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As an animal lover, you want to make a career from your passion: helping pets and their humans. Becoming a veterinary technician seems like the perfect option! As a vet tech, you’ll work with veterinarians to see sick or injured animals and often be responsible for collecting samples, performing medical tests, and prepping exam rooms. Depending on the veterinary practice or animal clinic you work for, those duties can vary. While those tasks sound like your dream job, as much as you love making a difference, salary matters, too. The median pay for a practicing vet tech in 2018 was $16.55 per hour or $34,420 per year. However, depending on the state you live in, your credentials, and your specific employer, potential entry-level pay can fluctuate. Here are some key factors that affect vet tech pay and responsibilities.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for veterinary technicians is projected to grow faster than average. The need for veterinary technicians is expected to increase by 19% over the next ten years, much faster than average. That means the demand for trained techs is high - making now the perfect time to train for a career in the field. With high demand comes the opportunity for competitive and generous wages. Remember, the national average salary for veterinary technicians was $34,420 per year in 2018. Depending on your experience, location, and education, you can potentially earn more - for example, the highest paid vet techs in 2018 earned as much as $50,010 per year.
That means demand for vet techs is high right now, and the wages are correspondingly generous. The median pay for vet techs runs $33,400 per year. “Median” means half of vet techs earn more than that, while half earn less. The top 10 percent of vet techs make more than $50,000 per year. That’s not chicken feed.
So how can you land the higher-paying vet tech jobs? It comes down to which industry you work in, as well as your geographic location.
Many people think of vet techs as the people who work at their local veterinarian’s office, but technicians actually work in a wide range of industries, from advocacy organizations to zoos. How much a vet tech makes can hinge on what industry they decide to work in.
The top-paying industry for vet techs is the federal government’s executive branch, with a yearly average wage of $53,780. The executive branch includes agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, which may employ vet techs to work in animal inspection jobs, at fisheries, or in other interesting positions. Other top-paying industries for vet techs include:
In addition to the industry you choose to work in as a vet tech, your geographic location can affect your pay, too. If you want to earn the highest salary as a vet tech, pack up the van and move to one of these states.
Just as some states have a higher average yearly pay for veterinary technicians, there are some cities in which vet techs can earn more. Those cities include:
As you can see, a vet tech salary can be very generous. And because the profession is growing, there’s never been a better time to get started on this path. Learn more about the AVMA CVTEA-accredited online veterinary technician program at Ashworth College or talk to an Admissions Advisor today by calling 1-800-957-5412.
Ready to enroll? You can sign up and start classes the same day! Start now.