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Become A VET Assistant

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Working As A VET Assistant

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Getting Information
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $24,084

    Average Salary

What Does A VET Assistant Do

A Veterinary Assistant provides assistance to veterinary doctors in clinics and animal hospitals for treating the injuries and illnesses of animals. They work under the supervision of a veterinarian or veterinary technician.

How To Become A VET Assistant

Most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers have a high school diploma and learn the occupation on the job. Experience working with animals can be helpful for jobseekers.

Education

Most workers entering the occupation have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Training

Most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are trained on the job, but some employers prefer candidates who already have experience working with animals.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although certification is not mandatory, it allows workers to demonstrate competency in animal husbandry, health and welfare, and facility administration. Employers may prefer to hire candidates who have certification, and it may be required for advancement.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) offers the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) designation for veterinary assistants. To qualify for the designation, candidates must graduate from a NAVTA-approved program and pass an exam.

Laboratory animal caretakers can become certified through the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS). AALAS offers three levels of certification: Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT), and Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG). For AALAS certification, candidates must have experience working in a laboratory animal facility and pass an exam. 

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers often communicate with pet owners, veterinarians, veterinary technologists and technicians, and other assistants. Good communication skills are especially important when dealing with an emergency, such as an ill or injured animal needing immediate attention.

Detail oriented. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers must follow strict instructions. For example, workers must be precise when sterilizing surgical equipment, monitoring animals, and giving medication.

Dexterity. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers must handle animals and use medical instruments and laboratory equipment with care.

Empathy. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers must treat animals with kindness and be empathetic to both the animals and their owners.

Physical strength. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers must be able to handle, move, and restrain animals.

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VET Assistant jobs

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Real VET Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Veterinary Assistant Peninsula Equine, Inc. CA Nov 01, 2013 $47,792
Veterinary Assistant Peninsula Equine, Inc. CA Nov 01, 2014 $47,792
Veterinary Assistant Alamo Area Veterinary Clinic Castroville, TX Feb 22, 2010 $39,062
Veterinary Assistant Dolin Animal Hospital, Inc. Bloomfield, NJ Aug 16, 2010 $32,578
Veterinary Assistant Dolin Animal Hospital, Inc. Bloomfield, NJ Aug 16, 2009 $32,578
Veterinary Assistant Midwest Veterinary Hospital, Inc. Midwest City, OK Sep 04, 2015 $32,000
Veterinary Assistant Midwest Veterinary Hospital, Inc. Midwest City, OK Sep 11, 2015 $32,000
Veterinary Assistant Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League West Palm Beach, FL Dec 07, 2010 $32,000
Veterinary Assistant Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League West Palm Beach, FL Dec 07, 2009 $32,000
Veterinary Assistant Happy Tails, Inc. Anchorage, AK Jan 12, 2016 $29,385 -
$38,610
Veterinary Assistant Tuskegee University Tuskegee, AL Jun 08, 2015 $27,000
Veterinary Assistant All Creatures Veterinary Hospital, Inc. Salem, MA Jan 01, 2015 $26,000 -
$31,000
Veterinary Assistant Weatherford Equine Medical Center PC Weatherford, TX Jan 01, 2015 $24,084
Veterinary Assistant Stage Road Animal Hospital Angier, NC Jun 24, 2013 $24,001 -
$26,088
Veterinary Assistant Creekside Animal Clinic Inc. Norton, OH Jun 19, 2015 $23,088
Veterinary Assistant Mountain View Veterinary Hospital Dahlonega, GA Feb 01, 2010 $23,000
Veterinary Assistant Emerald City Emergency Clinic IPS Seattle, WA Oct 01, 2009 $21,914
Veterinary Assistant All Creatures Veteriny Hospital, Inc. Salem, MA Apr 01, 2015 $21,861 -
$30,000
Equine Veterinary Assistant Dehaven Batchelor, DVM & Assoc., Inc. Sanford, FL May 21, 2010 $20,870 -
$14
Veterinary Assistant Emerald City Emergency Clinic IPS Seattle, WA Oct 01, 2009 $20,870

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Top Skills for A VET Assistant

SurgeryRoomRoutineLaboratoryTestsAnimalRestraintSchedulingAppointmentsExamRoomsCustomerServiceIVSurgicalProceduresDrawingBloodVeterinaryAssistantSurgicalPreparationPhoneCallsAnimalHealthCareFrontDeskMedicalRecordsClientEducationSurgicalEquipmentPatientCareFillingPrescriptionsVeterinaryTechnicians

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Top VET Assistant Skills

  1. Surgery Room
  2. Routine Laboratory Tests
  3. Animal Restraint
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Maintain cleanliness of the surgery room and other related areas, to provide a safe, clean and sterile environment.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests or diagnostic test.
  • Trained new employees, ensuring their knowledge of hospital policies, basic animal restraint.
  • Provided administrative assistance when needed, including answering phones, scheduling appointments, and general customer service interactions.
  • Performed vital checks on patients for doctors for exam rooms and worked directly with them during examination.

Top VET Assistant Employers

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VET Assistant Videos

A Day in the Life - Veterinarian Technician

Veterinarian Career Information : How to Become a Veterinarian

Career Choices - Vet Technician

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