How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in California

It is a fact that veterinary medicine develops more and more nowadays, and the job prospects for individuals ready to work with animals is going to increase, so this is the right moment to choose the animal-related career such as vet tech and vet assistant as your future occupation.

Young people are interested in becoming both veterinarians and their assistants, so if you are concerned about animal well-being and focused on helping the animals in need, you should keep on reading as we will offer you all the information that you need to know about becoming a vet assistant in California.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in California

Veterinary assistants belong to the staff working in animal clinics, hospitals, or shelters.

Being that each species has its own significance and more people take care of pets, the demand for well educated and skilled veterinary personnel is great.

Veterinary assistants do not have to have any kind of formal education so as to begin working.

People working with animals have to learn about animal care, possess great communication skills, be good listeners, and sympathize with the stressed pet owners.

Even though they do not need to get further education after finishing high school, getting educated is going to be their advantage as veterinarians tend to look for licensed assistants who are skilled to perform complicated duties.

Some of their daily activities are helping during the surgery, providing animals with medicine, and taking blood samples, among many others.

When people enter a veterinary clinic, they first meet the vet assistant and they think that empathy and communication skills are enough qualifications for this job as they only work on scheduling appointments and talking to pet owners who are worried about their pets.

We need to say that in a well-equipped veterinary clinic or hospital, veterinary assistants often have to be very skilled and educated so as to be able to daily work with technical machinery and lab equipment, with blood work and urinalysis, which is not at all naïve.

California Education Requirements

Aspiring vet assistants should possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

The more years of practice you have, the better assistant you can become.

It is great to invest some more time and money in your continuing education and get well acquainted with the tasks and duties of a veterinary assistant.

You can choose one of many certificate programs widely available through post-secondary schools or online courses.

You must pass the approved veterinary assistant examination in California and only then a certificate will be issued to you.

Once you become a candidate for a job who possesses a certificate about the education achieved in relation to veterinary studies, your chances to find employment will be much better.

Furthermore, you can expect to get a higher salary.

California offers veterinary assistant programs at the following educational institutions:

  • Yuba College
  • Modesto Junior College
  • Pima Medical Institute-Chula Vista
  • Animal Behavior College

Our suggestion is to select the training programs which offer license or certification.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) organizes 35 approved programs and various online programs for people eager to achieve a certificate for their knowledge and qualifications:

Some of the NAVTA programs are:

  • Animal Behavior College,
  • Northern Virginia Community College and
  • Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology, to mention just a few.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in California

It is a normal situation that people who have become licensed veterinary assistants would like to get involved in a job and put their knowledge into practice.

We need to say that the chances of getting a satisfying job are better if you possess a certificate as veterinarians are always having in mind the fact that those assistants will know what they need to do and can start working without previously being thought or supervised.

As you are reading this, you are probably from California, and it is worth mentioning that this state, along with Washington and the New England states, has a high average veterinary assistant salary.

When looking for a job which will be paid well, you need to have in mind that there is a significant variation among the cities in California.

The salary of a vet assistant can range from $ 30917in Fresno up to 38723 in San Jose annually.

Such a great difference is due to the development of the region where the city is located, the annual incomes of its citizens, and the amount of work that the assistant is performing.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Los Angeles$34,734
San Diego$33,175
San Jose$38,723
San Francisco$38,662
Long Beach$34,404
Fresno$30,917
Sacramento$33,351
Oakland$36,563
Santa Ana$34,434
Anaheim$34,481

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in California

California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) provides a huge number of job openings for veterinary assistants in California, while Veterinary Centers of America, with 120 locations throughout the state of California are the ideal places to start your rewarding career.

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO are also very well known for its relationships with veterinary teaching institutions:

  • Located in Fresno Petco
  • Located in Hollywood Petco
  • Located in Modesto Petco
  • Located in Sacramento Petco

Banfield Pet Hospital is another institution where certified vet assistants can try their luck finding a job, as it has a long tradition of helping animals in need.

It was established in 1955 and nowadays, it has more than 900 locations throughout the USA, with these two in California:

  • Banfield Headquarters Clovis
  • Banfield Headquarters Fresno

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Continuing Education for California Veterinary Assistants

The moment you get a degree, a certificate, or a license should not be the moment when all your education stops.

Quite contrary, even though you are currently working in California as a veterinary assistant, technician, or veterinarian, you should keep on advancing your skills and knowledge.

If you are not a certified or approved assistant, you should think about becoming one so as to advance your career.

California has to offer numerous resources that are designed to help both aspiring and already established veterinary staff further their veterinary education.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State