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A job of a veterinary assistant is becoming more popular these days.
Why is it so?
Americans are big lovers of animals.
Many households have a four-footed friend; some families accommodate two, three and even more pets.
Having many pets suggest taking care of them.
Like people, animals may fall ill or need an urgent help after an accident.
Therefore, the demand for veterinary personnel is increasing.
So, let’s consider what kinds of tasks key veterinary clinics’ staff like veterinary assistants perform.
Job Description: What Do Veterinary Assistants Do?
The job of veterinary assistant isn’t easy, but very interesting.
This is not a boring paperwork occupation; this job is about saving lives.
Teams of veterinary clinics appreciate the job of veterinary assistant because he fulfils a lot of important functions like contacting pet owners and animal healthcare facilities, maintaining medical inventory and assisting veterinarians in their work.
The amount of duties depends on a particular clinic setting because clinics can change the duties of veterinary assistants according to their needs.
How to Become a Veterinary Assistant: Training and Programs
The state of Arkansas doesn’t require from veterinary assistants to hold an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certificate.
However, getting an AVA certificate is recommended since it gives an opportunity to have advantage in the job market.
There is another association that provides accredited campus programs for veterinary assistants, National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA), but these programs are not available in Arkansas.
It doesn’t mean you can’t receive a certificate, however.
Online accredited programs of NAVTA are available in the state.
The following options programs approved by NAVTA are available in Arkansas:
- External option
- Experiential learner
- Veterinary assistant program.
Externship option offers pre-employment training for those seeking for a job of a veterinary assistant required by many animal healthcare facilities.
Experiential learner option is designed for those who are already part-time employed (at least 20 hours per week) as veterinary assistants.
Veterinary assistant program is designed for those who have a full-time job in the veterinary field.
This means they perform the duties of veterinary assistants for more than 20 hours per week.
Once you completed one of these programs, you will have to take the AVA examination.
Your certificate is issued once you passed the examination.
This means you will became one of the AVA approved veterinary assistants in the state of Arkansas.
You will have to renew your AVA certificate one time every 2 years.
The renewal fee makes up $10.
Licensing and Certification
You can apply for a vacancy of a veterinary assistant any time you’re ready for it.
You don’t have to obtain any certificates, but certified specialists can expect to receive higher pay.
Certification ensures that specialists undertook necessary professional training that mean they can better perform the functions of veterinary assistants.
APA and NAVTA certifications will add value to you as a professional in the veterinary field.
You can begin training to acquire a profession of a veterinary assistant any time if you have this desire.
There are no any particular requirements to enrol in one of the educational programs for veterinary assistants in Arkansas.
However, each college, high school or university establishes its own criteria for admission.
GED equivalency or high school diploma is an educational minimum expected.
Some high schools in Arkansas offer basic education for veterinary assistants.
Online and distance learning is available.
The job of a veterinary assistant involves a wide range of duties.
Here I listed several of them just to give you an idea of what is expected from you as a veterinary assistant once employed:
- Interaction with clients;
- Sanitization of medical equipment and supplies;
- Inventory control;
- Filling prescriptions;
- Administering medications;
- Keeping medical records;
- Preparation of rooms for examining animals and making medical procedures;
- Taking care of animals, etc.
Fulfilling of a greater number of individual tasks can be required from veterinary assistants in different animal clinics of Arkansas.
Your duties will be outlined in the job description paper once you’re employed.
You can apply for the universities or colleges in your community to become a veterinary assistant.
The listed below colleges and universities offer campus and online programs for veterinary assistants are available in Arkansas:
- East Arkansas Community College;
- Southeast Arkansas College;
- National Park College;
- Arkansas State University-Beebe.
Also, NAVTA offers three accredited online programs in Arkansas.
Here is the list of the programs you can apply for in the state:
- Program for veterinary assistants offered by Jessamine Career and Technology Center;
- Program for veterinary assistants offered by East Valley Institute of Technology.
Salary: How Much Will You Earn?
Basically, the amount of your earnings depends on many factors, including your own expectations, state-wide patterns towards veterinary assistants’ salary, functions performed in a clinic, your education and work experience.
At the present time, there is a low population of veterinary assistants in Arkansas.
However, the demand for this profession is constantly growing thus offering more job opportunities for you.
The highest quotient in Arkansas for veterinary assistants is in Jonesboro.
Currently, the average state-wide annual salary makes $26,698.
Below I outlined basic annual salaries of veterinary assistants in some cities in Arkansas to give you an idea of what to expect for.
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|