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How to Become a Vet Tech for Marine Animals

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Working with intriguing and exotic marine animals is a dream for many. There are a number of capacities in which you can work with these creatures, including as a veterinary technician. This option proves appealing, as it requires less schooling than other options, allowing you to get into the field and down to work more quickly. If you elect to undertake this job, follow the proper steps to make your transition into the profession smooth.

Focus on math and science in middle and high school. If you decide upon this dream early in your schooling, tailor your study to it. Whenever you can, take an extra period of science, equipping yourself with the knowledge necessary to succeed in the field.

Earn a degree in a marine animal-related field. To work as a vet tech in this field, you will need a minimum of an associate degree in marine biology or a related field. If you earn a higher degree, you may find locating a job even easier.

Earn a veterinary technician certification. Vet tech certification requirements vary from state to state, as does the availability of certification specifically in marine animal care. If your state offers a specialized veterinary technician certification in marine animals, seek this credential. After completing associate degree training, you will likely only need to take an exam. If your state does not offer this specialized certification, earn a generic vet tech credential. Inquire with the school from which you earned your associate degree to learn the exam availability and requirements in your state.

Obtain a SCUBA certification. As the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, holding a certification in underwater apparatus use can prove highly helpful in this field and make you a more marketable candidate, as you may need to conduct many of your procedures in the water.

Volunteer to get your foot in the door. While you study and work toward your degree, put in hours at a marine park or local zoo. Following this path can help you set up a network of acquaintances in the field, something that could prove helpful when it comes time to seek a job.

Seek a job working with animals of this type. If, upon leaving school, you cannot locate a vet tech job, consider taking a lesser position and working your way up. Often, it is necessary to get your foot in the door before you can obtain that dream position.

Work up to vet tech status. Keep performing the duties of your job as effectively as possible; in doing so, you can create a good name for yourself and make yourself seem a desirable candidate for a promotion.


Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.