Is It Better to be a Vet or a Vet Tech? Pros and Cons

Published on Feb 19, 2024 12:00 AM
Is It Better to be a Vet or a Vet Tech? Pros and Cons

The animal health industry is a noble field, there are different roles in veterinary medicine, each with its challenges and rewards. The choice between but choice between becoming a veterinarian or a vet tech needs detailed research. "Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?" is a common question that aspiring individuals struggle with.

In this detailed guide, we will dive into the pros and cons of being a vet tech, focusing on the major differences between a veterinarian and a vet tech and providing some insights into the required education.

Whether you're enthusiastic about animal health solutions or vet learning, this comprehensive guide will provide you with useful information to help you make a smart decision. Let us analyze the inspirational world of the veterinary profession.

Understanding the Roles: Vet vs. Vet Tech

Let's briefly analyze the role of a veterinarian vs. a vet tech.

Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?

Before delving into the technicalities, let us understand the basic differences between veterinarians and vet techs.

Veterinarian (Vet):

  • Key Role: 

Diagnosing and treating diseases in animals.

  • Education: 

Needs a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD) degree.

  • Major Responsibilities: 

Surgery, pharmacy prescription, general health maintenance.

Veterinary Technician (Vet Tech):

  • Key Role: 

Assisting animal doctors in different tasks.

  • Education: 

Usually holds an associate degree from a certified veterinary research program.

  • Major Responsibilities: 

Performing lab testing, taking X-rays, and administering prescriptions under supervision or instructions.

Career Trajectory: Progress and Specialization

Let's analyze the career trajectory of a veterinarian vs a vet tech briefly.

Is a vet tech higher than a vet assistant?

Understanding the hierarchy within the animal health sector is significant for making an informed decision.

  • Professional Growth Opportunities:

Specialize in areas like surgery, clinical medicine, or pathology.

  • Career Pathway:

Might achieve administrative roles or even establish their clinical setup.

Veterinary Technician:
  • Professional Growth Opportunities:

Specialize in areas like dental treatment, anesthesia, or emergency care.

  • Career Pathway:

Might become a lead vet technician or administrator, or pursue roles in teaching or research.

Educational Budget: Time and Economic Investment

Let's briefly analyze the required educational finance of a veterinarian vs. a vet tech.

Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?

The education path is crucial when seeking a career in animal health care.

  • Time:

Needs at least 7-8 years of education.

  • Economic Investment:

High educational costs and substantial educational grants.

Veterinary Technician:
  • Time: 

Completion of an associate degree usually takes 2-3 years.

  • Economic Investment: 

More economical than veterinary school, with the possibility for quick insertion into the vet organizations.

Regular Tasks: Practical vs. Organizational

Let's analyze the regular tasks of a veterinarian vs a vet tech briefly.

Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?

Analyzing the daily tasks gives an understanding of the practical side of every role.

  • Practical Tasks:

Closely involved in surgical procedures, diagnosis, and treatment plan development.

  • Organizational Tasks:

Supervising the general functioning of the health center or hospital.

Veterinary Technician:
  • Practical Tasks:

Performing health procedures, administering tests, and delivering remedies.

  • Organizational Tasks:

Helping in documentation, planning, and patient interaction.

Resources and Opportunities

Let's briefly analyze the resources and opportunities of veterinarians and vet techs.

Vet Online Resources and Animal Health Solutions

Adapting to the digital era and veterinary resources online is crucial for staying updated with developments in the veterinary field.

  • Professional Networking:

Participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars.

  • Technological Integration: 

We might have to adopt the latest technologies for effective administrative coordination.

Veterinary Technician
  • Digital Sources:

Make use of veterinary conferences, online seminars, and academic platforms.

  • Animal Health Solutions: 

Implement the most recent diagnostic devices and treatments alongside animal healthcare professionals.

A Collaborative Partnership

The decision to choose an answer to the question “Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?” eventually relies on your individual and career objectives. Both roles play essential parts in guaranteeing the health of animals and creating a collaborative partnership within the veterinary health service.

Whether you decide to be a veterinarian or a vet technician, the shared objective is to play a part in the comfort of our beloved pets.

Pros and Cons of Being a Vet Tech: 

If you're considering pursuing a career as a vet technician, it's important to explore the pros and cons to make a better decision. Being a vet tech can be a high-paying profession, however, like any job, it comes with its number of challenges.


  • Passion for Animal Health

Vet technicians experience the happiness of working interactively with animals, improving their health and comfort.

The opportunity to create a positive contribution to the lives of pets and their guardians is a hidden motive for many in this field.

  • Diverse Professional Responsibilities

Vet techs participate in a wide variety of tasks, from assisting in surgical procedures to conducting lab tests and administering pharmacological treatments.

The ever-changing nature of the job guarantees that no two days are the same, giving an engaging work environment.

  • Easily Accessible Education:

In comparison with the comprehensive educational research to become a veterinarian, a person usually need an associate degree to become a vet tech, making the educational process more accessible. 

This enables people to enter working organizations sooner and begin making a real difference in the lives of pets.

  • Veterinary Resources Online:

With the advent of digital sources, vet techs can access a great deal of information, including case studies, medical progress, and career development opportunities.

Staying updated through digital platforms upgrades the vet tech's information base and keeps them informed on the most recent trends in animal care.


  • Emotional Challenges:

Vet technicians mostly experience emotionally challenging circumstances, like handling extremely sick or harmed animals.

The mental toll of seeing pain or making difficult decisions about euthanasia for those who are sensitive to such circumstances

  • Stagnant Professional Growth:

While vet technicians play a significant role, their professional growth options might be limited in comparison to veterinary doctors.

The hierarchical structure within veterinary clinics at times leads to fewer opportunities for professional growth for vet technicians.

  • Animal Health Solutions:

Vet techs might find themselves in circumstances where they are not capable of giving immediate solutions for complicated veterinary conditions.

Collaborating with animal health professionals becomes crucial, and the limitations in individually tackling specific cases can be a cause of disappointment.

Lastly, understanding the pros and cons of being a vet tech is necessary for making a well-informed professional choice. Both rewarding and challenging, this career offers people the opportunity to play a part in animal care while finding the distinct aspects of the job.

Promoting Vet Learning Resources

For those passionate about committing to a profession in the veterinary field, it's significant to benefit from trustworthy educational resources to upgrade information and expertise. 

Here are a few recommended learning resources:

  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): 

AVMA provides significant information, including learning resources, career counseling, and analysis of industry insights.

  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America  (NAVTA):

NAVTA gives precise resources for vet technicians, including continuing education opportunities, journals, and marketing events.

  • Veterinary Medical Libraries:

Educational libraries with animal care medical segments can be important for detailed research and study.

  • Online Courses and Webinars:

Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and Vet and Tech provide online courses or webinars, giving individuals the right to upgrade their knowledge effectively.

For those enthusiastic about animal health management, accessing trustworthy educational opportunities is the main factor in continued growth and progress in this rewarding field.

Summing it Up!

All in all, the decision between choosing the answer to the question: “Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?”  is determined by diverse factors. We have analyzed the pros and cons of being a vet tech, focussing on the differences between the two professions. The animal health sector provides several opportunities for those enthusiastic about animal health solutions and vet learning. 

To boost your educational journey, find out valuable veterinary resources online at Vet and Tech. Our platform provides valuable insights into educational criteria as well as an academic resource center for vet learning and accessing digital vet resources for comprehensive learning.

Whether you aspire to be a veterinarian or a vet tech, the solution lies in making the best-informed decision aligned with your professional goals and interests.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Why choose to be a Vet Tech instead of a Vet?

Choosing a career as a Vet Tech enables people to contribute actively to animal health while needing a brief educational commitment compared to becoming a veterinarian.

Is a vet tech higher than a vet assistant?

A Vet Tech usually holds a higher educational qualification and responsibilities than a Vet Assistant, including medical duties and healthcare aide.

Is it better to be a vet or a vet tech?

Both careers provide particular rewards. Picking between them relies on individual choices, career ambitions, and the level of training one is willing to pursue.

What are the pros and cons of being a vet tech?

Pros include close physical contact with animals and quicker entry into the veterinary field. Cons might include lower income potential and emotional challenges.