How Much Does Becoming a Veterinary Assistant Cost?

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Veterinary school isn’t cheap.

However, training to become a veterinary assistant doesn’t have to cost you much.

Consider your career goals before choosing a veterinary assistant program.

No matter what, the instructions you pay for must include the required practice of the following tasks:

  • Recording and retrieving patient records
  • Answering calls and booking appointments
  • Sterilizing work areas
  • Feeding and caring for animals

How Much Does It Cost For Veterinary Assistant Training?

Every school has a different training setup.

Provisions of books and supplies sometimes come with your training, and sometimes you have to pay for them in addition to your tuition.

Types of Vet Assistant Schools

Usually, you can find the training you need to become a veterinary assistant at a vocational school or community college.

A four-year university will also benefit you if you choose to work toward becoming a licensed animal doctor (veterinarian) in the future.

Take some time to ponder your educational goals.

Then, make some cost comparisons based on your training objectives.

What Are The Vocational School Vs. College Costs?

Here’s a quick comparison of the different training options for becoming a vet assistant.

You can register for the shorter training period, which usually lasts about six to nine months.

Less than a year is normally all you need to get started as an assistant.

Your training usually occurs at a vocational, trade, or technical school, where you can earn a certificate.

Then, you can pursue further education while working, which will help you gain experience for future veterinary licensing.

It’s up to you if you want to enroll in an associate degree or bachelor’s degree program immediately or after you start working as a veterinary assistant.

Four-Year School Tuition and Fees

Bachelor’s degree training usually takes the longest and costs the most.

The state you live in may influence how much you pay for a year of tuition.

Whether or not you’re a resident of that state also makes a difference.

You won’t need to attend a four-year school right away if you’re just working as an assistant though.

Only apply to four-year schools if you plan to work toward earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree (DVM), which would take you up to eight years.

Otherwise, you could earn a Veterinary Technology degree, which may take you two to four years.

Least Expensive Schools

I came across a variety of sources with different cost figures.

For now, here are three of the least expensive four-year schools in the U.S. for tuition and/or fees only (books not included).

I went with information found directly on the college websites.

I based my findings on reports concerning undergraduate students who attend school full-time (about 12 credit hours).

The period of attendance ranges from fall 2022 to spring 2023.

Bear in mind these costs may fluctuate unless the school allows you to return for the same price.

  1. Purdue University (LaFayette, Indiana and other locations) – Resident tuition at Purdue cost $4,996.00 per semester including fitness and activity fees in fall 2022. Non-resident tuition for a semester totaled $14,397.00, and international student tuition came to $15,552.00. This cost reflects what you would pay to attend the Veterinary Technology program per term.
  2. University of Georgia (Athens, GA) – In-state tuition for an undergraduate student totals about $4,895 per semester, and out-of-state students would pay $14,515. This calculation does not include the usual “fees” assigned along with tuition estimates.
  3. North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC) – Resident tuition and fees cost about $9,128 per year, so it would cost about $4,564 per semester. Non-resident students would have to pay approximately $30,869 per year or an estimated $15,434 per semester.

Two-Year School Tuition and Fees

The two-year training usually applies to a Veterinary Technician, not a Veterinary Assistant.

The primary difference is that Vet Techs perform more medical tasks than Vet Assistants do.

Once trained, a Vet Tech also won’t need to work as closely under a licensed Veterinarian as a Vet Assistant would.

A two-year training program to become a Vet Tech would run you about $2,400-$8,280.

Penn Foster or Yuba college may provide you with the education you need.

Certificate Training Course Fees

Penn Foster offers flexible training options for people who want to earn a Veterinary Assistant Diploma.

This cost ranges from about $799-$1,089 as of 2023 and should only take you about 12 months to complete.

I don’t know much about this school personally.

However, it does say on its website that the training they provide is “approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians.”

It’s only one of three NAVTA-approved online schools, apparently.

The Veterinary Assistant training from Animal Behavior College is also NAVTA-approved.

Training here may cost you more than at Penn Foster.

Tuition ranges between $2,999 and $5,630, depending on what payment plan you choose.

What Are Some Additional Veterinary Assistant Training Costs?

You’re not required to take a NAVTA exam if you want to become a veterinary assistant.

However, exam fees for acquiring a state board license may cost you $100-$300.

The license itself may range in price between $177 and $250.

Any books, supplies, and materials required for classes and practice could cost you as much as $3,600.

Some supplies besides books you might need include scrubs, gloves, or sanitizer gel.

Your employer might pay for some of the items you need for your position, however.