An internship is a great way to uncover better, and harder-to-get, employment opportunities for vet techs, according to TheVetTechGuide.org. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that veterinary technician positions are projected to grow by 30 percent between 2012 and 2022, but competition for highly desired jobs such as in zoos or aquariums is expected to remain intense.
No matter which direction you’d like to take your animal career, landing an ideal vet tech position can be much easier through an internship. Of course, you’ll still need an education but if you haven’t started due to other obligations you can obtain a two-year associate degree online. Colleges like Penn Foster offer veterinary assistant programs that will allow you to work or take care of other responsibilities while completing your education.
An internship combined with a quality education is one of the best ways to get your foot in the door of your dream job working with animals.
Here is a look at just some of the available internship opportunities to help you get inspired.
Sea Life Park Hawaii
This marine mammal park, aquarium and bird sanctuary is located on the island of Oahu. Can you imagine not only getting to work directly with animals like dolphins and sea lions, but to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth?
Many internship opportunities are available here, including the chance to work with the facility’s green turtle breeding colony, the only one like it in the United States. Other internships involve assisting in the training and care of sea lions, dolphins and penguins.
Photo by Justin Ornellas via Flickr
The downside is that there is no pay and housing is not provided so you’ll have to have the ability to support yourself financially. The park does help new interns connect with others to find potential roommates and/or affordable rental options, and lunch is included each day. You’ll need to commit to the full length of the internship, which runs from mid-May through mid-August, and early August through January.
Zoo New England
This five-week internship in Boston is open to students who are in their last year of a vet tech program and is focused on exotic or wildlife medicine. Students receive credit for their service, but there is no pay or housing provided. Here you’ll clean cages, as well as learn husbandry and assist in medical procedures.
Photo by Eric Kilby via Flickr
This is a great way to gain valuable experience and get the chance to work directly with many of your favorite zoo animals.
Ireland Monkey Sanctuary
If you’ve ever dreamed of visiting the Emerald Isle or have envisioned working with primates in your future career, the Monkey Sanctuary LTD located in County Wicklow may be your dream come true. This is Ireland’s first and only monkey sanctuary for rescued primates and includes guenons, baboons, macaques and capuchins, as well as a menagerie of other animals like parrots, polecats, emus and ostrich.
Photo by RedCoat via Wikimedia Commons
The facility offers three-to-six-month internships with housing included. Although it is unpaid, some money is given to cover living expenses like food, heating and water. Travel is not included. Volunteers are asked to assist with day-to-day tasks such as helping with feeding, assisting the vet team, cleaning and general care, as well as other manual tasks.