Veterinary Technician Salary Guide

LearnHowToBecome Team
Laura Leavitt
September 30, 2021

Veterinary technicians and technologists earn a steady paycheck and work with animals all day long, all without the years of school it takes to become a veterinarian. They perform tasks like grooming and preparing animals for the vet to look at them, performing lab tests, administering treatments, and much more. It's a varied and fast-paced job with a solid vet tech salary and room to grow.

How Much Does a Vet Tech Make in the United States?

The vet tech salary is under the average in the United States for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While the average income is $56,310, a vet tech can expect to make $37,860 on average.

The BLS notes that research vet techs, as opposed to those who provide services for livestock or pets, often make a bit more money. When choosing your specialization, remember where you'll work influences how much vet techs make.

Veterinary Technician Salary Changes Throughout the Career Path

Becoming a veterinary assistant only requires a high school diploma and on-the-job training, allowing you to start to get to know the veterinary field. While these roles often pay around $30,980 a year, they can be a valuable resource when beginning your training as a veterinary technician.

An associate degree in veterinary technology can qualify you to move into a technician or technologist role. With this comes the boost in pay that gets you the average income for a veterinary technician mentioned above.

While specializing can take some time, doing so can give you access to a bump in salary or make you more impressive to employers. Specialized vet tech roles pay around $47,000, according to Payscale.

If you realize that you want even more chances to diagnose, treat, and help animals, becoming a veterinarian can be the way to go. You'll need to get a veterinary medicine doctorate, which takes time, but if you do this after working in the field for some time, your experience will be an asset during school, and you can potentially work part-time around your classwork.

Veterinarians make $108,350 per year, according to the BLS.

  • Certified nursing assistants provide a variety of assistance to human patients, from moving patients around a healthcare facility to cleaning and offering patient care.
  • Dental assistants maintain records, answer phones, and prepare the dental office for dental hygienists and dentists. A pharmacy technician may do similar work but in a pharmacy.
  • Medical assistants provide healthcare-related services like administering injections, taking medical records, and much more.

Veterinary Technician Pay Difference By Location


Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

Career Opportunities and Job Growth for Vet Techs

This field is growing rapidly. Instead of the average 4% growth rate, veterinary technician jobs are growing at a rate of 16%.

Top states for vet tech jobs:

Top metro areas for vet tech jobs:

Other Benefits of Becoming a Vet Tech

For full-time veterinary technicians, there may be benefits like dental, healthcare, and even access to employer-based retirement plan accounts. Vet techs often have the rewards of a varied job that allows for interaction with animals, a major benefit.

Many people find it therapeutic to spend time around animals, and being in a healing profession can be its own benefit as well.

How Much Does it Cost to Become a Vet Tech?

Education for veterinary technology can vary in cost, depending on which educational option you take. Affordable community college associate degrees cost less than $7,600 for a two-year program.

You'll also want to get certified by taking board exams for veterinary technicians, which cost $330.

Salaries for Related Jobs

Medical Assistant

  • Average Salary: $36,930
  • Cost to become: One-year post-secondary program, potential on-the-job training.

Dental Assistant

  • Average salary: $42,310
  • Cost to become: One-year certificate program, state licensure exam/costs.

Certified Nursing Assistant

  • Average salary: $32,050
  • Cost to become: Short training program (offered in high schools or community colleges), competency exam.

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Laura Leavitt
Contributing Writer

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