The veterinary field is highly varied and there are different types of certification and licensing that an individual interested in pursuing the field can obtain. One may choose a particular path dependent on needs, time, salary, and how they would like to put their certification or licensing to use. They also may be limited by their current education or funds. If you end up going the licensed path, we can assist in any matters that may arise.
If you are interested in pursuing a specialized veterinary route but do not want to commit to licensing or certification and their accompanying fees and time spent, then the Assistant path may be a route to research. Veterinary Assistants do not have any official licensing or certification, and only a high school education or GED is considered necessary to obtain the position. Assistants will often be the go-to person for most tasks in the veterinary office setting. The clinic must be kept sanitary, and assistants will maintain these standards. Besides the important task of clinic upkeep, assistants will help the vet or certified technicians in exams of patients. An assistant may be needed to restrain the animals, comfort them during procedures, and generally assist in any necessary aspect of the exam and appointment. This differs greatly from a general vet receptionist or kennel assistant, who are often unable to interact with animals. This path might be the right route for someone who wants to be involved in animal care, but does not want to/cannot obtain certification.
Certified Veterinary Technicians
Certified Veterinary Technicians (aka Licensed Vet Techs) are an important part of a vet hospital. To obtain licensing, more education is required than that of assistants. Technicians usually have enough education to obtain an associate’s degree; from there, they have to pass the Veterinary Technician National Exam and subsequently apply and gain certification as per their particular state’s qualifications and requirements. The specific knowledge and skill required of a technician is more advanced than an assistant. Technicians generally work directly alongside the vet in an exam on a patient, and tasks include drawing blood, preparing the patient and the room for surgery, obtaining x-rays or other reports, pet restraint, and administering medicine to pets. Many people pursue the certified/licensed route to be more directly involved with animals, but the position might be more desirable because the path is less intensive than a licensed veterinarian.
Obviously, the path to becoming a licensed vet is the most involved. A person interested in becoming a licensed vet must pursue four years of undergraduate education, and then an additional four years of focused veterinary schooling. Once schooling is complete, the prospective vet is required to take national and state exams to become a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. In addition to the exams, a vet must renew licensing every couple of years. The benefits of this path are not just in higher salary and flexible schedule, but certainly in the care for animals, which is why most people pursue this path.
Williams & Nickl has represented many Veterinarians and Certified Vet Techs who face issues with IDFPR. If you find yourself in such a situation, Williams & Nickl can provide the help you need.