How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Mississippi

If you belong to those individuals who are compassionate and empathetic, responsible while performing administrative tasks, patient and careful, and above all these have a love for animals you should definitely think about entering the veterinary field and become one of the valuable members of this great team.

There are cases when people cannot afford to become veterinarians, so they strive towards an equally satisfying career as a vet tech or vet assistant.

Veterinary medicine is growing due to the increasing number of pet owners, offering an abundance of jobs for people passionate about animal welfare and focused on helping the animals in need so now is the right time to become a veterinary assistant – an important team member.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Mississippi

Some of the personal characteristics of a good vet assistant are excellent communication skills as he/she will need to cooperate not only with the veterinarian but also with other veterinary staff and clients.

They will have their roles is assisting veterinarians in a practice with animal care, as they might be asked to administer vaccinations, draw blood for testing, or assist during surgical procedures as well.

Vet assistants have to possess administrative skills as they will deal with scheduling appointments and paperwork.

Usually, they work day shifts, but if the assistant works in a hospital with accommodation for treated animals, they are also responsible for supervising animals, providing them with proper feeding and water, and keeping their areas clean and sanitary and obliged to work night shifts and weekends as well.

Their duties are divided into those less demanding ones including answering phone calls and booking appointments and more responsible ones when they interact with animals, train owners in drug administration, take and develop x-rays, collect urine and fecal samples, perform laboratory tests, etc.

All these serious tasks require a higher level of knowledge that cannot be gained by simply observing the work of a veterinarian, so many people decide to enroll vet assistant programs and achieve the necessary skills prior to apply for employment.

Mississippi Vet Assistant Education Requirements

A love for and comfort with animals and pets of all kinds is the first and foremost requirement of a veterinary assistant.

Then, a high school diploma or GED is required both if you want to start working or if you want to become a student who enters vet assistant courses.

If you are still in your high school, and vet assistant profession is your dream, you can include some animal-related courses in your high school curriculum so as to be able to start working immediately after they get a high school diploma.

Becoming a good and self-confident veterinary assistant requires some technical or vocational training and certification, meaning that you need to be willing to learn new skills and constantly develop your abilities as an assistant.

Becoming a good and self-confident veterinary assistant requires some technical or vocational training and certification, meaning that you need to be willing to learn new skills and constantly develop your abilities as an assistant.

Employers nowadays want to hire people who have certifications from veterinary schools, due to the fact that they need people who are ready to perform medical duties associated with animal care once they start working.

Potential colleges and programs offered by them in Mississippi are:

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

Being there are no special requirements for entering the vet assistant programs or courses, aspiring veterinary assistants will be glad to hear that they may enroll directly if they possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

The NAVTA program gives students the opportunity to learn from qualified professionals.

Students will improve their skills related to animal health issues, injuries and illnesses, animal anatomy and physiology and animal handling and transportation and once the courses are finished, certified veterinary assistants can expect higher potential salary, positions, and skill capabilities.

NAVTA has 36 approved programs throughout the U.S. and Canada and 4 online programs for candidates who would like to complete the courses at their own pace in the time period that best suits their learning style.

This is considered as an excellent advantage for those who already work and do not have too much free time to dedicate to studying.

Once they take and pass the AVA exam, they become approved Mississippi veterinary assistants.

However, their AVA must be renewed every two years, after they fulfill 10 continuing education credits.

We would like to emphasize the fact that certified veterinary assistants can expect higher potential salary, positions, and skill capabilities.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Mississippi

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual salary of a veterinary assistant varies among the cities around the USA and especially among the cities within one particular state.

In Mississippi, the difference in average veterinary assistant annual salary among major cities is not that huge as it ranges from $ 26029 to $ 28550 in Southaven.

Mississippi belongs to those states where the average annual salary of a veterinary assistant is low in comparison with some other states.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Mississippi annually:

LocationAvg. 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

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Mississippi

This is the list of potential veterinary assistant employers in Mississipi:

  • Banfield Pet Hospitals located in Mississippi.
    • Jackson
    • Flowood
  • Mississippi Animal Hospitals
  • North State Animal Hospital
  • Brookhaven Animal Hospital
  • Horn Lake Animal Hospital
  • Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Working in a veterinary hospital is equal to working in a human hospital, as the role of veterinary assistant can be equated with the role of a nurse in a hospital.

Finishing the courses and finding a job is not the end of vet assistant education as he/she has to meet the latest standards and development.

So, they can take advantage of numerous resources in Mississippi that offer continuing education for experienced and novice vet assistants.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State