3 Simple Reasons to Become Licensed In Your Field

The certification and license of veterinary staff can vary by state or even by hospital. In some states, veterinary technicians are not required to be licensed to perform certain tasks such as drawing blood or anesthetizing patients. Other states may be stricter on the matter. Regardless if it is required by law or not, the benefit of being certified as a licensed veterinary technician or a veterinary assistant is a huge asset to have.

Why Should You Be Licensed?

Being certified as a veterinary technician or an assistant will ultimately give you more opportunities in your career than if you were not certified. Having certification can lead you to move up in your career, such as a management or teaching position, more so than if you were not certified. There are many more opportunities than working in a hospital if you are licensed.

Examples of Scenarios Where Being Licensed Are Beneficial

Going to school and being licensed will give you more knowledge not only in the field in general but also in emergency situations that may not arise frequently. For example, if you have worked as a non-licensed technician or assistant for five years, you may have some great experience. However, during those five years, you may never have had to do CPR. If a patient comes to the hospital in cardiac arrest, a non-certified person may not know what to do because they have never experienced this. A licensed individual will have the knowledge from their schooling on the steps to take to save the patient’s life.

Whether an individual chooses to become certified or not, being in the veterinary field does not just stop once you have graduated from the program. Being in the veterinary field is a lifelong commitment to ongoing education and professional development. More states are starting to make continuing education a requirement to renew your license. There are many different topics that continuing education can provide, ranging from diseases, techniques, anesthesia, and management. Continuing education also comes in many forms.

Ways to Incorporate Continuing Education

They can be done online, in your hospital, performed by representatives, at national conferences, or state-wide conferences. Conferences can vary in cost but many times, management from your employer will consider paying for employees to attend continuing education seminars as they see the value in it.

Medicine and techniques are forever changing. By taking educational courses, employees will keep up with the times and be able to take care of their patients more efficiently.

As a veterinary assistant, there are many professional development opportunities. If an employee has a specific interest in a certain area of the veterinary field, there are most likely continuing educations to learn from. Employees can also research the topic and present it to their leaders and staff to educate the office staff.

If a veterinary assistant wants to further their education and move up in the industry, becoming a licensed veterinary technician will provide more ways to implement knowledge they have learned. As a licensed technician, they will be able to perform more skills such as drawing blood, placing IV catheters, and monitoring anesthesia. Licensed veterinary technicians can also specialize in a certain area of medicine.

Some examples of specialty medicine they can specialize in are anesthesia, ophthalmology, emergency, cardiology, and cytology. Becoming specialized includes completing a check-off list of multiple skills in that specific area, writing case studies, and taking an examination similar to the licensing exam.

In conclusion, medicine is ever-changing, and veterinary staff must keep up with the changes in order to provide the best care for their patients. This includes lifelong learning and education in the form of continuing education seminars. By becoming certified, you have more knowledge on subject matters and can go further in your career.


Written by Laura Switkowski


Laura Switkowski has been a Licensed Veterinary Technician for the past 13 years. She has worked in general practice, exotic medicine, ophthalmology specialty and teaches at multiple Veterinary Technician and Veterinary Assistant programs throughout the country. Her interest in the veterinary field includes ophthalmology, anesthesia, and pain management.


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