A veterinary technician, as defined by Purdue University, is a nursing Technician with technical veterinary medical skills. These individuals are certified by the Veterinary Examining Board to work directly with a veterinarian in the care of animals. Many make the mistake of using the term "veterinary technician" loosely, giving an individual a title that is inaccurate. A person who is a generalist in animal care, with no formal schooling, training, or having not taken the Veterinary Technician National Exam, is considered a Veterinary Assistant. Veterinary Assistants usually perform less technical roles with a veterinarian, such as janitorial duties, basic animal care (feeding, walking, bathing, etc.), and serve as a Technician’s aide, although many veterinary assistants will strive to become a Certified Veterinary Technician. Because being a veterinary assistant requires no licensure, no degree, or no college-level education, this position is usually held by recent high school graduates that want to gain experience in the veterinary field. It is important to know if the veterinary practice caring for your animals has a Certified Veterinary Technician on staff. While veterinary assistants can be very experienced in general animal care, and are a valuable asset to a veterinary practice, their skills cannot replace those gained by a Certified Veterinary Technician’s years of training and schooling.