Specialties Veterinary Technician All About Zoological Veterinary Technicians All About Zoological Veterinary Technicians Are you intrigued by zoological animals and would like to make a career out of working with them? Would you like to complete your initial training within just a couple of short years? If you answered yes to both of these questions, a career as a zoological veterinary technician is waiting for you! Common Responsibilities Since you will be taking care of a large scope of animals as a zoo vet tech, your responsibilities may vary significantly from day to day. For this field, you must be in good health and able to handle such animals as bears, tigers, monkeys, giraffes and even elephants. Nevertheless, some common tasks of zoo vet techs are as follows. Assisting Veterinarians During Examinations and Procedures Restraining Animals Collecting Samples and Performing Diagnostic Tests Cleaning Wounds and Changing Dressings Preparing Animals for Surgery Performing X-rays and Ultrasounds Administering IV Fluids, Injections, Medicine and Anesthesia Recording Patients’ Vital Signs Reporting Unusual Behavior to the Veterinarian in Charge Maintaining Patient Records Preparing Food Plans and Feeding Animals Cleaning Animals’ Living Quarters Educational Requirements For you to become a zoological veterinary technician, you must first participate in traditional vet tech training. Typically, this involves a two-year associate degree program. You will also need to complete the Veterinary Technician National Exam and obtain licensing in your state. It is required for you to gain experience in the field before pursuing your zoological specialty as this will help you become certified in your area of specialization. Finally, if you want to specialize in this field, you will need to complete additional coursework that is approved by the Association of Veterinary Zoological Medical Technicians. Earning Your Credentials After you complete the required specialization courses, you will need to sit for your state’s specialty exam. These exams are given at various locations throughout the year by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. However, to earn your specialization credential, you will also need to fulfill the following requirements. Approximately 10,000 Hours of Experience as a Licensed Veterinary Technician Verification of Above Employment At Least 40 Hours of Specialty Courses Proof of Attendance of Specialty Courses Proof of at Least 40 Zoological Medical Cases At Least Two Letters of Recommendation from Zoological Veterinarians Career Outlook There are many benefits acquired by choosing to specialize as a zoological veterinary technician. However, the best benefit is that the job outlook for these professionals is quite favorable. There are many employers that need experts in this field including zoological parks, aquariums and research facilities. Furthermore, if you choose to become a member of the Association of Zoo Veterinary Technicians, or the AZVT, you can significantly increase your employment opportunities. Being a member of this esteemed organization allows you to network with other zoological vet techs, attend useful conferences and receive information pertaining to new advances in the field as it becomes available. Average Salary The salary you will earn as a zoo vet tech will depend on your location, employer and experience. However, according to statistics obtained from the U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau, the average salary for a veterinary technician specializing in zoo animals is about $42,000 to $44,030 per year. This is significantly higher than the average yearly salary for a traditional vet tech, which is approximately $31,030 per year. As a zoological veterinary technician, you may also enjoy such benefits as health and dental insurance, paid sick days, paid vacations, zoo/aquarium discounts and a uniform allowance. Begin Your New Career Today! Careers as zoological veterinary technicians offer great starting salaries and show much promise for the future. If you choose this specialization, not only will you partake in caring for animals, but you will also have the opportunity to educate people about the many creatures that roam the earth. As you work as a zoo vet tech, you will play an essential role in the overall health and comfort of the animals housed where you choose to work. You will also be helping to preserve any species that may be at risk of endangerment. As you can see, persons who choose to work in these environments are extremely vital to the world as a whole.