Veterinary Technician Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Veterinary Technician, or Vet Tech, assists Veterinarians with caring and treating injured and sick animals. Their duties include administering medication, preparing animals for surgery and performing general administrative duties. 


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Veterinary Technician duties and responsibilities

The role of Veterinary Technicians vary depending on the veterinary practice, but common their duties and responsibilities include:

  • Preparing animals and instruments for surgery
  • Providing general nursing care or emergency first aid
  • Collecting and recording the health history of patients
  • Administering anaesthesia
  • Educating animal owners about continuing care


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What does a Veterinary Technician do?

Veterinary Technicians can perform any task assigned by a supervising Veterinarian except for diagnosis, medication prescription and surgery. They observe animals’ behaviour and condition and report their findings to the Vet. Vet Techs also help Vets during physical examination of animal patients. They can also soothe frightened animals or restrain aggressive patients during exams and procedures. 

Vet Techs may also administer treatments, medications and vaccines under the direction of the Veterinarian. They take and process X-rays, take blood and urine samples, run lab tests and also fill prescriptions. They may also perform specialist functions based on their training. 


Veterinary Technician skills and qualifications 

A successful Veterinary Technician will have various prerequisite skills and qualifications needed to perform their duties effectively. These skills and qualifications include:

  • Ability to work with animals 
  • Knowledge of veterinary medical lab procedures
  • In-depth understanding of veterinary health and safety procedures 
  • Ability to handle animals safely and compassionately
  • Physical strength to lift heavy objects 
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills 
  • Problem-solving skills 
  • Attention to detail


Veterinary Technician experience requirements

Many employers require candidates to have at least two years of experience working as a Veterinary Technician or a related position. In specialist veterinary practices, the Vet Tech may need experience in specific disciplines such as dentistry, anaesthesia and diagnostic imaging. Vet Tech candidates must also have laboratory and clinical experience to run tests and administer medication. They must also be experienced in handling animals regardless of their temperament.


Veterinary Technician education and training requirements

Veterinary Technician candidates must have a foundation degree or bachelor’s degree in veterinary nursing from a programme accredited by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Many employers consider candidates with a Level 3 Diploma in Veterinary Nursing or veterinary nursing advanced apprenticeship, but they must register with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. 

Some employers require candidates to obtain certifications in several aspects of veterinary medicine. These include certificates in pharmacy and pharmacology, surgical nursing, anaesthesia, pain management and critical care. Several training opportunities for Vet Techs are available from the British Veterinary Nursing Association. 


Veterinary Technician salary expectations

According to Indeed Salaries, the average salary of a Veterinary Technician in the United Kingdom is £22,219 per year. The actual pay varies depending on the employer, the candidate’s experience, required qualifications, areas of speciality, location of the business and exact job duties and responsibilities for a particular company. 


Job description samples for similar positions 

Here are job description samples for similar positions if you are not looking to recruit a Veterinary Technician:


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Veterinary Technician job description FAQs


How can you make your Veterinary Technician job description stand out?

To make your Veterinary Technician job description stand out, provide an overview of your organisation, the type of work and animals the practice handles and how a Veterinary Technician fits into the company. Mention the day-to-day responsibilities of the role and how it will help the establishment achieve its goals and provide quality service to patients. 

You must also describe the specific skills and qualifications candidates must have before they can apply for the role. If the position requires specialised training, mention it in the job description. You can also include payment and employment benefits. Mentioning unique information about your company culture and office atmosphere can also help position your establishment as an ideal employer.


What makes a good Veterinary Technician job description?

A good Vet Tech job description must be concise. Include only the most important details of the job as a long list may discourage some candidates. Start with a catchy headline that includes the exact job title to avoid confusing candidates. Write the job description in everyday language. Overuse of complicated or technical language can make the listing inaccessible and confusing. 

In addition, emphasise the core duties of the position, especially the responsibilities unique to your practice. You can also include a specific job location so people closer to your office can see the ad. Use bullets to highlight key points in the text and proofread and edit the document before posting on job sites. 


Who does a Veterinary Technician report to?

A Veterinary Technician can report to a Veterinarian, Veterinary Surgeon, Senior Researcher and other high-level staff in an organisation.

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