How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Utah

Those of you who have finished your secondary education and started thinking about future vocation would greatly benefit from the following article as it provides you with all the necessary things related to the vet assistant profession.

If do not mind spending the day feeding, watering, and examining pets and other nonfarm animals, then you might consider starting this rewarding career.

As a veterinary assistant, you will be required to possess the ability to deal with animals and people.

Furthermore, as a vet assistant, you have to be physically endurable, patient, mature, and emotionally stable.

The positive things are that you do not have to enter any kind of future education if you cannot afford it and you will be working with people who are equally passionate about pets as you are.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Utah

The obligations related to the veterinary assistant job are numerous.

The daily duty is to provide care to animals and assistance to the people who treat them such as veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

Good communication with other vet staff is essential so that the facility can function perfectly.

Their first tasks are greeting the clients and answering all their questions and requests, answering phone calls, and setting the appointments, as well as taking pets’ vital signs upon arrival.

Plus, they are in charge of cleaning and disinfecting cages, providing routine postoperative care, preparing samples for laboratory examination some of them also perform the lab work,  assist during the surgery, and in those clinics that offer dental services, they are involved in these kinds of issues as well.

Utah Vet Assistant Education Requirements

As it is already mentioned, becoming a veterinary assistant does not require post-secondary formal education as applicants with their high school diploma can get the job,

Being that there is not a lawful determination of the requirements necessary to become a veterinary assistant, people choose to learn on the spot.

However, many of them decide to take some courses in order to learn about animal care since they will be working with animals and to get familiar with the animals’ diseases and illnesses.

Those eager to improve their knowledge and educate themselves would have a huge advantage as they will be more appreciated and valuable members of veterinary personnel and this can be achieved through various programs offered in Utah.

A few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in Utah:

  • University of Utah
  • Jordan Applied Technology Center
  • Salt Lake Community College

The education and certification can be achieved through three options offered by NAVTA:

  • Externship Option: for vet assistants who are looking for employment.
  • Experiential Learner: for the working veterinary assistants in Utah
  • Veterinary Assistant Program:  for veterinary assistants who already work a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

Across the United States, numerous programs and courses are organized by community colleges, training centers, vocational schools, and technical institutes.

For those vet assistants who already work, the most popular are online vet assist programs since they get the chance of learning on their own form the comfort of their home.

Some of the NAVTA online programs and campuses are:

  • Animal Behavior College
  • Penn Foster
  • VetBloom
  • VetMedTeam

When you pass those courses you will know exactly what to do in an emergency situation when the life of an animal is in your hands and you will be prepared for the certification examination, which consists of both theoretical and practical parts.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Utah

Gaining higher education can help you during the selection process once you apply for the job as your certificate will bring you an advantage among all the other candidates without one.

If you have to go to an interview with the employer,  your self-confidence will be better as you have already learned about vet assistant duties and took part in hands-on training.

You will be able to present yourself as a knowledgeable person ready to face all the obstacles that this job might put in front of you and that is what employers highly appreciate.

Once you get a certificate, you can start looking for a job in animal clinics, hospitals, shelters, and zoos.

Do not expect to get high salaries, being that generally, the earnings of vet assistants are not so great.

There are external factors that affect the salary of a veterinary assistant such as the development of the region and the city where veterinary premises are located, and the annual incomes of its citizens.

Plus, work experience, education, and complexity of daily duties that are entrusted to a veterinary assistant would cause the salaries to differ.

The salary of a veterinary assistant in Utah is relatively low, and it differs from place to place which is best shown in the table below.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Salt Lake City$29,322
South Jordan$29,188
West Jordan$29,215
St. George$31,519

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Utah

There are numerous potential veterinary assistant employers in Utah that offer job opportunities to future veterinary assistants and the number of new facilities is expected to increase in the future.

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA All Pet Animal Hospital/Taylorsville
  • VCA Lakeview Animal Hospital
  • VCA Jordan River Animal Hospital
  • VCA Oquirrh Hills Animal Hospital

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Orem
  • Salt Lake City East
  • Sandy

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Midvale Petco
  • Located in Herber City Petco
  • Located in Harrisville Petco

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

If you have finished the veterinary assistant course and got your certificate, it does not mean that you should stop learning.

Your learning process does not stop, being that there is always something new to learn in veterinary medicine due to its constant development.

Veterinary assistants have a very responsible job, they manage a large variety of duties and their services are crucial in the daily activities of a veterinary facility, so constant improvement is quite necessary and it can be achieved through various courses offered by the following organizations:

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State