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How to Increase Your Earning Potential as a Vet Tech

by Josh L. Clark, MS, RVT and Kelsey Wirt, MS, LVT

While a six-figure salary is not the norm in the veterinary technician field, there are ways to potentially increase your earnings beyond the average vet tech salary. Here are a few strategies that could help you reach this goal.

Specialize

Specialization can significantly boost a vet tech salary. Vet techs can specialize in various areas of veterinary medicine, such as dentistry, anesthesiology, emergency and critical care, and more. These specializations often require additional training and certification, and they should also come with higher salaries. According to the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), there are 16 recognized specializations.

Gain Experience

Experience as a credentialed vet tech is another significant factor in determining salary. As you gain more experience and expertise in your field, you should qualify for higher-paying roles. The promotional opportunities for senior vet techs often include becoming supervisors or practice managers. These administrative roles should come with a higher salary and additional responsibilities.

Consider Your Work Setting

Vet techs working in certain settings may earn more than others. For example, vet techs  employed in research institutions, pharmaceutical companies, or specialty veterinary practices often have higher salaries than those working in general practice veterinary clinics.

Education

Pursuing advanced education, such as a Bachelor's or Master’s degree could open doors to higher-paying positions within the veterinary field, such as veterinary practice manager or veterinary pharmaceutical sales representative.

Geographical Location

While this isn't something you can readily change, it's worth noting that vet tech salaries vary by location. Generally, areas with a higher cost of living pay higher salaries.

It's important to note that while these strategies can increase your vet tech salary, reaching a six-figure income in this profession is not common and would likely require a combination of many factors, including significant experience, advanced education or specialization, and a high-demand work setting.

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