Veterinary assistants are the right hand employee to both the vet tech and veterinarian. You’ll work in animal hospitals and clinics alongside veterinarians, vet technicians, and vet technologists as support and care staff. You face a higher than average risk for animal attacks, but you’re okay with that because of how much you love those furry creatures.

Veterinarian Assistant Job Description

  • Hands-on animal care: feeding, bathing, walking
  • Take care of the cages and examination rooms
  • Hold and calm animals before, during, and after exams and procedures
  • Make sure equipment is sterilized
  • Help take blood, stool, and other samples for check ups and exams
  • Give meds and immunizations to the animal
  • Assist during procedures and surgeries depending on the veterinarian
  • Handle some ugly situations including animal abuse and death

Must love cats. And dogs. And small cage animals. Because you’re a big part of the veterinarian team, your duties will involve taking care of fuzzy friends and their humans.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant

If you have strong listening and critical thinking skills, along with a strong desire to help people, then you may make a great veterinary assistant. To become one, you must:

  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Find a veterinarian clinic that will train you on the job
  • Go through a certificate program at a trade school or community college
  • Do an internship or volunteer to help at a shelter or clinic
  • Get a job
  • Consider going back to school for your two-year vet technician associate’s degree or a four-year bachelor’s degree to become a vet technologist

Vet Tech Salary Info

How much do vet assistants make? In 2023 the mean salary for a vet assistant was $37,310. The bottom 10% earned $28,550 and the top 10% earned $46,630.

This salary info was updated in April of 2024.

Will I be able to find a vet assistant job? A massive employment growth of 21% is projected through 2032, with an additional 14,800 jobs needing to be filled [BLS]. Pet parents are spending more on keeping their animals healthy, so vet clinics and hospitals are busy places. This means there is a growing need for support staff such as veterinarian assistants. Also, because there is huge turnover rate, many positions will be open.