The career outlook for veterinary technicians in the next several years is extremely positive, due to the high demand and the small number of graduates of vet tech schools each year. Indeed, a "CBS Evening News" feature story that aired in spring 2009 deemed veterinary technician jobs “recession-proof.” The U.S. Department of Labor projects that there will be a nearly 40 percent increase in employment of veterinary technicians during the period of 2008-2018. Vet tech jobs are secure, stable, and on the rise, with American pet owners wanting the very best medical care for their animals no doubt contributing to the profession’s growth.
When you begin your vet tech job search, keep in mind that there are many entry-level opportunities for vet techs, as well as positions that require a year or more of full-time work experience following completion of an associate vet tech degree. The elective coursework that you chose to take in your vet tech program may also steer you towards particular positions.
Here are some resources to get you started in your vet tech job search:
- The American Association for Laboratory Animal Science manages their CareerLine, which lists various types of job openings around the country related to working with animals in a laboratory setting. Recent openings seen include research assistant for primates and animal imaging technician in a neuroscience lab.
- The American Veterinary Medical Association runs a career center that contains job listings of veterinary positions. Just type “technician” in the search box to view openings around the country, or limit your search by zip code. Recent job settings included in urgent care, a multiple doctor clinic, and an exotic bird practice.
- The American Humane Association has a nationwide job board that advertises veterinary openings in humane societies all over the United States. Just select “veterinary” as the job type before starting your vet tech job search.
- The Association of Zoos and Aquariums maintains a webpage of job listings. Examples of job openings found here include veterinary technicians at a Florida lion safari and a large metropolitan zoo.
In addition, your vet tech program may also provide job or internship placement services, maintain a job listings website, database, or email listserv, or employ a career counselor with whom you can speak to for career and job-seeking advice and tips. Be sure to ask in your vet tech program for more information.
Lastly, mill your contacts in the veterinary profession. If you have prior work experience in a veterinary clinic or know a veterinarian or other animal care professional through family, friends, or a professional encounter, contact them and request an informational interview where you can ask them about their jobs, about their favorite tasks and their challenges in their position. Ask them about current or future openings that they may be aware of or whether they can refer you to other colleagues that you may speak with about beginning your career as a vet tech.