How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in North Dakota

It is a very difficult task to determine which career is the best for you, especially if you think about two possible vocations.

Those of you who consider becoming vet assistants may ask themselves a number of questions such as what it is like to spend all working day with animals and whether it is rewarding if you give them your help in need.

One thing is certain, your love towards animals and the need to save their lives is more than just fulfilling and a career as a veterinary assistant may be ideal for you.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in North Dakota

What aspiring vet assistants should bear in mind is the fact that their job includes multiple activities and duties, so they need to be able to handle both delicate lab equipment and scared or hurt animals, as well as possess technical and medical skills to complete daily tasks.

It is true that they do not make decisions as their job is to just follow the veterinarian demands, but veterinary assistants must on some occasions provide first aid to animal patients and at those moments everything is entrusted to them.

They also need to be compassionate since they will be working with both animals and their owners.

The daily duties of a veterinary assistant are quite versatile.

They need to monitor patients after surgical procedures, educate pet owners on treatment, surgical procedures, and medication for their pets, and enhance good hygiene.

Furthermore, certified veterinary assistants who have higher education and skills even are asked to assist veterinarians during the surgery and treatment of animals.

Animal hospitals and veterinary clinics employ veterinary assistants to care for a variety of animals, but at the same time to deal with pet owners, so communication skills are especially important.

North Dakota Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Young people who finish high school think that it is great that postsecondary education is not required to become a veterinary assistant.

They believe that once they find a job, they will learn everything they need during the course of work.

However,  once in a veterinary clinic, you can find yourself in a situation that you do not know what to do if an animal has a cut or what the best way to control fleas is, as you have never met with these illnesses before and that is the moment when education related to animal health would come into play.

During the six months or one-year courses available, you will be focus­ing on the skills required to work in careers involving animal care.

We offer you a few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in North Dakota:

  • Lake Region State College
  • Bismarck State College
  • Dakota College at Bottineau

These programs are usually structured around animal diseases, care and restraint, laboratory and surgical support preparation and enrollees will learn safe handling skills and how to perform physical examinations and treatments.

Since 2010, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America is focused on providing credentials to vet assistant and it has founded a veterinary assistant approval program that allows both experienced and inexperienced veterinary assistants to complete it and earn the title of Approved Veterinary Assistant.

Considering the fact that the veterinary clinic is not just a medical facility, students also study computer operations and office procedures as well as marketing throughout these programs.

They have lectures in a lab, where the master surgical sup­port techniques and basic clinical laboratory procedures.

These programs are supposed to prepare learners for AVA exam and after it, for a career working with animals in a variety of settings such as veterinary clinics, boarding kennels, and animal shelters.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in North Dakota

Upon getting your certificate, as an approved veterinary assistant you can look for a job in clinics and animal hospitals, zoos, animal shelters, and laboratories.

There you will perform a wide range of tasks to assist in caring for sick and injured animals.

There is also the option of opening your own businesses such as boarding kennels, dog daycares, or pet sitting services.

Generally speaking, the veterinary staff is in constant demand, but even though some states lack vet assistants, you should know that nowadays veterinarians want to hire veterinary assistants with great medical and technical skills, meaning those with training and education.

So, if you are interested in working as a veterinary assistant, you should spend some time learning about veterinary medicine, since the license will definitely give you priority when looking for a job.

The salary of a veterinary assistant in the USA is not so high, and the income differs from state to state, and from city to city within one state.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a veterinary assistant in North Dakota is approximately $26 000 which is lower than in many other more developed states.

The lowest salaries have vet assistants in Grand Forks $ 26949, while the highest one is in West Fargo and Fargo $ 28948.

Below is the table of the annual salary of a veterinary assistant in various cities in North Dakota.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Fargo$28,948
Bismarck$28,760
Grand Forks$26,949
Minot$28,297
Mandan$28,760
Dickinson$28,297
Jamestown$28,391
West Fargo$28,948
Williston$28,297
Wahpeton$28,486

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in North Dakota

  • Missouri Valley Vet- Commerce
  • Steele Veterinary Clinic
  • Pinkerton Animal Hospital
  • Southgate Veterinary Hospital
  • Lewis and Clark Animal Hospital
  • Turtle Mountain Veterinary Services
  • Animal Health Clinic

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

If you think that you are a person able to spend whole life concerned about animal welfare and doing things to make animals more secure and healthy, then you should choose a career of a veterinary assistant as you future vocation having in mind the fact that you are required to constantly develop your skills and knowledge.

You do not only have to attend continuing education courses to renew your AVA but also to be in line with the latest trends and scientific achievements.

The following resources are only some of the associations available in North Dakota for both well established and aspiring vet assistants.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State