Considering the fact that there is an increasing number of animal lovers who take care of the health and well being of their pets, there is a huge number of new open vet hospitals and clinics where the staff is necessary.
If you belong to those who want to train for veterinary assistant careers, our first suggestion is to find a school that provides the quality education necessary to become certified.
Only with a license, you can land a job after graduation.
In order to help you, we have to offer you a list of the best schools across the country.
Our list is made after thoroughly evaluating programs.
We believe that the following online veterinary assistant schools offer the best educational value to students and what is more important, all of them are approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
Table of Contents
- 1 Quality Online Veterinary Assistant Schools
- 2 How to Find The Best Online Vet Assistant School?
- 3 Attending Vet Assistant School Online
- 4 How Much Does Online Vet Assistant School Cost?
- 5 Earning Your Vet Assistant Certification Online
- 6 Salary and Job Growth for Veterinary Assistants
- 7 Resources for Further Research
Quality Online Veterinary Assistant Schools
Penn Foster College’s veterinary assistant program is designed so as to provide students with skills they need to work in an animal hospital of any size.
The school is proud to offer the flexibility of online education, being that Penn Foster allows students to adapt their schedules to complete coursework at their own pace.
Students get access to class materials through their computers or mobile devices whenever and wherever they want.
The completion of the program signifies that they are qualified to perform all the duties expected of veterinary assistants, such as preparing animals for surgical procedures, filing medical records, restraining nervous pets, and cleaning examination rooms and kennels, to mention just a few.
Besides attending the required classes online, students must participate in hands-on training at the facility where they work under the supervision of a veterinarian so as to put the knowledge into practice.
It usually takes eight weeks to finish the externship after which students are required to work for at least 100 hours at a small animal clinic.
The tuition at Penn Foster College is $859 if paid in full.
Also, the school has monthly payment plans, and the students who choose this option pay $929 total at $59 per month.
This is a military-friendly school, meaning that veterans are given the opportunity to use their benefits to pay for their education if they qualify.
Animal Behavior College’s vet assistant program is considered great as it takes only a year and allows online students to complete coursework at their own pace from the comfort of their home.
The curriculum consists of 11 stages, and the majority of them are offered online.
The first nine stages at Animal Behavior College cover topics such as animal restraint, examination room procedures, surgical assisting, small animal nursing, and radiology, which are the basics of vet assistant job.
In addition, students learn the business of running an animal clinic by becoming familiar with medical records, inventory, and working effectively with other members of a veterinary team.
What is very significant for young learners is that Animal Behavior College provides career-building skills, such as resume writing and interviewing.
After covering the first nine stages, students move on to the tenth stage of the program where they get the hands-on experience they need.
This is kind of an externship, which takes up to 20 weeks to finish.
The externship is usually done at one of the school’s 4,000 partner facilities for at least 100 hours.
In the last stage of the program, aspiring vet t assistants need to demonstrate their knowledge by taking a final exam.
The school also boasts short-term programs that students can enroll in to learn about specialized topics, but they are available only to those who have completed at least nine stages of their vet assistant training.
These courses cover areas like pet fostering, dog walking, animal nutrition, and pet massage.
The tuition for Animal Behavior College’s veterinary assistant program is approximately $2,999.
You can make use of payment plans, being that the school allows military spouses to use government education benefits to help pay for their tuition.
VetBloom is another excellent school that offers an online veterinary assistant program made up of five modules and it takes 26 weeks to finish.
During the studies. students will learn a variety of topics including basic medical terminology, animal anatomy and physiology, diseases and their treatments, and nutrition.
They will not only get the knowledge, but will learn the necessary skills such as animal grooming, performing medical calculations, and updating patient records, as well as discharge procedures and phone etiquette.
The moment five modules at VetBloom are completed, students are required to participate in a clinical externship for six weeks.
This means that they will work in a full-service animal clinic or hospital for a minimum of 120 hours and get the chance to practice the skills they learned throughout the program.
They will be able to learn by looking at the work of experienced professionals.
VetBloom’s program costs $4,000, and the fee for taking the certification examination is included in this price.
The school offers payment plans and accepts employer tuition reimbursement payments, as well as government benefits provided to military spouses.
How to Find The Best Online Vet Assistant School?
When determining which vet assistant school is the right one for you, you need to think about your needs, desires, and expectations, as all students are different in terms of their career goals and needs.
Finding a veterinary assistant program that will help you achieve specific professional aspirations can be a daunting task, so we have gathered certain qualities that all students should consider when evaluating schools.
NAVTA Approval – the most important of all qualities is that vet assistant schools should be approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America. Even though graduating from a NAVTA-approved program is not mandatory to be a vet assistant, you should have in mind that this approval means that the program meets the high standards of training students need and enables them to qualify to sit for the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification examination.
AVA Exam Preparation – So as to become a certified veterinary assistant, you must pass the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) exam. This means that you need to attend the training program which offers a curriculum that will prepare you for this test. Prospective students should look at the coursework that schools offer to verify that a program will deliver this preparation.
Affordability – Another characteristic that has to be thought of. A program should have affordable tuition and fees and students are suggested to compare the costs of quality programs and consider what payment options are available to them.
Employer Connections – Enrolling in a program should not only provide you with the foundation in the veterinary assisting field but also connect you with organizations that may hire you after graduation. The best are those programs that are well-connected with veterinary hospitals and clinics so they can get help meeting their externship requirement. There are cases when schools offer career services to help students find a job after graduation.
Attending Vet Assistant School Online
Enrolling in a vet assistant program is a great step towards this rewarding career, but usually, people have many questions prior to entering the studies.
Online education is still in the process of developing and they may be concerned about how online schools will truly teach them everything they need to know.
Being that there are certain skills that require hands-on practice, online vet assistant programs are made so as to teach some concepts online, like animal physiology and anatomy, while on the other hand require that students participate in externships, which gives them the chance to get the clinical training they need.
If you are wondering how long a veterinary assistant program takes to complete we need to say that it cannot be exactly stated, as it depends on the specific school that students enroll in.
Generally speaking, you can expect to finish the studies in about a year and a half.
During your studies, you will have to attend some common courses and meet the program requirements so as to graduate.
The curriculum of a veterinary assistant program offers both the theoretical knowledge they should have and the hands-on training.
The main goal of the coursework is to prepare students to earn their certification.
Programs may require that they complete the following classes:
Client Relations – due to the fact that vet assistants do not only work with animals, but also with their owners and other veterinary facility staff. During these classes, students will learn how to effectively communicate with the customers so as to build long-term relationships with them. They need to know how to console people who are grieving the loss of a pet, avoid compassion fatigue, and properly use nonverbal communication when talking to customers.
Animal Anatomy and Physiology – these classes provide students with knowledge on how the bodily systems of animals function, the ways that veterinarians treat specific medical problems, so they will learn about the nervous system, hormones, skin, fur, and organs.
Medical Records – the duties of vet assistants are not only related to the animals, as veterinary clinics must have accurate patient records. This signifies that a veterinary assistant’s job is to maintain these records, documents all patient events completely and accurately, so they will study basic medical calculations and other clerical skills.
Veterinary Business Practices – this course is designed to teach vet assistants how a veterinary practice is run, so it covers topics such as pet health insurance, attracting and retaining clients, appointment scheduling, working as a team member, and inventory control.
Externship – the most important part of the studies, as it gives vet assistant students a chance to experience the realities of the job and put their knowledge into practice in a real clinical setting.
How Much Does Online Vet Assistant School Cost?
The cost of tuition and fees for a vet assistant program varies among schools and cannot be exactly stated, but we offer you the examples of tuition costs so as to get acquainted with the possible prices you might need to pay.
- U.S. Career Institute, Veterinary Assistant Certificate $589
- Blackstone Career Institute, Veterinary Assistant Certificate $1,214
- Ashworth College, Veterinary Assisting Diploma $699
Earning Your Vet Assistant Certification Online
After finding the veterinary assistant school which suits you best, you have just started the long journey towards your future career.
These are the steps that you must take to earn the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification.
Step #1 – Enroll in the vet assistant program approved by NAVTA due to the fact that it ensures that students will be well prepared for the challenges of a vet assisting career, can sit on the certification examination, and meet the employers’ expectations.
Step #2 – Complete standard online coursework which includes numerous and various courses designed to teach students how to successfully communicate with pet owners, clean examination rooms, and restrain animals, among a variety of other skills which they will use once they find a job.
Step #3 – Complete on-site externship is another integral part of vet assistant programs. Students get an opportunity to work under the supervision of current veterinary professionals and put their knowledge to the test in a real-life situation.
Step #4 – Sign up for and pass the AVA exam, which is a 100-question exam developed by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America and administered on the VetMedTeam website. It takes 150 minutes to complete and if you pass it, you become certified.
Step #5 – Renew certification every two years is also important as the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America wants to be sure that AVA professionals keep their skills and knowledge updated. All certified vet assistants are required to renew their certification after two years and this is only possible if they complete ten continuing education credits and pay a $10 fee.
Salary and Job Growth for Veterinary Assistants
Vet assistants can expect to make a median income of $27,540 per year, according to BLS.
The highest possible salary is around $38,890 annually, while the lowest 10 percent of workers make under $19,950.
Resources for Further Research
If you have enrolled in a vet assistant program or become a certified vet assistant, this should not be the ned of your further educational developments.
You should take advantage of additional information that will help you advance in your career.
The following five resources are very useful to veterinary assistant students.
A Day in the Life of a Veterinary Assistant – a video from Carrington College which offers a look at the daily work of a vet assistant.
Approved Veterinary Assistant FAQs – a page full of information on the Approved Veterinary Assistant certification needed if you want to obtain employment after you complete the training program.
National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America – provides resources such as industry journals, access to continuing education courses, and advice on coping with the job. Another great thing about this organization is that it offers scholarships for those studying to enter the field, as well as discounts for insurance and resources professionals use.
Veterinary Practice News – This publication provides professionals in this field with the latest industry news, trends, and practice advances related to the treatment of small animals like cats and dogs, larger animals like horses and cows, and less common pets, including ducks and rabbits.