How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

Have you ever thought of getting qualifications and becoming a veterinary assistant?

Do you think that working with an animal can be so rewarding and satisfying?

The way animals have been treated has significantly changed throughout recent years.

They became valuable members of our families, so their care and protection turned into something even more difficult and demanding.

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That is the reason why veterinarians and their assistants are in constant demand and their daily activities and duties are growing.

Consequently, their job becomes of greater importance.

If you are an animal lover, willing to work with them, a veterinary assistant profession may be the perfect career for you.

This job is exciting and rewarding, as veterinary assistants are resourceful and flexible in their work.

Job Description

Numerous obligations in veterinary clinics and animal shelters are entrusted to veterinary assistants.

the veterinarians themselves count on veterinary assistants to play various roles during their workday.

Coming to an animal hospital is a stressful situation for pet owners and a veterinary assistant is the first one who meets the distressed and scared owner.

Sometimes, they are more difficult to handle than the seriousness of the issue with the animal.

Besides being in charge of less important tasks, veterinary assistants perform countless demanding responsibilities, including preparing surgery and sterilize the equipment after it and looking after the animals while they are recovering.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

For those who want to have a career as a veterinary assistant at a very young age, some Florida high schools introduce students to the profession with veterinary assistant programs.

A certificate is required to become a veterinary assistant with greater priority and qualifications, but it is not obligatory. It can improve the chances of finding employment.

Training programs are intended to teach students about medical terminology, restraining techniques, proper ways to give medications and much more.

Here are campus and online programs in Florida where students can get the necessary knowledge:

  • Marion County Community Technical and Adult Education Center
  • Orange Technical College
  • Suncoast Technical College


NAVTA (National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America) has offered a veterinary assistant approval programs and online courses throughout the U.S. and Canada, but Florida does not have a NAVTA accredited campus program at the moment.

However, students can enter online accredited programs such as Penn Foster or Tulane University.

What is needed for entering this program is the wish to help animals and a high school diploma.

To become Florida approved veterinary assistant you can choose among three options and when achieve the prescribed knowledge you become qualified to take the AVA examination.

Nevertheless, to remain Florida AVA, you must accomplish 10 continuing education credits over the next 2 years.

Getting a Job

The job opportunities in Florida are equal for all the applicants.

Who will be employed is determined by the employer, but the greater chances are for those who possess the certificate, for sure.

It is great that once you become a certified assistant, you can choose where you want to work, depending on the requirements that the employer is asking from you and the appropriate salary for those obligations.

Florida has to offer a lot of animal clinics and hospitals where veterinary assistants can find work.

Some of the potential employers in Florida are:


When deciding where to apply for the job, it is always good to compare living-cost indexes and salary differentials.

A salary of a veterinary assistant in Florida differentiates among the major cities and this might be affected by the development of the city, the average salary of its residents, as well as the social status.

The salary might also vary among the clinics within the same city due to the prominence, popularity, and number of employees in the facility.

The lowest is in Daytona Beach estimated at $ 26838 while salary might reach up to $29408 in Boca Raton per year.

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

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Boca Raton,FL $29,408
Bradenton,FL $28,012
Brandon,FL $28,492
Cape Coral,FL $27,856
Clearwater,FL $28,192
Daytona Beach,FL $26,838
Fort Lauderdale,FL $29,119
Fort Myers,FL $27,856
Gainesville,FL $26,968
Hialeah,FL $28,640
Hollywood,FL $29,119
Jacksonville,FL $28,449
Melbourne,FL $26,832
Miami,FL $28,899
Orlando,FL $28,163
Palm Bay,FL $26,832
Pembroke Pines,FL $28,605
Pensacola,FL $26,861
Pompano Beach,FL $29,119
Port Saint Lucie,FL $27,942
Saint Petersburg,FL $28,225
Sarasota,FL $28,195
Spring Hill,FL $28,140
Tallahassee,FL $26,891
Tampa,FL $28,492
West Palm Beach,FL $29,167

Regional Salary in Florida

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL260$33,630$16.17$39,420$28,110
Crestview-Fort Walton Beach-Destin, FL170$32,210$15.49$38,430$26,770
Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL210$31,070$14.94$35,660$24,340
Gainesville, FL200$31,470$15.13$35,730$20,800
Jacksonville, FL510$32,170$15.47$38,200$24,590
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL1,770$35,060$16.86$45,140$28,480
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL140$35,290$16.97$43,470$28,570
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL340$33,130$15.93$38,260$27,350
Ocala, FL180$30,920$14.87$36,800$24,480
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL810$33,040$15.89$38,420$27,040
Panama City, FL60$30,870$14.84$34,770$27,740
Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL170$31,390$15.09$36,920$22,570
Punta Gorda, FL60$33,490$16.1$37,010$28,280
Sebastian-Vero Beach, FL50$32,550$15.65$39,340$27,390
Tallahassee, FL200$30,140$14.49$34,970$24,200
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL1,270$32,950$15.84$37,800$27,040
* 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 successful animal hospital will look for a veterinary assistant who is ready to meet their daily duties which include:

  • Assistance to veterinarians,
  • Greet the clients and answer all their questions and requests,
  • Take pets’ vital signs upon arrival
  • Feed, bathe and care for animals
  • Clean and maintain the surgical room as well as prepare instruments among many others.

The ideal candidate should be familiar with all different types of pets, comfortable working with all kinds of animals and with communicating with pet owners.

Veterinary assistants play a major role in helping veterinarians and should be emotionally strong and mature in cases of emergency.

Besides their obligations, they need to take care of themselves, since animals might be aggressive in those painful moments.

So, it is true that the job of a veterinary assistant has difficulties and these people should be respected.


Veterinary assistants are not required to be licensed in the state of Florida.

Yet, the education necessary for becoming a vet assistant ranges from training to completing a course.

The required and preferred skills for the position of a veterinary assistant are numerous and they require being familiar with standard practices, and procedures within the veterinary field.

Veterinary assistants can work full or part-time and sometimes have the opportunity to work nights, weekends or holidays.

Today’s American veterinary sector is growing rapidly as people expect that their pets receive equal care as human beings.

Veterinary assistants are of great help when assisting veterinarians and their salary depends on the number of activities performed during the day and the difficulties that assistants meet.

Different job requirements also affect the salary since it is not the same when working with small animals and dealing with wild animals and reptiles.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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