How Much Can a Vet Tech Make?

A veterinary technician’s salary can vary based on experience, location, and type of employer. Get the details on how much you can expect to make as a vet tech.

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Introduction

A veterinary technician is a member of the veterinary healthcare team who provides medical care and support for animals. They are responsible for performing a variety of tasks, such as taking x-rays, preparing animals for surgery, and providing post-operative care.

The median annual salary for vet techs in the United States is $32,490, which means that half of all vet techs earn less than this amount and half earn more. The top 10% of vet techs earn an annual salary of $46,780 or more, while the bottom 10% earn an annual salary of $21,180 or less.

Factors that Affect Salary

As a vet tech, your salary will be based on a number of factors including your level of experience, education, and certification. The region of the country where you work also plays a role in how much you can expect to earn. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the factors that can affect a vet tech’s salary.

Location

There are many factors that affect the salary of a vet tech, including location. In general, vet techs in urban areas tend to earn more than those in rural areas. This is because there is more demand for veterinary services in urban areas, and vet techs are able to command higher salaries due to the increased competition. Additionally, cost of living expenses are usually higher in urban areas, so vet techs need to make more money in order to maintain the same standard of living.

Employer

The type of employer is the most important factor in terms of earnings for veterinary technicians. This is due, in part, to the fact that different types of employers offer different types and levels of benefits, which can have a significant impact on take-home pay. Here is a look at the different types of employers and what they offer:

Private Practice: Veterinary technicians working in private practices typically earn the highest salaries. This is due to the fact that private practices are often able to offer more competitive wages and benefits packages than other types of employers. In addition, private practices tend to be located in areas with a higher cost of living, which can also increase salaries.

Public Agencies: Veterinary technicians who work for public agencies such as animal shelters or humane societies typically earn lower salaries than those working in private practices. This is due to the fact that public agencies generally have more stringent budget restrictions, which limit their ability to offer higher wages and benefits packages. In addition, public agencies are often located in areas with a lower cost of living, which can also reduce salaries.

Research Institutions: Veterinary technicians working in research institutions such as universities or pharmaceutical companies typically earn salaries that fall somewhere between those earned by technicians in private practices and public agencies. This is due to the fact that research institutions often have access to funding sources that allow them to offer more competitive wages and benefits packages than public agencies but not as much as private practices. In addition, research institutions are often located in areas with a moderate cost of living, which can also impact salaries.

Experience

One of the biggest factors that will affect how much a vet tech makes is experience. Generally, the longer someone has been working as a vet tech, the more they will be paid. This is because experienced vet techs tend to be better at their jobs and are able to take on more responsibility. They may also have more specialized skills that make them more valuable to employers.

Certification

There are about five different types of credentials a vet tech can earn: the Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT), the Licensed Veterinary Technician (LVT), the Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT), the Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), and the Certified Veterinary Nurse (CVN). The requirements for each of these vary from state to state, but in general, an RVT or an LVT has completed a two-year veterinary technology program and has passed a national examination. A CVT has gone one step further and has also completed a standardized clinical skills exam. An RVN or a CVN is a registered nurse who has also completed a two-year veterinary technology program and passed a national examination.

In terms of salary, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the median annual wage for veterinary technicians was $35,320. The top 10 percent earned more than $51,030, and the bottom 10 percent earned less than $23,430. Pay often depends on experience, geographic location, type of employer, and credentialing. For example, according to Payscale.com, as of July 2020, RVTs in Los Angeles were earning a median wage of $46,526 per year, while RVTs in Houston were earning a median wage of $36,842 per year.

The Bottom Line

In May 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the median annual salary for veterinary technicians was $33,400. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $22,540, and the highest 10 percent earners made more than $48,350.

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