The jobs of veterinary assistants are in high demand in the country.
This is evidenced by the high number of growths per annum.
The profession also entails the execution of a vast array of duties and responsibilities.
This job is central to the health of animals and often form the core of veterinary facilities.
As such, this job commands a rewarding future and guarantees job security, competitive remuneration, and a very exciting work environment.
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Where Do Vet Assistants Work?
Veterinary assistants primarily work in the field of veterinary practice.
These professionals primarily work in private animal health facilities.
These facilities are operated by several veterinarians.
They also operate in animal hospitals, laboratories, pet clinics, research facilities, aquariums, and zoos. These jobs may either be full-time or part-time.
Most veterinary practices are open during the normal working hours.
Quite a number though are open round-the-clock.
For this reason, some veterinary assistants may operate in the night.
They are thus better-placed to handle emergencies.
Veterinary Assistant Job Duties
These cadres of professionals play a vital contribution to the field of the animal healthcare profession.
They take up quite a number of roles.
The most significant of these roles are:
- Oversight of the animals after a surgery
- Sanitization of the examination rooms and tools
- Emergency care assistance to injured or sickly animals
- Conduction of routine tests on the animals
- Exercising and feeding animals
- Restraining of animals using the appropriate techniques
- Collection of blood and tissue samples
- Recording requests to other veterinary facilities
- Greeting of pet owners upon their arrivals in the healthcare facilities
- Scheduling of appointments and updating of medical records
- Making of follow-up calls and handling of billing issues
Skills Needed to Attain a Veterinary Assistant Job
Generally speaking, a veterinary officer has to have a genuine passion for animals.
They should subsequently have a good rapport with the animals.
In the course of their duties, these professionals will usually employ a great deal of critical thinking.
This stems from the fact that their jobs involve several duties and responsibilities.
Given that some animals are aggressive, it is necessary that the said professional arms himself with the necessary restraining techniques and equipment.
This profession, as a matter of necessity, requires one to be familiar with the various medical procedures and technology.
Other than this, they also ought to familiarize themselves with quite a number of tools.
Moreover, they also have to possess great emotional strength.
Certain tasks like euthanizing animals may be quite traumatic and sad for the pet owners.
In this regard, the veterinary assistants may provide a source of comfort and solace to the pet owners at such times.
Vet Assistant Jobs by Location
All over the United States of America, there are numerous veterinary assistants spread out.
As per the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, California tops the charts of the highest number of veterinary assistants.
Currently, there are well over 11,100 such professionals employed.
Texas comes in next with around 5,140, followed by Florida with 4,870, New York with 3,690, and finally Virginia 3,040.
Each year, 2,100 more veterinary assistant jobs are up for grabs.
This figure keeps expanding each year.
The American Pet Products Association posits that American pet owners shall spend well over $69.36 billion to care for their pets in 2017.
This trend has been occasioned by the surge in the number of visits to the veterinary facilities by pet owners on a frequent basis.
This is certainly good news to the would-be veterinary assistants.
Vet Assistant Job Salaries
In the United States of America, veterinary assistants are well-paid.
Their median annual salary is a whopping $25,250.
Those with more experience do take in an average annual salary of around $37,810 per annum.
In absolute terms, these salaries vary from state to state.
Connecticut takes the lead in the median salary.
Veterinary assistants do take a median income of $36,240.
Metropolitan locations, on the whole, pay more salary.
The exact pay depends mainly on the kind of animal healthcare facility.
Vet Assistant Job Opportunities
At any given time, there are a number of veterinary assistant job opportunities.
These are available at the animal clinics, pet hospitals, and the various veterinary practices throughout the country.
This profession anticipates an annual expansion given the steady levels of pet ownership.
The rise of medical technology for pets has also made it possible to better care for pets.
This has subsequently led to a surge in the demand for veterinary staff as a whole.
Vet Assistant Certifications
While seeking to be employed as a veterinary assistant, you will first and foremost have to undergo a formal training.
Quite a number of post-secondary schools that offer these courses do exist.
These include the community colleges, adult learning centers, and technical schools. They typically offer their own curricula.
Some of the top skills that these institutions inculcate include:
- Identification of breeds
- Learning of the various medical terminologies
- Familiarization of animal-etiquette
- Veterinary laboratory procedures
- In-house veterinary pharmacy
- Examination room procedures
A national certification option also exists.
This option is great since a national certification significantly boosts the employment prospects.
Those who obtain this certification will thus find themselves at an advantage over other kinds of veterinary assistants.
There is an official way of becoming an Accredited Veterinary Assistant (AVA).
In 2010, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians Association of America (NAVTAA) introduced a veterinary assistant approval program.
This program delineated a set of guidelines that oversees the veterinary assistant programs.
At the moment, there are well over 35 approved programs in Canada and the United States of America.
There are also three online programs which have already obtained approval.
To find out the schools that offer the programs that are approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians Association of America (NAVTAA), you need to follow this link: https://www.navta.net/page/vet_asst_program.