Careers in Veterinary Technology

The program provides veterinary technology students with a broad understanding of veterinary medicine and the role of animals in society. Students are instructed in the methods of knowledge of veterinary technology such that they become veterinary technicians who are strong advocates for animals, capable of compassionate and accurate animal care; professional in their actions and judgments; and have a desire for lifelong learning and self improvement. The primary goal of the veterinary technology program is to provide students with exceptional technical and clinical reasoning skills and knowledge in veterinary technology such that graduates will be immediate and valuable members of a veterinary medical team. Additionally, the program aims to develop a firm foundation in both farm animal and companion animal veterinary practices.

Veterinarians are responsible for diagnosing disease in animals, prescribing treatments and performing surgery.  These are duties only veterinarians may perform.  See information about UNH’s pre-vet program.

Veterinary technicians provide support to the duties of the veterinarian.  The technician's tasks include initial patient examination, taking and processing radiographs, collecting samples and performing laboratory tests, administering medication including anesthesia and assisting in surgery.  These tasks should only be performed by a trained veterinary technician.

Veterinary assistants support the work of the veterinarian and the veterinary technician.  A veterinary assistant's role is quite similar to that of a nurse's assistant in a human medical office. Tasks of the veterinary assistant include exercising, cleaning and feeding patients, assisting with patient handling and maintaining medical and surgical equipment. (See Companion Animal Science concentration of the Applied Animal Science Program.)

New Hampshire currently does not require licensing of veterinary technicians or veterinary assistants.  However, many veterinary practices in the state follow this hierarchical organization and most other states do require licensure to work as a veterinary technician.

See our handout on the differences between the careers of veterinarian and veterinary technician.  Vet Tech vs. Veterinarian

Credentialed vet techs most often work in private practice. 

Other Job Opportunities Include

  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Research laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Government agencies like the USDA
  • Armed forces