How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Washington

Animal lovers represent a huge part of our population and their pets are worshipped and protected.

Their concern about pet’s welfare is so great and they rely on the veterinarians and their personnel when it comes to their pet health.

Due to the increasing number of people who have pets, veterinarians are in constant demand, and the needs for them cannot be met.

So, if you are an animal lover that cares for the health and well-being of animals, this is a good starting point for deciding to become a vet assistant.

A veterinary assistant job can be a rewarding and fulfilling vocation for you, and at the same time, you can earn a decent salary for a living.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in Washington

The veterinary assistant duties are usually centered around assisting veterinary technicians and veterinarians during their daily tasks.

Taking care of both big and small animals and providing comfort and support to pet owners are only some of the responsibilities during the course of the day, which the majority of people encounter when they enter the facility.

However, working at a veterinary clinic is an everlasting challenge.

Veterinary assistants have a wide range of additional responsibilities being that they assist with surgeries and interventions and, furthermore, medication applications are entrusted to more educated ones, eager to learn and succeed in this kind of job.

They might be allowed by the veterinarian to work in labs, do some scientific research, and deal with blood work and urinalysis.

All these requirements are quite demanding and in some animal hospitals and clinics that are open seven days a week, a veterinary assistant may be required to work night shifts, weekends, and holidays.

Washington Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Veterinary assistants commonly find jobs at veterinary clinics or animal hospitals where their duties vary according to their education, work experience, and eagerness to involve themselves more deeply into this challenging job.

While some assistants just work behind the counter answering calls and collecting data, others serve in surgery or animal patient examination rooms.

These duties are given based on the level of knowledge they have, and possessing the love for animals is the first step towards a career in veterinary sciences, but attending courses is considered even more important for your success as a vet assistant.

Many people cannot afford to study at the university so as to become veterinarians or do not want to continue education but want to find a job, so they decide to try their luck with a veterinary assistant job, which demands only a high school degree.

When they get employed, they understand the need for education related to animal care.

So,  NAVTA offers numerous campuses and programs for compassionate and capable animal lovers where they will learn medical conditions, surgeries, and vaccines that you may find useful once you enter a veterinary clinic.

The employers are more often searching for an assistant who will know what he/she has to do, with more education and practice.

A few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in Washington:

  • NCTA (Northwest Career & Technical Academy)
  • Mount Vernon Campus, Quall Center
  • Renton Technical College (RTC)
  • Lower Columbia College
  • Veterinary Assistant Program
  • PMI Renton Veterinary Assistant Program
  • PMI Seattle Veterinary Assistant Program

Some of the college classes that students have to pass are animal anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, radiology, and nutrition, which usually lasts from six months to one year.

The most secure way of getting a certificate is via one of the following options offered by NAVTA:

  • Externship Option: most frequently used by the unemployed vet assistants
  • Experiential Learner:  used by the working veterinary assistants
  • Veterinary Assistant Program: for veterinary assistants who already have employment and work a minimum of 20 work hours per week.

Entering campuses and online programs is not designed just for inexperienced people.

Necessary education in relation to veterinary studies is useful for experienced already employed vet assistants who want to get a certificate, thus increasing their chances of being paid more.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in Washington

Being that the number of animal clinics and shelters is expected to increase in the future it will lead to the demand for new veterinary assistants, while at the same time, it is expected to expand the earning potential.

The current salary of veterinary assistants is not so satisfying and these people find more satisfaction in the outcome of their activities than in the salary itself.

When applying for the job offer, the fact that you possess a license will make you a more desirable candidate as it proves the fact that you are well competent to perform all the duties required by the job.

The license will give you priority over vet assistants without an AVA certification and that is the moment when your hard work and devotion to classes pay off.

So that a veterinary clinic can function thoroughly during an average workday, a veterinary assistant has to give its best, and they are always willing to do so, and the more you work, the better salaries you can expect.

The salary of a veterinary assistant in Washington is average for the USA.

The area development and citizen’s employment, the number of animal owners, and facilities in the city are some of the factors that might affect salaries.

Here is the table showing different salaries within the state of Washington.

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Seattle$33,756
Spokane$30,608
Tacoma$32,894
Vancouver$32,168
Bellevue$33,756
Everett$33,015
Federal Way$2,894
Kent$32,829
Yakima$30,540
Bellingham$31,503

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in Washington

WSAVT (Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians)

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Magnolia Animal Hospital
  • VCA Pacific Avenue Animal Hospital
  • VCA Five Corners Animal Hospital

Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO

  • Located in Seattle Petco
  • Located in Redmond Petco
  • Located in Spokane Petco
  • Located in Olympia Petco

Banfield Pet Hospital

  • Banfield Headquarters Seattle
  • Banfield Headquarters Vancouver
  • Banfield Headquarters Spokane

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