Profession veterinary technician

Veterinary technicians and assistants carry out advisory, diagnostic, preventive and curative veterinary tasks, more limited in scope and complexity than those carried out by, and with the guidance of, veterinarians. They care for animals under treatment and in temporary residence at veterinary facilities, perform routine procedures and assist veterinarians to perform procedures and operations.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Investigative
  • Realistic / Social

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  • Livestock machinery installer
  • Livestock machinery mechanic
  • Pig breeder
  • Poultry producer
  • Quality inspector cattle, meat, fish
  • Stockman
  • Subsistence livestock farmer
  • Veterinarian inspector
  • Veterinarian, all other
  • Veterinary aid
  • Veterinary practitioner
  • Veterinary vaccinator


  • Animal welfare

    Universally recognized animal welfare needs as applied to species, situation and occupation. These are: need for a suitable environment need for a suitable diet need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

  • Physiology of animals

    The study of the mechanical, physical, bioelectrical and biochemical functioning of animals, their organs and their cells.

  • Animal welfare legislation

    The legal boundaries, codes of professional conduct, national and EU regulatory frameworks and legal procedures of working with animals and living organisms, ensuring their welfare and health.

  • Safe work practices in a veterinary setting

    Safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and working environment.

  • Biosecurity related to animals

    Awareness of hygiene and bio-security measures when working with animals, including causes, transmission and prevention of diseases and use of policies, materials and equipment.

  • Animal behaviour

    The natural behavioural patterns of animals, i.e. how normal and abnormal behaviour might be expressed according to species, environment, human-animal interaction and occupation.

  • Signs of animal illness

    Physical, behavioural and environmental signs of health and ill health in various animals.

  • Environmental enrichment for animals

    Types, methods and use of enrichment for animals to allow the expression of natural behaviour, including the provision of environmental stimuli, feeding activities, puzzles, items for manipulation, social and training activities.

  • Anatomy of animals

    The study of animal body parts, their structure and dynamic relationships, on a level as demanded by the specific occupation.


  • Assist in the administration of fluids to animals

    Prepare the equipment for administering fluids to animals, observe the animal during the treatment, and keep fluid balance records.

  • Handle veterinary emergencies

    Handle unforeseen incidents concerning animals and circumstances which call for urgent action in an appropriate professional manner.

  • Manage animal biosecurity

    Plan and use appropriate biosafety measures to prevent transmission of diseases and ensure effective overall biosecurity. Maintain and follow biosecurity procedures and infection control when working with animals, including recognising potential health issues and taking appropriate action, communicating site hygiene control measures and biosecurity procedures, as well as reporting to others.

  • Manage infection control in the facility

    Implement a set of measures to prevent and control infections, formulating and establishing health and safety procedures and policies.

  • Support veterinary diagnostic procedures

    Prepare equipment and animals for veterinary diagnostic tests. Conduct or support sample collection. Preserve samples from animals for analysis and communicate the results. Provide care for the animal undergoing examination.'

  • Assist the veterinary surgeon as a scrub nurse

    Provide assistance in the handling of equipment and materials in a sterile manner during surgical procedures in operating theatre.'

  • Monitor the welfare of animals

    Monitor animals’ physical condition and behaviour and report any concerns or unexpected changes, including signs of health or ill-health, appearance, condition of the animals' accommodation, intake of food and water and environmental conditions.

  • Assist in administering veterinary anaesthetics

    Assist the veterinary surgeon in administering anaesthetics to animals including the maintenance and monitoring of anaesthesia during veterinary procedures.

  • Maintain work environments in a veterinary practice

    Prepare and maintain work environments for use, including equipment and materials, ensuring that equipment and materials are available.

  • Prepare veterinary anaesthetic equipment

    Prepare the equipment and materials required for animal anaesthesia.'

  • Prepare environment for veterinary surgery

    Prepare the surgical environment, including preparation rooms, operating theatres, equipment and materials. prior to surgery.

  • Prepare animals for veterinary surgery

    Prepare animals for minor and major surgical procedures and carry out the correct positioning and use of aseptic skin preparation.'

  • Prepare animals for anaesthesia

    Prepare animals for anaesthesia, including performing pre-anaesthetic checks and procedures and reporting findings.'

  • Provide first aid to animals

    Administer emergency treatment to prevent deterioration of the condition, suffering and pain until veterinary assistance can be sought. Basic emergency treatment needs to be done by non-veterinarians prior to first-aid provided by a veterinarian. Non-veterinarians providing emergency treatment are expected to seek treatment by a veterinarian as soon as possible.

  • Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting

    Apply safe work practices in a veterinary setting in order to identify hazards and associated risks so as to prevent accidents or incidents. This includes injury from animals, zoonotic diseases, chemicals, equipment and work environments.

  • Assist in veterinary surgery

    Assist the veterinary surgeon during surgical procedures by carrying out the duties of a general theatre assistant.

  • Monitor condition of hospitalised animals

    Monitor hospitalised animals and make appropriate adjustments in areas such as nutrition, hygiene, and pain management.

  • Support veterinary diagnostic imaging procedures

    Prepare the equipment and animal for diagnostic imaging. Conduct or support diagnostic imaging procedures. Provide care for the animal undergoing diagnostic imaging.'

  • Deal with challenging people

    Work safely and communicate effectively with individuals and groups of people who are in challenging circumstances. This would include recognition of signs of aggression, distress, threatening and how to address them to promote personal safety and that of others.

  • Assist in general veterinary medical procedures

    Assist veterinarians by preparing both the animal and the equipment for medical procedures, and providing care and support to the animal undergoing a medical procedure.

  • Control animal movement

    Direct, control or restrain some or part of an animal's, or a group of animals', movement.

  • Manage personal professional development

    Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.

Optional knowledge and skills

collaborate with animal related professionals process payments take advantage of learning opportunities in veterinary science follow work procedures veterinary terminology maintain veterinary clinical records manage veterinary practice waiting area interview animal owners on animals' conditions calculate rates per hours make decisions regarding the animal's welfare follow given instructions continue learning cope with challenging circumstances in the veterinary sector understand the animal's situation follow work schedule maintain administrative records in the veterinary office practise veterinary professional codes of conduct assess animal behaviour maintain professional records maintain stocks of veterinary materials treat animals ethically plan schedule follow written instructions animal production science provide support to veterinary clients communicate by telephone

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