How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Oregon

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

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

If your answer to these questions is “yes”, then you should think about becoming a productive member of a veterinary team, either a vet assistant or a vet technician.

It is the fact that veterinary science demands a lot of time and money so as to become a veterinarian, causing many people who cannot afford it, choose a veterinary assistant vocation as their future occupation, as it can bring them equal satisfaction.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Oregon

The job of every veterinary assistant should not be underestimated, as each of them is an important member of veterinary staff and the right hand to the veterinarian.

Even though some people find their duties which start from making appointments, through sterilizing equipment, preparing animals for an intervention to assisting operations easy and not too demanding, we need to convince them that they are wrong.

Each and every day is different and brings new challenges to vet assistants as they usually spend their days setting up for and helping during surgery and treatments and educating clients.

Those who have developed themselves into veterinary assistants with a license, and who can perform difficult duties are occupied with quite demanding tasks which cannot be performed unless you are well trained or educated for it.

We would like to emphasize the fact that a veterinary assistant job is quite demanding and that it should not be at all underestimated as it currently is.

Their duties include caring for animals, applying postoperative care, administer medication, and prepare samples for laboratory examination.

They need to possess various skills so as to be able to manage client relations, office procedures and medical terminology, pharmacy, veterinary dentistry, and surgical preparation and assisting.

The work is usually organized in shifts, but if they work in a hospital that provides emergency services or accommodation to patients, they will need to work night shifts and weekends.

Veterinary assistants play a pivotal role in ensuring the smooth running of the organization.

Oregon Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Young people who are determined to become vet assistants can start their education courses while still in high school, or after finishing it.

It is true that the state does not require that vet assistants have an education related to veterinary medicine to start working, but it is a good thing to know what your duties are before entering the clinic.

The courses are designed due to the fact that there is an ongoing need for licensed veterinary assistants at all levels in the veterinary industry, who are educated to perform more difficult tasks rather than simply scheduling appointments so if you have education, the chances of getting a job are higher.

So as to receive a Certificate of Completion as a veterinary assistant, you may enter any of the courses organized by NAVTA and these are a few veterinary assistant campuses and online programs in Oregon:

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

What students learn through these courses are the skills to assist veterinarians in caring for animals in clinical settings, they receive both classroom instruction and laboratory training and get required knowledge related to economics, administration, and marketing.

This means that students who complete the certificate program are completely ready to start working successfully, as they will have the opportunity to work up to 40 hours per week at a veterinary clinical site and receive an outstanding experience in this filed.

So as to become the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) you can choose one of the approved available options by the NAVTA in Oregon:

  • Externship Option for aspiring vet assistants who are seeking employment.
  • Experiential Learner – the option available to working Oregon vet assistants.
  • Veterinary Assistant Program – the option is available to those working as an Oregon veterinary assistant and the weekly requirement is 20 hours in a full-service veterinary practice.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Oregon

The job opportunities for people who got an education through these education programs should be numerous.

They are more effective and valuable members of any veterinary medical team, being competent in dozens of foundational skills and this gives them priority over other candidates.

The veterinary field is advancing and developing, looking for even more employees and some states even experience the lack of approved vet assistants.

When you invest so much time and money into your education, you expect to find a satisfying job that will substitute all those efforts and will offer you a good salary.

However, veterinary assistants are not so interested in high salaries as they are in the satisfaction they get when they see the happiness on the face of a pet owner.

Oregon is a state with relatively higher salaries in relation to some other states, but still, they are not too high.

Veterinary assistants in Medford earn $ 28908 annually, while their colleagues in Portland earn $ 32250.

The difference in salaries among cities is not too high, but it still exists, which you can take into consideration when looking for a job.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Oregon annually since it varies from one city to another.

LocationAvg. 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

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Oregon

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Jackson Animal Hospital
  • VCA Delta Oaks Animal Hospital
  • VCA Laurelhurst Animal Hospital
  • VCA Salem Animal Hospital
  • VCA West Linn Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital in Bend

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Since education is highly required by many veterinarians when electing a perfect candidate for the job, and there are those who already work without a certificate, employers tend to motivate current personnel to pursue veterinary courses and dedicate themselves to training and education.

These continuing education courses and seminars are available throughout the state and these are just some of the well-known associations where you can look for chances for furthering your education.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State