Three Reasons You Should Continue Your Training As A Vet Tech?
America’s increasing emphasis on maintaining the health and comfort of pets, production animals and livestock has resulted in rapidly expanding job opportunities for vet techs. In fact, becoming a vet tech is an excellent path to a well paying and secure career in the field of veterinary medicine.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has determined that the veterinary technology field will expand by at least 52 percent between 2010 and 2020, creating abundant opportunities for new and currently employed vet techs alike.
However, by continuing their education and training, veterinary technicians can improve their professional and salary prospects, in addition to expanding their ability to find employment in a wide variety of veterinary fields. A highly educated veterinary technician can obtain the respect that comes from being known as an authority in his or her field and may even obtain a supervisory position over other veterinary professionals.
Continuing Training and Salary Options
By engaging in a program of continuing training, the vet tech may be able to take advantage of incentive programs that tie salary levels to the educational attainments of the vet tech. In some cases, the vet tech may be partially or completely compensated by the employer for his or her educational costs. In fact, many organizations and businesses actively encourage their vet techs to continue their education in order to improve the company’s reputation for professional excellence.
Additionally, some veterinary practices prefer to hire individuals who have continued to add to their professional skills via extra training. In these cases, a vet tech will not only be more likely to be hired, but can secure a higher starting wage than a veterinary technician with a lower level of education. This is especially true for veterinary practices in urban areas where the level of competition for available jobs is usually higher.
Continuing Education and State Certification and Licensure
In many states, vet techs must complete a certain amount of continuing education in order to renew their license.
However, the vet tech has great discretion in choosing how to fulfill this requirement, and so can use the continuing education to help obtain proficiency in his or her desired specialty. This can be an excellent method of preparing to obtain a specialty certification.
Specializations and Job Security
While many vet techs are generalists, there are a growing number of specialty fields for veterinary technicians. By obtaining training in these specialties, a vet tech can increase his or her value to the employer. In many cases, there is a shortage of qualified vet tech specialists that further improves the job security of those vet techs who obtain a specialty certification.
There are a wide variety of specialties that are recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), all of which have their own specific educational and examination requirements. By working with NAVTA and the relevant professional associations, a vet tech can become a recognized specialist in one or more fields. While it is possible to focus on a certain specialty independently, a NAVTA recognized specialty certification provides documented proof of the vet tech’s professional qualifications.
In addition to improving his or her job security at traditional clinics, these specializations can allow the vet tech to enter veterinary fields that have higher entry requirements for new employees. Research, wildlife management and zoology all have a demand for a variety of certified specialist vet techs who can provide effective assistance to veterinarians and other professionals.
Professional Education and Professional Respect
Finally, by obtaining a higher level of education, the vet tech can increase his or her professional standing. By doing so, the vet tech may find it easier to be promoted in his current career, especially if he or she is a certified specialist. In addition, the higher level of professional respect can often result in the vet tech being offered responsibilities and authority that less experienced individuals cannot attain.
Some of the more common examples are the following:
- Supervising veterinary aides, less experienced vet techs, and office staff.
- Taking a lead role in conducting and evaluating laboratory tests and other research.
- Experienced vet techs working in wildlife management may be allowed to work independently in the field.
- In some cases, highly educated veterinary technicians may be used as spokespersons or otherwise interact with the general public.
Finally, professional respect will extend to the vet tech’s personal relationship with his or her superiors, fellow vet techs and other veterinary workers. An experienced vet tech may in fact find him or herself acting as a mentor to less experienced individuals, which can be a professionally and personally rewarding situation.
By attaining a high level of education, a vet tech can dramatically improve his or her professional standing, no matter the specific field. Especially in today’s economy, this can be an excellent decision for newly graduated and experienced vet techs alike.