How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in West Virginia

In the majority of cases, pet owners believe that no one cares more about their beloved animals than they do, but they are wrong.

There are numerous people belonging to a vet team who devote all their life to help animals when needed and they are definitely more in love with them than just those who keep them as pets.

Veterinarians and their helpers dedicate both their youth to achieve knowledge and education so as to be successful as future animal helpers, and their lives working daily with them and this has to be respected.

They represent a group of individuals who are passionate about the support of animals and offer veterinary care for our pets.

It is true that many people dream about becoming veterinarians but do not get a chance, so finding the job of a veterinary assistant might be equally satisfying for them and if you are one of these, you should definitely keep on reading and get acquainted with education and obligations of these amazing people.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description and Duties in West Virginia

Good veterinarians look for great veterinary assistants, as they are individuals who are dedicated, reliable, hard-working, and responsible and they are chosen to be vet’s right hand in the functioning of the clinic.

Veterinary assistants need to be ready for all kinds of obstacles, difficulties, and issues, considering the fact that when working in a veterinary clinic anything can happen.

They are in charge of many things such as providing the first aid if necessary, taking x-rays, calming animals during and after an examination, or administering prescribed medication.

The job and requirements of a veterinary assistant are greatly depending on the prominence and size of the facility and the amount of work that it has and the education level of each vet assistant.

A veterinary assistant you can expect to work with domestic or exotic animals, fieldwork, night shifts, and weekends.

The animal healthcare team depends a lot on the services of veterinary assistants since their responsibilities are:

  • Feeding, bathing and exercising hospitalized animals
  • Providing animal care
  • Providing consolation to owners
  • Preparing equipment
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Record keeping etc.

West Virginia Vet Assistant Education Requirements

Preparing for the career of a veterinary assistant should definitely include the proper education provided by a practicing veterinarian or a college instructor, even though the state of West Virginia does not require special formal education.

The moment when employed vet assistants realize that they do not know everything related to health care of the animal and the life of a pet is in their hands is the moment when they decide to get a proper education.

Veterinary medicine is in constant development and the needs are greater and more serious that is why constant education related to the veterinary field is necessary and aspiring vet assistants can enter approved courses.

A veterinary assistant program at an accredited college prepares students for all these possible duties that they might encounter.

A few veterinary assistant campus and online programs in West Virginia:

  • Pierpoint Community and Technical College
  • Ross Medical Education Center
  • BridgeValley Community and Technical College

There are three educational options offered to aspiring vet assistants by NAVTA:

  • Externship Option
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program

Since 2010, NAVTA has decided to raise awareness of the importance of veterinary assistant education by creating programs at universities, colleges, campuses, and online.

Through these programs, future assistants gain all the skills required to assist veterinary professionals and get a certificate that proves their devotion to the veterinary field.

Some of the NAVTA programs can be found online like the VetMedTeam program, while others are campuses organized in various institutes, centers, and hospitals, such as East Valley Institute of Technology or Jessamine Career and Technology Center.

Potential Salary Expectations and Job Prospects in West Virginia

In order to be more effective, you will need to have more education and this can be achieved through vet assistant courses.

It is the fact that more veterinarians rather choose to hire veterinary assistants who already know everything about animal care, including medical conditions, surgeries, vaccines, and more.

Certified veterinary assistants can look for a job in clinics and hospitals, animal shelters, and zoos, but only if they are interested in more demanding premises.

On the other hand, those less experienced and without proper education should look for a job in small private facilities where the amount of work is rather lower.

The higher spending among pet owners and the greater number of them might lead to higher wages of veterinary assistants in the future and the new job openings.

Nowadays, the salary of vet assistants throughout the USA is among the lowest ones when it comes to similar jobs which are not satisfactory and vet assistants should definitely be more valued.

The average salary for a West Virginia veterinary assistant, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, varies among the cities, and it is estimated to be $ 27251 in Huntington, while it is the highest in Wheeling and Morgantown where it reaches $ 30207 per year.

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

LocationAvg. Annual Salary
Charleston$28,106
Huntington$27,251
Parkersburg$27,399
Wheeling$30,207
Morgantown$30,207
Weirton$30,099
Fairmont$30,207
Beckley$27,859
Clarksburg$27,153
Martinsburg$33,993

Potential Veterinary Assistant Employers in West Virginia

WVVMA (West Virginia Veterinary Medical Association)

VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)

  • VCA Dudley Avenue Animal Hospital

West Virginia Pet Hospitals

  • Cheat Lake Animal Hospital
  • Town and Country Animal Hospital
  • Valley West Veterinary Hospital

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Continuing Education for Veterinary Assistants

As it is already mentioned, a veterinary assistant can be a person with a high school degree passionate to help veterinarians and their clients.

However, when he/she applies for the job, their prospects are lower than those who possess a license, since eligibility depends on education and experience.

That is why we suggest that you enroll in courses provided by one of the following associations and get the necessary continuing education.

USA How to Become a Veterinary Assistant by State