WHAT ARE THE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES AND PATHWAYS IN THIS FIELD?
What is the outlook for entry-level employment in this field?
The job prospects are strong. Dr. Impinna said that he has not seen an unemployed technician. Vets call the program all the time in search of employees. Cheryl Buch says that there are currently about two veterinarians for every technician in the state and it should be the other way around. Most people find employment in private practice, but jobs in research pay better, have more benefits and more regular working hours. Our students are qualified for any type of veterinary setting.
What is the pay range from entry-level pay to high end with experience in this career?
The average starting salary is about $10 an hour. According to the California Employment Development (EDD) site, the average technician in 2006 earned $15.21 while the top 25% earned 17.61 per hour. The pay seems to vary depending upon where (geographically) one works and the type of setting (again, research pays better than private practice.) The further North, the lower the salary and the more toward the Bay area the higher (into the 20’s).
What other jobs are related to or made possible by experience or training in this field? What is the potential for advancement in this career?
Remember that these techs practice in a medical facility and will gain exposure to all of the usual pharmaceutical and veterinary supply sales and diagnostic lab workers that such places see. Some techs have found employment in these high paid positions. Others may go into clinical pathology, zoos/wild animal parks, military and law enforcement service, education, biomedical research, humane societies/animal control, regulatory veterinary medicine and livestock health management.
The American Veterinary Medical Association site states that there are at least four specialty areas within the Veterinary Technology field.
Specialty licenses are available to licensed technicians in the field with 5 years of experience in the area of specialty and after passing a separate licensing exam.