How to Become a Traveling Vet Tech: What to Know



“People are generally excited to see me. The service I provide generally makes people happy. I love providing a special service people are grateful for.”

Dylan Alexander, Traveling Vet Dental Technician at Animal Dental Care

Veterinary technicians are crucial in animal healthcare, providing essential care and support to our beloved pets and livestock. They are the backbone of any veterinary practice, performing various functions from conducting laboratory tests to assisting in surgeries. In the unique role of a traveling vet tech, these professionals take their skills on the road, providing vital services to areas where veterinary care is scant or nonexistent.

This niche allows vet techs to combine their passion for animal care with a love for travel. It is a rewarding career choice for those seeking something beyond the traditional veterinary clinic setting. With the freedom to travel, these professionals experience diverse cultures and environments, broadening their understanding of various animal species and healthcare needs.

A traveling vet tech’s opportunities aren’t limited to domestic travel; they can extend internationally, offering exposure to global veterinary practices and a chance to make a worldwide impact. Moreover, the versatility of this role makes it financially attractive as well. The demand for traveling vet techs is high, especially in rural or remote areas, which can lead to better pay and job security.

Working as a traveling vet tech can vary. Dylan Alexander has a unique role at Animal Dental Care: “The clinics I work for make the appointments for me, and then I travel to them in a rotation. It’s not relief work, but rather I come in as a scheduled provider to provide a very specific anesthesia-free teeth cleaning service,” she says.

There are more traditional roles for traveling vet techs as well. “I have some friends who travel to hospitals and clinics that need a vet tech because somebody is sick or on maternity leave, for example,” explains Alexander. Often, these traveling vet techs are also called relief vet techs.

Keep reading to learn more from Alexander about her experience, what the benefits and challenges are, and what qualifications and certifications may be needed. at

Meet the Expert: Dylan Alexander

Dylan Alexander

Dylan Alexander has been in the vet industry for over 25 years and for 18 of those years, she has worked for Animal Dental Care as an anesthesia-free dental technician.

She provides a preventative dental procedure for pets with limited dental disease or pets that cannot withstand anesthesia. Her role at Animal Dental Care is a traveling role where she visits clinics on a set schedule.

What is a Traveling or Mobile Vet Tech?

A traveling vet tech, also called a mobile vet tech, is a professional who brings veterinary services to different locations rather than working in a traditional stationary clinic. This could include providing care to pets and livestock in rural areas, attending to animals in wildlife sanctuaries, or even offering services at a pet owner’s home.

Like their clinic-based counterparts, traveling vet techs perform various clinical tasks such as administering vaccinations, conducting routine check-ups, assisting in surgeries, and providing emergency care. Some traveling vet techs, like Alexander, provide niche services that a clinic might not otherwise offer, such as no anesthesia dental cleaning.

Traveling vet techs fill all these roles while dealing with the unique challenges and opportunities of varying locations and environments. By bridging the gap between animal healthcare and accessibility, these professionals play an instrumental role in ensuring no animal is denied care due to geographical constraints.

Qualifications And Certifications

Every state regulates and licenses vet techs differently. Unlike nurses in the human medical field, it is possible to work as a vet tech in many states without licensing, certification, or even formal education.

However, working as a traveling vet tech completing an​​ American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMA) Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA) accredited program, and passing the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE) can open more opportunities.

Depending on the clinic, state regulations, and services performed, there are some opportunities to provide traveling vet tech services with on-the-job training. “My position is different from a traditional vet tech. I am just doing teeth cleanings,” says Alexander. “Typically most traveling technicians are licensed because they do blood work, X-rays, counting prescriptions, or lab work. The work I do there are no drugs involved.”

Benefits and Challenges Of Working as a Traveling Vet Tech

Working as a traveling vet tech offers unique benefits and challenges. On one hand, it allows flexibility and the opportunity to explore new places and cultures while pursuing a fulfilling career in animal healthcare. Traveling vet techs often have control over their schedules and can choose which assignments they take on, making it an ideal option for those with families or other commitments

For Alexander, having a traveling role has had many upsides. “I’m never part of the full drama of an office. People are generally excited to see me,” she says. The service I provide generally makes people happy. I love providing a special service people are grateful for.”

On the other hand, constant travel can also be physically and emotionally taxing. Long hours of travel, unfamiliar environments, and being away from home can take a toll on some individuals. Also, working with different clinics means adjusting to varying protocols and equipment, which can sometimes be challenging.

Since Alexander has a set route, she doesn’t have a lot of flexibility: “If somebody doesn’t show up for their appointment, I have to stay all day. For example, if three people don’t show up, I can’t get out three hours early. I have to wait until the end of the day. And then on top of that, I have the drive home or to my next clinic. It does get a bit lonely sometimes,” she says.

Skills or Traits to Succeed in This Field

Being a traveling vet tech requires most of the same skills as working in a traditional office but with a few additions: “You have to be independent, first and foremost,” says Alexander. “You have to be very personable too because you often have to talk to clients and help them understand what’s happening with their animals.”

Good time management and organizational skills are also crucial as traveling vet techs often have to coordinate multiple appointments in different locations. Adaptability is essential as they may encounter various animals, personalities, and environments daily. Since they are often working independently without direct supervision, self-motivation and the ability to problem-solve are required traits for success in this field.

Being physically fit is also beneficial as some assignments may require strenuous activities such as lifting large animals or working in harsh environments. “My job is pretty physical as I sit on the floor all day. I have a travel kit machine, which is equivalent to the dental machines that they use for people. I have the ultrasonic scaler and hand scaler. It’s very tedious work at times,” shares Alexander.

Lifestyle of a Traveling Vet Tech” The Impact on One’s Personal Life and Relationships

The lifestyle of a traveling vet tech can significantly impact personal life and relationships. Frequent travel and long hours away from home can strain relationships with family and friends.

However, some individuals may also find the constant change in location exciting and fulfilling. Since Alexander has been in her role for many years, she and her wife have adapted their lives to travel. “My wife is in the Navy, so I’m used to her being gone, and she’s used to me gone. We’ve established a pretty good system for our own animals when we are traveling,” she says.

However, it’s not always easy: “When the week rolls around that I have to be gone I’m kind of bummed because I want to be at home with my wife and my pets but it is time to go to work again,” she says. “It’s worth it though. Once I am at the hotel and getting my own time, I really like the independence of it.”

Kimmy Gustafson (Writer)

Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about healthcare careers and education. She has worked in public health, at health-focused nonprofits, and as a Spanish interpreter for doctor's offices and hospitals. She has a passion for learning and that drives her to stay up to date on the latest trends in healthcare. When not writing or researching, she can be found pursuing her passions of nutrition and an active outdoors lifestyle.