Veterinary Assistant Salary
It might seem challenging to find a job that is rewarding and pays well. However, if you’re an animal lover, you can get the best of both worlds by becoming a certified veterinary assistant.
Veterinary assistants play a significant role in veterinary hospitals. They communicate with pet owners, administer medication, and provide care to animals before and after surgery and during their stay. In addition, they assist veterinary technicians and veterinarians with other medical procedures. This animal care job is perfect for those looking to make a difference in the lives of animals.
How Much Does a Vet Assistant Make?
The national average for a veterinary assistant salary is $25,250 per year or $12.14 per hour.1 This salary differs significantly though, depending on where you’re located. For example, in May 2016, the top paying states for veterinary assistants were2:
- Connecticut: $36,240
- Massachusetts: $34,900
- Maine: $32,950
- New Jersey: $31,750
- Rhode Island: $31,460
A veterinarian assistant’s pay may also vary based on the industry entered. The annual mean wage for veterinary assistants in local government supported schools and hospitals is $42,400 while the salary for those working in general medical and surgical hospitals is $34,380.
In addition, certain areas of the country have higher pet population densities, and therefore have a higher need for vet techs and assistants. For example, pet ownership is the highest in Vermont with 70.8% of households owning a pet. New Mexico comes in second at 67.6% followed by South Dakota at 65.6%.3
Enjoy a Stable Career
In their 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, APPA found that 10% of dog owners and 5% of cat owners had health insurance for their pets. This equates to nearly 9 million dogs and more than 4.5 million cats with insurance. Pet owners having insurance for their pets is the highest it has ever been.4
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the demand for veterinary assistant services will increase by 19% between 2016-2026—which is faster than average.5
Given the demand and portability of a veterinary assistant career, studying to become a veterinary assistant may prove to be a smart educational investment. A veterinary assistant program will lay the foundations for those interested in pursuing vet tech and veterinarian professions.