Animal and Food Science

Careers in Veterinary Technology

A veterinary technician is an important member of the veterinary health care team who has been educated in the care and handling of animals, the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and in routine laboratory and clinical procedures.

Opportunities for students pursuing the Vet Tech emphasis include:

• Veterinary clinic
• Research
• Teaching in secondary or higher education
• Veterinary supply sales
• Pet store management
• Humane societies & animal control facilities
• Military service
• Food safety inspection
• Biomedical facilities
• Diagnostic laboratories
• Drug or feed manufacturing companies

A veterinary technician performs many of the same tasks for a veterinarian that nurses and other professionals perform for physicians; a veterinary technician assists veterinarians, biomedical research workers, and other scientists.

A veterinary technician employed in a veterinary practice may perform any of the following tasks:

• Obtain and record patient case histories
• Collect specimens and perform laboratory procedures
• Provide specialized nursing care
• Prepare patients, instruments, and equipment for surgery
• Assist in diagnostic, medical and surgical procedures
• Expose and develop radiographs
• Communicate with animal owners
• Supervise and train clinic personnel
• Dental prophylaxis

Veterinarian technicians work under the supervision of a veterinarian. They do not diagnose, prescribe, or perform surgery.

Many of our graduates who started out as veterinary technicians have gone on to secure positions as veterinary hospital managers. This position is responsible for managing the business functions of the practice. Depending upon the size and type of the hospital, the manager's duties could include personnel hiring and supervision, budget and inventory management, accounting, marketing, and designing service protocols.

A veterinarian technician employed in a biomedical research facility might:

• Supervise the care and handling of animals
• Assist in the implementation of research projects

Salaries vary according to experience, responsibility, geographic location, and practice type or setting.

Vet Tech Alumni Spotlight

Lynn LeitnerLynn Leitner

Certified Veterinary Technician
Veterinary Emergency Service
Middleton, WI

Hometown: Oxford, WI
B.S. in Animal Science with Equine Emphasis (2005)

My love for animals and my passion for science have led me to a career as a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT).  I am employed with Veterinary Emergency Service as a Lead CVT where I work shifts at both their Middleton and Madison locations. My duties include overseeing the staff structure for my shift, triaging patients, collection and analysis of lab samples, administration of medications and treatments, taking radiographs, inducing and maintaining a patient under anesthesia and assisting in patient recovery. All of this in conjunction with an emergency environment makes for a career that is more exciting, fulfilling and rewarding than I could have ever imagined.

I began my undergrad work at UWRF with the plan of one day becoming a Veterinarian. That plan changed halfway through my undergrad but I still wanted to find a career in the Animal Health field. The advisory duties of the staff at UWRF go well beyond what I could have hoped for in a university. I never felt alone in my path of finding a career that was right for me. My advisor pointed me in the direction of becoming a CVT. I finished my B.S. in Animal Science and then went on to the Technician program with Madison Area Technical College. I was supported and prepared every step of the way to my career by my advisors and professors at UWRF with their open door policy and willingness to help. Combined with the coursework, many club organizations and seminars offered through UWRF, I found the opportunities to be countless when I graduated.     

Professional Regulation

The majority of states have regulations that provide for technician credentialing (certification, licensure, registration). Students are typically tested for competency through examination, and the process is regulated by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, or another appropriate agency.

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Animal and Food Science
242 Food Science Addition
590 S. Spruce Street
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