Animal Technician Responsibilities
Animal technician is a professional who is an expert in taking care of the animals by assisting the veterinarian in their routine activities, providing the emergency care whenever there is need, and counseling the clients on how to take care of their animals. Those who love animals, enjoy being in their company, and care for their health and welfare can surely take up the profession of an animal technician.
Key Responsibilities of an Animal Technician
Animal technicians work in close association with the veterinarian and perform the duties similar to that of a nurse. They are the next authorized persons to offer emergency medical care and help to the sick and injured animals. However, they are not allowed to prescribe, diagnose, or perform surgeries. Here are some of the key responsibilities that need to be performed by an animal technician:
- To assist in the day to day routine activities of the veterinarian by performing the routine examinations. They help in the administration of injections or other medicines
- They ensure that the places where animals have been kept are comfortable, safe, and clean. They help the animals in various activities like feeding, watering, washing, nails cutting, ear cleaning, brushing, bathing, etc. They ensure that their habitats are disinfected and sterilized regularly
- They are responsible for taking out x-rays, collecting the samples for laboratory experiments, and recording the data and findings that will be useful for research activities. They also maintain a track record related to their weight gain or loss, growth progress, check vital signs, feeding habits, overall physical health, diseases or injuries, and the treatment and medications that have been given. They discipline the animals and make them exercise, so as to maintain strength, both physical and mental
- They closely monitor the breeding habits and behavior of the animals and also keep a close eye to detect if any animal is sick or ill or has some disease
- They may need to assist the veterinarian during surgeries by preparing the animals for surgery by administering some sedatives or performing anesthetic procedures. They help in dressing the surgical wounds and bathing the animals
- They also educate the clients on how to take proper care of the animals by guiding them on their feeding habits and other treatments or procedures that need to be followed for preventing future illness and diseases
To be a successful animal technician, you need to have some skills which are as under:
- Should be interested in animals, handle them patiently, positively and confidently, and have an inclination to take care of their health, safety, and welfare
- Should have strong communication skills with excellent time management and organization skills
- Should have good observation skills and take accurate decisions for proceeding the medical treatment in case of absence of a senior person
- Should be able to work in a stressed environment and should be free of all the allergies like dust, fur, etc.
- Should be flexible to work for long hours whenever there is an emergency
- Should be excellent in maintaining the records related to the medicines, treatments, and surgeries performed on different animals
The minimum educational requirement is a graduation from high school or a training and certification from AALAS. A demonstrated work experience in animal care would be helpful. AVMA accreditation would prove to be beneficial.
Though the work hours are similar to the timings of the research facilities, labs, or clinics, they may need to work extra depending on emergency situations. Thus, they should be ready to work at odd unusual hours and should be available throughout 24 hours.
The salary compensation varies depending on the size and type of work environment they are employed in, experience, skills, and academic background. It varies in the range of $23000 to $30,000.
There is a dearth for animal technicians and thus the salary package is definitely more for those who are more experienced and have strong educational background.
If you really have a passion and love for animals, then animal technician responsibilities can definitely be shouldered more easily.