A VET assistant is responsible for performing all aspects of routine pet care. You will work with veterinarians and vet technicians, help with lab work, maintain kennels, clean and sterilize equipment. You are also responsible for bathing, exercising the animals, and restraining them during treatment and examinations. Most of the time, you will be involved with lab work, drawing blood, and collecting urine samples.

During treatment, the animals might need comfort; therefore, it's your job to comfort them during this period. Additionally, you will provide first aid to pets during emergencies and also stabilize them until the doctor takes over. Your job also includes administering medications to pets and also performing some clerical duties. You will often check in patients and request information, including vaccination records, and clean, disinfect and prepare medical equipment. Checking and tracking vitals during and after surgery is also part of your responsibility.

As a vet assistant, some skills required for the role include a passion for animals, a good sense of humor, compassion, and excellent customer service skills. You must also be a critical thinker with an ability to analyze data. The mean salary of a vet assistant is $28,000 yearly, and you need a bachelor's degree in medical assistant service, biology, or animal science for this role.

What Does a VET Assistant Do

There are certain skills that many vet assistants have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed communication skills, compassion and manual dexterity.

Learn more about what a VET Assistant does

How To Become a VET Assistant

If you're interested in becoming a vet assistant, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.5% of vet assistants have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.1% of vet assistants have master's degrees. Even though some vet assistants have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a VET Assistant

VET Assistant Career Paths

Average Salary for a VET Assistant

VET Assistants in America make an average salary of $30,687 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $38,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $24,000 per year.
Average VET Assistant Salary
$30,687 Yearly
$14.75 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?

How To Become a VET Assistant
How To Become a VET Assistant Career Overview

States With The Most VET Assistant Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active vet assistant jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where vet assistants earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of VET Assistant Jobs By State

VET Assistant Education

VET Assistant Majors

16.1 %

VET Assistant Degrees


43.5 %


24.4 %

High School Diploma

21.2 %

Top Colleges for VET Assistants

1. Ohio State University

Columbus, OH • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of Vermont

Burlington, VT • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition

7. University of New Hampshire

Durham, NH • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Maryland - College Park

College Park, MD • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a VET Assistant

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 33.8% of vet assistants listed pet on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and compassion are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable VET Assistant Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use VET Assistant templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your VET Assistant resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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VET Assistant Demographics

VET Assistant Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among vet assistants, 83.9% of them are women, while 16.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among vet assistants is White, which makes up 73.7% of all vet assistants.

  • The most common foreign language among vet assistants is Spanish at 70.5%.

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Best States For a VET Assistant

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a vet assistant. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, California, Oregon, and Utah. Vet assistants make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $38,801. Whereas in California and Oregon, they would average $35,169 and $34,692, respectively. While vet assistants would only make an average of $34,393 in Utah, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Oregon

Total VET Assistant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Alaska

Total VET Assistant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. California

Total VET Assistant Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For VET Assistants

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Top VET Assistant Employers

Most Common Employers For VET Assistant

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1San Diego Humane Society$33,648$16.1818
2Oradell Animal Hospital$32,930$15.8316
3Animal Humane Society$32,583$15.6621
4The Animal Medical Center$32,361$15.56290
5VCA Animal Hospitals$32,190$15.48563
6Banfield Pet Hospital$31,893$15.331,963
8North Shore Animal League America$31,527$15.1617
9BluePearl Vet$31,482$15.1420
10Companion Animal Clinic$31,232$15.0239

VET Assistant Videos

Becoming a VET Assistant FAQs

Do You Need A Degree To Be A Vet Assistant?

No, you do not need a degree to be a vet assistant. Instead, a veterinary assistant certificate is usually all that is required to begin working as a vet assistant.

A veterinary assistant certificate training program can be completed in as little as nine months and includes animal nursing fundamentals, animal handling, and laboratory procedures.

Does A Vet Assistant Get Paid Well?

No, a vet assistant does not get paid well. The average pay for a vet assistant is $28,000 a year ($13.50 an hour). This can range anywhere from $20,000 a year ($10.02 an hour) to $38,000 a year ($18.27 an hour). Factors such as location and years of experience impact how much a vet assistant is paid.

How Long Do You Have To Go To School To Be A Vet?

You have to go to school for eight years to become a vet. This includes four years of undergrad and four years of DM in Veterinary Medicine.

Types of four-year undergraduate degrees you can earn include:

How Long Does It Take To Become A Veterinary Assistant?

It takes between 3 to 12 months to become a veterinary assistant. Most places require vet assistants to have earned their Veterinary Assistant certificate.

To become an AVA, prospective veterinary assistants must graduate from a 3-to-12-month NAVTA-approved veterinary assistant training program and then sit and pass the AVA examination.

Is Being A Vet Assistant Hard?

Yes, being a vet assistant is hard. Working as a vet assistant is sometimes stressful and physically demanding. Animals become ill and need care at all hours of the day or night, so vet assistants often work holidays, nights, and weekends. Assistants sometimes have to move large animals and hold them still for treatments.

What Are The Requirements To Become A Veterinary Assistant?

The requirements to become a veterinary assistant are ultimately a desire to help animals and a willingness to follow directions. At the same time, many veterinary assistants have completed a veterinary assistant certificate program.

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