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Become A Veterinary Technician Assistant

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Working As A Veterinary Technician 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

  • $24,360

    Average Salary

What Does A Veterinary Technician Assistant Do

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers look after animals in laboratories, animal hospitals, and clinics. They care for the animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians.

Duties

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers typically do the following:

  • Feed, bathe, and exercise animals
  • Clean and disinfect cages, kennels, and examination and operating rooms
  • Restrain animals during examination and laboratory procedures
  • Maintain and sterilize surgical instruments and equipment
  • Monitor and care for animals after surgery
  • Help provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
  • Give medication or immunizations that veterinarians prescribe
  • Assist in the collection of blood, urine, and tissue samples

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are responsible for many daily tasks, such as feeding, weighing, and taking the temperature of animals. Other duties may include giving medication, cleaning cages, and providing nursing care before and after surgery and other medical procedures.

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers play a large role in helping veterinarians and animal scientists with surgery and other minor procedures. They may prepare equipment and pass surgical instruments and materials to veterinarians during surgery. They also move animals and restrain them during testing and other procedures.

Veterinary assistants typically work in clinics and animal hospitals, helping veterinarians and veterinary technologists and technicians treat injuries and illnesses of animals.

Laboratory animal caretakers work in laboratories under the supervision of a veterinarian, scientist, veterinary technician, or veterinary technologist. Their daily tasks include feeding animals, cleaning kennels, and monitoring the animals.

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How To Become A Veterinary Technician 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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Veterinary Technician Assistant jobs

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Veterinary Technician Assistant Demographics

Gender

Female

81.3%

Male

17.7%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

81.9%

Hispanic or Latino

10.7%

Asian

5.8%

Unknown

1.2%

Black or African American

0.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

61.5%

French

9.2%

Italian

7.7%

Japanese

4.6%

Portuguese

3.1%

Chinese

1.5%

Turkish

1.5%

Braille

1.5%

Hebrew

1.5%

Mandarin

1.5%

Dutch

1.5%

Russian

1.5%

Arabic

1.5%

Thai

1.5%
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Veterinary Technician Assistant Education

Schools

Saint Petersburg College

9.5%

University of Rhode Island

8.0%

University of Vermont

6.6%

Mt San Antonio College

6.6%

Arizona State University

5.8%

Auburn University

5.8%

Murray State University

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

4.4%

Santa Fe College

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

San Juan College

4.4%

University of Phoenix

4.4%

Towson University

4.4%

Northern Virginia Community College

4.4%

Minnesota School of Business

3.6%

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

3.6%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Kansas State University

3.6%

Middle Tennessee State University

3.6%

Santa Fe Community College

3.6%
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Majors

Medical Assisting Services

22.9%

Biology

12.9%

Animal Science

9.8%

Business

8.0%

Psychology

5.4%

Nursing

4.9%

Veterinary Science

4.4%

Criminal Justice

3.8%

Veterinary Medicine

3.8%

General Studies

3.4%

Health Care Administration

2.9%

Ecology, Population Biology, And Epidemiology

2.4%

Zoology

2.4%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Environmental Science

2.0%

Health/Medical Preparatory Programs

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.6%

Elementary Education

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.9%

Other

32.1%

Associate

17.9%

Masters

5.0%

Certificate

4.8%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

1.8%

License

0.5%
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Real Veterinary Technician Assistant Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Veterinary Assistant/Technician AGRI Beef Company Liberal, KS Sep 18, 2012 $40,868 -
$55,000
Veterinary Assistant/Technician AGRI Beef Company Liberal, KS Sep 18, 2009 $36,500
Veterinary Technician/Assistant Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital Beverly Hills, CA Jan 24, 2008 $29,218
Veterinary Technician Assistant-Medical Kennel Evans East Animal Hospital, LLC Denver, CO Dec 19, 2016 $26,547
Veterinary Assistant/Technician AGRI Beef Co. Liberal, KS Mar 05, 2010 $20,000 -
$25,000
Veterinary Assistant/Technician AGRI Beef Co. Liberal, KS Mar 09, 2010 $20,000 -
$25,000

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Top Skills for A Veterinary Technician Assistant

SurgeryPacksLabTestsAnesthesiaIVExamRoomsSchedulingAppointmentsCustomerServiceDrawingBloodSurgicalProceduresVETTechAnimalHealthCareAdministerMedicationsPhoneCallsPatientCareAnimalRestraintNailTrimsCatheterPlacementFrontDeskSurgicalInstrumentsVeterinaryTechnicians

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Top Veterinary Technician Assistant Skills

  1. Surgery Packs
  2. Lab Tests
  3. Anesthesia
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Prepared vaccinations, medications, surgery packs, and exam and surgery rooms.
  • Performed various lab tests and recorded results.
  • Calculate and record anesthesia for animals.
  • Called upon to assist Dr when dealing with sensitive situations and clients.
  • Assisted veterinarians in exam rooms and surgical procedures.

Top Veterinary Technician Assistant Employers

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