How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Jersey

If you are interested in spending the day feeding, watering, and examining pets and other nonfarm animals in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics and above all get some money for those tasks, then you might consider starting your career as a veterinary assistant.

Being good at dealing with animals and people already makes you a good candidate for the obligations essential for the veterinary assistant job and what is even better is the fact that you will be surrounded by people who are equally passionate about pets as you are.

Together,  you will provide care to animals and assistance to the people who treat them.

We would like to mention some of the personal characteristics that a veterinary assistant has to possess so as to be successful in this field.

Except for loving animals, he/she has to be physically endurable, patient, mature, and emotionally stable.

If you think that this position is ideal for you, do not hesitate to try your luck, but have in mind that even though many people think that a veterinary assistant is a person who is in charge of less important issues, they should get into their obligations deeply, so as to understand how important they are.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in New Jersey

When daily requirements of a veterinary assistant are in question, we need to say that there are so many, but we will mention just a few, such as cleaning and disinfecting cages, providing routine postoperative care, preparing samples for laboratory examination, etc.

They need to be very careful and pay attention to that the patients are being treated correctly before and after the surgery.

In clinics that offer dental services, they need to be involved in these kinds of issues as well.

New Jersey Vet Assistant Education Requirements

People who consider becoming a veterinary assistant in New Jersy should know that they have a chance of starting their education even before getting a diploma from high school.

You can start educating yourself for this job through courses that can be chosen while you are still at high school, and which are designed to inform young learners about the possible future obligations if you decide to enter the world of veterinary medicine.

If you have already finished high school, a good thing is that GED or diploma is enough for getting a job, in those clinics which do not require licensed veterinary assistants and you can get involved in this demanding, yet rewarding profession immediately after your graduation.

However, gaining higher education can help during the selection process once you apply for the job and improve your self-confidence during your work, so the majority of people decide to enroll in some kind of vet assistant education such as training, courses, and school programs.

Across the United States, numerous programs and courses are organized by community colleges, training centers, vocational schools, and technical institutes and the most popular ones in New Jersey are:

  • Brookdale Community College
  • Ocean County College
  • William Paterson University

Through these courses, enrollees will learn all the necessary requirements to effectively manage daily duties once employed.

Even though education is not obligatory when becoming a veterinary assistant, more and more already employed veterinary assistants want to achieve further knowledge and get a certificate, so we suggest that you do the same.

By realizing that knowledge and training are important, they enroll courses related to animal diseases, lab procedures, pet medications, how to handle and assist animals, animal anatomy, pharmacology, and surgical assisting.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs in the USA.

Some of the NAVTA online programs and campuses are:

  • Animal Behavior College, online
  • Penn Foster, online
  • VetBloom, online
  • VetMedTeam, online
  • Morris County School of Technology; Veterinary Assistant Program; Denville, NJ
  • Mercer County Community College, West Windsor NJ
  • Ocean County College, Veterinary Assistant Program; Toms River, NJ

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in New Jersey

Getting a certificate is one just one part of the process when becoming a veterinary assistant which enables you to start looking for a job in animal clinics, hospitals, shelters, and zoos.

You do not need to worry, as the job outlook is bright for vet assistants.

However, whether you will be employed in a clinic you would like depends on many factors, as the hiring process is determined by the employer and the candidate need to have the appropriate set of skills and qualities for this job.

The chances of becoming a veterinary assistant are equal for all the candidates, but better positioned among participants are those with the certificate and they can expect to be better paid.

The veterinary assistant salary is modest, even considered too low compared to some other similar occupations.

Due to the fact that some states struggle to find enough certified and trained assistants, it is believed that the salary will be in constant growth.

The annual salary of a veterinary assistant is different in the cities and it depends on numerous factors, such as the number of working hours and setting.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of New Jersey annually since it varies from one city to another.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Jersey City$37,335
East Orange$35,237

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in New Jersey

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • Freehold Animal Hospital
  • VCA Maple Shade Animal Hospital
  • VCA Iselin Animal Hospital
  • Edgebrook Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Moorestown
  • Hamilton
  • Manalapan

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

The life of an animal has become of equal importance as the life of a human being and that is the reason why veterinarians and their staff are necessary and even more important, they need to be well educated to meet the newest technology and science trends and developments.

So, it is highly suggested that you keep on studying even upon graduation from a vet assistant program, in order to advance your skills and improve your knowledge.

That is possible through various associations that offer continuing education courses and seminars for both experienced and inexperienced vet assistants.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State