How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Massachusetts

It cannot be neglected that a veterinary assistant job is rewarding and satisfying, but it is only for those people who would not mind spending all working day around animals and cooperating with people as well.

If you think that your love for animals can earn you a decent salary, you can try becoming a veterinary assistant, but you need to have in mind that petting the animals is not the only skill that you need to have.

Playing and caring for animals would not be your only task, being that there are various roles that a veterinary assistant has in a typical veterinary clinic and all the obligations and responsibilities that go with this job.

The more popular and reputable hospital, the greater demands and duties.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Massachusetts

A veterinary assistant is a person who can work in a veterinary hospital, shelter, zoo, or clinic.

Pet owners consider those places of equal importance as human hospitals since animals deserve equal treatment as humans, so they rely on the knowledge and skills of veterinary staff.

A veterinary assistant’s everyday tasks are supporting veterinarians, providing basic care for pets and non-farm animals, feeding and bathing animals, disinfecting exam rooms, giving medications, or vaccinations among many others.

However, their obligations would also depend on the location of the veterinarian and his/her reputation, taking into consideration the fact that veterinary clinic which offers the possibility that animals stay in its premises would require that veterinary assistants work night shifts.

They can also have some fieldwork and might work on holidays and weekends.

Massachusetts Vet Assistant Education Requirements

For those people interested in becoming veterinary assistants, it would be glad to find out that the state of Massachusetts does to require any kind of formal education for a veterinary assistant vocation, except a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

Those vet assistants who do not continue their education after high school will work under the supervision of a veterinarian.

However, many veterinary assistants decide to continue with their further education, being that once they are hired, they realize that just a part of the whole job there is entrusted to veterinarians themselves while the staff working there has its own role in dealing with pets and pet owners and the knowledge and experience are necessary for that role.

It is good that both experienced and newcomers can enter some of the organized courses and programs which will prepare them to work with vets, and care for sick and injured animals. 7

Some of the classes they will attend once they enroll in a vet assistant program include subjects related to a veterinary workplace, care, and advice about sick or injured animals and a range of medical, surgical, and dental nursing procedures.

Some of the campus and programs that offer this kind of education in Massachusetts are:

  • Ethos Health Veterinary Assistant Program
  • Worcester Technical High School
  • Massasoit Community College

Becoming a vet assistant has never been so easy, since the requirements are not rigorous, but you need to know that the priority is always given to those that have a license, as well as higher salaries.

The opportunity to take the NAVTA certification exam upon graduation is available to both working vet assistants and new ones.

There are a number of other programs across the country that offer training and practice for the veterinary assistant profession.

NAVTA’s programs are not compulsory and there are 35 approved programs, with locations in the United States and Canada, as well as four accredited online programs.

Three different options can be taken to become an approved Massachusetts veterinary assistant offered by NAVTA:

  • Externship Option
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program.

Getting your AVA is not the end of your education path, as you will need to renew it every 2 years, by earning 10 continuing education credits.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Massachusetts

The salary of a veterinary assistant is relatively low throughout the USA, but Massachusetts belongs to that group of states that has higher salaries in comparison with some other states.

The exact salary of a veterinary assistant cannot be determined, but it ranges between $32,000 and $34,000, depending on your location in Massachusetts.

There is not such a significant difference, but it still exists.

Some of the factors that can affect the salary of a vet assistant are the advancement of the area and social situation, the number of working hours and the workload, the prominence of the clinic and the number of clients, as well as the education level of a vet assistant.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Massachusetts annually since it varies from one place to another.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
New Bedford$32,521
Fall River$32,521

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has to offer clinics and hospitals where future veterinary assistants can work,  and all these are well-known and respected clinics that have achieved numerous awards for the great care of all kinds of pets.

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Everett Animal Hospital
  • VCA South Shore (Quincy) Animal Hospital
  • VCA North Main Street Veterinary Clinic
  • VCA Hanson Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Cambridge
  • Everett
  • Salem

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Charleston Petco
  • Located in Waltham Petco
  • Located in Falmouth Petco
  • Located in Mansfield Petco

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

The chances of getting a job in Massachusets are equal for all the candidates, and the staff decides who will be hired, but the participants with the certificate will have better chances for sure.

That is why you should think about getting a certificate, or if you already possess it, continue with improving your skills and knowledge by attending seminars and additional courses.

Those vet assistants who work in rescue centers and animal rehabilitation centers have higher and more serious responsibilities which make their work even more significant, but at the same time, require more advanced knowledge.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State