As a veterinary assistant, you’ll be working under the supervision of vet technologists and veterinarians doing a variety of tasks in a veterinary office. Becoming a vet assistant is a great starting point for careers in the veterinary professions. It’s a career that gives you a taste of what caring for animals is like.

Veterinary Assistant Job Description

Common duties of a veterinary assistant include:

  • Feeding, bathing, and exercising the animals in your care
  • Making sure all the cages, equipment, examining and operating rooms are clean and sterilized
  • Holding animals still during examinations
  • Taking care of animals prior to and post-surgery
  • Helping to give any first aid to animals in duress
  • Administering prescribed meds
  • Helping collect fecal, urine, blood, and tissue samples
  • Working in an animal hospital or clinic

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Becoming a veterinary assistant is a fairly quick process. There is no required schooling for it. However, many veterinarians prefer to hire applicants that have a high school diploma or GED. If you really want a leg up, you can take a veterinary assistant program at your local trade school.

  • Get your high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Receive your training through a vet clinic, animal hospital, or trade school.
  • There is no degree or certification necessary, but going to school will prove you are proficient in animal care, health and welfare, and office administration.
  • Certifications are available through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, which offers a vet assistant certificate. To be qualified, you must graduate from an approved program and pass an exam.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

Salary Info – The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2023, veterinary assistants earned an average of $37,310. Entry level positions generally pay around $28,550. As with any job, the more experience you have, the better your earning potential can become. In fact, the top 10 percent of veterinary assistants made $46,630 or more in 2023.

Salary information updated in April of 2024.

Find a veterinary assistant program now.