From Fort Worth, TX — 11/01/2009
I felt inspired to post a comment here after reading the prior comments. Here is the first thing that an individual must remember: unless you have an upper-level degree such as a Masters, PhD, DVM, Md, etc you shouldn't consider yourself so highly skilled that you aren't replaceable. The reality is that most of us are replaceable in whatever we do.
I worked there for 6+ full time years, prior to completing college and getting a higher paying job, and I was able to watch the business grow, move locations, and recently start to provide health care options for the employees. If you did your job to the best of your abilities, or you did your job well you were thanked for your work and certainly not mistreated by the DVMs. When you are a grunt (everyone that isn't a DVM) you need to yield to the individual's who have been trained better, been in more school, or been on the job longer than you. The boss has a very literal issue with firing people, and has for as long as I knew him, and if that doesn't speak to job security I don't know what would.
The private sector of veterinary medicine is a difficult one to make money in if you're the doctor, so it shouldn't be surprising that you don't get a huge check twice a month as an employee. With that off my chest, I'm going to run down the scoring system for this site:
1) Pay - If you are new or an unskilled and relatively uneducated individual do you really expect that much more than minimum wage to start? You pay goes up (and when I was there, according to testing incentives) with time in the industry, time at the location, going above and beyond the effort of your fellow employees, social intelligence, and relations with the customers. If you want a bigger paycheck, go back to school or go work for a large company with much more strict rules.
2) Respect - This is a subject just begging for self-important people, narcissists, and those with low self-esteem to blast any job. The DVMs will respect you from the get-go and the level of trust you are given is much higher right off the bat than most businesses considering the fact that you have a somewhat limited access to controlled substances. The customers will treat you about the same as if you were sacking their groceries....The nice people are nice to you until you give them a reason not to, and the jerks are still jerks. When it comes to employee-on-employee respect, you should consider yourself first and how you treat your fellow employees and make a judgment call. You're probably not a Rhodes Scholar and neither are they.
3) Benefits - Its a small, privately owned business. The bosses doesn't make a ton considering the amount of schooling they have had, how much do you think they have to pay out of pocket for health care benefits for 25 employees?
4) Job Security - If you are a horrible employee for many months, maybe your should be worried about your job.
5) Work/Life Balance - If you work the afternoon/evening shift you are going to be faced with several nights staying much past the hours of closing.....but if this bothers you, you shouldn't get into any industry that involved medicine. Dogs/cats get sick, get hit by cars, people come in unscheduled, etc. If you are choosing to be in a medical service industry you need to get used to the idea of having to stay late some nights when emergencies happen. AND you don't even have to do it. There are employees who will go that extra step, and those who won't....but that will probably help with jobvent category4)
6) Career Potential/Growth - If you are looking to stay in the industry or go to vet school, this is an ideal place to be. I have seen many employees come and go, moving onto degrees in biological science and vet school on the hours served and recommendations of the DVMs at this hospital. If you are going to stay working with nothing much higher than high school diploma, then expect to hit a standard salary ceiling of $12 to $15 an hour.
7) Location - If you live in Fort Worth, I guess that's good for you, right?
8) Co-worker Competence - The employees have a wide range of experience, talents, and educational backgrounds.
9) Work Environment - The office is a nice building in a nice location. If you have read this far there isn't a lot more to be added here. If you do a good job you will be rewarded. The job is fun, intellectually interesting, dirty, gross, and can take long hours, etc....but everyday you will see the results of your work. People's most loved animals will live or die, suffer or be happy based on what you can bring to the table. If you can handle that with a responsible attitude and a passion for what you do, this job is a great one. If you cannot do that you should avoid wasting everyone's time and find another industry to work in.