Veterinary Assistant Salary

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A career as a vet assistant is promising.

It gives you security in future employment and ample earnings to support your chosen lifestyle.

What’s more, training doesn’t take too long.

So how much can you earn as a vet assistant?

Annual Average Salary of Vet Assistants

earnings and pay grade

With the demand for animal care increasing, it directly affected the veterinary industry.

Meaning, many vets and vet facilities are looking for vet assistants to help them with administrative work.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2020 report, vet assistants earn an average of $29,930 per year.

That’s about $14.39 per hour.

The lowest they can earn is $21,570, while the highest is $41,080.

Top Paying States

You may not know this, but states have different pay grades.

These are the states that pay more for vet assistants’ services per the BLS.

Rank State Annual Mean Wage Hourly Mean Wage
1 Maine $43,290 $20.81
2 Massachusetts $41,000 $19.71
3 District of Columbia $38,890 $18.70
4 Connecticut $36,100 $17.36
5 California $35,620 $17.13

Average Annual Salary by State

State Avg. Annual Salary
Alabama $28,136
Alaska $33,502
Arizona $29,381
Arkansas $27,425
California $32,939
Colorado $29,707
Connecticut $31,961
Delaware $31,605
Florida $27,980
Georgia $29,203
Hawaii $30,923
Idaho $26,980
Illinois $31,247
Indiana $28,966
Iowa $27,751
Kansas $29,174
Kentucky $28,106
Louisiana $29,441
Maine $29,945
Maryland $30,419
Massachusetts $33,740
Michigan $30,538
Minnesota $31,635
Mississippi $26,387
Missouri $29,174
Montana $28,225
Nebraska $28,047
Nevada $30,893
New Hampshire $31,308
New Jersey $33,858
New Mexico $27,691
New York $34,507
North Carolina $29,055
North Dakota $27,662
Ohio $29,559
Oklahoma $28,166
Oregon $31,131
Pennsylvania $31,901
Rhode Island $31,397
South Carolina $27,988
South Dakota $26,090
Tennessee $27,484
Texas $29,441
Utah $28,106
Vermont $29,263
Virginia $29,737
Washington $32,435
West Virginia $27,039
Wisconsin $29,500
Wyoming $26,980

Different Cities Offer Different Pays

It’s important to emphasize that salaries aren’t consistent all year round.

For instance, in Ithaca, NY.

Vet assistants here receive $38,760 a year on average.

And this is on top of the fact that there are significantly few vet assistants in the city.

Another factor is the fluctuating cost of living (COL).

In the south of New York, they have lower COL, and the salary is less than average.

Meanwhile, in New England, the opposite is happening.

They have higher salaries because of the higher COL.

In conclusion, cities in various states have varying pay ranges.

Factors Affecting a Vet Assistant’s Earnings

figuring out your salary

It’s not easy to figure out the annual earnings of a vet assistant.

Mostly because these are usually measured based on various factors.

Some are paid on an hourly basis; others are paid monthly.

Usually, these factors are determined by the animal healthcare facility.

This is because some facilities prefer to work with part-time vet assistants.

Some may require to hire on an hourly basis, especially if they have an emergency.

And then others opt to work with full-time or permanent employees.

So, here are some essential factors that will determine how much you will be earning at the end of the day.


Your experience as a vet assistant plays a significant role in getting good pay.

Experience can mean either be or both:

  • The amount of time you’ve been in this industry
  • The number of facilities you’ve worked at

So, for instance, if you’ve had over five years of experience, it shows that you know how to solve various animal issues.

How about if you’ve worked in a vet facility for a long time?

Or, in some cases, different types of facilities?

Then it means that you can manage administrative affairs in different settings.

Work Setting

As you seek employment in vet facilities, you need to consider their payment terms.

The vet facility’s growth determines how much the vet can afford to pay you.

That’s why you have to consider your potential workplace well.

Per the BLS, here are the industries that give higher average pay per year.

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Colleges and universities $37,580
Research and development $36,270
Vet services $29,560


The location where you work influences your chances of securing a job with good pay.

For example, you work in a city with many farmers but with few vet facilities.

Chances are, you’re going to get employed quicker and with satisfactory pay.

Compare that to the opposite, you’ll be better off working someplace else.


Your level of training also matters a lot in gauging your skill level and knowledge.

An AVA certification will serve as proof that you’re highly qualified for a vet assistant job.

Meaning, you’re very capable of handling administrative and animal care-related work.

If you haven’t got a certification yet, NAVTA has a list of schools they approve to conduct AVA programs.

Career vs. School Debt

This career is just like any field.

It requires extensive training so you can grab good career opportunities.

One way to acquire it is through investing time, money, and effort in schooling.

You may not know this, but training in vet practice requires high investments.

Sometimes, students would apply for loans just to get their education.

Fortunately, vet assistants don’t need to do so.

Well, for one, they don’t need formal schooling.

So they can enroll in affordable certificate programs without worrying about money.

Plus, vet assistant schools usually charge fair tuition fees.

And two, they get thorough education and practical experience.

As a result, they’re more than ready for the workplace upon graduation.


Being a vet assistant lets you enjoy a good income, along with job security.

You also won’t have to worry about employment as the demand for vet assistants keeps growing every year.

You only have to consider those mentioned factors to earn more than the average.

So good luck, and may you have a fruitful career as a vet assistant.

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