Is Veterinary Assistant A Good Career Choice?

A career as a veterinary assistant may seem like a no-brainer if you have a passion for animals. However, it’s crucial to keep in mind that taking care of your animals is much more difficult than working in the veterinary sector. 

The illness and injury rate for persons working in this field is greater than the national average, according to the US Department of Labor. But don’t let that get you down. While somewhat difficult, a career as a veterinary assistant can also be quite satisfying and lucrative.

The employment prospects for veterinary assistants are favorable, and they are in high demand: According to projections from the BLS, employment of veterinary assistants will increase by 14% by 2030, above the average growth rate for all occupations.

The market for veterinary assistants to aid with household animal care will rise as the proportion of households with pets and the amount spent on them both rise.

Moreover, California has some of the highest demand and income for veterinary assistants nationwide. California has the largest employment level (13,040 jobs), according to the BLS, and also ranks fifth in terms of income (an annual mean wage of $35,620).

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Veterinary assistants’ places of employment

Animal hospitals and private clinics are the typical workplaces for veterinary assistants. According to the BLS, they might also work at universities, colleges, and laboratories.

Do I have what it takes to become a veterinary assistant?

Although it can be incredibly gratifying, working with animals is also challenging. A veterinarian assistant’s job isn’t as glamorous as it may first appear. Vet assistants will have to become used to picking up animal waste and being urinated on by animals.

A scared or aggressive animal might bite you or damage you, according to the BLS. Also, you’ll have to assist veterinarians during animal euthanasia and work with abused and seriously damaged animals. Vet assistants may be required to work nights, weekends, or holidays because many clinics and labs are open 24/7.

Vet assistants also need to have certain essential traits. The BLS lists these characteristics:

  • Talents in communication. 

Pet owners, doctors, veterinary technicians and specialists, and other assistants are frequently in communication with veterinary assistants. While handling a crisis, such as an ill or injured animal needing rapid attention, they must be able to communicate simply and effectively.

  • Detail-oriented. 

A veterinarian or other supervisor’s orders must be followed exactly by a veterinary assistant. This necessitates accuracy when administering medication, watching animals, and sanitizing surgical equipment.

  • Dexterity. 

Animal handling techniques and the responsible use of medical devices and lab equipment are required of veterinary assistants.

  • Empathy. 

The veterinary assistants should be kind to the animals. Much attention is placed on having compassion for both the animals and their owners.

  • Physical toughness. 

Animal handling, movement, and restraint are all skills required of veterinary assistants.

This is not the career for you if you’re searching for a job where you get to play with animals all day. Being a veterinary assistant requires a serious dedication to caring for animals and shouldn’t be taken lightly.

How can I begin the process of becoming a veterinary assistant?

Enrolling in a veterinary assistant program at an approved college or university is one of the first steps you may take to become a veterinary assistant.

The Veterinary Assistant program at SJVC will prepare you to assist animals. Their comprehensive training covers every facet of caring for animal patients, from restraint methods to lab analyses and diagnostic imaging.

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In around 9 months, students in the SJVC program can obtain a Certificate of Completion. All Veterinary Medical Board criteria, including 4,416 hours of practical experience under the close supervision of a California-licensed veterinarian, must be satisfied before our Veterinary Assistant graduates can apply for licensure. The Veterinary Medical Board must additionally receive all SJVC course outlines from candidates.

Position Requirements

There are no official school requirements for veterinary assistants, and they often learn their trade and gain experience on the job. Yet, enrolling in a training course might help job candidates stand out from the competition. 

Then there are the characteristics that a vet assistant must have. Naturally, he or she should enjoy being around animals and be eager to learn how to properly care for them. A potential veterinary assistant should also possess the following abilities and traits: compassion, patience, and strong communication skills. While veterinary assistants spend most of the day on their feet, physical health is particularly crucial.

Standard Job Responsibilities

A veterinary assistant’s daily tasks may include lab work, keeping records, preparing for surgery and X-rays, and providing dental care. While some veterinary assistants primarily care for small animals like domestic pets, others treat larger animals like horses, cattle, and sheep. Most aides have received training in taking care of frogs.

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