I know some talented veterinary technicians. You are hardworking, dedicated, intelligent, and fun-loving.
A good sense of humor is probably what gets many of them through tough days when neither customers nor living beings are working together. It is certainly not the size of her paycheck.
According to a study by Lori R. Kogan, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University (see bit.ly/3AWQWS8), the average wage for a veterinary technician in 2018 was $ 34,420 per year, or $ 16.55 per hour .
Dr. Carrie Jurney, veterinary neurologist and president of Not One More Vet, shared the technician compensation slide during her keynote presentation at the American Association of Bovine Practitioners’ annual conference 2021.
It shows that 45.8% of veterinary technicians make $ 16-20 an hour. Even the 33.8% of technicians in the upper salary aren’t doing what the developers of the Living Wage Calculator claim, a living wage, according to Jurney: $ 32.54 an hour or $ 67,690 annually.
“This is the most depressing slide I’ve ever done and I’ve done a lot of depressing slides,” says Jurney.
Before texting or emailing me about veterinary salaries, please stop. Check out what the calculator calls a living wage for your county: livingwage.mit.edu.
Then look at the diagram again. You will see that € 21 is marked with a yellow star. This is the dollar an hour that Kogan’s research suggests would help veterinary technicians stay in the job instead of leaving as so many do.
Kogan and her colleagues also identified six things that veterinary technicians said would help prevent burnout and keep them on the job. They are:
The feeling that they are adding value.
Have more control over your schedule – be able to leave work on time or take a day off if necessary.
Opportunity for professional mobility and self-improvement.
Respect from colleagues.
Knowing that veterinarians know and value their skills.
Addressing the current compensation.
Perhaps you cannot address the vets’ compensation at your clinic. But whether you’re the boss or an employee, you can help them feel valued and respected.
We can all give that to each other.