Veterinarian technicians work with licensed veterinarians to help diagnose and treat animals that are injured or sick. Vet techs generally graduate from schools accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and many have passed a national exam. If you are considering becoming a veterinary technician, you may be curious about salary trends and outlooks in this profession.
Current Veterinary Technicians Salary Trends
According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, median pay for veterinary technicians was $30,290 per year in 2012, which works out to $14.56 per hour. This compared favorably to other jobs working with animals when those jobs had lower entry levels of education or fewer responsibilities. For instance, veterinary assistants, who may start with a high school level education, make a little over $23,000, while general animal care and service workers make a little less than $20,000. On the other hand, vet tech salaries are lower than the median salary for healthcare workers who are working with humans. Although they have the same entry level of education, MRI techs make a little over $55,000 per year.
States and Industries With Highest Veterinarian Technician Salaries
According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, the states or areas with the best paid vet tech jobs are the District of Columbia, Alaska, New York, Massachusetts and Virginia. These average annual salaries range from $37,450 in Virginia to $39,710 in DC, or from $18.00 to $19.09 per hour.
Obviously a number of factors can influence the salary of a vet tech, including work environment and any specialization they might have obtained during their training. Landing a job with the federal government will assure you a higher salary, but they only employ a very small percentage of vet techs. In fact, all of the higher paying industries put together, which includes state governments and medical labs, only employ about one percent of all vet techs. You’ll have a better chance to find a job in California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida or New York, with New York and California yielding the higher salaries in that group.
Job and Salary Outlook
Although salary varies across the country, overall job outlook is positive, with a projected 30 percent increase in jobs between 2012 and 2022, stronger than the national average. That would seem to ensure some level of job security.