Did you know that love for animals isn’t enough to make you a good vet assistant?
Although it’s the first important quality, personal and educational ones are equally important to make you competent.
It’s helpful if you have a background in dealing with animals.
You should also be organized, logical, and communicative as you’ll work with various people all day long.
But what makes vets and vet techs hire you on the spot is when you have a vet assistant certification.
On this page, you’ll know everything there is to get your vet assistant certification.
Table of Contents
- 1 Requirements for Vet Assistant Certification
- 2 Requirements in Certain States
- 3 Veterinary Assistant Licensing Boards
- 4 Value of Vet Assistant Certification
- 5 Final Thoughts
- 6 Popular Programs
Requirements for Vet Assistant Certification
Many employers want to make sure they only recruit highly competent employees.
One of the things they look for is certification.
Having one serves as proof of your knowledge, skills, and experience, enabling you to be a valuable asset to vets and vet techs.
And though certification isn’t mandatory, we encourage you to get one.
1 – Enroll in a Vet Assistant Program
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America has standardized the education of vet assistants.
Moreover, they have maintained their certification guidelines.
So the first thing you need to do is to enroll in a NAVTA-approved vet assistant program.
The program usually takes three months to one year to complete.
2 – Take and Pass the Exam
The exam costs $100 and will be issued by VetMedTeam.
To be able to take the exam, ask for a code from VetMedTeam’s assistant program, which you’ll use in their shopping cart.
The exam has 100 multiple-choice questions that need to be completely answered in 150 minutes.
Note that you may take the test anywhere—at home, at a library, or at a testing center.
But you can’t start until the exam proctor is present.
Only when you get a score of 75% or above will you earn your certification and be considered an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA).
3 – Renew Your Designation
The AVA is only valid for two years, so renewal is necessary to continue using this designation.
You’ll receive an email reminder from VetMedTeam 90 days and 30 days before the expiration date.
And to qualify for renewal, you have to finish at least 10 hours of veterinary continuing education (CE).
You have until one week before the expiry to submit your CE requirements.
After securing it, you can then take your AVA exam.
Requirements in Certain States
Certification requirements are almost the same from state to state.
However, there are some states with different requirements.
Instead of AVA, the California Veterinary Medical Association offers an alternative certification program.
Students here are held to a much higher standard than the NATVA program.
- 600 hours of hands-on training mentored by a California-based vet or vet tech
- 100-question certification exam
The Texas Veterinary Medical Association has less strict requirements for its certification.
You have to:
- Do a 90-day work experience with a qualified vet or vet tech
- Get a 70% passing score on the certification exam
The Missouri Veterinary Medical Association requires you to:
- Complete 90 days of work experience under the supervision of a vet or registered vet tech
- Show 100% competency to pass the certifying exam
Veterinary Assistant Licensing Boards
Even though certain individual bodies certify vet assistants, licensing isn’t required at this time.
Of the aforementioned, NAVTA is the one that gained national acceptance and value.
Meaning, their certification holds weight over others.
And most employers prefer recruits that have NAVTA’s AVA.
Well, that’s because their educational quality is at the highest standard.
It has led to AVAs getting more competitive and higher salaries.
Value of Vet Assistant Certification
Indeed, you don’t need to get the certification if you can’t afford the proper education and examination.
But bear in mind that the job market is full of aspiring vet assistants also competing for career opportunities.
After all, anybody who’s interested in and devoted to this profession can come in and apply.
So considering this, earning a certification will give you an edge over other job seekers.
It’s an excellent way to advance in this career.
Not only will you get a better-paying job, but you can also use this to pursue a vet tech degree.
It may not be mandatory, but you and I both know the weight a vet assistant certification holds.
- Get you hired immediately
- Pave the way for more career opportunities
- Enrich your resume and reputation
So go on and earn your seat next to the other certified vet assistants!