How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Overview & Salaries

Recommended Degree:
The right degree for you depends on the industry and company you apply for. There is also no formal training needed to become a veterinary assistant. If you are looking to get into a competitive or advance position, then an associate’s degree or a certificate degree along with real world experience can help you stand out in the hiring process.

Start your career path today by signing up for free information from one of our accredited schools below that offer programs to help get you started as a veterinary assistant.

How Much Do Veterinary Assistants Make? 
$23,130 (national median salary, to view salaries in your state click on the “Best Places to Work” tab)

Expected Growth from 2012-2020:

Specialization Options:
Surgical, research, and management

(all information above provided by the 2012 BLS Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker page) 

Discover the Best Places to Become a Veterinary Assistant

California offers the highest level of employment and wages in the nation, with 9,130 jobs presently being filled in the occupation, and a yearly average salary of $29,040. Texas is second, with well over 4,000 jobs in the workforce, and an annual mean wage of $23,280.

States with the highest level of employment for this occupation:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • New York
  • Florida

Employment and Salary Information by State for Veterinary Assistants

Use our interactive map below to find out which areas of the United States are currently experiencing the greatest amount of growth and job availability for graduates looking for a career in Veterinary Assisting. All data is taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a highly credible government agency.

Employment and Information Data for Veterinary Assistant

Why Become a Veterinary Assistant?

Being a veterinary assistant allows you to work with animals, and unlike a veterinarian, it doesn’t require an extended post-secondary education. Most veterinary assistants are expected to have a high school degree, and having additional trade school education will help you secure a good position in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, veterinary assistant career paths are expected to grow 10 percent from 2010 to 2020, as fast as the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent.

This is a hand’s on position that requires patience and care. If you love animals, and consider yourself a caring person, this could be an exciting position that offers many opportunities.

Recommended Courses to Become a Veterinary Assistant

  • Clinical Medicine
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Animal Technology
  • Clinical Laboratory
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal Anatomy and Physiology
  • Large Animal Theory
  • Pharmacology

Degrees to Help You Become a Veterinary Assistant

Some veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are trained on the job, but most employers prefer candidates who already have experience working with animals. There are several trade school and undergraduate programs which prepare you for this field.

Field certificates include:

  • Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician
  • Laboratory Animal Technician
  • Laboratory Animal Technologist

Bachelor’s Degrees include:

  • Animal Science
  • Animal Behavior and Ethology
  • Veterinary Science
  • Zoology