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February 2016

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naughtybird in vet_nurses

Hi all

I am a vet nurse in Australia and having a bit of a crisis - I am really struggling with the wage to survive, and have found that it is also really interfering with areas of my private life...Im looking to explore what options I have.

I wanted to ask a slightly off topic question -
How many of you are considering leaving the industry / have left the industry? What made you leave ? What are you doing now and do you enjoy it?

No flames thanks! I really do adore nursing and found it highly satisfying but alas, I think I need more from a career....


I was an on the job trained tech/assistant, and now I'm preparing to apply for (human) nursing school for next year. I miss the animals so much, but there just wasn't a financial future there for me :(
Try posting this to vet_tech. It's got more traffic and you may find that you will get a lot more comments.

I'm i the US and I'm pretty close to leaving the clinic side of the industry. I'm looking into teaching or Pharmaceuticals or something less physical. I've been in ER for 7 years ad it's taken it's tool on my body and my once cheery disposition..

Have you looked into other clinics in your area to see what the average wage is? I know that around here (I should say in the city in which I live) I see a lot of techs that think that what their clinic pays is the average for the area.

Edited at 2008-06-18 01:30 pm (UTC)
Go go Pharma!

I've been working in big pharma for almost 19 years. The first 15 of those years was working with lab animals, but now I work in medical communications (manuscripts, abstracts, posters at scientific meetings, etc.) and I love this new line of work.

The stress from working with animals in research is just as equally stressful as a vet clinic vet tech job, only the pay and long-term benefits are much better.

I have no regrets going this route with my career, though working in pharma 19 years ago vs. getting started now is much different and difficult to get into. The company I work for is not really hiring full-time technicianl level employees anymore. Unless you have an advanced degree (MS/PhD level) at my company, odds are, you won't get an interview. I'm glad I got in when I did.
I have a random question - what is the job title of someone who directly cares/does basic husbandry for lab animals in the US? (assuming that's where you are?) I am interested in what the equivalent salary of my job is in the US (I'm an "animal technician" in the UK). Its hard to search for info when I dont know the name of the position- I just keep getting vet tech results. Unless they are the same thing...
Laboratory technician or laboratory animal technician.

Some links to check out:



Some of the pharma companies have online job searches, so that might be a route to use for searching.
Thanks, exactly the info I was looking for!
I was also a vet nurse in Australia. I love it, sometimes I miss it, but it is so severely underpaid that really, unless you have a boss who recognises that the award wage is ridiculous (as my former boss did) you cannot continue working as a nurse for very long.

When my boss died last year, I started working for a veterinary drug wholesaler, which kind of keeps you in it, because you still have that contact with the industry, but it pays substantially more. So perhaps you can contact drug wholesalers or even drug companies, who are also quite often looking for vet nurses to become reps or customer service people.

What really needs to happen is for the industry to recognise vet nursing as a profession akin to human nursing, and raise the award wage accordingly, and not just see it as "miscellaneous workers" which is what it is now.
After two years I only make $10/hr (US). Unless you're certified it's impossible to survive on it, and even if you are certified, you'll probably need 2 incomes in the household for it to work. I've enjoyed my job as a vet assistant but got it for the experience for vet school. I'm going to vet school soon but even if I wasn't I wouldn't stay in the field without getting some certification, as that's the only way you'll even get close to making enough to live on.
without being too intrusive would I be able to ask what exactly you would be looking at an hour (money-wise)?
Hi Everyone!
I actually wrote this entry about four/five months ago and see that it has only been submitted now!
I have moved on from veterinary nursing, having found the long hours, the lack of respect, the lack of wage and the general attitude a bit too much. I am now working as a junior groomer and enjoying it thoroughly, with a couple of other animal job options appearing on the horizon too. Thanks for your input though, it's all useful knowledge for myself and hopefully others.