How To Become A Veterinary Assistant

So you want to become a Veterinary Assistant? If you have a love for animals and an interest in promoting their welfare, then this job is for you! Combining your love for animals as well as what you do for a living essentially means that you never get to feel like working a day. For every new addition to the household, there is always someone responsible for their health and happiness. Pet owners rely on veterinarians to educate them about illnesses, medication, and the proper care of their best friends. But veterinarians can’t do it all. They need someone to help them with a wide variety of tasks. And that’s where Vet Assistants come in…

Have you always wanted to work in an environment surrounded by animals? Then read on to find out how you can do just that!


How do I become a veterinary assistant?

veterinary assistant
Veterinary Assistants aid with the basic care of animals under a veterinarian’s guidance. They perform a wide variety of functions on a daily basis.

These functions include assisting the veterinarian during surgery and doing fundamental chores such as feeding, grooming and disinfecting animal cages. They help administer medication, collect and prepare samples for laboratory testing, as well as monitor the animals under treatment. They also perform the important task of documenting and maintaining animal patient charts for daily care.

Veterinary institutions each have their own set of education and training requirements. Some clinics require a potential employee to have at least a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) as a minimum prerequisite to be considered for a job. Most hospitals and research laboratories, however, prefer someone who has had special hands-on training and relevant coursework provided by an accredited Veterinary Assistant Program.

Veterinary Assistants work hand-in-hand with veterinarians and veterinary technicians. By completing this one (1) year vocational program, you have an incredible advantage over other applicants. You will learn a variety of skills that will prepare you to become a critical member of the veterinary team.


What skills do I need?

In order to become a Vet Assistant, you must possess good physical stamina to endure the challenging aspects of a day’s work. Daily tasks may require you to lift heavy objects or large animals when necessary. A Veterinary Assistant must also have a great deal of emotional strength, maturity and stability for instances where dealing with aggressive animal behavior or distraught owners may be called for. Another great skill that you should learn is how to become an effective Veterinary Assistant Receptionist. As an initial point of contact for pet owners, you are required to assist them with questions and concerns relating to animal care and education. Most days you will have to make phone calls, schedule appointments, and do some vital paperwork—all of which would make it easier for the veterinarian to do his job.


What is my expected salary?

According to the May 2012 Occupational and Wages Report by the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual Veterinary Assistant Salary was $24,740. Top earnings were noted to come from locations with higher standards of living such as New York and California. Scientific research and development facilities were also more likely to pay higher salaries compared to clinics or hospitals.

Analysts at BLS predict a 14% steady rise of employment through 2020. As long as the animal population continues to flourish and veterinary medicine progresses, there won’t be any need to worry about shortages of Veterinary Assistant Jobs.


What are my opportunities for development?

veterinary assistant

There are lots of opportunities for the advancement of a Veterinary Assistant’s career.

You can apply for an associate’s degree at a certified school and work as a Veterinary Technician, or step up the career ladder and continue with a bachelor’s degree to be eligible to apply for veterinary medicine school.

From there you will complete educational courses, and immerse in hands-on experience and field training. Finally, you will be able to sit through exams to acquire a veterinary license and be qualified to practice veterinary medicine in a clinic of your own.


Final Advice on Becoming a Veterinary Assistant

With ongoing efforts on animal safety and responsible pet ownership, there will always be a demand for Veterinary Assistants worldwide.

But becoming one requires much more than just providing compassion to the animals in all stages of their lives; it also means having the dedication and perseverance for the job in order to provide that effective, high quality care.

By following your dreams, you’ll not only be continually inspired throughout your whole career, you’ll also obtain happiness and fulfillment in what you do—allowing you to become the best Veterinary Assistant that you can be.