How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in North Carolina

Animals have become members of our families and the least we can do for them is make sure that they are happy and healthy.

The pet ownership is on the rise which causes the need for skilled veterinary assistants to increase.

If you love animals enough to work with them full time and help them when they need you then veterinary assistant vocation should be your future interest and you might want to explore what it takes to become a veterinary assistant.

That is why we offer you this article, with all the necessary details regarding both becoming a vet assistant and successfully performing this rewarding, yet demanding role.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in North Carolina

Veterinary Assistants are individuals who are trained to provide first aid and medical care, as well as facilitate positive customer relationships.

They are the first to help the animal in case of illnesses and injuries and provide consolation to a distressed pet owner.

When things go wrong, many issues are entrusted to them, and that is the reason why their job needs to be respected more.

Some of the duties that may expect you once you become a veterinary assistant are the following: basic diagnostic including x rays, monitor and report to the veterinarian the condition changes of a hospitalized animal and if you are more educated, you can be asked to perform the administration of vaccines and sedatives and presurgical medications.

In instances where a veterinarian may not be available at the specific moment the first aid is entrusted to vet assistants.

In other words, a veterinary assistant is far more than just the administrative worker.

North Carolina Vet Assistant Education Requirements

If you want to be good at something and to be sure that you do your job well, you first need to learn how to do it and that proves the fact that numerous already employed assistants decide to enter courses so as to gain more education and practice from experienced people.

You can get formal education and training with the certification once finished through Veterinary Assistant programs, even though it is not obligatory.

Your certifications and licensures, as well as the eagerness to learn more, will determine whether you will perform some of the more complex and sensitive tasks, thus earning higher salaries.

These are a few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in North Carolina:

  • Middle North Carolina Technical College
  • Ogeechee Technical College
  • University of North Carolina

The curriculum of these programs is designed so as to teach students how to interact with pets, the anatomy and physiology of small animals, how to take animal medical histories and take blood and urine samples, meaning that these students, once they get into the clinic, will already be prepared for administering medications to animals in a safe manner, restraining animals during exams, taking vital signs accurately and performing first aid on sick animals.

They will instantly become valuable members of the team, so it is advisable to pass some kind of education related to that field.

NAVTA has organized numerous courses throughout the USA and Canada, where both employed and unemployed vet assistants can learn the importance of good nutrition and safe environments for animals, and many other things so as to become skilled and caring professionals.

Besides teaching enrollees about clinical procedures, these Veterinary Assistant Programs are designed so as to prepare students to effectively perform administrative and reception duties as well, as those will be their daily duties.

In order to become an approved veterinary assistant in North Carolina, you can choose from one of the three following options.

  • Externship Option
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program

After you finish education which prepares you for the AVA exam, you will need to pass it with a successful score and renew your North Carolina AVA by attaining 10 continuing education credits within the following 2 years.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in North Carolina

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to increase thus improving the chances of getting a job and it is an even better situation for vet assistants as their potential employers are numerous, including veterinarian clinics and hospitals, pet adoption facilities, zoos, and animal shelters.

The majority of veterinary assistants perform their jobs primarily because they have a desire to work with and help animals, as well as because they want to support them in the worst moments of their lives.

Even though their salaries are not satisfactory and should be higher, they still find this job fulfilling and rewarding.

The salary of a veterinary assistant depends on many factors, both social and individual.

When individual characteristics are in question, if you do not possess a license, you cannot expect to be paid equally as the one who possesses it.

Plus, the skills, knowledge, abilities, and daily duties affect the amount of money you will earn as a veterinary assistant.

Social factors, on the other hand, are related to the work setting and reputation of the clinic, the development of the area where the clinic is, and the number of pet owners and their earnings.

Here is the table of annual veterinary assistant salaries throughout the state of North Carolina:

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
High Point$29,664

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in North Carolina

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Stoney Creek Animal Hospital
  • VCA Whispering Pines Animal Hospital
  • VCA Triangle Tower Animal Hospital
  • VCA Animal Hospital West

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Cary
  • Durham Southpoint
  • Sanford

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Greensboro Petco
  • Located in Durham Petco
  • Located in Charlotte Petco
  • Located in Concord Petco

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Veterinary assistants are usually people ready to provide effective, high-quality care and are continually inspired for new knowledge and improvement throughout their whole career.

That is why they can make use of the following organizations which offer continuing education courses for vet assistants.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State