How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Minnesota

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vet assistant as an ideal career

An ideal career is one with good job prospects and higher pay grades.

Fortunately, being a vet assistant can afford you both and to your satisfaction at that.

Actually, animal care has become more important and a priority to pet owners.

That’s why facilities are looking for vet assistants to support vets and vet techs in their daily tasks.

If you possess the following characteristics, then you can be an effective vet assistant in the future.

  • Interested in animal welfare
  • Able to follow directions
  • Listen and communicate professionally

Let us show you how you can become one in Minnesota.

What a Vet Assistant Does

With an array of responsibilities, it can’t be denied that vet assistants are vital members of any vet team.

Vets rely on you for support, especially during surgical procedures.

At times, you may even be expected to handle multiple assignments.

Your daily tasks involve around:

  • Kennel work
  • Assist in animal restraint and handling
  • Feed and exercise animals
  • Administrative work
  • Keep and update patient records
  • Perform diagnostics and other lab work
  • Help in scientific research, if any

Because of the nature of work, you may have to come in on weekends or do night shifts.

So expect to work long hours even during weekdays.

Education Requirements in Minnesota

You don’t need a college degree to be a vet assistant.

Being a high school graduate or earning a GED equivalent is enough.

Not to mention a love for animals, empathy, and good communication skills.

However, once employed, you might come into a situation where your basic skills aren’t sufficient.

And that is the moment when continuing education comes into play.

So it’s necessary to enroll in a vet assistant program where you can learn the essential knowledge and skills on how to:

  • Keep animals healthy
  • Do basic animal care
  • Assist vets and/or vet techs
  • Office and hospital management
  • Exam room procedures
  • Radiology
  • Pharmacology

Here are a few colleges in Minnesota offering the program:

  • Hennepin Technical College
  • Ridgewater College
  • Rochester Community and Technical College

As a vet assistant, you’ll usually work under the supervision of a vet.

But still, there are essential tasks that require you to do by yourself.

That’s one of the reasons why the National Association for Veterinary Technicians of America created the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) program.

The AVA program teaches you the following:

  • How to obtain animal health histories and records
  • Understand vet medical terminology
  • Assist with surgical and treatment procedures
  • Recognize signs and symptoms of illnesses and diseases

During the program, you’re required to attend lectures and perform hands-on practices.

Upon completion, you can start working in any animal care facility of your choice.

You may also opt to take the AVA exam and earn the AVA designation if you pass it.

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Job Prospects in Minnesota

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Animal care facilities want to ensure that every animal has access to the best possible vet care.

One of the ways to ensure that is employing highly competent and skilled vet assistants.

If they hold certification, much preferable.

So as an aspirant, you should take note of these things to increase your employment chances.

Some potential employers in Minnesota are:

  • Veterinary Centers of America Branches:
    • All About Pets Animal Hospital
    • Cedar Animal Hospital
    • Feist Animal Hospital
    • Animal Wellness Center of Maple Grove
  • Banfield Pet Hospital – Waite Park
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics in:
    • Saint Paul Petco
    • Stillwater Petco
    • Fridley Petco
    • Richfield Petco

Know that this field is expected to grow in demand in the coming years.

As such, facilities will look for more vet assistants, offering better salaries to retain them.

Potential Salary in Minnesota

According to Salary.com, a vet assistant in Minnesota can earn an average annual salary of $32,447 as of January 2022.

The remuneration below is what you can expect to get if you belong to a certain percentile.

Percentile Salary
10% $20,405
25% $26,144
50% $32,447
75% $39,138
90% $45,230

However, different places offer different salary bases, though usually not by much.

A city’s development and social situation affects the pay you’ll receive.

The table below shows the salaries in major cities in Minnesota.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Minneapolis $32,815
St. Paul $32,815
Duluth $29,266
Rochester $29,883
Lakeville $32,611
Minnetonka $32,815
Eden Praire $32,759
Adolph $29,266
Saint Cloud $29,105
Burnsville $32,722

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

learning more on how to be a good vet assistant

The veterinary medicine field is in constant growth and development.

So no matter if you’re a well-established vet assistant or new, an AVA or not, you need to keep up with the trend.

Upgrade your skills and knowledge to open more career opportunities.

One way to do it is through continuing education.

We believe that you’ll find it beneficial to take a look at the following resources:

Final Words

Being a vet assistant requires good qualifications and characteristics to serve animals well.

For education and training, it’s helpful to enroll in a vet assistant program.

It’s also best to take an exam and earn your certification as it helps with your career.

Minnesota’s veterinary field is in constant growth due to the rising demand for animal care.

Good thing that Minnesota has opened a lot of jobs for vet assistants, then, right?

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State