How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Mexico

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love for animals is the same as love between people

Love towards animals is treated equally to that of love between people.

In some cases, people feel greater love toward animals.

And so, pet owners have a growing concern about their pets’ welfare, leading to the growing development of vet care.

This is great news for people who are interested in the vet field as it offers an abundance of job options.

Take a career as a vet assistant for one.

So if you care about animals and would love to help keep them healthy, here’s how you can become a vet assistant in New Mexico.

What a Vet Assistant Does

First of all, personal characteristics are important to be successful in this field.

A good veterinary assistant must have excellent communication skills.

You need to be empathetic and compassionate to understand the emotions a distressed pet owner is going through.

Also, you must be patient enough to handle all the questions and concerns they may have.

Organizational skills and a keen eye for detail are also a must to successfully perform your duties.

When it comes to your tasks, you’ll mostly do administrative or clerical duties like:

  • Answering phone calls
  • Booking appointments
  • Communicating with clients and other staff
  • Regulating payments and marketing
  • Cooperating with other vet facilities

But you also shoulder some complex tasks in your workday such as:

  • Assist vets, especially during surgery
  • Take and develop x-rays
  • Collect urine samples
  • Perform laboratory tests
  • Administer injections and medication
  • Prepare and maintain the exam rooms and treatment areas.
  • Provide basic animal care (e.g., hygiene, food, etc.)

If these duties are manageable for you, then this career is definitely something you should consider.

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Education Requirements in New Mexico

The state allows high school graduates to work as vet assistants even without proper training or experience.

However, it’s recommended to further your studies to learn the dos and don’ts of this career.

Most of all, the tasks assigned to you are dependent on your knowledge and skills.

The more talented you are in your job, the more trusted you are by the vet and the vet team.

And so, being that good qualifications matter, you should consider taking the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) program.

It’s a training program developed by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

It aims to give you comprehensive training, in line with the industry trends, with the goal to make you a certified professional.

Although no schools in New Mexico offer NAVTA’s AVA yet, you can enroll in online programs provided by the following:

  • Animal Behavior College
  • Penn Foster
  • VetBloom
  • VetMedTeam

If you’re a traditional learner, some schools offer a vet assistant program with a certification even if it’s not accredited by NAVTA.

These are just a few of the schools in New Mexico you can consider:

  • Central New Mexico Community College
  • Pima Medical Institute
  • Carrington College

INAVTA also offers other options if you can’t afford schooling at this time.

  • Externship Option for people seeking a position as a vet assistant
  • Experiential Learner for employed vet assistants in New Mexico

Job Prospects in New Mexico

providing basic animal care at the vet clinic

Today, many vet clinics and hospitals popped up across New Mexico, seeking to hire new vet assistants.

What’s even better is that job growth here is expected to increase in the future.

You won’t have trouble finding a job upon finishing the program.

That’s because your qualifications make you confident and prepared to face all kinds of difficulties this job throws at you.

The more demanding your duties are, the higher your salary will be.

The following well-known facilities will appreciate your skills and knowledge, especially if you’re an AVA.

  • Veterinary Centers of America Branches
    • West Mesa Animal Hospital
    • Wyoming Animal Hospital
    • Town and Country Animal Hospital
    • Arrighetti Animal Hospital
    • Veterinary Care Animal Hospital and Referral Center
  • Banfield Pet Hospital in Albuquerque

Potential Salary in New Mexico

Salary.com reported that as of February 2022, the salary ranges from $23,390 and $35,016.

According to these numbers, you’ll earn, on average, an annual salary of $29,029.

The salary percentile is shown in the table below.

Percentile Salary
10% $18,256
25% $23,390
50% $29,029
75% $35,016
90% $40,466

Meanwhile, the table below shows the varying salaries in different places in New Mexico.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Albuquerque $29,011
Las Cruces $26,227
Santa Fe $29,158
Rio Rancho $28,919
Roswell $27,060
Farmington $28,622
Alamogordo $27,523
Clovis $27,333
Hobbs $26,619
Carlsbad $27,060

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

We want to emphasize that the ideal candidate for this profession needs to be willing to learn new skills and develop their abilities.

You need to be updated on the latest industry news for your career growth and advancement.

So attending continuing education seminars courses would be extremely beneficial for you.

The following offers resources you can take advantage of.

Final Words

As of this moment, you have the passion but lack the knowledge and skills to confidently work as a vet assistant.

So if you want to be a part of the vet team, you should take the AVA or other programs to earn good qualifications.

Remember, employers, especially vets, want someone who already knows what they need to do upon hiring.

They want quality skills from you, as well as the eagerness to learn and develop yourself.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State