How to Become a Wildlife Vet Tech

Becoming a wildlife vet tech requires completing a training program and passing a certification exam. Learn more about how to become a wildlife vet tech.

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There are many ways that you can help animals as a veterinary technician, but one of the most rewarding is working with wildlife. As a wildlife vet tech, you’ll have the opportunity to care for a variety of animals, from long-time residents of your local zoo to endangered species brought in for rehabilitation. If you’re interested in this type of work, here’s what you need to know about how to become a wildlife vet tech.

What Does a Wildlife Vet Tech Do?

A wildlife vet tech is a veterinary technician who works with wild animals in zoos, sanctuaries, and other captive wildlife facilities. Their job is to provide medical care to the animals in their care, which includes routine check-ups and treatments as well as emergency care. Wildlife vet techs also work with the animal keepers to ensure that the animals are healthy and happy in their homes.

Wildlife vet techs must have a strong knowledge of zoology and animal husbandry, as well as a keen interest in working with wild animals. They must be able to handle all types of animals, including those that are dangerous or aggressive. In addition to their technical skills, wildlife vet techs must also be able to communicate effectively with both people and animals.

If you are interested in becoming a wildlife vet tech, you will need to complete a veterinary technician program at an accredited school. Once you have completed your schooling, you will need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become certified. Once you are certified, you will need to obtain a state license in order to practice.

What Are the Education Requirements to Become a Wildlife Vet Tech?

In order to become a wildlife vet tech, you will need to complete a two-year associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology from an accredited institution. You will also need to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE) in order to become certified and licensed in your state.

What Are the Certification Requirements to Become a Wildlife Vet Tech?

The minimum educational requirement to become a wildlife vet tech is an Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology, although a Bachelor’s degree may be required by some employers. Wildlife vet techs must also pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam (VTNE), and may need to obtain state-specific licensure.

Some wildlife vet tech programs include coursework in animal husbandry, ecology, wildlife diseases, and field research methods. Many programs also include an externship component, which gives students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with wildlife under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

What Are the Job Prospects for Wildlife Vet Techs?

Wildlife vet techs who have completed a veterinary technology program and become licensed have good job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that employment of vet techs will grow 19% from 2019-2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. The increasing interest in animal health and well-being is driving this growth.

In addition, many baby boomers are reaching retirement age, and this will create openings for new wildlife vet techs to take their place. With more people living in urban areas and having smaller yards, there is also a trend toward owning smaller pets, such as reptiles and birds, which also increases the demand for vet techs who specialize in caring for these kinds of animals.

What Is the Salary Range for Wildlife Vet Techs?

As of 2019, the median pay for vet techs was $33,400 per year, or $16.05 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The top earners in this field made $48,490 per year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned less than $21,670 annually.

Most entry-level wildlife vet tech positions will require at least an associate’s degree in veterinary technology from an accredited college or university. Some employers may prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology or a related field. In addition to formal education, all states require vet techs to pass a state-administered exam to become licensed. Once licensed, Wildlife vet techs must complete continuing education courses on a regular basis to maintain their license.


Becoming a wildlife vet tech is a great way to help animals and the environment. There are many ways to get started in this career, but the most important thing is to have a passion for helping animals. With the right education and training, you can become a wildlife vet tech and make a difference in the world.

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