A Brief Guide to Vet Tech Specialties: Path to Professional Excellence

Published on Nov 20, 2023 12:00 AM
A Brief Guide to Vet Tech Specialties: Path to Professional Excellence

With regards to leading a career as a vet tech specialist, there are various highest-paid vet tech specialties to look at. This comprehensive blog will review the different specialties of vet techs. Moreover, we will cover job descriptions, salary ranges, planning steps, and examination needs.

Understanding Vet Tech Specialties

Veterinary technology offers different specialties catering to different interests and expertise. 

Here are a few of the vet tech specialties:

1. VTS Veterinary Technician Specialist:

As a Veterinary Technician Specialist (VTS) in the field of veterinary medicine, individuals play a crucial role in supporting veterinarians and guaranteeing the well-being of animals.

Job Description

The job description includes various responsibilities, including:

  • Helping with surgeries
  • Regulating medications
  • Organizing diagnostic tests
  • Giving general care to animals

VTS experts normally specialize in diverse areas like dentistry, anesthesia, internal medicine, or emergency and urgent care, requiring advanced information and skills in their chosen field.

Vet Tech Expert might find jobs in different settings, like:

  • Private veterinary clinics
  • Animal hospitals
  • Research facilities
  • Veterinary training programs

They team up closely with veterinarians to provide top-notch care and add to the overall well-being of animals.


The salary of a VTS can vary. It depends upon different factors such as:

  • Professional experience
  • Expertise
  • Geographic location

Overall, veterinary technician specialists with specific certifications, such as those who completed the VTS program, earn higher salaries than others.

As per the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), salaries for VTS experts can vary from $40,000 to $60,000 or more yearly. 

As veterinary medicine keeps on developing, the interest in specific skills in areas like anesthesia, dentistry, and emergency medical care is likely to develop, making VTS experts important members of the animal healthcare sector.

 2. Veterinary Technology Specialties

Vet Tech Specialists play an important part in the field of veterinary medicine by giving specialized care. These experts team up with veterinarians to treat animals and add to the field. Vet tech specialties differ depending on the particular area, which might include:

  • Anesthesia
  • Dentistry
  • Emergency care
  • Behavior
  • Clinical pathology
  • Internal medication

Job Description:

An Anesthesia Vet Tech Specialist, for example, may be responsible for controlling and observing anesthesia during surgeries. Experts in dentistry might focus on dental cleanings, extractions, and oral health evaluations. Those gaining practical experience in emergency and urgent care are much better at dealing with urgent medical circumstances and giving immediate care to animals in trouble.

Also, Veterinary Technology Experts teach pet owners about preventive care, help with procedures, and maintain accurate records of patient histories. 

They may likewise collaborate with veterinary groups to develop treatment plans and stay updated on progress in their specified veterinary technology specialties.


The salary for vet technology specialists varies. It depends on factors such as the specific type of veterinary tech specialties, professional experience, location, and the employing institution. At the beginning level, specialists can look forward to earning between  $40,000 and $60,000 yearly.

However, experienced specialists with advanced certifications or specializations might earn salaries above $80,000 each year. Factors like the need for specific expertise, geographic area, and the kind of veterinary facility can impact salary levels.

Besides the competitive salaries, several business owners offer advantages, such as health insurance, retirement plans, and opportunities for continuous training to help with professional growth. 

Veterinary technology specialists play a crucial part in promoting animal care, making their dedication significant to the veterinary field. It is widely considered one of the highest-paid vet tech specialties.

3. Vet Tech Specialist in Critical Care:

A vet tech expert in critical care plays a crucial role in protecting the health of animals requiring serious medical treatment. This position requires advanced veterinary knowledge, technical expertise, and gentle care to help animals in an emergency. 

Job Description

The major goals of a Vet Tech Specialist in Critical Care include:

  • Checking and managing patients in severe conditions
  • Controlling medications
  • Conducting diagnostic tests
  • Teaming up closely with veterinarians to create and execute treatment plans

These experts should be capable of handling emergencies, such as injury or surgery recovery, and should have accurate knowledge about animal life support methods. Along with their professional duties, vet tech professionals in critical care usually direct pet owners on post-operative care and continuous treatment plans. 

Productive communication and appreciation are important qualities to help ease the issues of pet owners during tough times.


The salary for a Vet Tech Professional in Critical Care considers the specific nature of the job and the high level of expertise needed. It can differ depending on the various factors mentioned above. 

Overall, veterinary technician specialists in critical care will generally earn higher salaries than general veterinary technicians, given their high-level expertise and demanding work nature. In the US, the yearly salary for a vet tech expert might range from $45,000 to $65,000 or more, depending upon the previously mentioned factors. 

Veterinary offices, specialty facilities, and emergency medical care centers are among the potential workplaces for these experts. As the need for specialized vet care keeps on developing, the job of a Vet Tech Expert in Critical Care is becoming more and more important in giving ideal care to animals.

How Many Vet Tech Specialties Are There?

Veterinary technology has several specialties that experts can pursue to gain some professional expertise in particular areas of animal care. 

In any case, a particular number of specialties for vet techs might develop over time as the field of veterinary medicine progresses.

Veterinary Specialties List:

The veterinary specialties list includes the following areas: 

  • Emergency and Critical Care: 

Its primary goal is to give care to animals in severe conditions.

  • Anesthesia:  

Specializing in monitoring anesthesia and observing animals during surgical procedures

  • Dentistry: 

It is mainly focused on maintaining animals’ oral health. 

  • Clinical Pathology: 

It includes examining laboratory samples, like blood and urine, for diagnostic purposes.

  • Zoological Medicine: 

Its major goal is to take care of the exotic and zoo animals.

  • Equine Nursing: 

Gaining professional experience in the care of horses.

  • Surgical Nursing:

 Focused on helping with surgeries and post-surgery care.

  • Internal Medicine:

It includes working with animals having internal health problems, such as diseases affecting organs.

  • Behavioral Medicine:  

Its primary focus is to understand and address behavioral problems in animals.

  • Diagnostic Imaging: 

Gaining professional experience in involving different imaging strategies for diagnostic purposes.

Keep in mind that these vet tech specialties differ depending on the veterinary practice, area, and educational facilities. Also, new specialties might emerge as the field progresses. 

To get the most reliable and updated information, you should check with significant veterinary organizations or training institutions that offer vet technology programs.

How to Choose a Vet Tech Specialty?

Picking a vet tech specialty is an important decision that can shape your career and professional fulfillment. Because there are different specialties available, it's important to approach the selection procedure carefully. 

Here are some of the important steps on how to choose a vet tech specialty:

  • Find Your Interests:

Identify the features of veterinary medicine that truly attract you.Think about your favorite tasks during your ongoing job as a vet tech.

  • Research Various Specialties:

Look for the different vet tech specialties, like surgical, dental, anesthesia, and more. Understand the everyday duties and difficulties related to every specialty.

  • Job Demand and Possibilities:

Examine the demand for particular specialties in your locality or the area where you plan to practice. Consider the development potential and job positions related to every specialty.

  • Salary Expectations:

Research the salary ranges for various vet tech specialties. Evaluate if potential earnings regulate your economic goals and expectations.

  • Personal Values and Desires:

Consider your preferences to workplaces like clinics, emergencies, or specialty hospitals. Prefer your values and how they align with the ethics of various specialties.

  • Networking:

Get in touch with vet techs who have professional excellence in different fields. Look for mentorship to get a complete understanding of the day-to-day challenges and benefits of particular specialties.

  • Continuous Learning Opportunities:

Assess the availability of continuing education (CE) programs and resources for each designed specialty. Also, keep an eye on the facts if there are enough professional development opportunities.

  • Work-Life Balance:

Consider the work hours and possible stress levels related to various specialties. Consider how the needs of every specialty regulate your ideal work-life balance. 

  • Certification and Requirements:

Research the certification and licensing needs for every specialty. Completely understand the dedication and requirements for getting specialization credentials. 

By considering these factors, you can decide on the vet tech specialty that best suits your passion, major goals, and lifestyle. 

Vet Tech Vs. Vet Nurse

The difference between a veterinary technician (vet tech) and a veterinary nurse lies in the choice of words used in different localities.  In the US, vet tech is the usual term, considering the professional nature of the job.

Vet techs undergo traditional education, procuring a partner degree and finishing a credentialing test. Their primary focus is helping veterinarians with different clinical duties, surgeries, and diagnostic procedures. Then again, the term veterinary nurse is common in certain countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. 

Veterinary nurses go through regular education and training, mainly at an advanced education level, and they might earn a certificate or degree. The title "nurse" represents a larger scale, encompassing technical work as well as a broader range of duties in animal care. 

Regardless of their meanings, both vet techs and vet nurses play crucial roles in supporting veterinary care and guaranteeing the health of animals in multiple settings.

Steps for Specialization

Following are some of the key steps to consider regarding specialization:

  • Education:

Go after particular courses and certificates.

  • Professional Experience:

Get practical experience. It can be achieved through internships or practical training.

  • Continuing Learning:

Keep updated on advancements in your chosen specialty.

Exam Types and Requirements

  • VTS Test:

This exam is needed to become a Veterinary Technician Specialist.

  • Professional Experience:

Most specialties nowadays demand proper professional experience.

  • Certifications:

Get certificates related to your chosen specialty.

To Conclude!

At Vet and Tech, we are committed to supporting veterinary experts in their education and career growth. We aim to offer dynamic online veterinary learning resources to help you progress in the ever-changing world of veterinary technology.

Go to our webinar page and register for the upcoming free veterinary CE webinar. Learn from the best and stay ahead of the curve in your practice. 

As you start your journey toward vet tech specialties, let Vet and Tech be your educational companion.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How many vet tech specialties are there?

There are various veterinary technician specialties, ranging from surgery to behavior. As the field advances, new specialties will emerge.

  1. What are the important factors when choosing a vet tech specialty?

Choosing a vet tech specialty depends upon several different factors, such as personal interests, job demand, and required education and training.