How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Vermont

The first and foremost personal characteristic that makes you ideal for a vet assistant job is that you love working with animals and are interested in their welfare.

We need to emphasize the fact that veterinarians and their personnel must possess the ability to stay emotionally strong when working with animals, acting calm and professional when they have to face with seriously ill animals.

A positive outcome would definitely give you satisfaction and fulfillment, but you have to be able to handle the unpleasant sides of this job, and if you consider that you can stand all the difficulties that come with this occupation, we highly suggest that you start your path towards this career.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Vermont

Veterinary assistants can work in veterinary practices, educational institutions, zoos, research labs, and animal shelters.

They are the first to meet the upset and frightened pet owner, and dealing with humans is sometimes even more complicated than with animals.

They do not need to worry about their employment prospects as the demand for animal hospitals and shelters rises.

Considering the fact that veterinarians and their staff become people of greater significance, there is a constant need for educated vet staff.

Usually, veterinary assistants work alongside veterinarians and under their supervision, but those more educated ones are left to perform minor duties alone.

Their easiest task is communication with animal owners, giving them consolation, and advising them on how to take care of their pets, administration, and scheduling.

They need to be careful and extremely precise when recording information and perform diagnostic tests and they must possess problem-solving skills in cases of emergency.

When more demanding duties are in question, such as preparing animals and medical instruments for surgery, give anesthesia to animals, and monitor their responses, they are entrusted only to those licensed ones, causing numerous people to start looking for education towards this goal.

Vermont Vet Assistant Education Requirements

So as to become a veterinary assistant, formal education is not mandatory, and a high school diploma/GED certificate and the desire to help animals is enough.

In small veterinary premises, vet assistants are hired and the staff does not demand further education.

They are able to learn all the obligations while working alongside other assistants and technicians.

However, those more prominent clinics with a lot of work believe that the key role that veterinary assistants have requires some kind of education related to animal care and they would rather hire a person with a certificate.

Doing blood tests or taking X-rays is not something that can be performed by any person without appropriate knowledge.

Students who enter veterinary assistant programs available at colleges, universities, and institutes have training in a real environment and will efficiently serve in client care and vet support, causing more already employed vet assistants to seek a certificate.

There is a possibility of choosing one of three NAVTA’s options:

  • Externship Option: used by unemployed vet assistants who are looking for employment.
  • Experiential Learner: for the working veterinary assistants
  • Veterinary Assistant Program:  the option for veterinary assistants who already have employment in a full-service veterinary practice and works a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

Future veterinary assistants can choose among the courses are available online or at certain institutions.

After attending courses and passing the AVA examination the license is given to students and he/she can start searching for the appropriate job.

Furthermore, he/she has to have in mind that AVA has to be renewed every second year by attending 10 hours of continuing education.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Vermont

Upon completing the studies and getting the license, veterinary assistants can seek part-time or full-time employment at a veterinary clinic, animal shelter, or zoo.

An entry-level vet assistant is usually trained by the other staff on the job.

Newly licensed veterinary assistants can simply send their resume and certificate with all animal experience listed and try to get some interviews.

The chances of getting a job quickly and without too many difficulties are great in Vermont.

Once you are invited for an interview, if you have attended classes, you will be more self-confident and would know the answers to all the possible questions asked by the employer.

The annual salary of a veterinary assistant depends on both social and individual factors.

If you work for the weekend and overnight shifts as well as working during holidays, the employer will offer competitive payment and numerous benefits.

Social factors that affect the average salary of any profession and the veterinary assistant is not an exception,  are the income of the city’s residents and the development of the region where the facilities are and the number of the clinics and hospitals.

Individual factors that differ among vet assistants are the level of education, working hours, experience, and the value of obligations that he/she performs.

The lowest salaries are in Barre and the highest in Hartford.

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

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Burlington$30,383
Essex$30,383
Rutland$30,656
Colchester$30,383
South Burlington$30,383
Bennington$31,215
Brattleboro$31,278
Hartford$31,627
Milton$30,364
Barre$30,105

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Vermont

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Brown Animal Hospital
  • VCA Windham Animal Hospital

Vermont Animal Hospitals

  • Rutland Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center
  • Burlington Emergency and Veterinary Specialists
  • Petit Brook Veterinary Clinic
  • Peak Veterinary Referral Center

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

Veterinary Assistants are workers who take care of animals in clinics, hospitals, and laboratories performing a very emotionally and physically demanding position.

They might also be asked to manage administration, preparing surgery, and sterilizing the equipment.

There are many reasons why they need to gain adequate knowledge and skills prior to start working, and even after getting a job, they need to keep on advancing them through various continuing education courses available.

Veterinary medicine is experiencing a huge development in recent years and scientists believe that the advancement is yet to be expected.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State