How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New York

There are many cases that children who love cats and dogs once they grow up become veterinarians.

Unfortunately, there are situations when they cannot afford to become one and their dream about becoming a veterinarian turns into a more affordable and less time-consuming vocation of vet assistant.

We assure you that a veterinarian assistant job may be as rewarding as a veterinary profession, being that you become a part of the team that works on the same aim and that is to help the animal in need.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in New York

Even though it sounds like an easy job, veterinary assistants have to deal with more tasks than you might think, and people tend to underestimate this vocation, being that they encounter them behind the desk and believe that scheduling appointments are their only task.

Quite contrary, they are also seriously involved in the process of intervention or surgery performed on pets, and their daily duties require much more than just providing compassion to the animals and their owners.

Some of the tasks are ensuring that animals are well prepared for surgery and medical examination, administering medication to animals, cleaning and sanitizing animal cages, and surgical tools.

Veterinary assistants play a key role since other team members rely on them.

New York Vet Assistant Education Requirements

In this profession, the relation between education and job opportunities is very tight, as veterinary institutions and their employees are the ones that determine the criteria on which they will decide who to employ.

The state does not have strict requirements for becoming a veterinary assistant, and jobs are offered to those with high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development) in case there is a lack of certified vet assistants.

On the other hand, for more prominent clinics this minimum prerequisite is not enough.

They require a person who has finished an accredited Veterinary Assistant Program or possess any kind of license or certification.

These are just a few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in New York:

  • Wayne Technical and Career Center
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • Ulster County Community College

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) is the organization whose aim is to support and help aspiring vet assistants and it has created licensed courses available throughout the USA and Canada which can be joined by anyone interested in getting a certificate in the veterinary field.

Lectures and training focus both on practical and theoretical knowledge and students gain insight into diagnostic processes, causes of diseases, anatomy and physiology and parasitology, among many other things that are necessary so that they can at first sit an exam and get a passing grade, get a certificate and perform the successful job.

If you think about getting an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification, we have to say that this is actually a national certificate that is awarded to qualified veterinary assistants who pass the education in one of the three approved available options by the NAVTA in New York.

  • Externship Option for novice vet assistants as it provides on-site training and instruction
  • Experiential Learner for individuals who already work as veterinary assistants in New York 20 hours per week at a full-service veterinary practice.
  • Veterinary Assistant Program and so as to qualify for this option, vet assistants must be employed in a full-service veterinary practice for at least 20 hours per week.

Once you complete an approved option, you are required to take the AVA exam and after passing the approved veterinary assistant examination in New York, you will immediately be processed and issued a certificate.

Even though you officially become an approved New York veterinary assistant, the state of New York requires the renewal of your certificate every 2 years upon providing proof of ongoing education.

If you cannot start working immediately after getting a certification, we suggest that you volunteer at various animal shelters so as to gain experience, thus improving your job prospects since employers prefer that their employees have previous work experience.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in New York

Each of us makes efforts to finish the studies as soon as possible so as to start working instantly.

Getting a job can be a very stressful experience for young people.

Vet assistants should not worry about this, due to the fact that the need for certified veterinary assistants is increasing and the places where they can look for a job are various.

Veterinary assistants can choose to work in a wildlife refuge, veterinary clinic, zoos, animal shelter or a nonprofit organization, depending on their own interests, but they need to make sure that they meet the requirements and are able to complete the tasks that certain facility may ask them to do.

Having in mind all the responsibilities that a veterinary assistant has during the course of a day, it is believed that their salaries are not sufficient and satisfactory.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the average annual veterinary assistant salary in the USA is approximately $24 740.

It varies from state to state, and the veterinary clinics in those areas which have higher standards of living and that have more patients are more likely to pay higher salaries to their veterinary assistants.

In New York, the vet assistant salary starts from the lowest one in Buffalo which is $ 29507up to the highest one in New York and Brooklyn reaching $ 37335.

Here is the table of annual salaries of veterinary assistants in various cities in the state of New York:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
New York$37,335
Buffalo$29,507
Rochester$30,417
Yonkers$35,566
Syracuse$30,412
Albany$31,358
New Rochelle$35,346
Mount Vernon$35,550
Schenectady$31,236
Utica$29,547

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in New York

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America) the national organization which cares about animals in any of the 750 VCA hospitals throughout the USA.

  • Manhattan Veterinary Group
  • Rosebank Animal Hospital
  • Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center of Westbury
  • Nassau-Suffolk Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital with more than 900 locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

  • Secaucus
  • Staten Island
  • Brooklyn

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO which offers both affordable and quality health care and the possibility of advancing the careers of veterinary professionals.

  • Located in Colonie Petco
  • Located in Bronx Petco
  • Located in Hartsdale Petco
  • Located in Queensberry Petco

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