Animal Science Technician: what they do, how to become one, and where to study
An Animal Science Technician, often known as an animal care technician, is an integral role within the world of veterinary and biological sciences. These professionals are responsible for the daily care and monitoring of animals in various settings, such as laboratories, veterinary clinics, zoos, and wildlife centers. They ensure that animals receive appropriate care, including feeding, bathing, and administering medication. They also support scientists in research activities, providing invaluable assistance in experimental processes and data recording. By the way, recently the ProfGuide career guidance center has developed a precise career orientation test, which will tell you which professions are suitable for you, provide a conclusion about your personality type and intelligence.
- Tasks and Responsibilities
- Pros and Cons
- Salary Ranges
- Where do Animal Science Technicians Work?
- Important Qualities of a Successful Animal Science Technician
- Step-by-Step Career Path
- How to Become an Animal Science Technician
- Where to Become an Animal Science Technician
- Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
Animal Science Technicians often specialize in areas based on the type of animal or the environment in which they work. These may include:
- Lab Animal Technicians: They work primarily in research labs, caring for animals used in experiments.
- Veterinary Technicians: They work alongside veterinarians in animal clinics and hospitals.
- Zoo Technicians: These professionals work with a wide variety of species in zoo settings.
- Wildlife Technicians: These technicians work with wild animals, often in rehabilitation centers or nature preserves.
- Livestock Technicians: They work on farms or ranches, caring for domesticated animals like cows, pigs, and chickens.
Tasks and Responsibilities
Here are some typical tasks and responsibilities of an Animal Science Technician:
- Feeding and caring for animals
- Monitoring animal health and reporting any abnormalities
- Assisting with animal surgeries and treatments
- Cleaning and maintaining animal habitats
- Collecting and analyzing biological samples
- Assisting in animal behavior studies
- Administering medication and vaccinations
Pros and Cons
Pros of being an Animal Science Technician include:
- Hands-on work with a variety of animal species
- Potential to contribute to significant scientific research
- Variety of work settings (labs, zoos, veterinary clinics, etc.)
- High demand for qualified professionals
- Emotionally challenging work, especially when animals are sick or injured
- Some roles may require irregular hours, including nights, weekends, or holidays
- Physical demands, including lifting heavy items or animals
- Potential exposure to zoonotic diseases or injuries
As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, there is a steady demand for Animal Science Technicians in the USA, Canada, Great Britain, and Australia due to ongoing scientific research and growing pet care markets. However, for current data, I recommend checking labor market statistics websites specific to these countries.
In general, the salaries for Animal Science Technicians can vary depending on the country, specialization, and experience level. As of 2021, the typical salary ranges were:
- USA: $25,000 - $45,000 per year
- Canada: CAD $30,000 - CAD $50,000 per year
- Great Britain: £18,000 - £30,000 per year
- Australia: AUD $40,000 - AUD $60,000 per year
Where do Animal Science Technicians Work?
Animal Science Technicians work in a variety of settings where animal care and management are crucial. This includes veterinary clinics, farms, zoos, wildlife centers, and research laboratories. Their roles are vital for the health and well-being of animals and, in research settings, they can directly contribute to significant scientific advancements.
Important Qualities of a Successful Animal Science Technician
Ideal candidates for this profession:
- Have a strong affinity for animals
- Show excellent attention to detail
- Possess strong observational and documentation skills
- Have a good understanding of animal behavior
- Demonstrate physical stamina and strength
- Possess empathy and compassion for animals
Those who have trouble handling emotional stress or are uncomfortable around animals may find this profession challenging.
Step-by-Step Career Path
- Obtain a high school diploma.
- Earn an associate's degree in veterinary technology, animal science, or a related field.
- Complete an internship or gain hands-on experience through part-time work or volunteering in a veterinary clinic or animal facility.
- Get certified. In the US, for example, passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination is a requirement.
- Pursue a job in your preferred specialization, e.g., laboratory, veterinary clinic, zoo, etc.
- Consider advanced specialization through additional training or education.
How to Become an Animal Science Technician
In the US, becoming an Animal Science Technician usually requires an associate's degree in veterinary technology or a related field, which typically takes two years. Certification or licensure may also be required, and this can often involve passing a national and/or state examination. Some technicians may pursue a four-year bachelor's degree for advanced roles or specialties.
Where to Become an Animal Science Technician
Here are five examples of educational institutions offering Animal Science Technician programs in each country:
- Purdue University - Veterinary Nursing Program
- Penn Foster College - Veterinary Technician Associate Degree
- Austin Community College - Veterinary Technology Program
- Blue Ridge Community College - Veterinary Medical Technology Program
- Cedar Valley College - Veterinary Technology Program
- University of Guelph - Ridgetown Campus - Veterinary Technology Program
- Northern College - Veterinary Technician Program
- Olds College - Animal Health Technology Program
- Nova Scotia Agricultural College - Veterinary Technology Program
- Thompson Rivers University - Animal Health Technology Program
- Royal Veterinary College - Veterinary Nursing Program
- Harper Adams University - Veterinary Nursing and Practice Management Program
- Nottingham Trent University - Veterinary Nursing Science Program
- University of Surrey - Veterinary Biosciences Program
- Hartpury University - Animal Management and Science Program
- Charles Sturt University - Veterinary Technology Program
- University of Queensland - Veterinary Technology Program
- Melbourne Polytechnic - Veterinary Nursing Program
- TAFE Queensland - Veterinary Nursing Program
- The Gordon - Animal Studies Program
Can You Enter the Profession with a Different Degree?
Yes, it is possible to enter the profession with a degree in a related field such as biology, zoology, or animal behavior, especially if the course included practical components. However, specific training in animal health and care, such as that provided in a veterinary technology program, is often beneficial and preferred by employers. The need for certification or licensure may also apply.