How Much Does a Vet Tech Make a Year?

A vet tech’s salary varies based on experience, location, and employer. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage for vet techs was $32,350 in May 2019.

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Vet Techs are in high demand and there is a shortage of qualified individuals. This means that vet techs can command a higher salary than many other occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual salary for Vet Techs is $33,380. However, salaries can range from $24,000 to $48,000 per year, depending on experience and location.

How Much Do vet techs make in Different Settings?

Vet techs are in high demand in both private practices and animal hospitals. The amount a vet tech makes in a year will depend on their experience and where they work. In general, vet techs can expect to make a comfortable living.

Private Practices

In a private practice, vet techs earn an average salary of $32,500 a year. The top 10% of earners make more than $43,010 a year, while the bottom 10% earn less than $24,560 a year. Salary will vary based on factors such as the size of the practice, the location, and the type of animals treated.

Animal Hospitals

In general, animal hospitals tend to pay the highest salaries to their veterinary technicians. The reason for this is that animal hospitals are typically the most in-demand employer for veterinary technicians, and therefore, they can afford to pay higher salaries in order to attract and retain the best employees. The average salary for a veterinary technician in an animal hospital setting is $17.50 per hour, or $36,500 per year

Research Laboratories

In general, research laboratories tend to pay on the higher end of the salary spectrum for veterinary technicians. The median annual wage for vet techs in this setting is $33,280, according to the BLS. The top 10 percent of earners in this field make more than $48,490 per year, while the bottom 10 percent earn an annual wage of $22,950 or less.


The American Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AAVTE) published a report in 2013 that showed the average annual salary for university vet techs was $33,880.

Government Agencies

The least amount of money per year is made by those employed by the government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for a veterinary technician working in a government setting is $33,280 per year. The lowest 10 percent in this category earn less than $24,520, while the highest 10 percent earn more than $46,610.

Factors That Affect a Vet Tech’s Salary

There are many factors influencing how much a vet tech makes in a year. The area of the country in which they live, whether they’re working in a rural or urban setting, and the size and type of practice they work in can all play a role. Let’s take a look at some of these factors in more detail.

Level of Education

One of the most important factors affecting a vet tech’s salary is their level of education. Many vet techs have an associate’s degree, but those with a bachelor’s degree will usually make more money. In addition, vet techs who have completed a veterinary technology program that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will often make more money than those who have not.

Certification and Licensure

In most states, certification and licensure of veterinary technicians is overseen by the state’s Board of Veterinary Examiners. Certification and licensure requirements vary by state, but most states require veterinary technicians to complete an accredited veterinary technology program and pass both a written and a clinical examination. In addition, some states require veterinary technicians to take continuing education courses in order to maintain their certification and licensure.

years of Experience

A survey conducted in 2018 by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) found that the average salary for a veterinary technician with less than one year of experience was $16.00/hour. The salary increased to $18.15/hour for technicians with 1-2 years of experience and peaked at $22.94/hour for those with 20 or more years of experience.

Geographic Location

Geographic location plays a major role in how much vet techs make. In general, those working in large metropolitan areas will make more than those working in smaller towns. This is due to the higher cost of living in big cities, as well as the greater demand for vet techs.


In conclusion, veterinary technicians make a median salary of $33,400 a year. The top 10% of earners make more than $48,000 a year, while the bottom 10% of earners make less than $24,000 a year. The best states for veterinary technicians to find employment are Texas, California and Florida.

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