20+ Differences between Vet Tech And Vet Assistant (Explained)

Being a veterinary technician or assistant might be a good option if you want to work with animals but seek a more direct route into the field. Both positions contribute to the daily operations of veterinary hospitals, and I enjoy working with animals.

Consider some of the similarities and differences between these roles before making a final decision. In this post, we’ll look at the definitions of vet techs and vet assistants and explain their roles in veterinary hospitals.

Comparison between Vet Tech And Vet Assistant

ParameterVet TechVet Assistant
ClassesVet techs have greater education than vet assistants. These students acquire a two-year associate degree in veterinary technology to gain skills and expertise. Animal behavior, clinical procedures, biochemistry, and pharmacology are taught. Vet technicians perform observation hours throughout their courses to learn the position. Vet technicians may get a bachelor’s degree to upgrade their expertise and earn more.A high school diploma or GED is required for vet assistance. Some businesses favor associate degrees or certifications. Vet assistants may boost their professions with a degree in veterinary technology. Focusing on biology in high school may aid vet assistants.
BackgroundA veterinarian technician should expect to spend no less than four years in school. In addition, he takes the nationwide test for certification and registration. The technician’s certification is always up for renewal, and continuing education is important to maintain it.Training requirements for a vet assistant are low. Some specialized training programs at vocational schools and community colleges might take as long as a year to complete. There is no need to sign up or become certified.
PayscaleThe difference in yearly pay between vet assistants and technicians may be attributed to the increased education and responsibility required of vet technologists. In the United States, veterinary technicians may make anywhere from $33,280 to as much as $47,410 per year on average. The lower end of the wage range is $33,280.Veterinary assistants may anticipate yearly incomes ranging from $24,360 to as high as $38,000, with the average salary falling somewhere between the two.
Work areaIn veterinary offices, it is common practice to expect veterinary assistants to undertake a diverse range of tasks, and many of those businesses value the flexibility of their employees highly.There are several specialty areas within the field of veterinary technology, each of which needs somewhat more study and training. Veterinary technicians, for instance, can pursue further education and training in various subfields, including internal medicine, zoological medicine, emergency care, dental technology, anesthesia, and more.
difference between veterinary technician vs veterinary assistant

Major Differences Between Vet Tech And Vet Assistant

Who exactly is a Vet Tech?

In general, vet techs are held accountable for more activities directly connected to medicine than vet assistants are. The taking of blood samples, the manufacturing of vaccines, and the conducting of laboratory tests are all included in this process.

In addition to this, they provide help to a veterinarian when the physician is doing treatments and cleaning a variety of pieces of equipment.

Key Differences: Vet Tech

  • As part of a complete set of occupational skills and a range of responsibilities, the capability to assist veterinarians during operations and to prepare for laboratory tests is required.
  • Obtains an annual payment that is, on the whole, more than $33,000 in the course of the working year.
  • Requires certificates, registrations, and licenses.
  • Spends the first year and a half receiving instruction in various two-year and four-year colleges and universities as well as technical schools.
  • Performs their duties in line with a veterinarian’s directions at all times.
factors of vet tech

Who exactly is a Vet Assistant?

It is the responsibility of a veterinary assistant to do duties that are of a less technical nature. These include administrative tasks and tasks connected to delivering care, such as scheduling appointments with the veterinarian and ensuring that animals who are under veterinary care have access to food and water.

If the physician gives them the go-ahead, veterinary assistants may also provide medications to animals and look after them after surgical procedures. 

Key Differences: Vet Assistant

  • Assumes administrative and clinical responsibilities, including, but not limited to, scheduling visits, feeding and bathing animals, and maintaining records of animal care.
  • Obtains a remuneration that, on an annual basis on average, is more than $22,000 in value.
  • Requires no certificates, registrations, or licenses.
  • Community colleges and other training institutes provide this teaching, and it may last anywhere from six months to a whole year.
  • Carries out the tasks that have been allocated to them while also following the orders that the veterinarian and the veterinary technician have given.
factors of vet assistant

Contrast Between Vet Tech And Vet Assistant


  • Vet Tech- A program that results in the completion of an associate’s degree in veterinary technology and takes a total of two years to complete must be completed to become a veterinary technician.

    In most instances, for technicians to become registered, licensed, or certified, they also need to pass a credentialing test. This test may be in the form of a written exam or an oral examination. Different states have different requirements that must be met before one may become any of these three things.
  • Vet Assistant- The completion of a program that prepares one to work as a veterinary assistant often results in the issuance of a Certificate of Completion and typically entails the completion of an internship at an animal care facility.

    Certification is not necessary for veterinary assistants; nevertheless, many employers encourage it since it allows workers to demonstrate their knowledge of animal husbandry, health and welfare, and facility management.


  • Vet Tech- Different job routes are open to veterinary technicians and assistants since they are at different phases of their professional development journeys.

    Someone has the ability to advance their career to that of a veterinarian if they first get experience in the field as a veterinary technician. This involves studying for a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, which typically takes four years to complete.
  • Vet Assistant- By completing the requirements for an associate’s degree in veterinary technology, the veterinary assistant can further their career and become a veterinarian technician.

    They may get experience that will assist their transition into a position as a veterinary technician. In a similar manner, veterinary assistants have the opportunity to launch their careers as veterinarians.


  • Vet Tech- It is the responsibility of veterinary technologists and technicians who operate under the supervision of qualified veterinarians to carry out medical exams on animals.

    The results of these tests aid in the process of evaluating whether or not an animal has any injuries or illnesses.
  • Vet Assistant- In addition to being responsible for the day-to-day care of animals, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are also responsible for assisting veterinarians, veterinary technologists, and veterinary technicians.

    At the same time, they carry out their work responsibilities. In addition to this duty, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are accountable for the day-to-day maintenance of the animals under their supervision.


  • Vet Tech- Veterinary technicians sometimes take on a greater variety of tasks and have the opportunity to specialize in several different areas within the profession.

    When it comes to picking an area of interest, they have a variety of alternatives available to them, including zoological medicine, internal medicine, emergency care, dental technology, and anesthesia.
  • Vet Assistant- It is common practice for veterinary assistants to be accountable for more responsibilities.

    In addition to lending a hand to the veterinarian’s team regarding the care of animals, these individuals could also be responsible for aiding customers and taking on secretarial tasks. In contrast to veterinary technicians, veterinary assistants are not needed to study specific areas of emphasis to work in the field.


  • Vet Tech- A veterinary technician spends some time working in an animal hospital. At the same time, they are in school to get experience performing various functions.

    This gives kids practical experience that teaches them how to respond appropriately in various circumstances. They also start to acquire the necessary abilities to carry out their employment responsibilities.
  • Vet Assistant- Because veterinary assistants are not required to finish any further school, most of their knowledge is obtained by working in animal hospitals or private clinics.

    Although many businesses provide on-the-job training for veterinary assistants, they may prefer applicants with prior experience dealing with animals. Obtaining certification may also provide them with the opportunity to acquire critical skills.

Working hours:

  • Vet Tech- Most veterinary technicians are employed full-time in the field. They may be required to work on the weekends, on holidays, or even at night, depending on the job opportunities they can get at this time.

    It is not unusual for veterinary technicians to work additional hours to provide postoperative care for animals who have just had surgical operations.
  • Vet Assistant- In veterinary care, assistants often work part-time and benefit from flexible schedules.

    People who work at facilities that are open around the clock could be required to put in additional time on the weekends and holidays to care for the animals in their charge. Eight hours is the normal amount of time that a shift for a veterinary assistant will last.


  • Vet Tech- Vet technicians who have finished their education may sit for the Veterinary Technician National Test (VTNE) or their respective state’s board exam. If they do well on these tests, they can apply for certification as a veterinary technician.

    They also get licensed as veterinary technicians in the state where they want to work and maintain that license via frequent renewals that require additional coursework.
  • Vet Assistant- Vet assistants may increase their marketability by completing a certification program via the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

    Timeframes of six months to a year are common for these. Individuals who complete these training programs may then work legally as veterinary assistants (AVA). To work as a veterinary assistant, you won’t need to have any special certifications.


  • Vet Tech- A person who aids a veterinarian in carrying out various technical procedures is known as a veterinary technician. The veterinary technician will take samples of the animal’s blood, urine, and/or feces to prepare the specimens for laboratory testing.

    In addition to this, he will be in charge of administering drugs and will do a preliminary examination of the animal before the veterinarian performs a comprehensive diagnostic.
  • Vet Assistant- Veterinary assistants, on the other hand, are the ones who are in charge of both administrative and clinical obligations.

    These obligations include but are not limited to the cleaning of animal cages and equipment, the feeding of animals, the maintenance of animal records, and the scheduling of appointments. In addition, these responsibilities also include the scheduling of appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Do veterinary assistants need to have previous experience?

Answer. If you are interested in working as a veterinary assistant, having the education and qualifications is beneficial to differentiate yourself from the other candidates.

For some jobs, you may need high school graduation and training on the job. To be considered for a position, a certified veterinary assistant or an associate degree may be required by certain companies.

Q2. Is it a tough job to help veterinarians?

Answer. Being a veterinary technician comes with several apparent stresses, such as working long hours, keeping up with a rapid pace, dealing with tight schedules, and having to administer unpleasant procedures to animals, even though you got into the industry because you love animals.

Q3. Do veterinarians take responsibility for the care of their own pets?

Answer. In general, doctors shouldn’t treat themselves or members of their immediate families, as stated in Opinion 8.19 of the American Medical Association (AMA), which is headed “Doctors Generally Should Not Treat Themselves or Members of Their Personal Families.”

Q4. A veterinary assistant has the potential to further their career and become a veterinarian.

On the road to becoming a veterinarian, starting out as a Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech), also known as a Veterinary Assistant, is sometimes considered to be an ideal first step to take.

This is because, upon completion of most veterinary technology programs, the student is awarded either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree.

Q5. Why is there such a great need for veterinary technicians?

The veterinary technician will play an ever more important role in providing high-quality medical care for animals as the complexity of veterinary medicine continues to expand and as many pet owners insist on providing their pets with the care that is at the cutting edge of cutting-edge veterinary technology.

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