the time.
Clinics need to start valuing their support staff more and start paying better – we are nurses, lab
techs, phlebotomists, receptionists, and janitors all in one. We should be payed like the
multi-tasking individuals that we are! Find me one human nurse that does all we do!

August 27, 2009 at 4:56 am(194) Falonsays:

I see that no one has written on this in over a year…but I found it very helpful.

I’m 26 years old and I actually went to college for 4 years to become an RN. I Graduated
college and thought my life was set.

I’ve been working now for over 2 years…and I’ve decided to go back to school to be a Vet Tech.
OBVIOUSLY not about the money. This job just isn’t for me. It doesnt make me happy….and
I’ve ALWAYS wanted to work with animals.

I’m applying for schools in Maine, NH, and VT right now. I can’t wait to get my new life started!
Obviously a cut in pay…but to me?…its absolutely worth it!

September 16, 2009 at 1:19 pm(195) Annasays:

Has anyone attended Vet Tech Institute in Houston, TX? If yes, please share with me your
experience there…

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September 28, 2009 at 4:35 am(196) Phillipsays:

Ok I live in texas and i love working with animals i just graduated in 2008.all i wont to now is
what is the best place to start wit this job in a small practice the ASPCA in houston tx or what
the cost of living isnt very high down here im mean it high but not that high can i get som edvise
about were i should start

September 30, 2009 at 11:22 pm(197) Cindysays:

We should all keep in mind things dont change until we change them. What the veterinary tech
industry is going through now is similar to what the RN’s went through in the 70’s. All of the tech
magazines have articles describing the struggle for higher wages and they are higher now than
they have been in the past. Although techs have a very large burden of duties we also have to
remember in the human industry the large use of insurance is one of the things that keep
human medical costs and salaries on the rise- something we dont see much of in the vet
industry. But we dont have to live in poverty. It is up to us to demand higher wages and prove to
the vets the benefits of having an LVT vs just regular techs or assistants- though each has their
role there needs to be clear, distinguishable job descriptions and salary outlines.

I have been in the vet industry for only 4 years but I know we can all make a change if we strive
for the same cause which is taking complete care of our clients and patients while being
appropriately compensated for our valubale work!

October 6, 2009 at 2:53 pm(198) jamiesays:

I agree with the people that are saying “you make the change because your passionate about
it”. I recently graduated from a tech school and I had no problem finding a job for 12.50/hr (I was
making 17.00/hr before tech school) at a clinic that is run by family and friends, where everyone
that has NO CLUE makes more then me, reason I do not regret going to school. If it were
required to be certified to be a tech we would make more. I also believe if you were required to
be certifed that the treatment received by the animals would be better because certified techs
should know why an animal receives a shock dose of fluilds, for instance, and the importance of
turning the rate back down after a period. Or why a type of fluid is given over another, “trained
on the job techs” might not. So if your going to transition you should do it the right way and go to
an AVMA accredited school. There are positions in the clinic for assistants and kennel personal
but I dont believe it is to do tech work!

October 7, 2009 at 11:27 pm(199) vickisays:

I have worked 20 years for a small town vet, since out of high school. At that time had
worked/managed a pet store for 4yrs, raised and showed dogs and was considering vet tech
school. At that time I went to the local collage and was told I would only be paying for a paper
that said I knew what I already knew how to do–if I took their tech program. (things were
different 20yrs ago) The vet I work for now was looking for help at that time and said he would

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teach me what I needed to know cause he would want me to do things “his” way anyway. I
figured why not. I get 15/hr, holidays, 2 weeks pd vacation. In my state they are working
towards laws on what will be legal for me to do or not do, and lets just say I do everything you
licescened/certified techs do. Sure I didn’t pay thousands of dollars for that paper but I LOVE
my job and I am good at what I do, I have learned these things over 20yrs hands on experience
and 1 good teacher. However, being 20yrs down the road if they pass these laws I will no longer
be able to do my job as I do now. Considering this and looking back I sure wish I’d gone to that
darn collage for that certificate.I may have wasted those years of what I learned. I’m almost
40yrs old now and the idea of going to tech school now seems unlikley. My advice in these
times is if your gonna be in this business you’d better go to school get that paper, be the vet or
stay out.

October 20, 2009 at 9:09 pm(200) Glennsays:

Hello to all,First I want to say, “Good for all of you”!You care for and help the innocents that
can’t care for themselves. I hope there is a special place in heaven for the people who care for
Gods creatures. Bravo.Now for my main post.I am almost 50 and have been in the IT field for
20+ years. Specifically, tech support but I have an increasing need to enter the veterinary field. I
would love to be an actual vet but realistically, I doubt I could manage the 6 years or more it
takes.I would like some feedback, If anyone would care to.I am seriously thinking about
changing careers. I make 40K/yr now with health insurance. I am buying a small house and live
from payday to payday. My hourly rate is 20$.Is there any hope that I could become a vet tech
or some other position in the animal care field and hope to survive?I only care about the money
as far as being able to bay the bills and not sit in the dark.Believe me, answering the phone and
fixing the same old PC problems, day after day has ZERO fulfillment.I have several cats, all but
one are strays.I rescue hurt birds.I have rescued 2 bats that were blown off their perch in
downtown St. Louis. ! brown and 1 caramel colored.Adorable!I have also fostered many stray
cats to get then aclimated to human touch and I was told I was the best foster family they ever
had. All but one were adopted (and I took that one rather than leave her in the shelter).I care
very deeply for any and all animals and I am desperate to do something meaningful.I have
donated time to the local rescue shelter and aside from being heartbroken at the thought of all
those little critters stuck in cages for months on end, I found it very fulfilling, knowing I had
helped in some way.I have watched the E-Vet Interns on Animal Planet and other things similar
to that and I know in my heart that is what I was meant to do.I screwed up early in life by not
thinking thoroughly through my career choices.Is it a pipe dream? Should I take the
chance?Can I make a living?I don’t want someone to tell me what to do, I would like some
opinions..Is it possible to be a part time Vet Tech?How long would it take taking classes 2 days
a week and what kind of cost a are we talking about?Any thoughts would be welcome.In one
respect, I am fortunate in that my grand daughter (who is only 9) wants to be a Vet, partly due to
her grandpa’s input;)I know it can be heartbreaking at times but returning a loved animal
companion to their family, healthy and happy would be such a great feeling.I want to become
one of you, if you think it’s feasable.Please give any feedback you might have.Thanks much
and keep up the good work!

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October 25, 2009 at 3:45 am(201) Mikesays:

The money is out there! I’ve been working as a RVT for 4 years and make 40,000/yr plus
benefits. There’s nothing wrong with private practice but yours less likely to be making much
money. Working at a College of Veterinary Medicine is the way to go. You get paid more, good
benefits, continuous CE, plus your always going to be on the cutting edge of equipment and

November 1, 2009 at 11:17 pm(202) Glennsays:

Thanks Mike.That helps a lot. Now I have lots of thinking to do.Changing careers is a huge step
so I have to do some thinking and planning.Again, thanks much.

November 3, 2009 at 2:27 am(203) ashleysays:

im thinking about becoming a vet tech going to western career college since ilove animals but
the whole 4 year college thing isnt working for me. I was wondering how much vet techs make
in California? Im from San Jose and I just want to know so I know if im making a good decision
to go to school to be a vet tech. I REALLY dont want to be living paycheck to paycheck so if
anyone with advice please let me know.

November 4, 2009 at 1:37 pm(204) Bsays:

I live in florida I have always thought about becoming a vet tech. I have a very soft spot in my
heart for animals. I’m very nervous about a career change though,and even though money isn’t
everythng I do not want to live paycheck to paycheck. Any advise???

December 1, 2009 at 3:25 pm(205) Shannonsays:

I have to take classes online so I was wondering which is the best online and accredited school
for online classes.

December 17, 2009 at 4:45 pm(206) Joshsays:

Thanks everyone for sharing all of this helpful information, the good and the bad. It might be
easier for me to say because I’m young, kid-less, and mortgage-less, but if you’re working a job
that you can’t stand, what is the point anymore? Enjoy your life and do something that you
actually care about. I’d much rather structure everything in that manner than the other way
around. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I love animals, always have, and I’ve wasted enough time pursuing a career in computers. I can
make some money and get the job done, but at the end of the day I still feel I am rushing to

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enjoy my free time, because everything I did during the day I didn’t really care about AT ALL. I
believe that as a vet tech I would find that fulfillment in spite of a low(er) paycheck.

Who knows though, I may feel differently in 10 years if I have a family to support. But for now,
I’m doing what makes sense to me and pursuing a career that I know I would enjoy.

December 18, 2009 at 2:53 pm(207) Brittanysays:

I took a veterinary technician classes online and just finished at the end of November from
Ashworth College. I am not finding any Veterinary office that is looking for help in my area in
Iowa. I have a lot of experience with hogs so i was looking at more of the large animal
technician but don’t know where to start any suggestions?

December 28, 2009 at 1:41 am(208) Angiesays:

I really thank everyone so much for putting their commentary on here, I read through most and I
really got to get some very knowledgeable insight on the field from people who are actually
experiencing the results and aftermath in it.

Even though I do see that most of the comments have been talking about the low end pay that
the job brings up; for some reason that still doesn’t affect me.

It just seems like working with and caring for animals is all I would ever dream of doing.
Something about working with and trying to better the life for a helpless animal is just much
more exciting to me than working 13 hours a day punching in numbers somewhere at a front
desk or making a sale somewhere.

I guess I have grown so accustomed to living my life in the “fast lane” or living with not too much
money and not too fancy of any transportation or living arrangement, that I couldn’t think that
having a low salary with this field could be the least bit frightening to me.

I mean I would rather say, “I cannot wait to go back to work” than “I cannot wait to go back
home”; sitting their counting down the hours to when I will return back to the sofa instead of
back to the front entrance toward my job.

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I now see what could be involved and I do have to think about it, but I think that dealing with
animals in this field doesn’t seem like a daunting task to me, it actually seems like it would be
the most exciting thing in the world to incororate it into my life as an everyday job.

February 1, 2010 at 9:00 pm(209) Rachaelsays:

I’m an RVT in Northern California (bay area) and have been working at a specialty (referral
only) practice for three years. When I started here, I was just an assistant and passed my
boards one year ago. I now make $17.25/hr. After reading all these comments, I feel better
about what I make. However, I know someone who works at another specialty practice (much
larger than the one I work at) who makes $26/hr! That’s just unheard of to me, but it’s the truth.
Also, working at an emergency clinic will earn you more money due to the hours you’ll have to
work (they tend to be nights/weekends or 24-hour facilities). Basically, the bigger the hospital
and the more specialized it is (meaning the more they charge clients), the more money you’ll
make. It’s simple.

To Ashley…Western is a good school from what I understand; I’m unique in this area in that I
went to UCSD to get my B.S., originally planning to get my DVM one day. But now I’m an RVT
and happy about it. I know lots of people who went to Western. It’s not a difficult school IMO,
but it teaches you what you need to know to pass your boards. You’ll have some debt for a
while, though. Look into other options; contact the CVMA for the different routes you can take
to pass the state boards. Some people take the classes they need to take and get experience
and THEN sit for the boards. This may be a cheaper option because I think going to Western
may set you back $30,000.

We all may make crap right now, but if you work hard, learn as much as you can, hone your
skills, and are able to work at a university OR stick with a large practice for a long time and
eventually move into some kind of management, you WILL make more money! Also, do CE!
There are lots of opportunities to specialize as an RVT and therefore make more money. For
example, I know someone who recently became certified as an “animal masseuse”…there’s a
much more technical name for it lol, but that’s what it is. Other ideas…acupuncture. Yes,
acupuncture for pets. It’s gaining in popularity and lots of practices may very well welcome a
tech who is certified in acupuncture so that they can market that and offer it to their clients.

So don’t get depressed about the money, everyone! Be aggressive and you will make more.

March 9, 2010 at 4:59 pm(210) Christinasays:

I live in NC and I am interested in becoming a Vet Tech ( and maybe a Vet in the future) Do
most doctor’s offices take online and distance learning schools seriously? Also, are any of the

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courses that you take as a vet tech transferable if you want to become a vet?

March 9, 2010 at 8:04 pm(211) Laynasays:

(210) Christina,

I am in a vet tech program in OH. From what I’ve been told by professors here is that credits
WILL NOT transfer if you are looking to be a vet, just because the amount a tech learns is
nowhere near the amount a vet learns. We tend to only ’skim’ the surface of what a vet student
is taught. All I can say is make sure your school of choice is accredited. I had a professor that
had a friend at the time of her schooling that went thru a distance learning course, the school
work was done at home, but for the hands on stuff, the vet actually videotaped her progress at
work, learning new techniques and then that was sent to the main school for review. Needless
to say the girl got her tech license. Best of luck.

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