Career As Veterinary Assistant: Finish In As Little As 9 Months
Looking to start a veterinary assistant job fast? Get Certified as veterinary assistant in 9 months & start your career today.
Pursuing a career as a veterinary assistant involves training through a certificate program and/or by a fully licensed veterinarian. Certificate program lengths and course load requirements are lighter for veterinary assistants but still let you work in a veterinarian-based environment. For example, a veterinary assistant does not perform surgeries even though he or she is likely present in the room during the operations. What does a veterinary assistant do? How long does it take to earn a veterinary assistant certificate?
Some online veterinary assistant certificate programs allow for accelerated scheduling, which helps you earn your certificate and start your new job fast. What are the differences between online and on-site learning options? How much does a veterinary assistant certificate cost and can I get financial aid? Read ahead for important information on how to finish a veterinary assistant certificate program in as little as 9 months and start your career as a veterinary assistant fast.
Veterinary Assistants – What Do They Do?
When people think of a veterinarian’s office they most commonly think only of the literal doctor for animals. Veterinary technicians, veterinary technologist and veterinary assistants also work in veterinarian facilities. What exactly does a veterinary assistant do?
Veterinary assistants work under the supervision of the primary veterinarian and/or veterinary technician. Tasks performed by veterinary assistants sometimes include collecting blood/urine samples. Tasks also including helping to run the office, manage phones and schedules and more.
Essentially a veterinary assistant has a large variety of responsibilities and often helps keep the facility operating smoothly. Larger veterinarian clinics might have specialized clerical/administrative staff handling phones, messages, scheduling and more. Smaller clinics might require the veterinary assistant to handle those types of tasks in addition to his or her other duties, however. Additional tasks performed by veterinary assistants include:
Restraining animals for shots & other procedures.
Feeding, bathing & grooming animals.
Stock the facility w/applicable supplies.
Prep examination/operating rooms for procedures.
Exercise animals post-op & monitor their well being/recovery.
Assist technicians/technologists with x-rays & other testing.
Clean/sanitize the facility.
Qualities & Training Needed to Be a Veterinary Assistant
Not all veterinary assistants pursue certificate programs. While veterinarians and vet techs all need specific college degrees and state-issued licenses to practice, veterinary assistants do not. The technical minimum amount of education required to become a veterinary assistant is a high school diploma or equivalency degree. Many veterinarian clinics provide on-the-job training as well, however your chances of getting hired are significantly improved based on having prior experience working with animals and at least veterinary assistant-based certificate.
Primary soft skills/qualities needed to be a veterinary assistant include problem solving and critical thinking. Critical thinking helps make the best decisions under a variety of circumstances for the good of the overall situation. A strong sense of focus is also needed. Veterinary assistants must monitor the health of animals under the influence of anesthesia, pain medication and more. Veterinary assistants must also monitor animal responses to surgical and other medical procedures. Physical fitness/strength, compassion, empathy, active-listening abilities and a service-oriented personality are all qualities needed to be a veterinary assistant in 2021.
Veterinary Assistant Certificates – How Long Do They Take?
Veterinary assistant certificate programs take approximately six to twelve months to complete. Many allow you to finish the programs and start working as a veterinary assistant less in as little as nine months total. It is even possible to gain two or more specialized certificates in one year if you find multiple shorter or accelerated certificate programs suitable for your career goals.
- Online & On-Site Options
It is possible to pursue certain certificate programs entirely online. Lab-based duties such as collecting blood/urine have to be learned on-site or on-the-job training, however. Choosing online or on-site program options depends a lot on the organization teaching the program courses and personal choice/needs. There is often no difference in tuition costs between online & on-site programs, and the majority of courses taught in each are also the same. The biggest difference between online & on-site veterinary assistant programs is online programs might allow accelerated scheduling, which helps you start your job in as little as nine months.
Top Veterinary Assistant Certificate Schools & Classes Taken
If you choose to pursue a veterinary assistant certification you want to receive your education from the best schools available today. Courses taken in these programs range from hematology, pharmacology, record keeping (medical) and anesthesia. Courses also include animal restraint, parasitology, patient care, office management (when applicable), surgical assisting, animal nutrition and more.
Three online veterinary assistant certificate programs are officially recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). VetMedTeam, Animal Behavior College and Penn Foster all deliver top veterinary assistant certificate programs in 2021. The Locust Trace Agriscience Farm Technical High School also offers a top veterinary assistant certificate program and MedCerts.com is an excellent resource for finding even more.
Costs, Salaries and Financial Aid
The 2020 median salary for veterinary assistants in 2020 was approximately $30,000/year or $14/hour. Projected job growth rate for this position is sixteen percent through 2029, which is significantly higher than most other vocations in the U.S. through the same year. The top average hourly wage for a veterinary assistant is approximately $18, which is often granted to candidates with the most training, experience and education.
Veterinary assistant certificate programs vary in tuition costs based on types of certificate pursued, school policies and the state where you live. The VetBloom certificate program charges $4,000 tuition. Others charge more or less applicably. Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to see if you qualify for government-sponsored financial aid to help start your veterinary assistant certificate program today. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Veterinary Services Grant Program is another financial aid source to help pay some veterinary assistant tuition expenses.