How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

If you have ever thought of getting qualifications and becoming a veterinary assistant this is the right moment to do so.

Those people who really think that working with animals can be so rewarding and satisfying should try their luck becoming vet assistants, due to the fact that the way animals have been treated has significantly changed throughout recent years and this vocation has become highly important and attractive.

Pets are becoming even more valuable members of our families, and their care and protection turned into something even more difficult and demanding.

This causes veterinarians and their assistants to be in constant demand and their daily activities and duties are growing, making their job becomes of greater importance.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Florida

You need to know that there are numerous obligations in veterinary clinics and animal shelters that are entrusted to veterinary assistants and this is not at all naïve job.

When pet owners need to come to an animal hospital, they are under great stress, and in this situation, a veterinary assistant is a person who first talks to the distressed and scared owner, who can b more difficult to handle than the seriousness of the issue with the animal.

Even though the administration is considered their less important tasks, veterinary assistants perform countless demanding responsibilities, including preparing surgery and sterilize the equipment after it and looking after the animals while they are recovering.

Florida Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Florida, as the majority of other states, does not require any special education or certifications for those who want to have a career as a veterinary assistant.

The education necessary for becoming a vet assistant ranges from training to completing a course.

Aspiring vet assistants can become ones at a very young age, being that in some Florida high schools students are introduced to the profession with veterinary assistant programs.

Only a veterinary assistant with greater priority and qualifications would need to possess a certificate.

Even though formal education is not obligatory, people decide to gain it so as to improve the chances of finding employment and get the required and preferred skills and knowledge for the position of a veterinary assistant.

By enrolling in any training program, students will be taught about medical terminology, restraining techniques, proper ways to give medications, and much more as they should be familiar with standard practices, and procedures within the veterinary field prior to entering the facility.

There are both campus and online programs in Florida where students can get the necessary knowledge, and these are the most popular ones:

  • Marion County Community Technical and Adult Education Center
  • Orange Technical College
  • Suncoast Technical College

NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) is the association that regulates the educational standards and approves those programs that meet the criteria, so it has offered a veterinary assistant approval programs and online courses throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Unfortunately, Florida does not have a NAVTA accredited campus program, but students can enter online accredited programs such as Penn Foster or Tulane University.

The requirements for enrolling in this program are a great desire to help animals and a high school diploma.

In order to become Florida approved veterinary assistant you can choose among three options and when achieve the prescribed knowledge you become qualified to take the AVA examination.

Externship Option for people who are unemployed in a veterinary practice.

Experiential Learner for employed veterinary assistants in Florida is that a 20 hour weekly minimum in a full-service veterinary practice is required.

Veterinary Assistant Program for currently employed Florida veterinary assistants.

Getting a certificate is not the end of your education, as it is obligatory to renew your Florida AVA, by accomplishing 10 continuing education credits over the next 2 years.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Florida

The job opportunities for vet assistants in Florida are equal for all the applicants, but the employers are those who determine who will be employed.

The greater chances of employment are for those who possess the certificate, for sure.

Getting your education is the first step towards a rewarding career, but even more important one is to find a job, so when deciding where to apply for it, it is always good to compare living-cost indexes and salary differentials as they might vary among regions and cities.

Their salary depends on the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that assistants meet since it is not the same when working with small animals and dealing with wild animals and reptiles.

A salary of veterinary assistants in Florida differentiates among the major cities and the lowest is in Tallahassee estimated at $ 27985 while salary might reach up to $ 30038 in Miami per year.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Florida annually:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Jacksonville$29,121
Miami$30,038
Tampa$29,399
St. Petersburg$29,374
Hialeah$29,806
Orlando$29,353
Fort Lauderdale$29,964
Tallahassee$27,985
Hollywood$29,964
Pembroke Pines$29,769

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Florida

Among many animal clinics and hospitals where veterinary assistants can find work, we offer you some of the potential employers in Florida:

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Lakeland
  • Kissimmee
  • Orlando

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Palm Beach Gardens Petco
  • Located in North Miami Petco
  • Located in Naples Petco
  • Located in Vero Beach Petco

Popular Programs

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

As we have already mentioned, no matter whether you are currently employed as a veterinary assistant or you are still not an approved veterinary assistant (AVA), you should think about starting or continuing your education.

Becoming an approved veterinary assistant will elevate your status and make you more of a valuable member of any animal healthcare facility in Florida, or, if you are already licensed, it also offers the chance to advance your career.

The resources which offer opportunities to vet assistants to upgrade to even veterinary technicians are the following:

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State