A veterinary assistant works alongside a veterinarian to assist in the medical treatment of sick or injured animals.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Provide daily tactical support to assist veterinarians in health monitoring and diagnostics
- Prepare surgery suites and equipment as well as the animal patient for surgery or examinations
- Feed and weigh animals in assigned care
- Handle and restrain animals to and from veterinary facilities
- Perform animal teeth cleanings
- Administer medications and collect samples such as blood and urine for testing
- Ensure that livestock or animals in assigned care are fed, cleaned, groomed and exercised
- Conduct laboratory work including microbiology, sample serum preparation and supply management
- Maintain medical records of animals
- Keep a sanitary and sterile environment in examination rooms, kennels, cages and/or pens
- Clean and sterilize medical tools and equipment
What education and training is required?
An associate’s degree in animal science, veterinary medicine or veterinary technology is required to become a veterinary assistant or associate.
To pursue a career as a Veterinary Assistant:
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, animal science, biology, chemistry, computer courses, and mathematics.
Where can I work?
Veterinary assistants work for animal health companies, livestock production companies, laboratories, clinics, and animal hospitals or animal shelters.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The future outlook for a veterinary assistant will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- North American Veterinary Technician Association
- American Association of Feline Veterinarians
- World Small Animal Veterinary Association