Veterinary Technician Job Description, Skills, Interview Questions

Last updated: May 22, 2023

What Does a Veterinary Technician Do?

As a Veterinary Technician, you will play a key role in providing exceptional care to animals. You will work alongside veterinarians to administer medication, monitor vital signs, and communicate with pet owners about their pet’s health. Your ability to respond quickly in emergency situations, work well in a team, and compassionately care for animals will be key to success in this role.

Key Responsibilities

  • Administer medication and treatments to animals as directed by a veterinarian.
  • Perform diagnostic tests and procedures, such as bloodwork and X-rays.
  • Monitor the vital signs of animals under your care and report any changes to the veterinarian.
  • Communicate with pet owners about their pet’s medical condition and provide education on preventative care.
  • Assist veterinarians during surgical procedures.


  • Associate’s degree in Veterinary Technology or equivalent.
  • Certification, registration, or licensure as required by state regulations.
  • Experience working in a veterinary clinic or animal hospital preferred.
  • Compassion for animals and their owners.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills, with a focus on providing outstanding customer service. 

Day In The Life of a Vet Tech | Vet Tech Vlog | Veterinary Technician

The video features a vet tech vlog recorded by a woman who was pregnant at the time and gives a glimpse into her work at an animal hospital. Throughout the video, she shows various procedures including collecting blood and urine samples, treating ear infections, and performing tests for potential UTIs.

She also highlights the importance of regular check-ups and preventative care for pets. The video ends with a sick dog being examined and the possibility of an x-ray being taken. Additionally, she promotes merchandise available through the animal hospital's Instagram page.

Why Do You Need a Veterinary Technician? 

  • Veterinary Technicians provide invaluable assistance to veterinarians in their daily operations
  • They are trained to monitor and care for animals during surgery, diagnose illnesses and treat minor ailments, administer medications, and provide basic nursing care
  • Having a Veterinary Technician on staff can cut down on costs by allowing you to provide care for many common ailments without having to go to a veterinarian every time
  • Veterinary Technicians also help reduce stress for pets and owners alike by providing comfort and emotional support during stressful medical procedures 
  • Veterinary Technicians have the knowledge and expertise to provide comprehensive care for animals of all shapes and sizes
  • Having a Veterinary Technician on staff is convenient and time-saving – they can often handle many routine tasks which can free up time for other more specialized treatments by the veterinarian
  • Veterinary Technicians are an essential part of a veterinary team, helping to create a nurturing and supportive environment for the four-legged patients in their care

Veterinary Technician Job Description and Responsibilities

1. Supporting veterinarians by providing medical care to animals

2. Taking vital signs and collecting samples for laboratory tests

3. Administering treatments and medications prescribed by veterinarians

4. Preparing animals and instruments for surgery

5. Working together with veterinarians during operations

6. Recording case histories for patient records

7. Performing diagnostic tests such as X-rays

8. Assisting with patient examinations

9. Educating clients on proper pet care and preventive health care

10. Maintaining clean and sterile equipment and facilities

11. Assisting in anesthesia and performing laboratory tests

12. Administering vaccinations and medications

13. Performing dental care and taking radiographs

14. Restraining animals for exams and treatments

15. Monitoring patient's vital signs and adjusting medications as needed

16. Administering emergency first aid

17. Maintaining accurate patient records

18. Working closely with other professionals in the veterinary field

19. Advocating for animal welfare issues

20. Participating in continuing education and professional development opportunities

21. Providing compassionate care to animals

22. Ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local regulations

23. Scheduling appointments and processing payments

24. Providing pet owners with resources and advice

25. Performing administrative duties such as inventory control, ordering supplies, and filing paperwork 

Veterinary Technician Skills and Ideal Candidate Profile

1. Ability to work in a fast-paced environment and handle multiple tasks simultaneously

2. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills for interacting with pet owners, veterinarians, and other animal health professionals

3. Passion for animals and desire to provide quality care

4. Knowledgeable of medical terminology, anatomy, and physiology

5. Proficient in administering medications and treatments prescribed by veterinarians

6. Ability to perform and interpret laboratory tests

7. Skilled in collecting and documenting patient data and medical histories

8. Knowledgeable of common medical procedures, such as X-rays and ultrasounds

9. Ability to recognize signs of illness, disease, and distress in animals

10. Ability to safely restrain animals while providing care

11. Attention to detail when observing, recording, and reporting clinical findings

12. Ability to follow instructions and protocols precisely

13. Understanding of the regulations and standards of veterinary practice

14. Ability to work with a variety of animals, including large and small animals

15. Understanding of animal behavior and how to handle animals

16. Strong organizational skills and ability to prioritize tasks

17. Ability to work with a team of veterinary professionals and provide support

18. Skilled in using veterinary software and computer systems

19. Flexibility and willingness to work weekends and evenings

20. Ability to maintain a clean and sterile environment for the safety of animals and people

21. Knowledgeable of infection control and disease prevention protocols

22. Compassionate and caring attitude towards animals

23. Ability to take initiative and solve problems

24. Knowledgeable of safety protocols and emergency procedures

25. Dedication to continuing education and staying up to date on the latest developments in veterinary technology 

The Difference Between Veterinarians and Vet Techs Video

In this video, a woman who is in her third rotation out of clinical rotations talks about the difference between veterinarians and vet techs. She explains that a veterinarian has gone through schooling and has a doctorate's degree while a veterinary technician is synonymous with a nurse or a medical assistant.

A vet tech can go to school for two or four years and depending on the state, they may or may not need to be licensed. There is a pay grade difference between a certified vet tech and an uncertified one.

The speaker highlights the pros and cons of becoming a vet tech or a veterinarian. She emphasizes that it's hard to find good doctors and good technicians in the veterinary field and urges anyone interested in the field to follow their heart.

Veterinary Technician Interview Questions

1. What qualifications do you have that make you a great veterinary technician?

2. What do you enjoy most about being a veterinary technician?

3. How would you handle an emergency situation in the veterinary office?

4. What experience do you have administering medications to animals?

5. How do you prioritize tasks in a busy veterinary office?

6. Describe a time when you faced a challenge while working with animals.

7. Tell me about a time when you had to make a difficult decision in a veterinary office.

8. How do you ensure that all safety protocols are followed in the veterinary office?

9. How do you handle difficult pets and owners?

10. What techniques do you use to restrain animals for medical procedures?

11. How do you stay up to date on the latest developments in veterinary medicine?

12. How do you handle the stress of dealing with animals in pain or distress?

13. How do you ensure accurate record-keeping in the veterinary office?

14. What skills do you possess that help you succeed as a veterinary technician?

15. What do you do to maintain a safe, clean, and organized veterinary office?

16. What do you do to ensure accuracy when taking vital signs and performing laboratory tests?

17. How do you communicate medical information to pet owners in a way they can understand?

18. How do you handle difficult conversations with pet owners?

19. How do you handle situations where a pet owner disagrees with a veterinarian’s diagnosis or treatment plan?

20. What experience do you have performing diagnostic tests such as X-rays?

21. How do you ensure the comfort and safety of animals during medical procedures?

22. What do you do to prevent the spread of contagious diseases between animals?

23. How do you stay motivated in a demanding work environment?

24. What steps do you take to ensure that a veterinarian is informed of any changes in an animal’s condition?

25. How do you assess an animal’s behavior to determine if they are in pain or distress? 

Veterinary Technician Salary

Veterinary technicians in New Jersey enjoy a variety of salaries, depending on their experience, certification, and location. According to Indeed, the typical hourly wage for the profession stands at $19.95. Salary reports demonstrate the base salary for veterinary technicians lies between $32,089 and $45,303, with an average figure of $38,129. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides national wages that range from $13.64 per hour to $21.99 per hour and an annual wage scale running between $28,370 and $48,300. ZipRecruiter reveals New Jersey-based licensed veterinary technicians witness hefty pay disparities while Intuit reveals an average total yearly salary of $35,000 coming from TurboTax customers who list themselves as veterinary technicians in New Jersey. 


Similar Jobs and Keywords You May Be Interested In

Animal care

Veterinary medicine

Animal anatomy and physiology

Medical terminology

Veterinary pharmacology

Diagnostic imaging

Laboratory procedures

Surgical nursing

Anesthesia administration and monitoring

Animal behavior

Emergency and critical care medicine

Client education

Animal welfare

Small animal nursing

Wildlife rehabilitation

Exotic animal care

Nutritional management

Zoonotic disease control

Surgical preparation and assistance

Veterinary hospital management

Animal restraint

Dental prophylaxis

Laboratory instruments handling and maintenance

Radiology and ultrasound imaging equipment

Vaccine administration

Animal first aid

Record-keeping and charting

OSHA compliance

Cleaning and disinfecting procedures

Communication and teamwork skills


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