Vet Assistant Careers as a Surgical Technician

One of the most stressful times in an animal's life is when it requires a surgical procedure. Unlike humans, pets don't understand what is happening to them when it is time for surgery -- all they know is that they are sick or in pain and probably very scared. This is why working as a veterinary surgical technician is one of the most rewarding animal jobs available in the industry. Not only are you providing sick and injured animals with potentially life-saving care, but you have a chance to comfort and nurture them as they regain their health.

A veterinary assistant working as a surgical technician is essentially the primary operating room assistant. They need to be able to help the surgeon perform basic medical functions, such as setting up the operating table, endotrachael intubation of animals and drawing blood. They also might need to help insert IVs and other lines into the animal to prepare them for surgery. The role of a vet assistant working as a surgical tech continues throughout the surgical process. They are responsible for keeping a close eye on equipment and monitoring devices to make sure that the pet's vital signs are doing well during surgery.

The training that a person receives in veterinary assistant school will also come in handy immediately after the procedure is completed. A surgical tech is often responsible for the post-surgical care of an animal, including making sure they wake up from the procedure and come out of the anesthesia. They also frequently handle routine post-operative medical tests such as the monitoring of EKGs.

It's also important that a surgical technician is caring and compassionate. They are frequently the first people that an animal sees when they wake up after surgery, and they can provide warmth and help a pet feel better as they recuperate. In addition, they also are frequently the main point of contact for pet owners who are worried about the health of their animals, so it is important that they have strong people skills and can help relay important information to pet owners while alleviating their concerns.

For graduates of veterinary assistant schools, working as a surgical tech provides an incredible sense of self-worth, as it lets them be actively involved in life-saving procedures. While the job can be very stressful, it also has tremendous potential rewards.

Working with Circus Animals

One of the reasons that many people choose to become a veterinary assistant is because they love the thrill of the unknown. Working in the field means that every day has the potential to bring with it challenges that you've never seen before. Working with animals also means that there is a huge variety of jobs that you can get, from working as a vet assistant at an animal hospital to becoming a zookeeper. But while some jobs might make you feel like you are in the circus, some animal careers can actually put you in the circus.

Major circuses like the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus travel with a virtual menagerie of animals. While you might not be interested in working as lion tamer, the fact is that all of the animals at the zoo need attention in order to be safe, happy and perform at their best. If you enjoy travel, entertainment and doing something truly unique, then working as an animal trainer at a major circus can be one of the most rewarding animal jobs around -- and certainly it's one of the most unique.

Some of the top graduates from veterinary assistant schools wind up working in the entertainment industry. For example, any movie that requires animals to be on-set will also need people qualified to assure their proper handling and care. Working in the circus is no different, except that this is a full-time job that can take you around the country and all over the world as your provide care and support to animals that thrill millions of children and adults.

Working in the circus will expose you to some animals that you otherwise might not have the ability to work with such as elephants, lions, tigers and horses. Training working with large animals in veterinary assistant school is a benefit that can help you get one of these highly competitive jobs. However, the most important skill that a prospective animal trainer at the zoo can have is a willingness to learn quickly and try new things. After all, you never know what might happen when the circus comes to town.

Working as a Wildlife Rehabilitation Expert

Recent graduates from veterinary assistant schools have a wide range of career paths available to them. Many choose to work as veterinary technicians in offices or as animal trainers affiliated with pet stores. However, some people might crave a more exciting and exotic career path. If you would like to see the great outdoors and help animals in their natural habitats, then you might want to consider a career in wildlife rehabilitation.

A veterinary assistant who works in wildlife rehabilitation will have the opportunity to help sick and injured wild animals regain their health and be reintroduced into nature. In many cases, these are animals who may be on the endangered species list or are otherwise threatened, and working on rehabilitation and reintroduction into the wild can play a huge role in saving a species.

There are several government agencies, non-profit organizations and university programs that are involved in the care and treatment for sick and injured wildlife, along with private companies who also do work in this field. Many zoos are involved with the breeding and reintroduction of endangered species into the wild as well, meaning that there are plenty of career opportunities for people upon graduating veterinary assistant school.

However, working in wildlife rehabilitation is not for everyone. People who crave consistency and normalcy are probably better suited for more traditional, office-based animal jobs. Wildlife rehabilitators often have to wear several hats. They might be called on to feed, clean and care for animals and also give presentations to school children and other groups about the importance of animal conservation. It's a job that requires wearing a lot of different hats and being able to do whatever it takes to get the job done.

While it might not be for everyone, many people find that working in wildlife rehabilitation is one of the most rewarding animal careers possible. Not only do they get to experience many things that they normally would not as a vet assistant, they get the chance to save the lives of animals and return them to their natural environments.

Job Highlight: Doggie Daycare

After you graduate from a veterinary assistant school such as ABC, there are a wide range of career choices in front of you. For some people, working as a vet tech in a veterinary office is the right choice. But if you are interested in a different, more eclectic career choice, you might want to consider working at a "Doggie Daycare" facility.

While veterinary offices and other facilities may offer boarding services for dogs if their owners are going on vacation, Doggie Daycare facilities take this concept to the next level. These are places where dogs and other pets aren't just cared for by a veterinary assistant but lavished with attention. In some cases, people choose to take their pets there on a daily basis while they go to work, frequently because they have behavioral problems when left alone in their home.

Working at a Doggie Daycare can be one of the most rewarding animal jobs that you can find after leaving school. Each dog will have different needs based on their temperament and level of activity; you'll work with each individual owner to develop a daily routine that keeps their pets happy and healthy. This could include playing outside with other dogs or getting treats all for themselves.

Of course, there will be other duties that you will need to do that will require some of the training you learned as a veterinary assistant. You'll be responsible for their well-being, including grooming them and making sure they have plenty of food and water and are also picked up after. The skills you learned in school might also come in handy in case a pet becomes ill or has a medical emergency.

Veterinary assistant schools such as ABC prepare students for careers in all sorts of fields, and Doggie Daycare staffing is one of the most unique and colorful career paths available to you. Contact us to learn more about our programs and how you can get started on the path to working in this field today.

Job Highlight: Zoo Keepers

Becoming a veterinary assistant can open the doors to a world of exciting career opportunities, many of which can bring you up close and personal with rare and exotic wildlife such as lions, tigers and bears. If you have always dreamed of working in such an environment, a zoo keeper position may be the right job for you.

From assisting the veterinarian with routine exams to cleaning cages, zoo keepers have the unique opportunity to perform a wide range of vet assistant duties that focus on creating a healthy environment for the animals in the zoo. When it comes to vet assistant duties, a zoo keeper supports the veterinarian during routine and emergency exams. The vet assistant tasks of the zoo keeper may also include minor veterinary health care procedures such as monitoring diet, preparing food and feeding. Thus, becoming a certified, professional veterinary assistant through ABC Veterinary Assistant School goes a long way in providing the education needed to perform many of the veterinary assistant tasks required to land a job as a zoo keeper.

Zoo keepers are also responsible for maintaining a clean environment for the animals. Day-to-day duties include cleaning animal habitats, exhibits, cages and holding facilities by sweeping, hosing and washing. Zoo keepers also clean the surrounding areas such as floors and sidewalks, remove waste and litter, clean ponds, trim vegetation and mow grass. Although, these specific vet assistant duties are unique to the zoo keeper occupation, basic cleaning and maintenance of animal enclosures are skills that can be acquired at typical veterinary assistant schools.

Standard qualification requirements for zoo keepers include high school diploma or equivalent degree, six months to one year experience in animal care, a valid driver's license and basic computer skills. Applicants must be able to walk long distances, stand for long periods of time, travel, lift and move animals.

Few animal jobs get you so close to such a wide range of wildlife. Depending on the zoo, keepers have the opportunity to work with a broad group of animals such as mammals, birds and reptiles, or they may work with a focus group such as primates, large cats or small mammals. Take the first step towards this exciting career and contact ABC today!

Job Highlight: Vet Assistant at Animal Clinics

An animal clinic is an ideal work environment for a veterinary assistant. Employees are surrounded by other professionals who are passionate about the field of veterinary medicine and care for the well-being of pets. Since our ABC Certified Veterinary Assistants enjoy working with a diverse group of people and animals, an animal clinic provides the perfect setting for them to be friendly and flexible in the face of varying expectations from clients and co-workers.

A certified vet assistant works as the doctor's clinical right-hand person, anticipating the needs of the clients, patients and the doctor in order to facilitate the tasks that need to be completed that day. The job is diverse and changes according to the propriety of the moment. The assistant will begin the doctor's appointments, educate clients, restrain pets during the doctor's exam, complete patient invoices, provide care for hospitalized patients and perform other tasks that may arise-all of which are taught at ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant School. Other daily duties include performing laboratory and pharmacy procedures, anesthesia and surgical assistance and admissions and discharges procedures.

In addition to the daily duties, a vet assistant is required to know and understand the services and recommendations provided by the clinic and clearly convey these services to the clients. In fact, customer service is a major part of the job. Many vet assistants help the receptionists with answering phones, scheduling appointments and routine lab call backs. Vet assistant animal jobs play an important role in providing comfort to patients and clients and keeping the hospital clean and presentable. This includes keeping exam rooms and other work areas clean and neat. Vet assistants must also show care and concern for the pet regardless of the task or procedure that is being accomplished.

ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant Program will provide you with the education and experience you need to land a job as a vet assistant. Unlike other veterinary assistant schools, ABC offers an affordable program that includes hands-on training opportunities within a veterinary setting.

Land a vet assistant job soon after graduation

During a time when most people are searching to find jobs, veterinarian assistants keep landing them. The majority of veterinary assistants that graduate from ABC Veterinary Assistant school go straight from their externships to employment.

ABC offers the kind of quality training and certification program that students need to find jobs quickly after graduation. In addition to vet assistant training, the program offers hands-on externship opportunities where students get to practice the techniques they have learned in an animal hospital setting. Since ABC offers a mandatory externship opportunity as part of its comprehensive program, students automatically build strong relationships with training facilities, increasing their chances for employment opportunities within the same companies.

Many professionals in the animal jobs industry agree that there is an abundance of veterinarian assistant jobs available in animal hospitals, animal clinics, kennels, doggie daycares, grooming facilities, animal shelters and laboratories. While there are many veterinarian assistant jobs available, many of those who start at the entry level want to move up. Veterinarian assistant employees can move up to become animal trainers, veterinary technicians or zoologists. In some cases, students discover they would like to continue their education and become veterinarians.

Students who become ABC certified veterinary assistants are capable of demonstrating a high level of dedication and commitment to future employers. According to ABC, more than 96 percent of all veterinarians surveyed said they would prefer to employ veterinary assistants who pursued and achieved certification over those who did not. Unlike other veterinary assistant schools, ABC offers quality education and certification so students can find employment right after graduation.

It Pays To Be A Veterinary Assistant – Literally

It might seem difficult to find a job that pays well – or any job at all – in the current economic climate. However, one of the fastest-growing industries is becoming a veterinary assistant. Enrolling in a veterinary assistant school makes sense because six in 10 Americans will take advantage of veterinary services this year, meaning that this level of animal jobs will continue to grow. It’s also a job that pays well there is a possibility of earning a very good living while working as a vet assistant.

For example, after just two years of study at veterinary assistant schools, a vet technician or assistant can expect to earn an average of $30,000 a year in a stable career. But those numbers can change significantly depending on where you live and work. Certain areas have higher densities of pets, and therefore have a higher need for vet techs and assistants. Getting a job in these areas can be extremely rewarding both personally and financially.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, Vermont has the highest percentage of workers employed as veterinary assistants, with Colorado following close behind. Therefore, it makes sense that the Fort Collins and Loveland area of Colorado would have the highest density of veterinary assistants of any metropolitan area in the country. This is because of the high percentage of residents who not only own dogs and cats but also have farm animals such as horses.

In terms of the areas with the best pay, Fresno, CA ranks at the top of the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. According to their rankings, a veterinary assistant or technician earns $23 an hour, almost nine dollars an hour more than the national average. Other high paying cities for vet assistants include: Oakland, CA; San Diego, CA; Poughkeepsie, NY; and Jefferson City, MO.

Positions Related to Veterinary Work

Many young adults dream of pursuing veterinary careers but feel discouraged by the number of years (and cost) necessary to attain the education and licensing necessary to practice veterinary medicine. For those who are lucky enough to identify and pursue this career early on, veterinary medicine can offer a satisfying career in terms of monetary compensation, as well as personal fulfillment. For those who discover their interest in working with and for animals later in life, or for those who for whatever reason are unable to attend and fund long-term medical studies, there are related careers like veterinary assistant positions that are in high demand and fulfilling. While not all animal jobs are as high-paying as a medical veterinary position, there are other lucrative positions that require much less formal schooling and may interest individuals with a variety of skills sets. Examples include the following:

Veterinary assistants: Individuals who secure animal jobs as assistants to veterinarians perform a variety of support tasks in settings such as veterinary offices, kennels, animal shelters, zoos, and other locations. These individuals may be in charge of administrative tasks as well as hands-on animal care work, such as cleaning or grooming, feeding animals, and prepping them for health checks.

Animal trainer: Numerous establishments use the assistance of qualified animal trainers, including police stations, kennels, zoos, pet stores, and other organizations that involve animals. Workers who train animals often do so as a personal venture that leads to owning a large or small business. Coursework for animal trainers can often be found at veterinary assistant schools and online programs.

Zoologist: A zoologist most often studies and researches various aspects of animal life and health. Zoologists need a doctoral degree. (This degree often takes less time than the four-year veterinary medical school, internship, and state licensing that most veterinarians must complete.) Zoologists often specialize in working with one type of animal or animals that live in a specific environment.

Veterinary technician: A veterinary technician is more specialized than a veterinary assistant. This job entails work similar to that of a nurse—running routine tests, taking samples, and using various types of medical equipment during examinations done by the veterinarian.

These are just a few examples of jobs individuals can attain that involve care, assistance, and contact with animals. These positions have varying education requirements, some of which can be satisfied at an online veterinary assistant school (except for zoologist positions, which require years of onsite university and medical education). Some positions, including that of vet assistant, can be secured without years of training and expensive schooling. There are online programs that familiarize candidates and provide certification for many animal care jobs. To learn more about them, visit

Veterinary Assistant Program Basics

Can I hold a full-time job for the duration of your program?

Yes! Our veterinary assistant program curriculum involves study from home with the added opportunity of working with a professional in a veterinary hospital environment. Our candidates study during the hours they set and submit work by specified deadlines. You can complete it in as little as 50 weeks or a maximum of 75.

Does your program help me with job searching?

Yes! As students near the end of our program, they complete a 21-day career-building course. Students learn the fundamentals of career building and how to apply them to secure a position as an ABC Certified Veterinary Assistant. We give special attention to job searching for various animal jobs , how to write resumes, compensation details, how to interview successfully, and points on maintaining job security. We also provide insight on how attitude influences your career, how to set yourself up for success, and the importance of financial planning. 

Where will I get the information to study in your program?

We have a comprehensive curriculum that you won’t find in veterinary assistant schools! We believe that reading material is important, but we also focus on important visual aspects of veterinary work. Students use the following materials as part of our program:

Textbooks: The written portion is included in three textbooks. Each stage of your study contains detailed information and tools that you will need as you pursue a career in the veterinary industry.

Illustrations: Students receive detailed illustrations with descriptions of common breeds of dogs and cats. These visual aids help students learn to identify future patients in a veterinary hospital setting. In addition, study guides are provided to direct candidates through each component of the program. The main purpose of study guides is reinforcing pertinent information reviewed in the course textbooks.

Does anyone guide me through the program?

When studying from the privacy of home, students need a resource for a variety of questions about our program, coursework, and other topics related to work as a vet assistant. For this reason, we appoint an ABC Program Manager to each new student to provide guidance, answer questions, and grade your exams. Shortly after you enroll, your personal Program Manager will contact you to help you get acquainted and welcome you to the program. At that time, you will receive a toll free number and email address for contacting the Program Manager for any future inquiries or assistance as you are on your way to becoming a veterinary assistant.

I keep seeing information about the AVTE. What is that?

The Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE) was founded in 1973 to promote professional education to veterinary technology students in the United States and Canada. This organization advocates cooperation among organizations, institutions, and parties interested in veterinary technology. The AVTE is credited for campaigning for the practice acts, laws, and regulations that govern the profession of veterinary technology. The ABC Veterinary Assistant curriculum is designed to teach students the essential skills for a career as a veterinary assistant as published by the Association of Veterinary Technician Educators (AVTE).

Vet Assistant

What is the job of a veterinary assistant like? As with many other positions, the details depend on where the individual works. Depending on the place of employment, one job may involve tasks or even a primary focus that another job lacks entirely. For example, in a vet’s office, an assistant might be responsible for sterilizing surgical equipment, whereas in a kennel, this role doesn’t even exist. Details of the position differ from place to place. One reward of working as a veterinary assistant applies to the position regardless of the place of work—being around animals. In general, one could expect the job to involve some of the following tasks and benefits:

Animal jobs as an assistant at a veterinarian’s office or other location generally involve helping with daily tasks. This might include assisting clients, processing payments, answering the phone, and scheduling appointments. An assistant may also help the veterinary technicians by sterilizing surgical equipment, feeding and caring for animals, or cleaning exam rooms. Assistants may do hands-on tasks, such as bathing animals and trimming nails. In places like a boarding kennel, assistants may walk dogs, feed them, and perform general cleaning. Veterinary assistant schools teach these and other skills, as well as general background about animal behavior and needs.

Many vet assistants work part-time and are paid hourly. A veterinary assistant employed full-time will receive benefits of health insurance, vacation pay, and sometimes a 401(k). As with other lines of work, part-time positions in this field do not typically include benefits. Individuals who have received certification from a veterinary assistant school may be qualified at higher salary scales depending on the place of employment.

Place of Work
Veterinary assistants usually work at clinics and animal hospitals, but can also find jobs at an animal rescue shelter, kennel, or pet store. Location affects pay—work in cities tends to pay more than rural areas, and a large office with many veterinarians and clients is likely to offer higher pay than a small office.

Each year, more people become pet owners and need to find preventive care for their pets. For this reason, demand for vet assistants has been steadily increasing for years. In fact, the United States Department of Labor predicts faster than average growth for veterinary assistant positions through 2016. For individuals who love animals and want to work in a growing field, a vet assistant job may be an excellent choice.

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