Becoming An Army Veterinary Technician
For many people, the idea of being an army veterinary technician is an interesting career option. The Army provides veterinary services to all of the military branches, and army vet techs work to keep government-owned animals such as patrol dogs, horses, and research animals in good health. In addition to helping working dogs, army vet techs provide veterinary care to the pets of enlisted members. As a vet tech in the army your military occupation specialty (MOS) will be 68T – Animal Care Specialist.
If you have an interest in animal biology and life science, enjoy helping animals and others, and have the ability to work under stressful and emergency conditions, this position could be a great way to get your career started.
Army Veterinary Technician Duties
Some of the typical things you can expect to do while working as an Animal Care Specialist in the army include:
- Performing routine care for animals in treatment or R&D facilities
- Performing physical examinations and report findings to the vet
- Positioning and restraining animals for examination and treatment
- Calculating dosage and administering medication
- Keeping equipment and workspace clean and organized
- Assisting the vet with various surgical procedures
- Performing euthanasia when directed by the vet
- Collecting blood, urine, and fecal samples for laboratory testing
- Taking and developing x-rays
- Maintaining records and medical history documents
Army Vet Tech Education & Training
Animal Care Specialists are enlisted members of the armed forces. Unlike civilian vet tech jobs, a college degree is not required to become a military vet tech. However, a high school diploma or GED is required.
To qualify for a 68T position, you will need to score at least a 91 on the ASVAB test. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery is a multiple-choice test that will rank your abilities in the areas of word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, general science, mechanical comprehension, and mathematics.
As with all military personnel, army vet techs are first required to complete 10 weeks of basic training, also known as boot camp. This physical and mental training will not only help you get adjusted to life in the military, but will also prepare you for success as a veterinary technician in the armed forces.
After completing basic training you will enter 11 weeks of Advanced Individual Training, which includes training in animal care. During this training course you’ll learn basic animal care techniques, emergency medical techniques, how to sterilize surgical equipment, plaster-casting techniques, and much more.
Army Vet Tech Licensing and Certification
Unlike veterinary technicians in the private sector, army vet techs are not required to be licensed by a governing body. This means that you are not required to pass the Veterinary Technician National Examination. All that is required to work in the military is that you complete the 11-week training course as well as additional on-the-job training. This can be a big benefit for individuals who do not perform well on standardized tests.
Army Veterinary Technician Pay, Compensation, & Benefits
After The Military
After fulfilling your obligation to the army, you will have the experience and skills needed to transition to a career in the private sector. Some people apply to veterinary school, others seek their associate’s degree, and some start working right away. Many schools and employers prefer students and workers with military experience. Keep in mind that while an becoming an army veterinary technician does not require you to get official licensure and certification, this is something some employers may require before they will hire you.