How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Illinois

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Illinois

Being good in dealing with pets and people already makes you a good candidate for the obligations required by the veterinary assistant job.

If you love animals and are interested in their welfare, then you might want to pursue a career as a veterinarian assistant.

You will be surrounded by people who are as passionate about pets as you are, you will provide care to animals and assistance to the people who treat them.

If you think that there is nobody who loves animals more than you do, you are wrong.

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Their owners, belonging to all kinds of people, will be your clients and you will need to teach them all about animal care and give them support when they are really worried about their best friend.

If this all sounds good and manageable for you, then a career as a veterinarian assistant should be your future vocation.

Job Description

The way animals have been treated has significantly changed and the life of an animal is of equal importance as the life of a human being.

That is the reason why veterinarians and their staff are necessary.

Many people think that a veterinary assistant is a person who is in charge of less important issues regarding administration, answering questions and scheduling appointments.

Nevertheless, these are the least noteworthy daily activities of a veterinary assistant.

They perform the lab work, collect urine samples, take care of animals, pay attention to that the patients are being treated correctly before and after the surgery and many other serious and demanding tasks.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Illinois

Veterinary assistant job does not require strict education since diplomas from high school or GED are enough, but for sure, gaining higher education can help during the selection process once you apply for the job.

Across the United States, there are numerous programs and courses where you can begin your education for becoming a veterinary assistant.

They are organized by community colleges, training centers, vocational schools, and technical institutes.

You can even find online vet assist programs that are becoming more and more popular and you get certified within six months.

Students who decide to enter a vet assistant training program in Illinois can expect to learn all the requirements to effectively manage their daily duties once employed.

A veterinary assistant campus in Illinois are:

  • College of Lake County
  • McHenry County College
  • Moraine Valley Community College

These courses teach you how to handle and assist animals, animal anatomy, laboratory work, pharmacology, anesthesia and surgical assisting.

Once finished, a student knows exactly what to do in an emergency which is of crucial importance for the life of an animal.


It is a great thing that there is a chance for already employed veterinary assistants to achieve further knowledge and get a certificate.

All these courses are designed to provide the necessary training for an individual to become a skillful veterinary assistant.

Programs teach you about small animal systems and diseases, lab procedures, pet medications and more.

Plus, you will never stop learning, even though you have finished the studies since there’s always something new to learn.

When it comes to personal characteristics, except for loving animals, veterinary assistants must be physically endurable, patient, mature and emotionally stable.

Everyone knows that becoming a future certified veterinarian is hard, but the possibilities of becoming one are numerous.

The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs in the USA with a few NAVTA accredited campus programs located in the state of Illinois.

Some of the NAVTA online programs and campuses offered in the state of Illinois are:


Getting a Job

Getting a certificate is one thing, and becoming an employed veterinary assistant is something completely different.

Besides doing well in your courses and successfully finishing them, it is very important to find a satisfying job.

There are numerous potential veterinary assistant employers in Illinois which offer future veterinary assistants a chance of redeeming their knowledge:


When it comes to salary, the veterinary assistant salary is not so high compared to some other similar occupations.

There is a significant rise in open working positions and some states struggle to find enough certified and trained assistants.

The annual salary of a veterinary assistant distinguishes among the cities around Illinois.

The amount of money earned depends on numerous factors, and the pay rates might range from $ 27372 in Moline up to $ 31570 in Skokie per year.

The experience, number of working hours and work setting also make difference among veterinary assistant’s salaries.

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

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Arlington Heights,IL $30,768
Aurora,IL $31,296
Bloomington,IL $28,320
Bolingbrook,IL $30,777
Champaign,IL $27,851
Chicago,IL $31,582
Cicero,IL $31,582
Decatur,IL $27,395
Des Plaines,IL $31,499
Elgin,IL $31,118
Evanston,IL $31,570
Hoffman Estates,IL $31,297
Joliet,IL $30,634
Moline,IL $27,372
Mount Prospect,IL $31,475
Naperville,IL $30,908
Normal,IL $28,454
Oak Lawn,IL $31,546
Oak Park,IL $31,582
Orland Park,IL $30,498
Palatine,IL $30,822
Peoria,IL $28,729
Rock Island,IL $27,395
Rockford,IL $29,771
Schaumburg,IL $31,233
Skokie,IL $31,570
Springfield,IL $27,365
Tinley Park,IL $30,415
Waukegan,IL $29,691
Wheaton,IL $30,978

Regional Salary in Illinois

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bloomington, IL50$32,840$15.79$38,930$27,460
Champaign-Urbana, IL120$38,070$18.3$51,940$26,430
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI2,640$36,630$17.61$46,950$30,170
Peoria, IL140$30,720$14.77$37,310$24,960
Springfield, IL90$31,260$15.03$36,760$25,550
* 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.


Taking into consideration that a veterinary assistant is a profession growing in popularity day by day, it should be known that it is a very responsible job.

This means that a veterinary assistant needs to be able to perform a large variety of duties and they represent a valuable part of the healthcare team.

The first duty is to have a face to face contact with clients, schedule appointments and update medical records of patients.

Then they have to prepare the examination and operating room, properly administer medication and calm animals before and after the intervention.

Last, but not the least, they need to feed and water animals, provide a clean environment for them while they are hospitalized, making their services crucial in the daily activities of a veterinary facility.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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