Individuals interested in a veterinary assistant certificate curriculum can typically find the program at community colleges. Some schools may offer the program partially online.
These programs take less than a year to complete and require a high school diploma or GED equivalent for admission. Some programs also require applicants to undergo a background check and drug screening and provide proof of health insurance before enrolling. Once completed, graduates can pursue entry-level opportunities in veterinary offices, zoos, pet stores, kennels, animal control facilities or animal shelters.
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Certificate in Veterinary Assisting
Students in this program are taught veterinary office practices, proper veterinary medical terminology, surgical procedures and how to identify symptoms of illness in animals. Some institutions prefer that students successfully complete introductory courses before advancing further into the program and generally require students to spend time in a veterinary office. Since hands-on experience is necessary, common course topics include:
- Front office procedures and client communications
- Routine examinations and safety restraints
- Laboratory procedures
- Diagnostic tests
- Animal pharmacology and euthanasia
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary of veterinary assistants was $24,360 as of May 2015. The BLS also reported that employment of veterinary assistants was expected to grow by 9% between 2014 and 2024.
Continuing Education Information
Upon completion of a veterinary assistant certificate program, students can pursue an associate's degree in a similar field of study. The two-year program provides the education necessary to become a registered veterinary technician, which allows graduates to have a more active role in animal care and engage in advanced procedures, such as x-ray analysis and blood testing.
A veterinary assistant certificate program can prepare students for entry-level positions in the veterinarian field. It also a great bridge to more advanced degrees, which can open the doors for other opportunities, such as a veterinary technician career.