Become a Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary assistants take charge of making sure office visits and procedures go smoothly for animals under veterinary care. Our 100% online course will train you to become a veterinary assistant, so you can turn your love of animals into a rewarding career.
Job Outlook for Veterinary Assistant
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of a veterinary assistant is currently just over $26,000 per year.
Jobs are expected to increase by 19% through 2026, which is considered much faster than average positions. There should be plenty of job opportunities for veterinary assistants regardless of location.
Veterinary Assistant FAQs
WHAT DOES A VETERINARY ASSISTANT DO?
The number one job of a veterinary assistant is to support the veterinarian as well as veterinarian technicians with basic tasks. Veterinary assistants typically feed, weigh, bathe and take the temperature of animals. They may also help give medication, clean cages and help restrain animals during treatment or other medical procedures as needed.
DO VETERINARY ASSISTANTS HANDLE ADMINISTRATIVE DUTIES?
Some veterinary assistants perform clerical work such as scheduling appointments and speaking with customers. As a vet assistant, you may handle many of the logistical and operating duties, such as check-in, billing and after visit care. Duties will vary depending on the office you work in, but every task is to ensure the health and well-being of animals inside the veterinary practice.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VETERINARY ASSISTANT AND VETERINARY TECHNICIAN?
Veterinary assistants are typically training through a certificate program to help with basic duties. Veterinary technicians, on the other hand, have a formal education and work as the nurse of a veterinarian. Veterinary technicians need two-year associate degrees accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
CAN I GO FROM A VETERINARY ASSISTANT TO A VETERINARY TECHNICIAN?
Yes. If you pursue additional education and licensing, you could become a veterinary technician. Working as a vet assistant is a great first step to understanding the industry, different specialties and advanced duties required to work as a vet technician.
- Anatomy and physiology of the major organ systems
- Handling medical records and communicate with clients and coworkers
- Restraining animals for procedures, take vital signs, and bathe them
- Nutrition, vaccinations and administering medication
- Preparing prescriptions, taking blood samples and radiographs
There are no prerequisites to take this course.
- GETTING STARTED
- WELCOME TO THE VETERINARY HOSPITAL
- GETTING READY FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT
- PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY 1: DIRECTIONAL SIGNS AND THE SKELETAL SYSTEM
- PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY 2: THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, ENDOCRINE SYSTEM, AND MUSCLES AND JOINTS
- PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY 3: THE CIRCULATORY AND RESPIRATORY SYSTEMS
- PHYSIOLOGY AND ANATOMY 4: THE DIGESTIVE SYSTEM, UROGENITAL SYSTEM, LIVER, AND SPLEEN
- FRONT OFFICE DUTIES: RECORDS, CONFIDENTIALITY, AND CLIENT RELATIONS
- MORE FRONT OFFICE TIPS, AND DETERMINING AGE AND GENDER OF KITTENS AND PUPPIES
- CANINE RESTRAINT
- FELINE AND EXOTIC RESTRAINT
- THE PHYSICAL EXAMINATION: PROCEDURES, RESTRAINT, AND VITAL SIGNS
- EVERYDAY PROCEDURES FOR THE VETERINARY ASSISTANT
- WORKPLACE HAZARDS AND INFECTION CONTROL
- THE REPRODUCTIVE CYCLE AND STERILIZATION PROCEDURES
- NUTRITION BASICS AND PRESCRIPTION FOODS
- PRESCRIPTIONS: PREPARING AND CALCULATING DOSES
- PRESCRIPTIONS: TYPES OF MEDICATIONS AND WHAT THEY DO
- GIVING MEDICATIONS
- THE EUTHANASIA PROCESS
- TAKING BLOOD SAMPLES
- INTERPRETING BLOOD TESTS AND HANDLING BLOOD
- URINE COLLECTION, HANDLING, AND INTERPRETATION
- TESTS: SEROLOGY, SCRAPINGS, SMEARS, FLOTATIONS, AND NECROPSIES
- RADIOGRAPHS AND PERSONAL SAFETY
- RADIOGRAPHIC POSITIONING
- PAIN RECOGNITION AND EMERGENCY CARE
- DENTISTRY: CHARTING, TOOTH DISEASE, AND DENTAL CARE
- EXTERNAL PARASITES: FLEAS, TICKS, MITES, AND MORE
- PARASITES OF THE GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT AND HEART
- POISONINGS IN PETS
- SURGERY 1: PREPARING THE PATIENT
- SURGERY 2: YOUR ROLE DURING AND AFTER
- UNDERSTANDING ANIMAL BEHAVIOR
- THE JOB SEARCH AND FUTURE OPPORTUNITIES
Jeff Grognet has been a companion animal veterinarian for 25 years. He was a pioneer in the field of veterinary assistant teaching, developing his first course more than 18 years ago. Due to the success of his veterinary receptionist/assistant courses, he expanded his teaching into other high-demand areas including pet first aid and alternative medical therapies for companion animals. He practices at a veterinary hospital and contributes regularly to several magazines.