What I recommend for any career is that you
contact someone who has the job you want. Tell
the person that you are a high school senior
exploring careers and ask if you can interview
them. Ask the person the best and worst parts of
the job, the general pay scale (not what they make
specifically, because that’s personal), the formal
training required, and the non-formal skills that
help to get a job in the field (foreign language
experience, GIS work, ability to operate vehicles,
etc.). Ask about the best schools and programs.
Ask whether there are many jobs available and how
you can be a good candidate.
A lot of people think they are interested in
marine biology or working with vets because they
love animals or think dolphins are cool. You will
want to demonstrate that you are really serious
about the career. If possible, find volunteer
opportunities, even if they are not exactly in
line with your career. For example, if you have a
good record of volunteering at a local animal
shelter, doing the “dirty work” of animal care, a
potential employer will know that you understand
the realities of the job and don’t just picture
yourself “high-fiving” Flipper.
Once you identify some possible programs, ask your
high school guidance counselor to help you make
sure that the programs are accredited. He or she
will know what that means.
Most people change their careers more than once.
What does a marine vet tech do every day? You may
want to look at some vet tech blogs to see what an
average day is like if you aren’t sure. Think
about what kinds of things draw you to that
career. What kinds of things will be the worst
part of the job? Your guidance counselor can also
help you think about these things and other career
options that you might even like better.