Helping People
Helping Animals

Careers in Caring

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We spend $6 billion on athletic shoes a year. The National Cancer Institute spent $2.4 billion in 1997 trying to find a cure for cancer.


Ever since I was very young, I have always been interested in animals and medicine. For a long time I did not know how I would incorporate the two or what I would end up 3with as a career. As I got older I thought I would like to be a veterinarian. However, I was a late bloomer and did not attend college until I was an adult. This created a time element, but I was determined to have a career that included both animals and medicine.

One day while in a veterinarian’s office I noticed a young woman wearing scrubs. She was speaking with clients, dispensing medicine, and helping the veterinarian. I asked her “What are you? And how do I become what you are?” She explained to me that she had an Associate in Applied Science (2 year) degree, which allowed her to practice as a veterinary technician. I immediately enrolled in the program. At this point, I still was not sure exactly where I would end up, but I was off to a great start. I was not interested in working at a shelter, or in a veterinarian’s office, but continuing my education was very important to me.5 Perhaps even going to vet school was still an option.

Then I took my first Laboratory Animal Science class. I was hooked. I knew that this was the profession in which I would work and excel for the duration of my career. Shortly after graduating I got my first job as a laboratory animal technician. In the fifteen years that have passed since, I have attained many more accomplishments. I received my Bachelor of Science (4 year) degree, became certified and registered at the highest level (Laboratory Animal Technologist) by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, and became a supervisor in a biomedical research facility. In addition I have published articles, presented posters, attended and participated in many continuing education seminars and taught students that do internships at my facility. I have also participated 7in several science fairs promoting careers in Laboratory Animal Science.

I love the profession I have chosen. I have learned a great deal, and continue to learn more daily. I feel I am contributing to the research community and ultimately longer, healthier lives for both people and animals by ensuring the best possible care of the animals I am responsible for.

My advice to you is to always be open-minded. You can make a difference. We need quality, caring people in the field of Laboratory Animal Science. So if you want to work with animals and have an extremely rewarding career, please consider becoming a Laboratory Animal Science professional. This is not just what I do; it is who I am.

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Donít people choose careers in medical research using animals because it is an easy way to receive funding dollars and make high salaries?
No. Most researchers could make more money in other careers. People choose to go into research because they want to find answers to complicated questions. Animal research is often a vital step in finding the answers. more...