How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Alaska

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passion for animals

Did you know that many Americans are big animal lovers?

Maybe that’s why animal healthcare is such a huge deal in Alaska.

What’s good is that that state employs a great number of high school graduates as vet assistants to help those in need.

So, you can jump onto this train as well if you’re searching for a high-income job to start your career.

Plus, being a vet assistant in Alaska is a good opportunity to gain some experience in the veterinary field.

Read on to learn how you can get started.

What a Vet Assistant Does

You may have many questions as to what a vet assistant does every day.

Vet assistants perform multiple functions in animal healthcare clinics.

They play a crucial role in a vet team, with vets and vet techs relying on them very much.

As a vet assistant, your major responsibility is to take care of animals in vet clinics.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Assisting the vets and/or vet techs
  • Answering phone calls
  • Addressing pet owner’s concerns
  • Sterilizing medical equipment
  • Preparing rooms for examinations and surgery
  • Collecting urine and fecal samples
  • Performing lab work
  • Do postoperative care
  • Satisfying pet owner’s demands
  • Keeping and updating medical records
  • Cooperating with other vet clinics to gather necessary information
  • Maintaining the inventory

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Requirements in Becoming a Vet Assistant in Alaska

education and training to be a vet assistant

Becoming a vet assistant in Alaska is easier than you may think.

For one, genuine love for animals and a desire to take care of them are important prerequisites.

Second, having a high school diploma or GED is desirable as it can increase your employment chances.

Below you’ll find more information on what you need to accomplish to work as a professional vet assistant.

Education and Training

High school students in Alaska can get early training and education for this career.

That’s because some high schools in Alaska offer vet assistant programs for interested students.

This is to give them an opportunity to start a career the moment they graduate

Here are some of the schools that offer the program.

  • University of Alaska Anchorage
  • Charter College Alaska
  • Penn Foster College
  • Mat-Su College

Know that you can opt for distance or online learning if you don’t want traditional schooling.

Of all the programs offered, it’s preferable to enroll in one that’s approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

Their Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) program is comprehensive, training you to be an all-rounded professional.

Some of the courses you’ll learn are:

  • General medical terminology
  • Breed identification
  • Dietary fundamentals
  • Approaches to administering medications

It usually takes six months to one year to complete the program.

Afterward, you can opt to take a certification exam and become a certified specialist in veterinary medicine.

Licensing and Certification in Alaska

Though not necessary, it’d be a great benefit if you possess a certificate.

There are no state-wide requirements to acquire an AVA or Certified Veterinary Assistant (CVA) certificate.

The certificates are issued upon completion of the program and passing the examination.

The AVA or CVA certificates give you an opportunity to land employment in the best vet clinics in Alaska.

Potential Salary in Alaska

salary of a vet assistant

The average annual salary of vet assistants in Alaska is $35,555 as of January 2022 (Salary.com).

Those well-established vet assistants can earn around $28,000 to $42,000 annually.

Not bad for remuneration, right?

Below you’ll see how much you can potentially earn if you belong to a certain percentile.

Percentile Salary
10% $22,360
25% $28,648
50% $35,555
75% $42,887
90% $49,563

Know that the basic annual salary varies from city to city.

That is, several factors can affect it, such as:

  • Education
  • Experience
  • Work setting
  • Location

The table below shows you the salaries in different places in Alaska.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Anchorage $33,707
Circle $32,990
Fairbanks $33,440
Haines $32,520
Juneau $32,969
Nome $33,124
Palmer $33,257
Russian Mission $33,257
Sitka $32,520
Wasilla $33,257

Potential Employers in Alaska

With a certificate in your hand, you won’t have a hard time finding a job.

Plenty of employers will hire you because of your high qualifications.

The potential employers you can consider are as follows:

  • Alaska Veterinary Clinic
  • Alaska Affordable Veterinary Care
  • College Village Animal Clinic
  • Alaska State Veterinarian
  • Alaska Mobile Veterinary Surgery, LLC
  • Anchorage Animal Care and Control;
  • Christine Michetti, DVM
  • North Pole Veterinary Hospital
  • Erin Earhart, DVM
  • VCA Eagle River Animal Hospital
  • VCA Alaska Pet Care Animal Hospital
  • Wasilla Veterinary Clinic

You may wish to search for other vet clinics in your area to collect more information.

Career Advancement Opportunities

career advancements

Once you get some experience, you can move further to acquire a higher position in the veterinary field.

At this level, your goal has to become an AVA.

Next is to acquire further knowledge or continuing education to become a vet tech.

Then, you can advance toward a veterinarian if you want to.

However, if you wish to remain as a vet assistant, then aim for a senior position in the future.

Final Words

Many people underestimate the role of a vet assistant in a vet clinic.

The job they perform isn’t only technical, but it’s more about giving hope to animals and pet owners.

Their duties may be very demanding, but they do their best to provide tender loving care to wounded and ill animals.

Even if at times it calls for them to be tough to restrain animals when they are in distress.

For this reason, this job is in high demand and respected across the U.S.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State