How to Become a Veterinary Assistant Online: Education Overview

Jan 02, 2019

Veterinary assistants work under the supervision of licensed veterinarians in a clinical practice; they are not required to obtain licensure or certification. They perform medical tests and assist in treating injuries and disease in animals. Interested individuals may become veterinary assistants by earning an online certificate or diploma in veterinary assisting.

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Individuals who are interested in online veterinary assistant training may want to consider program requirements, curriculum information and job prospects before enrolling in a program. Many programs require in-person training in a veterinary practice.

How Can One Become a Veterinary Assistant Though Online Training?

The online veterinary assistant training program can lead to a certificate or diploma. Online classes include a combination of administrative, clinical and theory instruction. Some programs may require students to complete an in-person practicum at an approved veterinary clinic. After earning a veterinary assistant credential, graduates are prepared for entry-level positions in a veterinarian office.

Requirements for Admission

Academic Requirements

Prerequisites vary: some programs require applicants to have a high school diploma or GED, while others recommend but do not mandate it; still others will admit students who don't have a diploma or GED. Generally, applicants do not need experience working in a veterinarian office.

Technology and Computer Skills Requirements

For success in online courses, students need to be comfortable using Internet learning tools, Such as the following:

  • Message boards
  • Online chats
  • Email
  • Instant messaging

In addition, students need access to a computer. Schools may specify particular hardware and software requirements, including:

  • A Windows or Mac operating system
  • A high-speed internet connection
  • Email capability
  • Specialized software such as Adobe Flash or Adobe Reader

Required Courses

A program may include both general education and veterinary-specific courses, such as the basics of veterinary assisting, veterinary math and workplace skills. Students may be required to complete clinicals and an internship at a local facility approved by their school. Topics of study may include:

  • Medical terminology for veterinary assistants
  • Basic animal care
  • Collections and billing
  • Office practices
  • Client communication
  • Animal imaging

Career and Continuing Education Information

After completing an online veterinary assistant program, graduates can get a job in a veterinary office. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the expected growth rate for veterinary assistant and lab animal caretaker jobs is 9%, which is faster than the national average. As of May 2016, the mean annual wage for these professionals was $26,810.

Another option for graduates is to continue their education by earning an associate's degree and becoming a veterinary technician or technologist. These programs prepare students for licensure, and some are offered in online formats.

Although there is no single previous educational credential for enrolling in an online certificate program for aspiring veterinary assistants, students need to be ready for an online learning environment. Courses cover the basics of veterinary care and office work, so graduates are ready to enter the field or pursue more advanced veterinary technician studies.

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