Career Paths


vtec-imageVeterinarians are responsible for diagnosing disease in animals, prescribing treatments and performing surgery.  These are duties only veterinarians may perform.  See information about UNH’s pre-vet program.

The veterinary technician's role is to provide support to the duties of the veterinarian.  The technician's tasks include initial patient examination, taking and processing radiographs, collecting samples and performing laboratory tests, administering medication including anesthesia and assisting in surgery.  These tasks should only be performed by a trained veterinary technician.

The veterinary assistant's role is to support the work of the veterinarian and the veterinary technician.  A veterinary assistant's role is quite similar to that of a nurse's assistant in a human medical office. Tasks of the veterinary assistant include exercising, cleaning and feeding patients, assisting with patient handling and maintaining medical and surgical equipment. (See Companion Animal Science concentration of the Applied Animal Science Program.)

New Hampshire currently does not require licensing of veterinary technicians or veterinary assistants.  However, many veterinary practices in the state follow this hierarchical organization and most other states do require licensure to work as a veterinary technician.

See our handout on the differences between the careers of veterinarian and veterinary technician.  Vet Tech vs. Veterinarian

Credentialed vet techs most often work in private practice.  Other job opportunities include:

  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Research laboratories
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Government agencies like the USDA
  • Armed forces