How To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

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How To Become a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

Looking at your beloved pet being ill or injured is an extremely difficult and stressful situation, even for those with the strongest hearts.

For animal lovers, each animal is valuable and they will do their best to offer it the most appropriate treatment.

That is why the number of animal hospitals and shelters rises and veterinarians and their staff becomes people of greater significance than the doctors.

For those not so fond of animals, this might look too exaggerated, but pet holders would not agree with that.

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For them, veterinary clinics and veterinarians are of crucial importance and should be more worshiped than they currently are.

Job Description

Among people working in an animal hospital, some veterinary assistants are the first to meet the upset and frightened pet owner.

If you think that this duty is of less importance, you are completely wrong.

Besides dealing with humans, which is even more complicated than with animals, veterinary assistants have various other issues to take care of.

They focus on administration, answering questions, preparing a surgery and sterilize the equipment, among many other daily activities.

The assistants who are more into learning and eager to achieve more detailed knowledge about the job of a veterinarian is given a chance to assist the veterinarian while performing serious interventions on animals, thus getting a possibility to achieve even more important skills.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

If you want to become a veterinary assistant in Colorado, the positive fact is that there are more job openings due to the growing need for veterinary assistants.

It is expected to increase even more even though there are already 26 veterinary assistant jobs for every 1,000 Colorado residents.

You do not need to have a certificate if you possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency.

On the other hand, if you want to have priority among the candidates, it is better to have a kind of certificate about the education achieved about veterinary studies.

The license can be achieved through a detailed curriculum at a veterinary assistant program in Colorado’s campuses and online programs.

Some of them are:

  • Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology
  • Community College of Denver
  • Pima Medical Institute-Colorado Springs
  • Pickens Technical College


There are options available for Colorado citizens in association with NAVTA to become an approved veterinary assistant.

Courses are available online, and they are accessible to those veterinary assistants, who are currently working but do not have a certificate.

The requirements needed to become an approved Colorado veterinary assistant are to enter and pass the approved available options offered by the NAVTA and to take and pass the AVA examination after it.

Once you earn a passing score on the exam, the license is given to you and you can start searching for the appropriate job.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) allows both employed and unemployed veterinary assistants to enter one of 35 approved programs which usually take six months to a year to be completed.

NAVTA online programs and campuses include:

Getting a Job

Colorado has an increasing number of animal hospitals meaning that the demand for new veterinary assistants is rising, too.

The better you have done on your courses, the greater are the chances of getting a job quickly and without too many difficulties.

The employer himself/herself determines who will be employed.

The already well-known hospitals and clinics which offer job opportunities in Colorado are:

  • VCA (Veterinary Centers of America) with a few locations throughout Colorado.
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
    • Located in Denver Petco
    • Located in Lakewood Petco
    • Located in Colorado Springs Petco
    • Located in Boulder Petco
  • Banfield Pet Hospital located in the state of Colorado
    • Banfield Headquarters Arvada
    • Banfield Headquarters Superior
    • Banfield Headquarters Westminster

Some of these clinics have been awarded for the great care of all kinds of animals since they offer services like microchipping, parasite prevention, dermatology and much more.


The annual salary of a veterinary assistant varies among the cities around Colorado, starting from the lowest one in Pueblo estimated at $ 27,484, reaching up to $30,389 in Boulder.

The increasing number of clinics in Colorado and their availability might lead to even lower salaries per year.

This is also affected by the assistant himself, due to the different levels of experience, several working hours and work setting.

The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of Colorado annually since it varies from one place to another.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Arvada,CO $29,974
Aurora,CO $29,974
Boulder,CO $30,389
Broomfield,CO $30,093
Castle Rock,CO $29,589
Colorado Springs,CO $29,707
Denver,CO $29,974
Fort Collins,CO $28,729
Grand Junction,CO $28,937
Greeley,CO $28,907
Jefferson,CO $29,885
Loveland,CO $28,699
Pueblo,CO $27,484
Westminster,CO $29,974

Regional Salary in Colorado

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Boulder, CO210$38,790$18.65$45,770$29,670
Colorado Springs, CO380$34,250$16.47$37,590$29,160
Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO1,260$36,790$17.69$42,920$29,060
Fort Collins, CO240$35,870$17.25$42,740$30,360
Grand Junction, CO60$32,470$15.61$39,390$28,010
Greeley, CO120$34,740$16.7$42,060$28,100
Pueblo, CO40$31,800$15.29$34,890$28,640
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, OCC Code 31-9096, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.


The tasks that a veterinary assistant performs are various, starting from the easiest and not so demanding ones like answering customer calls, scheduling appointments, managing client histories and making contact with other veterinary facilities, basically dealing administrative issues.

On the other hand, the more educated and focused assistants are involved in more serious tasks that include knowledge such as sterilization of equipment and instruments, preparing all examination rooms properly, assisting the veterinarian in all his/her work.

Their responsibilities are versatile and make their job an exciting experience.


Veterinary assistants who have been educated in the care and handling of animals work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian and can perform a wide variety of tasks.

However, they cannot diagnose the illness, prescribe medicine or perform surgery,  but are involved in all those processes and take a significant part in it.

So, the beliefs that their job is naïve and not at all demanding are wrong and the difficulties that the veterinary assistant has to face with, regarding both animals and even more concerned owners are underestimated and should be given more validity and merit.

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