How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Oregon

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a vet assistant in oregon

Aspiring vet team members need to ask themselves the following questions:

  • Would you love to spend your day with animals?
  • Are you interested in their health and happiness?
  • Is your job satisfaction more important than your salary?

If you say “yes” to all three, then you can potentially become a valued member of the vet team.

One of the roles you can consider is becoming a vet assistant.

And here’s how you can become one in Oregon.

What A Vet Assistant Does

A vet assistant’s job shouldn’t be underestimated.

You’re the right-hand man to vets and/or vet techs.

Playing such a pivotal role, the tasks you perform aren’t easy and uncomplicated.

Every day brings new challenges, undertaking responsibilities including but not limited to:

  • Making appointments
  • Sterilizing equipment
  • Preparing animals for surgery
  • Assisting in operations and other procedures
  • Providing basic animal care
  • Advising and educating clients
  • Doing postoperative care
  • Administering medications
  • Collecting samples for lab examinations
  • Managing client relations
  • Other clerical work

Note that unless you’re well trained and educated, you won’t be able to perform these tasks with ease.

Also, you’ll usually work in shifts.

But if there’s an emergency, you might be called in to help out even if it’s a weekend or holiday.

Education Requirements in Oregon

am i fit to be a vet assistant

The state only requires you to at least be a high school graduate to start working as a vet assistant.

In fact, some high schools have vet assistant programs for interested students, prepping them for the job.

It’s always a good thing to know what your duties are before entering an animal care facility.

If your high school doesn’t offer one, don’t fret.

There are institutions you can enroll in to get your education and training, in-person or online.

  • Carrington College
  • Linn-Benton Community College
  • Blue Mountain Community College

It’s preferable that you enroll in a program approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America.

Their program’s designed to let you gain further knowledge and skills in animal care.

It’s done through classroom instructions and lab training.

In this way, you can be proficient in animal care in a clinical setting and administrative work.

As a result, you’ll receive outstanding field experience.

Later, you must work on eventually becoming a certified professional.

You can learn more about the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification on their website.

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Job Prospects in Oregon

Educated individuals have more job opportunities open for them.

That’s because their training made them competent members of a vet team, with all foundational skills acquired.

Today, more and more employers in Oregon are looking for AVAs who can help them with animal care.

Here are a few potential employers you can consider submitting an application to:

  • Veterinary Centers of America Branches
    • Jackson Animal Hospital
    • Delta Oaks Animal Hospital
    • Laurelhurst Animal Hospital
    • Salem Animal Hospital
    • West Linn Animal Hospital
  • Banfield Pet Hospital in Bend

Potential Salary in Oregon

vet assistant salary in oregon

With you investing time and money in your education, expect a satisfying pay as a reward for all that effort.

As of January 2022, you can expect to earn an average annual salary of $31,591 per Salary.com.

Here’s how much your base salary would be if you belong to a certain percentile.

Percentile Salary
10% $19,867
25% $25,454
50% $31,591
75% $38,105
90% $44,036

Note that different places have different annual salaries as shown in the table below.

The difference isn’t that much, but we still encourage you to check it as it may help with your employment choices.

Average Annual Salary by Location

Location Avg. Annual Salary
Portland $32,250
Eugene $30,244
Salem $31,130
Gresham $32,209
Beaverton $32,250
Hillsboro $32,147
Medford $28,908
Springfield $30,022
Bend $29,825
Corvallis $30,404

Continuing Education for Vet Assistants

Education is a major consideration for many employers when selecting a perfect job candidate.

They encourage personnel to pursue vet-related courses and acquire their certification.

These continuing education courses and seminars are available throughout the state.

The list below is some of the well-known associations where you can look for chances for furthering your education.

Final Words

It’s a fact that the veterinary field demands more from its professionals in order to give the best animal care possible.

So as a vet assistant, you must invest in your training to become a highly competent individual.

Remember: You are a valued member of the vet team.

You play an important role in helping animals get better and ensuring the happiness of pet owners.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State