Good-paying jobs are important, and smart people planning their careers should pay attention to job outlooks. So while a career in theatre might sound fabulous, the prospective thespian should realize that the job prospects are actually the opposite of fabulous. For those whose passion leans toward animals, however, the future is full of bright opportunities! A trained veterinary assistant or veterinary technician, for instance, enjoys one of the brightest job outlooks out there.
The pet industry is demonstrably huge—think over $99 billion annually in the U.S. alone—and it shows no sign of slowing. Jobs for veterinary assistants are not limited to working with pets and farm animals, however; veterinary assistants can find employment in a wide range of animal-related fields. Qualified assistants compete in a variety of workplaces ranging from veterinary clinics and hospitals to zoos, aquariums, animal shelters, wildlife refuges, rehabilitation centers, research laboratories, and university agricultural programs.
Does a Veterinary Assistant Do More Than Clean Cages?
Absolutely! In fact, a fledgling veterinary assistant soon finds no day is like any other. If you want variety in the workplace, you will never be bored!
Veterinary technician assistant schools train their students to perform a wide range of procedures and services for their animal patients. So while they do clean cages, they also sanitize exam rooms and surgical environments. In addition, they monitor vital signs, prepare prescriptions, and assist with pre- and post- operative care.
Veterinary assistants also learn the clerical side of the business and may be called upon to handle front lobby duties and to collect information from owners. Veterinary assistants are often called upon to calm animal patients that may be in pain or frightened of a strange environment. And sadly, they may sometimes have to comfort a pet owner saying goodbye to a beloved companion.
In general, a veterinary assistant might perform the same sorts of tasks in any job setting in their field of expertise, but there are differences. In some cases, the difference is in the nature of the patients themselves. Clinics and hospitals deal largely with pets and other domesticated animals. Wildlife education and rehabilitation centers, zoos, and aquariums, on the other hand, give veterinary assistants the opportunity to work with a mind-boggling array of exotic animals ranging from the cute and furry to the slithery and venomous. In a laboratory setting, veterinary assistants often assist with the ethical treatment of the animals in their care.
Sounds Like a Great Opportunity!
It is! And depending on what state you call home, vet assistant pay starts at around $28,590 annually (https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm). Training to become a veterinary assistant can be completed online and only takes a few months. If you find you love the field and want to further your career, you can always pursue a degree as a veterinary technician, or become a specialist in a field such as veterinary anesthesiology or dentistry.