How to Become a Vet Tech Specialist

How to Become a Vet Tech Specialist: A Complete Guide. Learn everything you need to know about how to become a veterinary technician, including education requirements, job outlook, and salary information.

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Introduction

Vet tech specialists are vital members of the animal health care team. They work closely with veterinarians to provide compassionate care for animals. If you love animals and want to help them, this may be the perfect career for you!

The job outlook for vet techs is excellent, with a projected 20% growth in employment from 2019-2029.* And, as a vet tech specialist, you can earn a median annual salary of $33,610.**

If you’re thinking about becoming a vet tech specialist, here’s what you need to know.

What Does a Vet Tech Specialist Do?

A vet tech specialist is a vital member of the veterinary health care team. They work closely with veterinarians and other animal health care professionals to provide quality care for animals.

A typical day for a vet tech specialist may include:

• cleaning and sanitizing animal cages and kennels
• feeding and watering animals
• collecting samples for laboratory testing
• administering vaccines and medications
• performing dental cleanings
• taking X-rays
• assisting with surgeries

vet tech specialists must have excellent communication skills and be able to work well under pressure. They must also be able to lift heavy animals and handle them in a safe and gentle manner.

The Various Roles of a Vet Tech Specialist

What Does a Vet Do?
The first thing to know is that there are different types of veterinarians. Some focus on companion animals like dogs and cats, while others work with large animals, such as cows, horses, and pigs. There are also vets who specialize in exotic pets, such as reptiles and birds. And though it might not be what comes to mind when you think of a veterinarian, there are also vets who work in zoos and aquariums.

Depending on their specialty, the day-to-day duties of a veterinarian can vary greatly. For example, those who work with large animals might spend most of their time on farms or ranches, diagnosing and treating sick animals. Those who work in zoos, on the other hand, might spend their days caring for a variety of different animals, from lions to lizards. In general, though, all veterinarians have one common goal: to keep animals healthy and to treat them when they’re sick.

The Various Roles of a Vet Tech Specialist
As a vet tech specialist, you will play an important role in the day-to-day operations of a veterinary practice. You will be responsible for a variety of tasks, including restraining animals during exams and procedures, collecting samples for lab tests, updating patient records, and more. In addition to these clinical duties, you will also be responsible for ensuring that the animal hospital or clinic runs smoothly and efficiently. This may include scheduling appointments, ordering supplies, handling phone calls from clients, and more. As a vet tech specialist, you will play an important role in the lives of both the animals and the people you work with each day.

The Educational Requirements to Become a Vet Tech Specialist

Veterinary technician specialists (VTS) are credentialed members of the veterinary team who possess expert knowledge in specific areas of veterinary medicine. Becoming a VTS requires successful completion of a credentialing exam in the relevant specialty area, and candidates must first meet eligibility requirements that include specified education and experience levels. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognizes 13 VTS specialties: anesthesia, behavior, cardiology, clinical pathology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, emergency and critical care, nutrition, ophthalmology, production animal medicine and surgery, recreation vehicle medicine, and zoological medicine.

The Certification Process to Become a Vet Tech Specialist

The certification process to become a vet tech specialist generally includes completing an accredited veterinary technology program and passing the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Some states also require certification by the state’s veterinary board. After passing the VTNE, candidates must apply to take the Specialty Veterinary Technician Examination (SVTE) in their chosen area of specialization. Once certified, vet tech specialists must keep their skills and knowledge up to date by completing continuing education credits and recertifying every 3-5 years, depending on the specialty.

The Various Specializations a Vet Tech Specialist Can Have

To be able to work as a vet tech specialist, you will need to have an understanding of the various specializations that a vet tech can have. Below is a list of the more common vet tech specializations.

Animal Behavior
An animal behaviorist studies the behavior of animals in order to understand why they act the way they do. This information is then used to help train animals and to treat behavioral problems.

Animal Nutrition
An animal nutritionist develops diets for animals and advises pet owners on nutritional needs. They also may conduct research on how diet affects animal health.

Animal Welfare
Animal welfare scientists work to improve the well-being of animals by studying how they interact with their environment and with other animals. They also develop ways to assess the welfare of animals in laboratories, zoos, and farms.

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recognizes 14 different veterinary specialty organizations, each with its own certification process. To become certified, a veterinary technician must first pass a credentialing exam administered by one of these organizations. After passing the exam, the technician must then complete a specified number of hours of continuing education credits and perform a certain number of clinical procedures under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

The Salary and Job Outlook for Vet Tech Specialists

There is a great demand for veterinary technicians across the United States. The median salary for a vet tech is $33,000, but experienced professionals can earn upwards of $48,000. The job outlook for vet techs is very positive, with an expected growth of 20% between 2016 and 2026.

If you are interested in becoming a vet tech specialist, you will need to complete an accredited Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree program. After completing your degree, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE). Once you have passed the VTNE, you will be eligible to apply for state licensure.

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