If you want to work with animals and also set yourself up for a career in lab work, an animal care technician position is exactly down your lane! Animal care technicians work with lab animals by assisting scientists with experiments, while maintaining the safety and wellbeing of animals under their care.
Popular work places for animal care technicians are animal facilities in universities, medical and veterinary colleges, pharmaceutical companies and research facilities. You might not need more than a high school diploma or a GED to work as an animal care technician, however, you will need to be exceptionally good in handling animals, especially restraining them when required.
And if you have a degree in pharmacology, biology or animal studies, you will be considered a great candidate for an animal care technician position. Most animal care technicians do little more than feeding lab animals and keeping them clean, however in some facilities they do have to do advanced work such as assistance with experimentation. As an animal care technician, you will at times need to obtain samples from animals under your care and ensure that they are delivered to the right personnel for testing purposes. Collecting and recording data on lab animals will also be a huge part of your job description.
Here is a list of animal care technician duties that you will be performing when hired at this position:
• Receive new lab animals and make living arrangement for them in the laboratory premises
• Clean cages, pens and trays and ensure that the premises is kept sanitized at all times
• Handle, move and restrain animals in a safe manner, during examinations and experiments
• Administer medicines to lab animals and take body fluid samples for testing purposes
• Monitor conditions of lab animals and recognize and report any signs of behavioral problems or changes in physical conditions
• Provide food and water to animals and organize special diets based on scientists’ instructions
• Carry out regular health checks on animals and ensure that they are kept comfortable in their living quarters
• Control heat, light and humidity within the premises, in accordance to each lab animal’s individual requirements
• Monitor weight and growth of lab animals and lead exercise and training routines
• Prepare animal food and bedding and dispose of hazardous laboratory waste in a safe manner
• Create and maintain records of animals and associated experimental results in predefined databases
• Maintain appropriate logs and cage card information and assist in repairing animal cages