Veterinary assistants assist the veterinarian and veterinary technicians with the everyday jobs of taking care of animals in an office setting. Some of their daily duties, according to BLS.gov, include:
- Feeding, bathing and exercising the animals
- Cleaning and disinfecting kennels, cages and operating rooms
- Helping restrain animals during examinations and laboratory procedures
- Maintaining and sterilizing surgical instruments and equipment
- Monitoring and caring for animals during and after surgery
- Helping provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
- Giving medications and vaccinations per Veterinarian orders
- Assisting in collecting blood, urine and tissue for laboratory orders
While the majority of veterinary assistants work in the office setting, some also have the opportunity to work outside of the office setting in zoos, animal hospitals, research laboratories and universities. Emergency animal hospitals are open 24 hours a day which could offer the flexibility of working evenings and overnights.
The American Pet Products Association conducted a survey in 2017 and 2018 which found that over 85 million, about 68%, of families in the United States owned a pet. This is up from 56% percent of families in 1988. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the employment of veterinary assistants is expected to grow 19% from 2020 to 2026 due to the increase of pets in the household.
If your love for animals sounds like something you might like to make a career out of, this may be the job for you! Assistants often work with sick, aging or abused animals which can be difficult. It can be an emotionally demanding job as veterinary assistants often assist with emergency surgeries and euthanizations, but it is also a rewarding job when you are able to send healthy pets home. If this sounds like the career for you, be sure to check out Ed4Career for more information!
Ed4Career’s Veterinary Assistant Specialist Program offers both Veterinary Medical Terminology and Veterinary Assistant courses. Upon successful completion of our Veterinary Assistant course, students will be prepared for an entry-level position as a Veterinary Assistant and will be prepared to sit for the NCCB national certification exam to become a Certified Animal Care Worker (CACW). NOTE: This program DOES NOT License, Certify, or Register Veterinary Technicians in any state through the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.