There are all sorts of jobs at the zoo. Veterinary technician positions may not necessarily the first job that people think of when they think of the zoo; they are more often associated with private veterinary offices, where they assist the veterinarian in caring for people’s pets. This is one type of veterinary technician, but they do also work in zoos. Zoo veterinary technicians complete compulsory education and training in exotic animals in addition to the required training for vet techs. If you are an animal lover looking for a career path in a unique environment, this could just be the right road to take.
Duties of Zoo Veterinary Technicians
As a zoo veterinary technician, your job duties would all be related to the care and supervision of animals in a zoological environment. This may include any or all of the following duties:
Following directions of zoologists and zoo veterinarians
Keeping records of animals’ health
Lending support during surgeries
Maintaining inventory of medication and equipment
Monitoring the health issues of zoo animals
Parasite control procedures
Providing preventative care to animals
Supervision of care staff
Watching out for new health issues in animals Sometimes, zoo veterinary technicians are also involved in the habit development at the zoo, as well as the educational programs for the community. It all depends on the needs of the zoo and the qualifications of the vet tech. h.
How to Become a Zoo Veterinary Technician
There are stringent education and training requirements for zoo veterinary technicians, which may vary somewhat by state. You must complete a two-year veterinary technician associate’s degree program at an institution of higher learning that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, for starters. Zoo vet technicians also complete additional courses or electives on exotic animals. At the end of all the schooling, the graduate must also pass a licensing exam to work as a zoo veterinary technician.
Like most professions, there is quite a bit of training on the job as well. Some vet techs complete internship programs to avoid this learning curve and gain a competitive edge. The average annual salary for veterinary technicians is around $31,000, but vet techs at the zoo tend to earn a bit more due to the specialization and challenges of the job. It is a rewarding career that’s perfect for animal lovers.
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