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Nursing Education Opportunities in Mississippi - 2006  <more..>
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Veterinary Technician


Veterinary technicians are employed by veterinarians and help them provide basic medical care to animals. They perform support duties such as feeding, walking, cleaning, and comforting the animals. Technicians are usually in charge of taking the animals into treatment rooms and securing restraints or holding the animal during treatment. Under the supervision of a veterinarian, they may also perform laboratory tests, take vital signs, take and develop X-rays, change bandages, give injections, clean an animal’s teeth, or bathe and groom the animal. Technicians are often in charge of maintaining records of each animal’s reaction to medications and treatments. They are sometimes called upon to prepare animals for surgery in addition to sterilizing the surgical equipment.


Veterinary technicians may specialize in certain areas such as lab animal technician or biotechnology technician. They usually work a 40-hour week which may include evenings or weekends. They may also be on-call for emergencies. Individuals interested in this health care specialty should enjoy working with animals, be compassionate and understanding, and be able to handle hectic schedules.

Work Environment:


Many veterinary technicians are employed by veterinarians in private practice, but others are employed by veterinary hospitals, kennels, research institutes, zoos, research laboratories, and veterinary schools. Technicians may supervise other veterinary personnel such as veterinary assistants.

High School Preparation:


Students interested in veterinary technology should take high school courses in biology, chemistry, English, dental/medical assisting, algebra, health occupations/medical professions education, social studies, computer skills, and geometry.

College Requirements:


Individuals interested in a career as a veterinary technician must have a high school diploma or the equivalent. They must then complete an associate’s degree program accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association. Graduates may become certified by passing a written examination offered by the Mississippi Veterinary Medical Board.


Students interested in veterinary technology should contact schools for information on admission and course of study.

For educational institutions in Mississippi
offering this course of study click here.

Career Outlook:


Employment opportunities for veterinary technicians will be excellent over the next decade and are expected to increase much faster than the average of all other occupations over the same period. The U.S. Department of Labor expects a growth of over 36% in the number of job openings through the year 2012. Growth will continue as pet owners become more aware of advanced care, such as preventative dental care and intensive care, and are more willing to take advantage of such nontraditional services. Employment opportunities will be the greatest for individuals that obtain certification by state or national organizations.




Average Annual Salary



Salary Range

$18,200 - $31,900


Professional Organizations:


National Association of Veterinary Technicians In America

50 S. Pickett Street
Ste. 110

Alexandria, VA  22304 

Phone: (703) 740-8737


American Veterinary Medical Association
1931 N. Meacham Road, Suite 100
Schaumburg, IL

Phone: (847) 925-8070


Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association

209 S. Lafayette Street

Starkville, MS 39759

Phone: (601) 324-9380

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