How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Mississippi

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Is this you?

  • Compassionate
  • Emphatic
  • Responsible
  • Patient and careful
  • Loves animals

If yes, then you might’ve thought about entering the veterinary field and becoming a valuable member of the vet team.

With the way the vet field is growing, vet professionals like vet assistants are in constant demand.

Animal care facilities need your help in providing excellent animal healthcare services.

So read on to learn how you can be a professional vet assistant in Mississippi.

What a Vet Assistant Does

A good vet assistant has excellent communication skills to cooperate not only with the vet team but also with clients well.

Having administrative, observational, and problem-solving skills are also needed.

Your day-to-day responsibilities include but aren’t limited to:

  • Assisting vets with animal care, especially during procedures
  • Administering medications and vaccinations
  • Collecting blood and other tissues for testing
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Keeping patient records
  • Supervising animals
  • Providing basic animal care
  • Cleaning and sanitation
  • Answering phone calls
  • Interacting and managing animals
  • Advising pet owners
  • Conduct lab and diagnostic tests

At times, you’ll be required to work in-house to help take care of the animal patients.

Other times, you may have to work on night shifts, weekends, or holidays.

All these tasks require a higher level of knowledge that can’t be gained by simply shadowing the vet.

So many people decide to enroll in vet assistant programs and acquire the necessary skills prior to employment.

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Education Requirements in Mississippi

schools with vet assistant programs

As a general rule, you must possess a love for and comfort with animals to be an effective vet assistant.

Then, to start working, you only need a high school diploma or GED equivalent.

Know that being a good vet assistant requires some technical or vocational training and certification.

Meaning, you need to be willing to learn new skills and constantly develop your abilities as a vet assistant.

So if you’re a high schooler, you can enroll in a vet assistant program if your high school is offering one.

In this way, you can gain the knowledge and skills to work as one immediately after graduation.

If your high school doesn’t offer one or if you’re a young adult, then you can enroll at some of these schools.

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College
  • Itawamba Community College
  • Holmes Community College

You may also enroll in NAVTA-approved vet assistant programs online or at accredited schools.

The courses of this program can be completed at your own pace.

This is a boon for those working professionals who don’t have time for in-class learning.

During the program, you’ll be trained in but aren’t limited to:

  • Animal health issues, injuries, and illnesses
  • Animal anatomy and physiology
  • Proper animal handling and transportation
  • Administration and business management

Once completed, you’ll then be able to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant certification exam.

Passing that will mean higher potential salary, job positions, and proven skill capabilities.

Note that you must renew this every two years to retain this designation.

Job Prospects in Mississippi

Nowadays, employers want to hire certified vet assistants.

They want candidates who are ready to perform medical duties associated with animal care upon hiring.

Here’s a list of potential employers you can find in Mississippi.

  • Banfield Pet Hospitals in:
    • Jackson
    • Flowood
  • North State Animal Hospital
  • Brookhaven Animal Hospital
  • Horn Lake Animal Hospital
  • Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital
  • Other animal hospitals in Mississippi

Potential Salary in Mississippi

earning potential of vet assistants in mississippi

Mississippi is a state where a vet assistant’s average annual salary is lower in comparison with some other states.

Your salary range here is between $22,264 and $33,330 a year as of February 2022 per Salary.com.

On average, you can earn $27,632 annually.

Here’s a table of the salary percentile for your reference.

Percentile Salary
10% $17,377
25% $22,264
50% $27,632
75% $33,330
90% $38,518

The thing is, Mississippi has varying annual salaries throughout the state.

The table below shows how much each of those places pays.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Jackson $27,595
Gulfport $27,131
Biloxi $27,347
Hattiesburg $26,961
Greenville $27,430
Meridian $27,343
Tupelo $26,029
Southaven $28,550
Vicksburg $27,317
Pascagoula $27,128

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

If this is a human hospital, your work as a vet assistant can be equated to that of a nurse.

Note, though, that your career journey doesn’t end with completing a course or finding a job.

You must at least know or meet the latest industry standards and development.

So take advantage of these resources that offer continuing education.

Final Words

Education, training, and certification are three important requirements that a potential employer is asking for.

They want someone who knows what a vet assistant does already than someone who doesn’t.

Understand that you will provide animal healthcare services to animals in need.

And that’s one main reason why employers seek highly competent and skilled individuals.

So if becoming a vet assistant is in your future, then get educated and trained for it.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State