Though you might not find it a well-paid job, a veterinary assistant vocation can be rewarding and satisfying for many other more humane reasons.
Care for our animals becomes more and more important and veterinary assistants are needed to support the veterinarian in their daily tasks.
The ability to follow directions, listen and communicate professionally are some of the essential skills necessary for you to be an effective veterinary assistant.
And above all, if you are fond of animals, then not so high salary will not be an obstacle for you in your aim to enter the veterinary field.
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Veterinary assistants have to handle multiple assignments since veterinarians rely on them to support their work and assist during surgical procedures
Even though they are less responsible than veterinarians themselves, their duties are not at all negligible when it comes to animal health care.
The assistant may be asked to complete kennel work, assist in the restraint and handling of animals, feed and exercise them, and spend time on administration duties.
Most veterinarian practices operate during the daily hours, but some are open at weekends and require night shifts.
Some of their more demanding duties are processing lab specimens, monitoring medications, and radiology logs.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Minnesota
There is no obligatory education for the veterinary assistant and communication and empathy skills together with great love towards animals are qualifications that a veterinary assistant should demonstrate.
However, once employed, he/she might find it in a situation where these skills are not sufficient.
That is when they decide to enter a program or course where they can learn the essential skills of how to keep animals healthy, care for them when they are ill, and assist veterinarians in their offices.
Students will be taught office and hospital procedures, exam room procedures radiology, and pharmacology.
Courses are available in various colleges in Minnesota, such as:
- Hennepin Technical College
- Ridgewater College
- Rochester Community and Technical College
Even though they work under the supervision of a veterinarian there are also individual essential tasks on sick or injured animals that require knowledge.
That is why NAVTA organized online courses and education programs for veterinary assistants, to be able to immediately start working in a veterinary hospital or animal shelter.
So, if you decide to improve your qualifications by entering one of a few veterinary assistant campuses and online programs, you can choose among many of the certified programs.
The chances for entering a NAVTA approved program are equal for both employed and unemployed veterinary assistants.
Their students learn how to obtain animal health histories and records, understand veterinary medical terminology, assist with surgical and treatment procedures and recognize signs and symptoms of illness and disease.
Classes include lectures combined with practical applications.
After successfully finishing the classes, you will be asked to pass an exam and then you will get your certificate.
The license needs to be renewed in two years.
Getting a Job
The veterinary hospitals want to ensure that every pet owner has access to basic veterinary care, so they decide to hire a veterinary assistant with education and having a certificate will increase your chances of being the first on the list of becoming employed.
The license gives you the priority when finding a job, and put you before the others who are not certified.
New job openings for assistants are everywhere, and Minnesota is a state where the veterinary field is in constant growth, so certified veterinary assistants will get opportunities to choose among various employers.
Also, education gives you sureness, since assistants with qualifications are more self-confident and prepared for all kinds of difficulties.
Potential veterinary assistant employers in Minnesota are:
- VCA All About Pets Animal Hospital
- VCA Cedar Animal Hospital
- VCA Feist Animal Hospital
- VCA Animal Wellness Center of Maple Grove
- Banfield Pet Hospital
- Waite Park
- Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
- Located in Saint Paul Petco
- Located in Stillwater Petco
- Located in Fridley Petco
- Located in Richfield Petco
Veterinary assistants’ salary in various parts of Minnesota differs.
The cities development and social situation play an important role in determining the salary of a veterinary assistant.
However, it is not high enough in comparison with the duties and responsibilities they have.
The number of employees in this field is expected to grow to cause a greater demand for veterinary assistants and at the same time the increment of annual salary.
On the other hand, if you achieve that level of knowledge to be able to perform minor surgeries and intervention yourself, then you will be a highly respected member of the team and your salary might rise.
The amount of money that a veterinary assistant earns in Minnesota during one year ranges from $ 27 442 in Saint Cloud up to $ 31 575 in Minneapolis, Minnetonka, and Saint Paul.
The table below represents the average annual salary of a veterinary assistant in major cities in Minnesota.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Avg. Annual Salary
Regional Salary in Minnesota
|Avg. Annual Salary
|Avg. Hourly Pay
|Top 10% Annual Salary
|Bottom 10% Annual Salary
|Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Veterinary assistant duties are multiple.
They care about our animal health, and if our pets are happy and healthy, we are happy, either.
They need to be both administrative and medical workers, since they need to both schedule appointments, receive and manage paperwork and deal with the patient and work in labs, do some scientific research, deal with blood work and urinalysis.
Veterinarians entrust them numerous demanding activities and their services are of crucial importance.
Those more educated are performing some minor surgeries as well which is not at all simple.
Their duties may also include setting up and tearing down surgical suites and autoclaving instruments.
Regarding all their duties and responsibilities, it cannot be denied that they are vital members of any veterinary team.
Veterinary medicine grows daily and people dedicated to helping the animals in need may be in constant demand.
Opportunities for higher education are not equally available and some students do not get the possibility of becoming veterinarians due to numerous factors.
So, a person who has a desire to work with and help animals, interested in giving the pet the best possible treatment should consider becoming a veterinary assistant.