How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

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satisfaction in providing animal care

Do you think working with animals can be so rewarding and satisfying?

Then maybe you can try becoming a vet assistant.

Treatment of animals has significantly changed throughout the years.

Now, pets are becoming valuable family members, increasing the demands for their health and welfare.

As such, vet assistants are badly needed to meet those demands.

So here’s how you can become one in Florida.

What a Vet Assistant Does

You need to know that there are numerous obligations in animal care facilities.

And as a vet assistant, you’re entrusted to veterinary assistants with several responsibilities.

When pet owners come to an animal hospital, they’re under great stress.

In this situation, you’re the first person to talk to these distressed people.

At times, they’re more difficult to handle than the ailing animals themselves.

(But we understand where they’re coming from.)

Other responsibilities you shoulder are the following:

  • Administrative/clerical work
  • Surgery preparation and assistance
  • Equipment cleaning
  • Basic animal care

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Education Requirements in Florida

Florida doesn’t require any formal or tertiary education for those who want to be vet assistants.

You can even start working as one at a young age without any prior training.

However, there’s an added benefit of acquiring training to be skilled in the responsibilities attached to the job.

Doing so also improves your career opportunities in the future.

Some high schools offer vet assistants programs to interested students.

If your high school doesn’t have one, there are colleges and online courses you can enroll in.

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

The program teaches you lessons in but isn’t limited to:

  • Medical terminology
  • Restraining techniques
  • Proper way to administer medicines

This will allow you to be familiar with standard practices and procedures before entering the workforce.

Note that only a vet assistant with high qualifications can earn a certificate.

NAVTA and Its Program

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has standardized the education of vet assistants.

Their Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification program trains you comprehensively in what you need to know.

Unfortunately, Florida doesn’t have a NAVTA accredited school, but you can still take one online via:

  • Penn Foster
  • Animal Behavior College
  • VetMedTeam
  • VetBloom

After completion, you’re now qualified to take the AVA examination.

You can learn more about the AVA program on their website.

Job Prospects in Florida

opportunity knocks

Florida offers equal job opportunities for all vet assistants.

But of course, those with certification have greater chances of employment.

So when deciding where to apply, it’s always good to compare living-cost indexes and salary differentials between them.

Here are some of the potential employers you can find in Florida:

  • Veterinary Centers of America Branches
    • Gulf Bay Animal Hospital
    • Wiles Road Animal Hospital
    • Hollywood Animal Hospital
    • Cabrera Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital in:
    • Lakeland
    • Kissimmee
    • Orlando
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics in:
    • Palm Beach Gardens Petco
    • North Miami Petco
    • Naples Petco
    • Vero Beach Petco

Potential Salary in Florida

Usually, your salary can depend on the type of work that you do.

Per Salary.com, you can earn an average of $30,173 annually as of February 2022.

The salary range is estimated to be between $24,000 and $36,000 a year.

The table below shows the salary percentile in Florida.

Percentile Salary
10% $18,975
25% $24,311
50% $30,173
75% $36,395
90% $42,060

Meanwhile, the one below shows the salaries in different places in the state.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. 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

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

online resources for vet assistants

Whether you’re currently employed or planning to earn your AVA, you should think about continuing your education.

It increases the chances of your career advancements.

The following offer you opportunities to level up to even vet technicians:

Final Words

If you have ever thought of becoming a vet assistant, this is the right moment to do so.

And getting your education is the first step toward it

Your salary won’t be the same as others.

Mostly because the work that you do may be lighter or heavier than theirs.

Nevertheless, that’s just the tip of the priority scale.

What really matters is that you’re able to provide excellent animal care to those that need it most.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State