What’s the average veterinary technician salary?
Last updated: February 6, 2023
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What’s the average veterinary technician salary?
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Considering a career change? Or perhaps gearing up to leave school and considering your options for employment or for future study?

Pursuing a career as a vet tech is often a great choice for conscientious people who have a keen sense of biology and a passion for helping animals (and their human owners).

The field can be challenging, rewarding, and fulfilling. It’s a great fit for those who love a varied role. As you’ll soon see, there is a lot that goes on in the vet tech world.

All of this sounds great, but there’s one more question left to answer:

What does a vet tech’s salary look like?

In this article, we’ll show you exactly how much vet techs earn in each state and answer some of the burning questions you have about diving into this career path.

What is a vet tech?

Consider vet techs as nurses for animals.

(Image Source)

In the human health care world, nurses and doctors work together to improve patient health and complete medical procedures.

In the animal health sphere, it’s vet techs and veterinarians.

Vet techs do far more than just assist vets, however (that’s the role of the veterinary assistant).

On top of their nursing duties, the typical vet tech job description includes:

  • Phlebotomy (drawing blood)

  • Radiology (X-rays)

  • Acting as a patient advocate and providing animal care advice

  • Surgical assistance

  • Administering anesthesia and medication

Vet tech job outlook

Veterinary techs are in high demand.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an industry growth rate of 15% over the next ten years, which is over twice the average.

(Image Source)

Veterinary technician jobs offer a median pay that is slightly above the national median, along with the opportunity to grow your experience and salary by undertaking specialized study further into your career.

How much does a vet tech make in a year?

The national average salary for veterinary technologists in the U.S. is $37,860, with the highest salary for this role being more than $50,000.

The median salary (middle) is very similar at $36,260, which means there is a relatively even distribution of earners on either side.

Bear in mind that your annual salary will be affected by factors such as relevant education, years of experience, and the cost of living in your state.

(Image Source)

With this in mind, let’s review the average base salary or hourly wage offered in each state.

State

Hourly median wage

Annual median wage

Alabama

$14.15

$29,440

Alaska

$21.09

$43,880

Arizona

$17.39

$36,180

Arkansas

$14.93

$31,050

California

$22.29

$46,370

Colorado

$18.07

$37,590

Connecticut

$20.66

$42,980

Delaware

$15.90

$33,070

District of Columbia

$21.99

$45,740

Florida

$16.63

$34,590

Georgia

$16.28

$33,850

Hawaii

$17.97

$37,370

Idaho

$15.63

$32,520

Illinois

$17.88

$37,200

Indiana

$16.59

$34,510

Iowa

$16.13

$33,550

Kansas

$16.45

$34,210

Kentucky

$14.83

$30,840

Louisiana

$12.83

$26,680

Maine

$17.60

$36,610

Maryland

$17.52

$36,440

Massachusetts

$21.44

$44,590

Michigan

$17.43

$36,260

Minnesota

$17.97

$37,370

Mississippi

$15.81

$32,890

Missouri

$14.78

$30,730

Montana

$15.49

$32,210

Nebraska

$17.68

$36,780

Nevada

$23.25

$48,360

New Hampshire

$18.20

$37,850

New Jersey

$18.86

$39,230

New Mexico

$16.98

$35,320

New York

$20.54

$42,730

North Carolina

$17.05

$35,470

North Dakota

$16.56

$34,450

Ohio

$17.14

$35,650

Oklahoma

$15.41

$32,060

Oregon

$17.75

$36,930

Pennsylvania

$16.88

$35,110

Puerto Rico

$9.31

$19,370

Rhode Island

$18.38

$38,230

South Carolina

$16.28

$33,850

South Dakota

$16.98

$35,320

Tennessee

$13.35

$27,760

Texas

$15.08

$31,360

Utah

$14.90

$30,990

Vermont

$16.87

$35,090

Virginia

$21.51

$44,740

Washington

$19.78

$41,150

West Virginia

$14.99

$31,170

Wisconsin

$17.09

$35,550

Wyoming

$15.56

$32,370

(Data source: BLS)

How do you become a vet tech?

If you want to become a vet tech, follow these five steps:

  1. Obtain a high school diploma

  2. Attend an AVMA-approved degree program in animal science or veterinary technology (two to four years of study)

  3. Pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination

  4. Submit your application for state credentialing (requirements vary by state)

  5. Land your first job as a vet tech at a lab, boarding kennel, animal shelter, zoo, or emergency animal care practice

Frequently asked questions

Now that you know more about how much a vet tech makes, let’s answer three commonly asked questions.

1. Do you need a degree to be a vet tech?

Yes. To get a job as a vet tech in an animal hospital or veterinary practice, you’ll need to have passed a course approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

At a minimum, this is a two-year associate degree, though many vet techs go on to complete a bachelor's degree.

2. How much do vet techs make an hour?

The median hourly rate for vet techs is $17.43, with entry-level employees making around $12.27 and more experienced techs earning as much as $25.20 an hour.

3. Who gets paid more, a vet tech or vet assistant?

The vet tech title typically pays more.

The salary range for vet assistants is $21,570–$41,080, with a median salary of $29,930.

(Image Source)

Vet techs, being credentialed, earn more than this. The median vet tech salary is $36,260, with a reported range of $25,520–$52,410.

Ready to become a vet tech?

Not only are there plenty of opportunities in this industry, but pursuing a career as a vet tech can be extremely rewarding.

It’s certainly a role that will provide plenty of challenges and opportunities to grow.

So, are you up for it?

Check out the Jobcase job board to browse for available vet tech roles.

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