How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Maryland

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animal welfare

Are you a person supporting or advocating for animal welfare?

Do you think that animals deserve the same treatment as people, becoming treasured family members?

If yes, then a career in veterinary medicine may be for you.

Today, there’s a greater demand for vets, vet techs, and vet assistants.

Of the three, becoming a vet assistant is much easier, with fewer education requirements.

That’s one of the reasons why many young people decide to pursue a vet assistant career.

If you’re interested, here’s how you can be one in Maryland.

What a Vet Assistant Does

Vet assistants play an important role in a vet team.

They ensure that the daily vet operations run smoothly, especially the care provided to animals.

As a vet assistant, you’ll have to carry out a range of tasks, such as:

  • Providing medication to animals
  • Sterilizing surgical equipment
  • Assisting with administrative tasks
  • Keeping medical records up to date
  • Giving assistance during consultations
  • Feeding, bathing, and caring for animals

Most of the time you’ll work directly under the supervision of a vet.

Note, however, that the tasks assigned to you may be light or heavy depending on:

  • What kind of practice you’re doing
  • The popularity and reputation of the facility you’re working at
  • Type of animals the facility is taking care of
  • Your education, skills, and experience

Personal characteristics are also considered wherein you must possess love and care for animals.

That is, you can empathize with them, show compassion, and have patience.

Another is good communication skills so you can interact well with your clients and colleagues.

Education Requirements in Maryland

note taking

In Maryland, there are no official requirements for becoming a vet assistant.

However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t enter and complete a certificate program for education and training.

You need this to be more qualified to work with animals and in the veterinary field.

Plus, the knowledge you gain enables you to manage and meet the demands set by the vet.

Aside from the fundamentals, you’ll also have business management classes.

There you’ll learn to manage admin tasks from marketing to cash flows, administration, and record-keeping.

These are some of the schools offering vet assistant programs in Maryland:

  • Harford Community Center
  • Carroll Community College
  • Montgomery College

If traditional schooling isn’t your cup of tea, there are schools offering online courses for distance learning.

The best programs are those approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.

That’s because, upon course completion, you’ll be eligible to take their exam.

They offer a more comprehensive training curriculum than others.

Then, upon completion, you get to be an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) should you pass their exam.

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Job Prospects in Maryland

Many employers prefer to hire employees with relative skills, knowledge, and experience.

More so if you’ve got a vet assistant certification.

Luckily, Maryland has a lot of job openings for vet assistants, and it’s predicted to increase in the future.

This mostly stems from the increasing demand for pet care, affecting the veterinary field positively.

Some of the potential employers you can consider are the following:

  • Maryland Veterinary Medical Association
  • Veterinary Centers of America
    • Peachtree Animal Hospital
    • Elkton Animal Hospital
    • South Arundel Animal Hospital
    • Columbia Animal Hospital at Hickory Ridge
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

Potential Salary in Maryland

vet assistant expected salary

A vet assistant’s salary may not be as promising as other careers, but if it’s within the same field, Maryland boasts a higher pay grade than other states.

According to Salary.com, you can earn an average of $32,703 annually as of January 2022.

The salary typically ranges from around $26,000 to $39,000 a year.

Here’s a quick look at your salary base if you belong to a certain percentile.

Percentile Salary
10% $20,566
25% $26,350
50% $32,703
75% $39,447
90% $45,587

Meanwhile, the table below shows the salaries in different cities in Maryland.

Average Annual Salary by City

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Baltimore $31,719
Frederick $33,022
Gaithersburg $34,055
Bowie $34,076
Rockville $34,106
Hagerstown $31,252
Annapolis $32,610
College Park $34,148
Salisbury $32,827
Cumberland $28,313

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

As a vet assistant, it’s important to know the required and preferred skills for this position.

However, this career is continuously growing, so you need to be updated on the latest industry news and trends.

So, even when you’re an AVA, pursue continuing education.

Here are some resources that might benefit you in long run.

Final Words

Working with animals isn’t easy.

There are a lot of qualifications you need to possess before you’re considered for the job.

For one, it’s important that you acquire certification as this is your proof of high qualifications.

With it, many employers and clients will be assured since you know exactly what you’re doing.

That you can get the job done excellently and with less supervision.

So if you’re interested, we await your success as a vet assistant soon.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State