VET TECH SALARIES
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics currently reports that the median annual Vet. Tech. salary is $31,800 per year. This can be very misleading. Consider this: the $31,800 per year Vet. Tech. salary is $15.29 per hour. Graduates of the Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology Vet. Tech. program START at $14.00 to $17.00 per hour (which is a Vet. Tech. salary of $29,106 to $35,343. So… why is the median so low? This has to do with the definition of median salary.
The MEDIAN means that half of the measured salaries are above the median, and half are below. The MEDIAN says NOTHING about how HIGH salaries can go. In fact, salaries can reach $80,000-$90,000 per year (there is, as a technical matter, no true upper limit). Higher salaries are earned by Vet. Techs. who are specialists, faculty members at Vet. Tech. schools and universities, Vet. Techs. in industry (in research for example), or are part owners of clinics. In addition, Vet. Tech. salaries creep higher once a Vet. Tech. has increased experience, especially in clinics or in office management. Therefore, the MEDIAN says NOTHING about how high salaries can go.
To become a VTS or veterinary technician specialist, you must be in the field for about 5 years. This will enable you to begin to accumulate the required hours to apply for your VTS. Several organizations called colleges manage these credentials. You can increase your Vet. Tech. salary by applying for specialization in: internal medicine, surgery, laboratory medicine, diagnostic imaging, emergency nursing, and several other fields. A VTS might increase their Vet. Tech. Salary by working in a specialty facility or veterinary teaching facility.
Vet. Techs. That work in emergency clinics generally make higher Vet. Tech. salaries as well. Emergency veterinary technicians care for critically ill patients that may have been sick for some time before going to see a veterinarian, or may have been suddenly and seriously injured. They may also care for animals that may be recovering from major surgery. Emergency Vet. Techs. employ a greater degree of skill and experience, so they generally earn higher Vet. Tech. Salaries.
Another career option for Vet. Techs. is to become a laboratory animal technician. Laboratory animal technicians are specially credentialed to work in laboratories housing laboratory animal species such as rats and mice. Vet. Tech. Salaries for these Vet. Techs. tend to be higher, because they employ special skills in a highly technical environment. Jobs that pay higher Vet. Tech. Salaries for lab animal technicians are found in veterinary teaching hospitals, industry, and the research divisions of large hospitals.
So, Vet. Tech. salaries increase as you gain more experience and skills during your career. Remember: this is about more than just money. Vet. Techs. are skilled medical professionals with meaningful jobs.