If you do not mind spending the day feeding, watering, and examining pets and other non-farm animals in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics, then you might consider starting your career as a veterinary assistant.
Your ability to deal with animals and people already makes you a good candidate for the obligations essential for the veterinary assistant job.
The great thing is that you will be surrounded by people who are equally passionate about pets as you are and you will provide care to animals and assistance to the people who treat them.
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Daily requirements of a veterinary assistant are cleaning and disinfecting cages, providing routine postoperative care, preparing samples for laboratory examination among many others.
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They do not only perform the lab work, but also collect urine samples, pay attention to that the patients are being treated correctly before and after the surgery, and in those clinics that offer dentistry services they need to be involved in this kind of issues as well.
They need to work on services like microchipping, parasite prevention, dermatology and much more.
Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in New Jersey
Even before getting a diploma from high school, you can start educating yourself for this job.
Some courses can be chosen while you are still in high school, which will inform you about the possible future obligations if you decide to enter the world of veterinary medicine.
For those who have already finished high schools, good thing is that GED or diploma is enough for getting a job, in those clinics which do not require licensed veterinary assistants.
However, gaining higher education can help during the selection process once you apply for the job and improve your self-confidence during your work.
Across the United States, numerous programs and courses are organized by community colleges, training centers, vocational schools, and technical institutes.
The most popular are online vet assist programs since you can learn on your own.
Through these courses, you can expect to learn all the requirements to effectively manage daily duties once employed.
Veterinary assistant programs in New Jersey are:
- Brookdale Community College
- Ocean County College
- William Paterson University
Even though there is not a necessity to have prior education when becoming a veterinary assistant, more and more already employed veterinary assistants want to achieve further knowledge and get a certificate.
They realize that knowledge and training are important and all these courses are designed to provide the necessary practice for an individual to become a skillful veterinary assistant.
Programs are related to animal diseases, lab procedures, pet medications, how to handle and assist animals, animal anatomy, pharmacology and surgical assisting.
When you pass those courses you will know exactly what to do in an emergency which is of crucial importance for the life of an animal.
The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has organized 35 approved programs in the USA.
Some of the NAVTA online programs and campuses are:
- Morris County School of Technology; Veterinary Assistant Program; Denville, NJ
- Mercer County Community College, West Windsor NJ
- Ocean County College, Veterinary Assistant Program; Toms River, NJ
Getting a Job
Getting a certificate is one just one part of the process when becoming a veterinary assistant.
You can start looking for a job in animal clinics, hospitals, shelters, and zoos.
The hiring process is determined by the employer and the candidate needs to have the appropriate set of skills and qualities for this job.
It is very important to find a satisfying job, and numerous potential veterinary assistant employers in New Jersey offer future veterinary assistants a chance of redeeming their knowledge.
Veterinary assistant employers in New Jersey are:
- VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
- Banfield Pet Hospital
The chances of becoming a veterinary assistant are equal for all the candidates.
Who will be hired depends on the employers who decide among the individuals.
Nevertheless, better positioned among participants are those with the certificate and they can expect to be better paid.
The veterinary assistant salary is not so high compared to some other similar occupations, but because some states struggle to find enough certified and trained assistants it is believed that the salary will be in constant growth.
The annual salary of a veterinary assistant distinguishes among the cities and the amount of money earned depends on numerous factors, such as the number of working hours and work setting.
The table below shows the salary of a veterinary assistant in the state of New Jersey annually since it varies from one city to another.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
|West New York,NJ||$35,874|
Regional Salary in New Jersey
|Region||Employed||Avg. Annual Salary||Avg. Hourly Pay||Top 10% Annual Salary||Bottom 10% Annual Salary|
|Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ||40||$33,040||$15.88||$38,750||$29,460|
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.
Even though you have finished studies and got a great job, you will never stop learning, since there’s always something new to learn in veterinary medicine.
Performing a very responsible job, a veterinary assistant needs to be able to manage a large variety of duties.
Some of the less serious duties include providing compassionate care to clients and patients, doing administrative procedures and ensuring the efficiency of appointment flow.
They have to understand the importance of a clean facility, to know how to give injections and administer oral medications to animals.
Their most demanding and serious duty is to assist other team members when needed and make sure that intervention or surgery goes undisturbed and successfully.
Taking into consideration all the above-mentioned duties, their services are crucial in the daily activities of a veterinary facility and they represent a valuable part of the healthcare team.
The life of an animal has become of equal importance as the life of a human being and that is the reason why veterinarians and their staff are necessary.
Even though many people think that a veterinary assistant is a person who is in charge of less important issues, they should get into their obligations deeply, to understand how important they are.
The personal characteristics that a veterinary assistant has to possess except love towards animals are to be physically endurable, patient, mature and emotionally stable and if you think that this position is ideal for you, do not hesitate to try your luck.