The following is a summary of the 2003 National Association of Veterinary Techniciansin America (NAVTA) national demographic survey conducted by the AVMA’s Statistical Research Group. This survey has been conducted every four years since 1991. Questionnaireswere sent to two groups of veterinary technicians – all 2003 Active NAVTA members and asecond group of randomly selected nonmembers. Fifty-seven percent of NAVTA membersreturned their surveys, with 46% of the nonmembers responding.
Salary – Number One Concern
Veterinary technicians were asked to identify the three most significant problems theycurrently face in their careers. Although incomes have increased since we started collecting data,salary was still the number one concern.
Other concerns voiced by respondents included burnout, competition with assistants trained onthe job, and lack of opportunity for advancement.
Respondents were also asked to look toward the future and predict what three issues willmost likely affect them five years from now. It was the general feeling that salary will continue tobe an issue. (66.8% – Members, 67.4% – Nonmembers)
Forty-two percent of Members indicated that specialization in veterinary technology wasthe number two issue that would affect them five years from now, followed by 32.4% indicatingcredentialing for veterinary technicians, and 31.4% indicating non-educational ways to earn thetitle veterinary technician.
Overall career satisfaction increased very slightly. Fourteen percent of Members and 19%of Nonmembers indicated they would probably or definitely change to another career in thefuture.
NAVTA members responded to the following philosophical questions with little changefrom 1999.
Computer usage at home and work continues to increase. In the practice, 92% ofrespondents indicated they use the computer at work. Forty-nine percent for inventory, 88.3% forclient records, 57.1% for word-processing, and 46.8% for Internet access.
We did find that NAVTA members overall use their computers, both at home and work,significantly more than the Nonmember group. It is also interesting to note how infrequently theInternet is accessed in the workplace.
This is the first in a series of informational summaries. Detailed articles relating to thedata are appearing in the 2004 quarterly issues of The NAVTA Journal.
A. Patrick Navarre, BS, RVT & Carlene A. Decker, BS, CVT