How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

It is true that the vet assistants’ profession is not well paid and underestimated, yet many people do consider a veterinary assistant job as rewarding and satisfying.

When entering an animal hospital, you first get acquainted with the person behind the counter and you think that greeting and answering your questions, as well as scheduling appointments is the only thing that he/she does in the course of the day.

However, you are totally wrong as vet assistants are also seriously involved in animal health care which might not be perceived in the first place.

Nowadays, there are many young individuals who would not mind spending all working day around animals and cooperating with people as well and who would like to devote their lives to animal welfare.

They know that their love towards animals can earn them a decent salary once they finish secondary education without having to enter any kind of further formal education, so they try becoming veterinary assistants.

Many of them understand that love towards animals is not the only skill needed for this job, as playing and caring for animals would not be their only task, so they decide to enroll in continuing education courses and gain some animal-related knowledge.

Our aim with this article is to support those indecisive individuals by providing all the necessary data related to the vet assistant profession.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Tennessee

Veterinary assistants have various roles in a typical veterinary clinic and there are numerous obligations and responsibilities that go with this job.

The tasks and duties of a veterinary assistant greatly depend on the facility they work, taking into consideration the fact that the more popular and reputable hospital is, the greater demands and duties are there.

No matter what kind of facility they work in, veterinary assistant duties include cleaning, maintenance, and animal care tasks such as feeding them and disinfecting their cages, assisting in physical examinations performed by the veterinarian, and collecting blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing.

The ideal candidate should be familiar with all these and many other tasks while remaining emotionally strong and mature in cases of emergency.

Tennessee Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Becoming a veterinary assistant can be an easy task since no formal education is required for entering this field.

Those who possess a high school diploma or GED can be hired and the training and education most often happen on the job under the supervision of a veterinarian.

Nevertheless,  once hired, those individuals realize that veterinarians themselves perform just one part of the daily job and that all the staff working there has its own role in dealing with pets and pet owners, so they lack knowledge about animal illnesses and diseases.

That is the moment when they see that getting further education and becoming a certified veterinary assistant should definitely be considered.

That is the reason why the organized courses and programs which prepare people to work with veterinarians and learn them how to care for sick and injured animals are designed for both aspiring vet assistants and those who are already hired.

The curriculum is related to veterinary workplace and a range of medical, surgical, and dental nursing procedures, as well as business and marketing skills.

A few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in Tennessee:

  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College

Since 2010, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America offered educational programs available throughout the country, as well as four accredited online programs.

NAVTA offers three options for vet assistant education:

  • Externship Option: for unemployed people in a veterinary practice who are looking for employment.
  • Experiential Learner: for the working veterinary assistant
  • Veterinary Assistant Program:  the option for veterinary assistants who already have employment and work a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Tennessee

This is the right moment to start your education towards becoming a vet assistant regarding the fact that job growth is expected to continue in Tennessee.

The demand for veterinary assistants grows throughout the United States and there is the chance that the number of job prospects consequently increases.

It is worth noting that your AVA makes you a veterinary assistant with greater priority and qualifications and this can improve your chances of finding employment and at the same time, earn higher wages, as, generally speaking, the veterinary assistant salary is not so high and satisfying.

The majority of vet assistants find fulfillment in other spheres of this job.

You can look for a job in rescue centers and animal rehabilitation centers which offer higher salaries and more serious responsibilities, unlike small, private practices.

Their salary depends on the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that they meet, as well as on social factors such as the development of the city where the facility is located, financial power and the number of citizens who possess a pet, and the popularity of the clinic.

A salary of a veterinary assistant in Tennessee varies among the major cities and the less paid are veterinary assistants in Kingsport with $ 26955 per year, while their colleagues in Memphis get $ 28594 annually.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Tennessee annually since it differs from one place to another.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Memphis$28,594
Nashville-Davidson$28,613
Knoxville$28,526
Chattanooga$27,818
Clarksville$27,736
Murfreesboro$28,397
Jackson$28,378
Johnson City$26,854
Kingsport$26,955
Franklin$28,512

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Tennessee

Our suggestion for those who want to apply for a job as a veterinary assistant is to make sure that they possess the required and preferred skills for that specific position and that they are able to perform the duties that are to be done.

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Eads Animal Hospital
  • VCA Murphy Road Animal Hospital
  • VCA Animal Care Center of Mt. Juliet
  • VCA Ragland & Riley Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Murfreesboro
  • Smyrna
  • Hermitage
  • Chattanooga N
  • Clarksville

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