According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
employment of veterinary technologists and technicians is expected to
grow 36 percent over the 2008-18 projection period, which is much faster
than the average for all occupations. Pet owners are becoming more
affluent and more willing to pay for advanced veterinary care because
many of them consider their pet to be part of the family. This growing
affluence and view of pets will continue to increase the demand for
veterinary care. The vast majority of veterinary technicians work at
private clinical practices under veterinarians. As the number of
veterinarians grows to meet the demand for veterinary care, so will the
number of veterinary technicians needed to assist them.
number of pet owners who take advantage of veterinary services for their
pets is expected to grow over the projection period, increasing
employment opportunities. The availability of advanced veterinary
services, such as preventive dental care and surgical procedures, also
will provide opportunities for workers specializing in those areas as
they will be needed to assist licensed veterinarians. The growing number
of cats kept as companion pets is expected to boost the demand for
feline medicine and services. Further demand for these workers will stem
from the desire to replace veterinary assistants with more highly
skilled technicians in animal clinics and hospitals, shelters, boarding
kennels, animal control facilities, and humane societies.
Continued support for
public health, food and animal safety, and national disease control
programs, as well as biomedical research on human health problems, also
will contribute to the demand for veterinary technologists, although the
number of positions in these areas is fewer than in private practice
job opportunities are expected because of the relatively few veterinary
technology graduates each year. The number of 2-year programs has
recently grown to about 160, but due to small class sizes, fewer than
3,800 graduates are anticipated each year, a number that is not expected
to meet demand. Additionally, many veterinary technicians remain in the
field less than 10 years, so the need to replace workers who leave the
occupation each year also will produce many job opportunities.
technologists also will enjoy excellent job opportunities due to the
relatively few graduates from 4- year programs -- about 500 annually.
However, unlike veterinary technicians who usually work in private
clinical practice, veterinary technologists will have better
opportunities for research jobs in a variety of settings, including
biomedical facilities, diagnostic laboratories, wildlife facilities,
drug and food manufacturing companies, and food safety inspection
Despite the relatively
few number of graduates each year, keen competition is expected for
veterinary technician jobs in zoos and aquariums, due to expected slow
growth in facility capacity, low turnover among workers, the limited
number of positions, and the fact that the work in zoos and aquariums
attracts many candidates.
Employment of veterinary
technicians and technologists is relatively stable during periods of
economic recession. Layoffs are less likely to occur among veterinary
technologists and technicians than in some other occupations because
animals will continue to require medical care.
Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the US Department
of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.