Veterinary technicians, or vet techs, are responsible for restraint and handling, ultrasounds, administering medications, and assisting in surgeries alongside veterinarians to help animals lead healthy and happy lives. Vet techs may work with animals ranging, for example, from household pets to valuable livestock and prize-winning horses. Vet techs routinely cite their ability to work outside of a traditional office setting while caring for animals as key reasons for pursuing an in-demand career in this field.
Vet techs also help with taking measurements, speaking with the animal’s owner about the reason for the appointment, and doing initial checks on an animal’s condition before passing that information on to the veterinarian. Some vet techs choose to work in one specialty or discipline, which can include nutrition, surgical work, or animal behavior, to name a few.
Depending on the location in Canada, some professionals in this field will be called Veterinary Technologists instead of Veterinary Technicians, though there is no actual difference between the two. In general, western Canadian provinces use “technologist,” while the profession in eastern Canada uses “technician.”
A registered veterinary technologist must graduate from an accredited college vet tech program, complete the vet tech national exam, and meet certain local provincial requirements. Typically, programs run two to three years and must be accredited by the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association. Each province also has its own regulations surrounding what vet techs do, down to specific vaccinations for animals.
The average annual salary for a vet tech in Canada is $43,875, or $22.50 an hour, according to Talent.com. Entry level positions start around $37,000, while more experienced vet techs can earn up to $60,000.