How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Montana

Being a person who has always dreamt of becoming a professional who practices veterinary medicine by treating diseases, disorders, and injuries in animals make you ideal for the position of a vet assistant.

Vet assistants need to possess great communication skills, enabling them to connect veterinarians, pet owners, and other veterinary facility staff and empathy skills so as to provide comfort and understand the feelings of concerned pet owners.

Plus, they need to be good at organization and time management, as a veterinary assistant vocation involves a lot of administration and paperwork.

Veterinary assistants are the closest and most important helpers of veterinarians and the development of veterinary medicine makes their role more relevant than ever.

The life of animals might depend on their abilities and knowledge as they do not only need to feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals, but also to discover any symptoms of illness or disease and disinfect cages and work areas, sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment, assist during the surgery, provide post-operative care and administer medication, among many other duties.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Montana

Even though people who visit the vet facility only perceive the least important duties of a veterinary assistant, such as administrative work, answering phone calls, and making the first contact with the patient and their owner,  they need to know that their job does not involve only those activities.

The variety of duties that they do include working with both the animal and even more concerned owners.

When you compare the requirements they have and the salary they get for it, you can see that they are not well paid.

However, these people do not find satisfaction not in their income, but in the fact that they have helped somebody whose life depended on them.

Veterinary assistants typically do the following:

  • Feed and bathe animals
  • Clean and disinfect cages
  • Sterilize surgical instruments and equipment
  • Take care of animals after surgery
  • Provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
  • Give medication
  • Collect blood and urine samples

The more educated and ready to advance in your profession, the more serious tasks you get and the better payment as well.

So, we suggest getting acquainted with Montana vet assistant education requirements.

Montana Vet Assistant Education Requirements

In previous years, the majority of veterinary assistants did not get any kind of knowledge related to veterinary medicine prior to starting working in an animal hospital or clinic.

However, the times have changed and nowadays, more and more veterinarians nowadays are looking for educated assistants, who will know how to use instruments and laboratory equipment with care and to look after animals under treatment.

After high school, you do not possess any kind of veterinary education, and you can get it at various programs offered both on-campus and online.

That way you will get the knowledge related to the animal conditions, illnesses, and injuries and will be able to give advice to owners about the diseases and health problems and explain to them how to better take care of their pets.

The great thing is that assistants who already have practice and experience in working in an animal hospital can enroll in these programs so as to advance in their career with continuous education or certification.

You can either enroll in Pima Medical Institute, University of Montana Western, or Helena College, and having a high school diploma will be enough qualification for becoming a student.

If you did not have the chance of becoming a licensed one, you might take into consideration the opportunities offered by NAVTA.

The license confirms that you have passed an oral and written examination process and achieved satisfactory knowledge to work individually on all the tasks that veterinary assistant job includes.

So as to become an AVA, you need to take and pass the practical part showing that you are able to work in an animal-filled environment and perform all daily duties successfully.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Montana

When looking for employment, you should be aware of the fact that veterinarians who value and appreciate education will definitely give priority to those licensed veterinary assistants and the only way of improving your chances of getting a job is the completion of the appropriate program and achievement of the certification.

It is estimated that the job opportunities will grow much faster than the average for all occupations with the constant growth of animal owners.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics gathers the data related to the average annual salary for a Montana veterinary assistant and it is determined that they are less paid than in some other states.

As in any other profession, the salaries are not the same in all places throughout the state as the average salary depends on numerous factors such as the location, number of animal clinics and facilities in that area and the development of the region, as well as the education of a vet assistant and duties he/she performs.

The pay rate ranges from $25502 in Missoula and Butte up to $29549 in Billings annually.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Billings$29,549
Missoula$25,502
Great Falls$26,751
Butte-Silver Bow$25,502
Bozeman$25,502
Helena$25,965
Kalispell$27,384
Havre$26,289
Anaconda-Deer Lodge County$25,502
Miles City$29,087

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Montana

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Montana:

  • MTVMA (Montana Veterinary Medical Association)
  • Montana Veterinary Facilities
  • Montana Veterinary Hospital
  • Gallatin Animal Hospital
  • Best Friends Animal Hospital and Urgent Care
  • Banfield Pet Hospital – Bozeman

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Veterinary medicine is experiencing a constant and fast development and advancement, causing vet assistants to be in search of additional education.

If you are already an employed vet assistant, with or without a license, and you are not satisfied with the duties you perform or your salary, you can always advance in your career by improving your qualifications.

That can be done by attending courses and seminars provided by numerous associations whose aim is to help and support both aspiring and already established vet assistants.

But, have in mind that your obligations and responsibilities will be greater.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State