Every person lives to bring self-satisfaction to their life- to find a purpose. Sometimes that self-satisfaction comes from leadership jobs such as being a politician, and sometimes that feeling comes from humanitarian jobs like being a psychologist. However, that incredible feeling of self-satisfaction can also come from careers that don’t directly involve helping people, but involve helping animals. For some, that career might be to become a veterinary technician.
It takes effort for one to achieve a dream and obtain that self-satisfaction, and understanding the road one must take to become a veterinary technician is just as important as understanding the road one takes after achieving it, because new and exciting paths open up after that goal is reached. What exactly does being a veterinary technician entail? Think of a nurse, but rather than assisting a doctor and helping human patients, they assist veterinarians and tend to animals. That being said, a veterinary technician must enjoy being around animals and have a desire to help those in need.
A veterinary technician will usually perform clinical work, such as blood tests, urinalysis, they can expose and develop x-rays, assist in a variety of diagnostic tests and more while under supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The typical patients helped by a veterinary technician are cats and dogs, but in reality, a veterinary technician can tend to any type of animal. According to VeterinaryTechnican. com, many veterinary technicians work in a clinical setting such as an animal hospital or private veterinarian’s office. Additionally, many of them work in zoos, aquariums, and research facilities (2012).
A veterinary technician can also become a specialist with additional schooling to perform procedures such as anesthesia, surgery, dental work, behavioral training and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics claims that while many veterinary technicians find satisfaction from their job, it is also an occupation that can prove to be physically and emotionally demanding, as well as dangerous. Their statistics show that full-time veterinary technicians experienced a work-related injury and illness rate that was much higher than the national average (2011).
Reasons for this can be because the veterinary technician is vulnerable to being bitten, scratched, and lunged at by an animal, as well as being exposed to viruses that they animals might be carrying. When someone considers careers, one of the first things that will come to mind is the required education. Questions such as, “How many years of schooling do I need? ” and “What schools are the best options for me? ” need to be explored fully before making a decision. The path to becoming a veterinary technician begins with high school courses, such as Biology, Math, and Science.
For continued education, there are several colleges that offer veterinary technology programs that are accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). A veterinary technician program must be accredited by the AVMA in order for the student to become a veterinary technician. Typically, AVMA courses take around two years to finish, granting the student an associate’s degree. Some colleges have created AVMA accredited courses that take about four years to complete, which will reward a bachelor’s degree upon completion.
VeterinaryTechnician. com states that after the student receives their degree, the student must pass a state-administered licensing exam, after which the student can start working with veterinary technicians as a trainee (2012). Naturally, the time spent being a trainee depends on the amount of hands-on experience that the student had prior to becoming one. Now that the expectations for college have been set, a person must figure out how to finance their continued education. Being able to finance college in order to get the career started is one of the most frustrating and difficult things in the United States.
College normally costs thousands of dollars and often leads to a lifetime of debt. What the majority of students do not know, however, is that there are scholarships for just about anything that can pay for most or all of the schooling! NCVTSA. org says that several awards are available from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians, but there are also private awards available (n. d. ). One of the top scholarships for this cause is the American Kennel Club and Hartz Veterinary Technician Scholarship Program. This particular scholarship is available to full-time students who attend an AVMA accredited college.
In order to be considered for the scholarship, the student must be a student member of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA). Another good scholarship is called the American Kennel Club Veterinary Technician Student Scholarship, where several scholarships are given each year totaling to $25,000. The student must also be a NAVTA member to qualify, and the application requirements include a brief essay explaining their interests, education, research and work experience, as well as recent college transcripts submitted by April each year.
Those are only two of the several veterinary technician scholarships available. Especially in this economy, an additional concern that a person might have before they begin their career is how stable the job market is and how well the job pays. No one would want to spend multiple years and waste thousands of dollars on schooling to realize that it is nearly impossible be hired into the career that they signed up for. However, there is good news for veterinary technicians.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook will increase by 36% by the year 2018, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Pet owners are becoming more affluent and are more willing to pay for advanced veterinary care because many of them consider their pet to be part of the family. The Bureau further stated that there are relatively few veterinary technician graduates each year, and fewer than 3,800 students move onward to become veterinary technicians.
Thus, the market is not overflowing with recent graduates trying to become employed. While the job market may be stable for veterinary technicians, the career does not pay a substantial amount. A standard licensed veterinary technician earns from $31,000 to $35,000 a year. If a veterinary technician decided to further their education and become a specialist, depending on the specialty that they would focus on, they can earn a much higher income. For example, a veterinary technician anesthesia specialist earns, on average, $48,000 a year.
Like many aspirations to feel self-satisfied, becoming a veterinary technician will take time, dedication and work to obtain. It may not require as much schooling as a psychologist and it may not pay as well as a politician, but earning that feeling of self-satisfaction is what counts in a career. Understanding the road to self satisfaction is just as important as understanding the road taken after the goal is reached, because life as a veterinary technician never stays the same and offers so many different paths to choose from.
Courtney from Study Moose
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