How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Illinois

If dealing with pets and people is something that you do well, it already makes you a great candidate for the obligations required by the veterinary assistant job.

You do not need to have any additional education, except high school, to start working as a  vet assistant.

If you absolutely love animals and are interested in their welfare, then you might want to pursue a career as a veterinarian assistant in Illinois.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Illinois

The duties of vet assistants are numerous, as they will provide care to animals and assistance to the people who treat them.

Vet assistants are surrounded by people who are as passionate about pets as they are, and they will have to show a lot of compassion and patience with pet owners, who may belong to all kinds of people.

They will be your clients and you will need to teach them all about animal care and give them support when they are really worried about their best friend.

Your first duty will be to have a face to face contact with clients, schedule appointments, and update medical records of patients.

Then, you may be asked to prepare the examination and operating room, properly administer medication, and calm animals before and after the intervention.

Last, but not the least, you will definitely need to feed and water animals, provide a clean environment for them while they are hospitalized, and many other tasks.

If this all sounds good and manageable for you and if you think that the life of an animal is of equal importance as the life of a human being, you should think about enrolling in some of the training programs for vet assistants.

Illinois Vet Assistant Education Requirements

It is true that a veterinary assistant job does not require strict education since diplomas from high school or GED are enough, but more and more young people notice the importance of gaining higher education.

The certificate can help during the selection process once you apply for the job, and across the United States, there are numerous programs and courses where you can begin your education for becoming an approved veterinary assistant.

You can choose to attend community colleges, training centers, vocational schools, and technical institutes, or decide to enroll in an online vet assist program.

You get certified within six months during which you can expect to learn all the necessary requirements to effectively manage their daily duties once employed.

A veterinary assistant campus in Illinois are:

  •  College of Lake County
  • McHenry County College
  • Moraine Valley Community College

Some of the courses that you will attend will teach you how to handle and assist animals, animal anatomy, laboratory work, pharmacology, anesthesia, and surgical assisting and you will know what to do in an emergency situation which is of crucial importance for the life of an animal.

It is a great thing to know that there is a chance for an already employed veterinary assistant to achieve further knowledge and get a certificate.

Becoming a future certified veterinary assistant is possible through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) approved programs.

There are35 approved programs in the USA with two accredited campus programs located in the state of Illinois.

Some of the NAVTA online programs and campuses offered in the state of Illinois are:

  • Animal Behavior College, online
  • Penn Foster, online
  • VetBloom, online
  • VetMedTeam, online
  • Harper College, Palatine, IL.
  • McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL
  • College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL
  • Morton College, Cicero, IL;
  • and Northeastern Illinois Univ (NEIU), El Centro Campus, Chicago, IL.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Illinois

When it comes to salary, a veterinary assistant salary is not so high compared to some other similar occupations and we believe that they should be paid more.

There is a significant rise in open working positions and some states struggle to find enough certified and trained assistants.

The amount of money earned depends on numerous factors, such as experience, a number of working hours, and work setting, so the pay rates might range from $ 28479  in Springfield up to $ 32707 in Chicago per year.

The annual salary of a veterinary assistant distinguishes among the cities around Illinois and here is a table containing the data about average vet assistant salaries in some of the major cities:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Chicago$32,707
Rockford$30,544
Aurora$32,417
Naperville$32,045
Peoria$29,803
Springfield$28,479
Joliet$31,781
Elgin$32,180
Waukegan$30,844
Cicero$32,707

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Illinois

Getting a certificate is one thing, and becoming an employed veterinary assistant is something completely different.

After successfully finishing the courses, it is very important to find a satisfying job.

There are numerous potential veterinary assistant employers in Illinois which offer future veterinary assistants a chance of putting their knowledge into practice such as the following:

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Chicago North Animal Hospital
  • VCA County West Animal Hospital
  • VCA Hawthorn Animal Hospital
  • VCA Franklin Park Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Champaign
  • Springfield
  • Oswego

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Chicago Petco
  • Located in New Lenox Petco
  • Located in Springfield Petco
  • Located in Pekin Petco

We believe that these are the clinics where you can get the best possible experience being that they have achieved numerous awards for the great care of all kinds of pets.

There are also services like microchipping, parasite prevention, dermatology, and much more.

Some of them offer dentistry services, too.

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Getting a certificate means that you can find a job as a vet assistant, but the fact is that the animal-related sciences and technology used in vet clinics and hospitals are constantly developing, so, it is necessary that you be updated and that can only be achieved if you continue visiting seminars, courses, and additional training after finishing the formal education.

You should take a chance and start moving forward in the veterinary profession and the state of Illinois has many facilities where people can gain education related to the veterinary profession such as:

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State