Although not required by all employers, veterinary assistant certification is available through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). Graduates of a NAVTA-approved veterinary assistant program are eligible to take the national Approved Veterinary Assistant exam in order to earn the Approved Veterinary Assistant title.
Most veterinary certificate programs require a high school diploma or its equivalent in order to enroll. Hands-on training or experience in a veterinary clinic or hospital is also usually required.
Veterinary Assistant Certification
Students in a veterinary certificate program learn through classroom or online instruction. Courses might include:
- Handling animals and animal diseases
- Veterinary terminology, pharmacology and office procedures
- Veterinary laws and ethics
- Billing and collecting
- Grooming fundamentals
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
A veterinary assistant can work in a number of animal care industries, such as laboratories, humane societies and private practices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers earned a median salary of $24,360, as of May 2015. BLS statistics also showed that employment of veterinary assistants and lab animal caretakers was expected to increase by 9% between 2014 and 2024.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates looking to further their education can enroll in a veterinary technician associate's degree program or a veterinary technologist bachelor's degree program. Veterinary technicians and technologists are required to obtain state licensure, which varies according to state.
Veterinary assistants can take courses in grooming, billing and terminology through a certificate program. After completing an approved program, students could earn certification from the NAVTA.