Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Where are the middle-aged vet techs?

It is not my imagination.  Surely the volume of visits to assorted veterinary offices that I have racked up over the decades have reached a high enough number to satisfy statistical significance. 

Why is it that nearly all the veterinary technicians that I have seen appear to be younger than thirty-five?

Is it the stress of the job?  Can a person administer only so many euthanasia injections, then just can't take it anymore?  Forcing them to embark on a completely different career path?

Perhaps a vet tech is a sort of entry level or transitional job?  After a few years working as a vet tech, do many of them then go on to veterinarian school?  Become an entrepreneur in the pet industry?  Write a book?

Can it be, the abundance of youthful vet techs is an anomaly confined to two or three counties in lower Michigan?

What other explanations might there be for this seeming dearth of mature vet techs? 

How many variables effecting these questions am I overlooking? 

Am I even asking coherent questions?!

Maybe I should just shut up already and simply say thank you vet techs.  Thank you for your love of animals, thank you for your compassion and reassurance to the people who bring their pets into  animal hospitals and veterinary clinics.  Thank you for the gentle way you handle our beloved pets.  Thank you for going through education and training to bring your passion and dedication to fruition.

God Bless the Vet Techs.


  1. I couldn't euthanize any animal, even knowing it was for the best.

  2. I agree the Vet techs really put their heart into their jobs. Thanks for the funny post Lynn. I enjoyed it.

  3. I remember taking my parent's cat to the vet once for her shots. The vet was my age!

  4. I've been a vet tech for 13 years and...I'm turning 35 this year. I can say that I desperately want to get out of this field. It's physically and mentally draining.

    I can tell you my main reason for wanting to leave the field is all my crazy coworkers! When I worked at a regular vet helping with vaccines and spays, I worked around relatively normal people. But I moved up to a specialty practice, internal medicine to be exact. The majority of my coworkers are in their 30s and 40s. Even have one that is close to 60. Now this is only my own personal opinion, but in my experience...the older the tech, the higher the chance they lack basic social skills. And some are just downright crazy! Can you imagine working with a huge group of people who lack social skills! It's not fun.
    In a study quoted by my boss in a staff meeting, it has been found that about sixty percent of people in veterinary medicine have psychiatric issues. I think the number is higher.
    Oh the stories I could tell......

    So I think the answer to the question is...most of the mentally healthy vet techs left their jobs when they were young.
    Thanks for the appreciation.

    1. Thank you so much for posting. I've often wondered about the differences in atmosphere for the techs between basic vet practices and specialty hospitals.

      I'm glad that many of the mentally healthy vet techs get out of the business- for their sake. But then, for selfish reasons- i.e. my beloved dogs, I'm hoping more of the healthy vet techs stick it out for longer, as you did.

      Best of luck to you.

  5. Well, I just graduated with my degree in Vet Tech at the age of 55. And all I can say is I did it because I have always enjoyed animals But don't expect to see me. I can't find a job. All the clinics want these young girls who will burn out and leave and not someone who wants to stay because they truly love animals!

    1. Please don't give up looking for a job! Pet owners need dedicated mature people like you. Good luck. God Bless.