Veterinary Technician Apprentice

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History: Established in 1977, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation receives over 6,000 wild animals per year for rehabilitation and release as well as providing permanent sanctuary for more than 600 resident non-releasable indigenous wildlife, exotic wildlife (large mammals, primates, reptiles and birds) and farm animals. Wildlife Rescue is located on 187 acres in beautiful Texas Hill Country, near Austin and San Antonio.

Description: This one-year apprenticeship combines hands-on training and related classroom instruction during which participants will learn the practical skills and theoretical knowledge required to excel in the field of veterinary medicine and understand its role in wildlife rehabilitation and animal care. This program is designed for individuals who are planning to pursue a career in veterinary medicine and have some previous experience in wildlife rehabilitation or animal care but require more thorough development of medical and laboratory skills, animal handling and husbandry techniques in order to obtain full-time employment in the field.
Participants will spend the first three months of the program working basic wildlife rehabilitation shifts alongside other WRR apprentices in order to gain a thorough understanding of the handling, husbandry and care protocols of the hospital. After this initial training period, the VTA will transition to the veterinary team for the remainder of the one-year term. The apprentice will assist the veterinarian and veterinary technician in their day-to-day operation, which will involve physical examination, diagnosis, and treatment of each new injured or ill animal received by the hospital, with an emphasis on native wildlife. The apprentice’s daily duties, in addition to serving the veterinary staff, will include the cleaning and upkeep of the surgery room, cleaning and preparation of surgical packs, fecal examination and urinalysis, the morning administration of medications in the hospital, and evening closing duties of the surgery room. The VTA will continue to attend all other apprentice meetings and training sessions, and remain under administrative supervision of the Apprentice Supervisor.

Compensation: A monthly stipend of $350 dollars is granted. On-site housing is provided.

Availability: There are 2-3 positions available each year. Applications are accepted year-round for any of the upcoming training groups.


- Understand and abide by WRR policies, philosophies and code of ethics
- Learn the natural history, life stages, diet, daily care and housing requirements for a variety of Texas native avian, mammal and reptile species
- Understand and participate in the process and stages of wildlife rehabilitation including rescues and releases
- Carry out substantial animal husbandry duties consisting of feeding, cleaning and maintaining enclosures, and enrichment activities
- Undertake basic medical work including administration of prescribed medications and treatments
- Conduct behavioral observations and maintain detailed caretaking records
- Demonstrate proper understanding and practice of safety procedures
- Develop interpersonal communication and leadership skills
- Complete administrative duties including paperwork and recordkeeping
- Develop specific restraint techniques to facilitate physical examination
- Learn basic principles of initial stabilization
- Learn to perform fecal examination and urinalysis
- Develop understanding of pharmacology as it pertains to native wildlife patients
- Observe surgical procedures and learn basic sterile technique
- IV catheterization, venipuncture
- Anesthesia monitoring
- Intubation
- Hematology
- Microscopy – cytology, special staining
- Begin to develop cursory understanding of a variety of veterinary fields, as patients and workload allow, which may include fluid therapy, wound management, radiology, pain management, anesthesia, dermatology, orthopedics, pathology, parasitology, endocrinology, and neurology, among others


- Minimum 1- year animal care experience required, with wildlife and/or rehabilitation and veterinary clinic experience preferred
- Bachelor’s degree in animal- related field required
- Commitment to completion of the one-year program
- Willing to work evenings, weekends and holidays
- Ability to work long hours (50-70 hours per week) in all weather conditions
- Ability to lift 50lbs, twist and bend, and spend long periods of time on your feet
- Capable of handling physically, mentally and emotionally stressful situations
- Competent working independently and as part of a team
- Possess a strong personal work ethic, positive attitude and high level of integrity
- Meningitis, Tetanus and Rabies pre-exposure vaccines are required
- Valid driver’s license and clean driving record are required

How To Apply

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