All About Large Animal Practice Veterinary Technicians

Are you looking for a career that is in high demand and will allow you to work with animals? Do you feel comfortable working with such large animals as horses, cows, goats, sheep and hogs? If so, you should consider a career as a large animal practice veterinary technician.

Career Outlook

There are many career paths for you to choose among if you want to become a veterinary technician specializing in large animal practices.

However, some of the most popular sub-specialties involve equines and production animals. Other paths you may wish to choose among include caring for zoo animals or animals housed in wildlife parks.

While the career outlook for large animal practice veterinary technicians may vary from one location to another, the U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau predicts that the field will increase at an overall average rate of about 52 percent until 2020. This is much higher than the national average for all available occupations in the country today.

Average Salary

The salary you will earn if you become a large animal practice veterinary technician depends on your location, employer and experience as a vet tech. However, according to statistics obtained from the U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau, you can expect an overall average salary of about $38,000 per year.

This is somewhat higher than the national average of all veterinary technicians, which is around $31,000 per year. Additionally, many employers offer benefit packages that may include such things as medical insurance, dental coverage, paid vacations, uniform allowances and retirement plans.

large animal veterinary technician

Common Responsibilities

If you choose to work as a large animal practice veterinary technician, you must be in good health and physically strong. This is because many of the animals you will be working with will be extremely large and in some cases, difficult to handle. Although your responsibilities may vary depending on your employer, common tasks that these professionals often perform are listed below.

  • Positioning and Restraining Animals During Examinations and Procedures
  • Administering Medications and Injections
  • Assisting During Surgery
  • Performing Laboratory Tests
  • Cleaning Teeth
  • Drawing Blood
  • Taking and Recording Vital Signs
  • Performing Urinalysis
  • Maintaining Patients’ Records
  • Taking X-Rays

Educational Requirements

If you wish to specialize in large animal practices, you must complete an approved veterinary technology program and earn at least an associate degree in the field. However, earning a bachelor degree can significantly increase your job prospects upon graduating and obtaining your license.

After completing your program, you will need to sit for the Veterinary Technician National Exam. While there are currently no specific requirements for specializing in large animal practices, it is best for you to participate in an internship program relating to the specialization.

In this way, you can gain experience in the field of large animals and increase your employment opportunities. The last step to beginning a vet tech career specializing in large animal practices is to obtain licensing. Once you have your license in hand, you can then begin searching for employment.

Put Your Love for Animals to Work!

If you love animals and are not intimidated by the size of such animals as horses and cattle, a career as a large animal practice vet tech may be the perfect fit for you.

Due to the limited number of vet tech graduates each year and the high demand for technicians specializing in large animals, the employment possibilities in this specialty are great.