If you want to become a vet assistant, you’ll be happy to know that you don’t have to go to school for years and get a college degree. Unlike a vet tech, vet assistants can enter the profession with just a high school diploma, if you’re lucky enough to land a job in a vet practice where you can get trained on the job.
Here’s the catch, though, lots of other people have a passion for animals and want to be vet assistants, too. You’ll be competing with them every time you fill out a job application. Employers can have their pick of job candidates, and the jobs go to people with experience or training.
Any experience working with animals is helpful on a resume. Volunteering at a shelter, working at a stable or kennel, or even being a dog walker can help.
To really get noticed by those doing the hiring, it can be beneficial to enroll in a vet assistant course and get certified. This shows employers that you have mastered the requirements and are serious about a career in the veterinary field.
You can earn your certification online at Animal Behavior College in as little as 12 months. If this sounds like a long time, weigh it against the time you’ve been applying for jobs and getting turned down. Without experience or credentials, how much longer will it take to land a job?
And if veterinary assistant certification sounds too costly, consider it an investment in your future, especially if it helps shorten your job search!
Veterinary Assistant Education
An education in veterinary medicine and veterinary hospital protocol provides students with an important foundation. Veterinary assistant programs may teach students everything from animal restraint to surgical preparation. ABC’s veterinary assistant course provides students with both a formal education and on-site training at an animal hospital or veterinary facility. This combination allows students to gain real experience in the field as well as a foundation in veterinary medicine. Earning a veterinary assistant certificate from Animal Behavior College gives job seekers more credibility when applying to positions or seeking further education in the veterinary field.
|Differences Between Formal Education & On-the-Job Training
|ABC’s Vet Assistant School
|Real work experience
|Real work experience
|Knowledge of terminology
|Possibly incomplete or piecemeal education
|Mastery in pet body language
|Lack of a formalized educational process
To learn how to become a veterinary assistant through Animal Behavior College, call 800-795-3294 or fill out our contact form.
Vet Assistant Employment Opportunities
As of 2021, there are currently 103,500 veterinary assistants (and laboratory animal caretakers) employed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment is expected to increase by 19 percent from 2021 to 2031. Aside from working at an animal hospital or veterinary clinic, veterinary assistants can pursue a career as a veterinary technician, veterinary technologist, or even veterinarian. Requirements vary for each position. Veterinary technicians have their associate’s degree in veterinary technology or animal science from a school approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Veterinarians possess their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or D.V.M., from an AVMA-approved institution. Currently, the AVMA has approved more than 40 colleges worldwide as veterinary colleges. Both prospective veterinary technicians and veterinarians must complete a certain number of hours working at an animal facility.
Is a Vet Assistant the Right Career for You?
Apart from education and experience, veterinary assistants must love animals. More importantly, veterinary assistants must not only have dedication, but passion for working with animals as well. Working with animals isn’t always a pleasant time. Animals can get sick, become helpless, and even die. For this reason, it’s important vet assistants have a grounded mindset when approaching an emotionally charged situation.
Being a veterinary assistant can be more than taking care of animals. There are times when an animal needs to undergo surgery, in which case, the veterinary assistant might have to stand ready to provide assistance to the veterinary technician and veterinarian. The sight of blood, bones, and feces is not uncommon in the veterinary world. Therefore, veterinary assistants must be prepared and able to approach these situations and focus on helping the veterinarian without distraction so they can focus on the animal.
Contrary to what many believe, veterinary assistants are in frequent communication with people. Communication skills are a major plus, as the veterinary assistant often has direct contact with pet owners. Being able to thoroughly explain to pet owners of any health problems and effectively communicate with veterinary technicians and veterinarians are essential skills expected in any animal care career.
In addition, veterinary assistants might receive injuries at work. When veterinary assistants restrain animals prior to or during a surgical procedure, they may get bitten or scratched. Veterinary assistants must remember that those aggressive responses are only natural for the animal and, therefore, should not be taken personally. Those who pay close attention to details and have a reliable memory are better at making the right judgment calls and taking preventative measures when needed.Veterinary assistants must also be conscientious. As mentioned above, veterinary assistants are in direct contact with pet owners, but they’re also constantly talking with veterinary technologists and veterinarians. Veterinary assistants must be able to accurately read patient’s charts and pass on that information to the veterinary technician or veterinarian in an efficient manner.
Qualifications employers look for in veterinary assistants include:
- Attention to detail
- Communication skills
- Ability to multitask
- Ability to work under pressure
- Physical strength
For more information on the physical requirements please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.
Please note that no school can offer any type of guarantee as to whether a graduate will find employment. Animal Behavior College makes no promises or guarantees about employment.