A veterinary technician works alongside a veterinarian and assists with animal patient care and various clinic related tasks.
Vet techs have clinical skills and medical knowledge, and the profession requires credentials and a solid educational background.
When you work as a veterinary technician, you are basically a nurse for animals – an honorable role that saves lives, and this is how you can boost your resume in order to (hopefully) be considered for your dream job.
See our complete resume sample at the bottom of this article.
Resume objective for veterinary technicians
Veterinary technicians are responsible for taking samples, running tests, preparing treatments and making animals feel comfortable throughout the examination process.
When we surveyed real veterinary technician job posts, employers tended to focus a lot on personality and attitude, even though the job also requires a certain level of education and skills.
According to Allison Brenner, writer for Ashworth College, it takes a special kind of person to become a vet tech, and you need to be meticulous, communicative and patient.
As our research continued, the same personality traits were mentioned by both Carrington College, Broadview University and several other academic institutions, which only confirmed the importance of coming off a certain way in your resume objective.
Our best tip is to include relevant education, certifications, and professional experience in your resume objective, as this is the first thing your future employer will read, but to embellish it with skills and personality features that show off who you are beyond your achievements.
Use the resume objective as an opportunity to mention your educational background and your experience in the business, and back it up with relevant skills for a veterinary technician, such as being organized, passionate, empathetic, and detail-oriented.
Caring veterinary technician with an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Science and state licensing. Dedicated to animal welfare and customer service, and with 6+ years of professional experience working in fast-paced veterinary clinic environments.
Resume skills for veterinary technicians
The ability to stay calm under pressure is essential for veterinary technicians. Also, to act professionally in upsetting situations, provide support for both the animal and its owner, communicate clearly and to have compassion and show a professional level of empathy.
You also need stamina as a veterinary technician, to put up with long days on your feet and few moments to rest during work hours.
How do you show these skills and personality traits in your resume? By highlighting them in a separate skill section.
In our research, we found that veterinary technician job postings commonly listed likable personality features, like being compassionate and caring, and the reason for this is probably due to the sensitive nature of the job.
Veterinary technicians are there to assist the veterinarian in saving lives and making animals feel better, but things don’t always go well.
When the news about your furry (or not so furry) best friend is bad – you need the right person to be the one to tell you. As a vet tech, that person is often you.
In this section you should also list more practical skills, like your experience with nail trimming, sample collection, anesthetics, surgical assistance, laboratory assessments and grooming.
As pointed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), you also need good computer skills as a vet technician, to keep track of patient files, appointments, and other administrative tasks.
Meticulous | Communicative | Dedicated | Associate in Veterinary Science | Virginia State License | Anesthetics | Intravenous Injection | Stomach Tube Placement | Office Administration
Veterinary technician work experience
When you apply for any job, filling out the work section is an opportunity to show that you know your profession. However, we sampled numerous real job posts, and discovered that few mention work experience as an absolute requirement.
Having experience working as a veterinary technician or at a vet clinic is an obvious advantage. But, you have nothing to worry about if you lack relevant work experience, as long as you can compensate with the right educational background, skills and personality traits.
If you do have veterinary technician experience, limit yourself to including only these work positions, but if you do not, or if you have worked in another field you think would interest a hiring manager (anything animal related, for example) – include it.
Sample Work Experience
AmeriVet Partners Management, San Diego, CA
Veterinary Technician, 2017 – 2020
Administered medication and injections, carried out laboratory procedures, applied gentle pet restraint to aid the head veterinarian and handled the initial contact with clients and their pets.
- Educated pet owners on preventive health procedures, which increased return business with 29.7%.
- Participated in research efforts to develop new preventive medicines for house pets.
- Updated the company website and social media pages, and built a stronger social media presence.
- Reorganized the computer files with new software, to make charts more easily accessible.
Pathway Veterinary Hospital, San Francisco, CA
Veterinary Technician, 2013 – 2016
Cared for hospitalized patients, provided surgical assistance, dental prophylaxis, and patient assessment, and collaborated closely with DMV and the entire team.
- Created advanced treatment plans which included home care suggestions and advice.
- Started a blog for the clinic that made it easier for clients to stay up-to-date on promotions and special offers.
- Was voted Employee of the Year for excellent dedication to the profession and superior customer service skills.
- Applied safe restraint techniques that helped make the animals comfortable and reduce stress.
Friendship Animal Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Emergency Veterinary Technician, 2012 – 2014
Assisted urgent care veterinarians with examinations, treatment plans and customer contact. Worked with everything from sedation to CPR under lead veterinarian supervision.
- Researched rehabilitation facilities for canine injuries and was able to make quality recommendations to customers.
- Imported all physical files and paperwork and organized it digitally for efficiency and clutter reduction.
- Attended a patient in critical while the veterinarian was unavailable, and successfully revived the patient using CPR.
- Organized a campaign to visit local middle schools, to talk about proper treatment of house pets and animals.
Veterinary technician education
Now, let’s talk about the education you will need to display on your veterinary technician resume, not only to impress a hiring manager, but to legally work as a vet tech in the United States.
In the research conveyed ahead of writing this article, we were able to come to the conclusion that most veterinary technicians tend to have a 2-year Associate degree in veterinary technology or animal science.
Among the resumes sampled we also saw a few that had opted for a 4-year Bachelor program instead, but an Associate degree was by far the most common. The institution needs to be accredited by the AVMA Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).
You can’t just wake up one day and decide to become a veterinary technician, as it requires certain studies and accreditation, so make sure you add a clearly visible education section to your resume where the hiring manager can see what you studied, where you studied and when.
If you have other degrees than just your vet tech education, these can also be added, even if they are not directly related to your field of work. Below are a couple of examples of how you can add your educational background.
Fort Valley State University; Fort Valley, GA
Bachelor of Science, 2013 – 2017
- Veterinary Technology
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
Associate Degree in Animal Science, 2010 – 2012
A veterinary technician resume does not usually require a course section, as all required courses are included on AVMA accredited study programs.
Only list courses if you have taken a relevant course that is not part of a typical study program, or if you are applying for a very specific job where you might benefit from highlighting certain courses taken.
Very few veterinary technician resumes that we looked at included a course section, and by surveying real job posts we were able to confirm that individual courses do not tend to be required on a resume.
However, in case you do have taken courses you think would set you apart or that would interest the hiring manager, we have chosen to include a couple of examples below for your convenience.
- Animal Handling and Behaviour
- Veterinary Lab Techniques 1: Parasitology
- Veterinary Technician Pharmaceutical Math
When working as a veterinary technician, you need to be certified to practice your profession in your state. This means that even if you have previously worked as a veterinary technician in a different state, you will likely need to be licensed again if you move.
Having your Associate degree or Bachelor degree in animal science or veterinary technology is usually the first step towards certification, as it makes you eligible for becoming certified in any U.S. state.
You also need to have passed the Veterinary Technician National Exam before you can obtain a license in any state.
In some of the job posts we sampled, we saw a preference for already having a state license when applying, while other job posts expressed only a requirement to be eligible for a state license.
The American Association of State Boards is the place to go to look for licensing requirements for each state, but it is usually a simple process as long as you have graduated from a CVTEA accredited program.
You may also need additional certification depending on where you intend to work and what duties the position would include, but these are generally acquired after the hiring process concludes if needed.
- Maryland State License
- NAVTA Membership
Complete veterinary technician resume sample
As previously mentioned, we sampled numerous job postings and resumes in our research, and we picked out one job post to demonstrate how to write a tailored resume.
Tailoring your resume to the requirements of a job post and to a specific position will show the hiring manager two things – that you pay attention, and that you are the right person for the company.
Many of the job posts we sampled focused heavily on personality and traits, but this one here is very specific regarding the skills and experience needed by a veterinary technician.
The clinic wants someone who can assist with procedures like intravenous catheter placement, digital radiography, anesthesia, surgical preparation and someone who can multitask, so this is what you need to successfully demonstrate in your resume.
Hard-working and professional veterinary technician, with a California state license, NAVTA Membership, 4+ years of experience and a desire to help animals and their owners. Dedicated to the cause and always willing to go the extra mile.
Dedicated | 4+ years of experience | Multitasker | Bachelor in Veterinary technology | California state license | Anesthesia | Dental procedures | Surgical preparation | Intravenous catheter placement | Administration
Orange County SPCA, Orange County, CA
Veterinary technician, 2016 – 2019
Assisted with surgeries and medical procedures, and was responsible for performing initial assessments and check-ups. Responsible for maintaining the inventory of supplies.
- Introduced a new system for checking out medicine and supplies, which made it easier to notice when the supply was running low.
- Implemented the use of GPS navigation for house calls, to reduce arrival time.
- Assisted at a public event as lead speaker, to educate the general public on the importance of preventive vet care.
- Entrusted full responsibility of surgical preparation and client reception.
- California VMB License
- NAVTA Certified
University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
MSc Wildlife Conservation & Management, 2016 – 2018
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA
Bachelor in Animal Health Science, 2011 – 2015
Applying for work as a veterinary technician can be a little intimidating, regardless of whether you have been in the business for years or if you are just starting out. A well-written resume probably won’t get you a job on its own, but it has the potential to get you noticed.
Below are a few key takeaways from our research, and what you should think about when sitting down to craft a resume for a veterinary technician job.
- You need a degree from a CVTEA accredited program, and even if this may seem obvious, you still need to make sure your academic achievements are easily visible on your resume.
- If possible, obtain a veterinary technician license (AAVSB) for your state already before applying for a job, or clarify your intent to get one and your eligibility.
- A veterinary technician needs to be a multitasker, dedicated to the profession and compassionate with both animals and their owners, but you also need to list hard skills like aesthetic experience, dental prophylaxis expertise or anything else that highlights what you can do.
Tips from Experts
“People are taking their pets to you because they are trying to help them. They are trying to get them the best care that they can. I think the number one thing that vet clinics look for is the experience. Go volunteer somewhere.” – Julie Gomez, Veterinary Technician
“So first off, make sure that you read the job description very carefully, so that you know how your prospective employer wishes for you to submit your cover letter and resume to them.” – Kendra, Licensed Veterinary Technician
“The first steps in becoming a veterinary technician would be to look into some schooling to get an associate’s degree so that you can get certified by the state or nationally.” – Jessica Villareal, Vet Tech
It is a dream for many to get to work with animals full-time, but being a veterinary technician is no easy profession. You need a strong mind, excellent work ethics, the ability to work under pressure and knowledge of how to unwind after work, to avoid burnout and other stress-related conditions.
Working as a vet technician can also be wonderful, as it gives you a unique opportunity to help man’s best friend and other animals.
Never underestimate the power of a strong resume, and use the tips and suggestions in this article to write a resume that could hopefully blow the hiring manager away!