Being a person who has always dreamt of practicing veterinary medicine makes you ideal for becoming a vet assistant.
Vet assistants are the vets’ most important helpers, and industry development makes them more relevant than ever.
If you’re interested, here’s how you can become one in Montana.
Table of Contents
What a Vet Assistant Does
People only perceive the least important duties of a vet assistant upon entering the vet facility.
Usually, they see you do the following:
- Administrative work
- Answering phone calls
- Contacting clients
But the job doesn’t involve only those activities.
You also do the following in your day-to-day:
- Examine pets and nonfarm animals
- 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
- Assist during the surgery
- Provide post-operative care
The more educated and experienced you are, the more serious tasks you get (and better pay).
So we suggest knowing the education and training requirements in Montana.
Personal Skills and Competencies
As a vet assistant, you need to possess the following to better do your job.
- Good communication skills to connect with vets, pet owners, and the vet team
- Empathy to provide comfort and understand the feelings of concerned pet owners
- Organizational skills to manage the administrative work well
- Time management to be prompt on day-to-day operations
Education Requirements in Montana
Before, you didn’t need to get any kind of knowledge on veterinary medicine to work as a vet assistant.
However, the times have changed.
Nowadays, more and more vets are looking for educated assistants who know what they’re supposed to do in the field.
So after high school, you can be educated through vet assistant programs offered by schools and online.
That way, you’ll get the knowledge including but aren’t limited to animal conditions, illnesses, and injuries.
As such, you’ll be able to advise owners about the health problems and how to better take care of their pets.
Those already working at vet facilities can also enroll in these programs for their continuing education or certification.
You can either enroll in the following schools in Montana:
- Pima Medical Institute
- University of Montana Western
- Helena College
You can also consider the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) program by NAVTA.
After which you’ll be able to take the certification exam.
Earning it confirms that you’ve passed all assessments, enabling you to effectively work as a vet assistant.
Job Prospects in Montana
When looking for employment, be aware that vets will give priority to certified vet assistants.
Currently, Montana’s estimated to have increased job growth due to the demand for animal care.
The following are institutions you can apply to.
- Montana Veterinary Medical Association
- Gallatin Animal Hospital
- Best Friends Animal Hospital and Urgent Care Center
- Banfield Pet Hospital – Bozeman
- Other animal care facilities in Montana
Potential Salary in Montana
As in any other profession, a vet assistant’s salary isn’t the same in all the places of the state.
It will depend on several factors like:
- Number of animal care facilities in that area
- Development of the region
- Your education, skills, and experience
- Duties you perform
Here’s how much you can potentially earn if you belong to a certain percentile.
Meanwhile, the table below shows the salaries offered in different places in Montana.
Average Annual Salary by Location
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|Anaconda-Deer Lodge County||$25,502|
Continuing Education for Vet Assistants
Veterinary medicine is constantly developing and advancing.
It has caused vet assistants to be in search of additional education, mostly for career advancements.
This can be done by attending courses and seminars provided by numerous associations.
They aim to help and support both aspiring and already established vet assistants.
- Montana Veterinary Medical Association
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Humane Society of Western Montana
- Montana Pets on the Net
The duties that vet assistants do include working with both the animal and concerned owners.
When you compare the job requirements and the salary they get for it, you can see that they’re paid modestly.
Luckily, these people don’t find satisfaction in their income, but in the fact that they have helped those animals in need.