We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Different Types of Veterinary Technician Careers?

By Vicki Hogue-Davies
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

When thinking about different types of veterinary technician careers, employment with a private veterinary practice might be what first comes to mind. The majority of veterinary technicians work in private practices, caring for both small and large animals. Veterinary technicians also work for zoos, wildlife sanctuaries, marine institutions and other facilities that house wild animals. They work in laboratories, performing biomedical research. Veterinary technician careers also can be pursued at humane societies, animal shelters, feed and drug companies, schools and more.

Veterinary technicians who work in private practices perform a variety of duties. They obtain patient histories, counsel animal owners and provide nursing care to animals. They prepare animals and equipment for surgery and act as surgical nurses to veterinarians. Veterinary technicians manage veterinary offices and train and supervise personnel. They collect specimens from patients and perform laboratory procedures.

Private practice veterinary technician careers can include working with a variety of animals. In small animal practices, the majority of animals are cats and dogs, but some veterinary offices also will see what are considered exotics in the veterinary world, such as rabbits, rodents, reptiles and birds. Some small animal veterinary offices specialize in a particular animal species, such as cats, birds or reptiles.

Veterinary technicians working in large animal practices might visit ranches and farms to care for cows and sheep, or they might work for veterinarians who specialize in horses, known as equine veterinarians. In large animal practices, some veterinary technicians spend most of their time in the field, and others work behind the scenes developing X-rays and working in the lab at the office. Some veterinary technicians work for practices that specialize in equine dentistry, or they might work for practices that specialize in caring for the teeth of cats and dogs. Another specialty area within private veterinary practices is emergency services.

Technicians working at zoos and other places that house wildlife care for elephants, rhinos, big cats, porpoises and a wide variety of other wild animals. Depending on where they work, duties performed by people in these veterinary technician careers might include such things as collecting cardiac blood from a snake, testing water quality in a shark tank or administering a tuberculosis test to a chimpanzee or another primate. Understanding quarantine protocols and recognizing disease in quarantined animals sometimes are among the many responsibilities in this career.

Biomedical research veterinary technicians work with laboratory animals. They might work at universities, pharmaceutical companies or other research facilities. They perform many of the same care duties as veterinary technicians in private veterinary practices, and they help implement research projects while ensuring humane care and handling of the research animals.

Veterinary technician careers with humane organizations and animal shelters involve caring for animals, and it also can involve euthanizing unwanted animals. Veterinary technicians teach in vet tech and vet assistant educational programs. They work in sales and development for animal drug and products companies. Other types of veterinary technician careers are found in the military, food safety industry, animal behavior practices and elsewhere.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Ocelot60 — On Dec 22, 2014

@heavanet- Maybe your friend should find out if any veterinarians in her area would allow her to job shadow the technicians to see if this type of job is for her. Sometimes colleges that offer veterinarian technician programs can set up these opportunities to help students find the right career paths for them. These are two options that she could explore before committing to a career field that may not be for her.

By Rundocuri — On Dec 21, 2014

@heavanet- Though I think work duties depend on each individual veterinarian practice, I believe that it is very likely that vet technicians have to deal with needles, blood, and more. I have a friend who works as a veterinary technician, and she has a lot of duties. These include holding sick animals, aiding the vet in surgery, and helping out with injured animals. She has seen it all!

If your friend is very sensitive to all of the things that are likely to take place in a veterinarian clinic and the tasks she may have to do to help animals, she should probably reconsider her career choice. There are many other things that she can do to work with animals.

Positions in animal training, grooming, and boarding are readily available, and do not require staff to be around needles, surgery, or sick animals. There are jobs available doing everything from working hands-on with animals to cleaning up after them to answering the phones. Regardless of the position, these career paths still allow animal lovers to care for animals without having to deal with things that make them feel uncomfortable.

By Heavanet — On Dec 20, 2014

Do veterinary technicians have to do a lot of work with animals that involves dealing with needles and blood? I have a friend who is thinking about going into this field, but she is very squeamish when it comes to these things. I'm concerned that she will go through veterinary technician training, and end up not being able to do the required work.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.