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Veterinary Assistant: Career Information


veterinarian's office

A veterinary assistant works alongside a vet.

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Job Description - Veterinary Assistant:

Veterinary assistants care for animals in laboratories, animal hospitals and clinics.

Employment Facts - Veterinary Assistants:

Veterinary assistants held about 75,000 jobs in 2008.

Educational Requirements - Veterinary Assistants:

There are no formal educational requirements for veterinary assistants. They receive on-the-job training only.

Job Outlook -Veterinary Assistants:

Veterinary assistants should see much faster than average job growth through 2018.

Earnings - Veterinary Assistants:

Veterinary assistants earned median hourly wages of $10.43 and median annual wages of $21,700 in 2009.

Use the Salary Wizard at Salary.com to find out how much veterinary assistants currently earn in your city.

A Day in a Veterinary Assistant's Life:

On a typical day a Veterinary Assistant may:

  • feed, water and examine animals;
  • clean and disinfect cages and work areas;
  • sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment;
  • provide post-operative care;
  • administer medication orally or topically;
  • prepare samples for laboratory examination under a veterinarian's or veterinarian technician's supervision;

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Animal Care and Service Workers, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos168.htm (visited December 8, 2010).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Veterinary Assistants and Animal Laboratory Caretakers, on the Internet at http://online.onetcenter.org/link/details/31-9096.00 (visited December 8, 2010).

Should You Become a Veterinary Assistant? Take a Quiz to Find Out.

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