How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New York

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New York

Children who you love cats and dogs often dream about becoming a veterinarian.

Many of them do not have a chance to achieve this goal, but a veterinarian assistant job may be a rewarding job for them.

Becoming a part of the team who is working on the same aim and that is to help the animal in need might give them the same level of satisfaction.

People who like working with animals should consider becoming a veterinary assistant.

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Even though it sounds like an easy job, veterinary assistants have to deal with more tasks than you might think.

Job Description

You encounter them behind the desk, helping you understand that your pet is in good hands, but you do not know that they are also seriously involved in the process of intervention or surgery performed on your pet.

Their daily duties require much more than just providing compassion to the animals and their owners, such as ensuring that animals are well prepared for surgery and medical examination, administering medication to animals, cleaning and sanitizing animal cages and surgical tools.

Veterinary assistants play a key role since other team members rely on them when performing their daily tasks and responsibilities.

So, there are more things that veterinary assistants daily do than most people realize.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in New York

When it comes to the relation between education and job opportunities, veterinary institutions are the ones that determine the criteria on which they will decide who to employ.

The state does not have strict requirements for becoming a veterinary assistant, but offer jobs to those with a high school diploma or GED (General Educational Development).

On the other hand, for more prominent clinics this minimum prerequisite is enough.

They require a person who has finished an accredited Veterinary Assistant Program or possess any kind of license or certification.

Veterinary assistant programs in New York are: 

  • Wayne Technical and Career Center
  • Suffolk County Community College
  • Ulster County Community College


The National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) has created licensed courses available throughout the USA and Canada which can be joined by anyone interested in getting a certificate in the veterinary field.

Lectures and training at these courses prepare a veterinary assistant for a successful job, by focusing both on practical and theoretical knowledge.

Students gain insight into diagnostic processes, causes of diseases, anatomy and physiology and parasitology, among many other things.

Once the classes are over, students are asked to sit an exam and get a passing grade, to get a certificate.

You might not start working immediately after getting a certification, but it is a good thing to volunteer at various animal shelters.

This will not provide you with money but will give you experience, thus improving your job prospects since employers prefer that their employees have previous work experience.

NAVTA program in New York is available at Wayne Technical and Career Center; Williamson, NY under the name New Vision Veterinary Assistant Program. 

Getting a Job

Each of us makes efforts to finish the studies as soon as possible to start working instantly.

Even though the need for veterinary assistants is increasing and the places where they can look for a job are various, you might not get the job right away.

Veterinary assistants can choose to look for a job at a wildlife refuge, veterinary clinic, zoos, animal shelter or a nonprofit organization.

When applying for the job, you will be among the candidates with and without a license.

Who will be hired depends on the employer’s criteria, but the license will increase the possibility of getting the job for sure.

These are potential employers in New York:


Compared to all the responsibilities that a veterinary assistant has during a day their salaries are not sufficient and satisfactory.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the average annual veterinary assistant salary in the USA is approximately $24 740.

It varies from state to state, and even among the cities within one state.

The veterinary clinics in those areas which have higher standards of living and that have more patients are more likely to pay higher salaries to their veterinary assistants.

When it comes to New York, there is a difference between the salaries in major cities, starting from the lowest one in Jamestown which is $27 932 up to the highest one in New York and Brooklyn reaching $35 874.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Albany,NY $30,309
Binghamton,NY $28,575
Brentwood,NY $32,041
Bronx,NY $35,874
Brooklyn,NY $35,874
Buffalo,NY $28,353
Clay,NY $29,352
Hempstead,NY $32,061
Henrietta,NY $29,420
Huntington,NY $33,817
Jamestown,NY $27,932
Levittown,NY $32,061
Mount Vernon,NY $34,160
Nassau,NY $32,061
New Rochelle,NY $33,872
New York,NY $35,874
Niagara Falls,NY $28,294
Poughkeepsie,NY $31,931
Queens Village,NY $35,281
Rochester,NY $29,420
Schenectady,NY $30,014
Staten Island,NY $33,265
Syracuse,NY $29,352
Troy,NY $30,134
Utica,NY $28,391
White Plains,NY $34,167
Yonkers,NY $34,175

Regional Salary in New York

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY400$38,540$18.53$46,150$30,780
Binghamton, NY50$33,020$15.88$38,860$29,540
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY310$35,340$16.99$43,670$29,550
Ithaca, NY160- NA -- NA -- NA -- NA -
Kingston, NY60$34,330$16.51$37,460$29,880
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA3,790$41,170$19.8$50,600$30,940
Rochester, NY310$36,320$17.46$44,510$29,920
Syracuse, NY180$34,320$16.5$42,390$29,800
Utica-Rome, NY60$32,900$15.82$40,210$28,780
* 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.


When thinking about becoming a veterinary assistant, you will need to know that you will not have to deal only with animals, but that your first part of the job will be dealing with people and providing consolation to them.

You need to be ready to work long hours, night shifts and at weekends, depending on the amount of work that the facility has.

Emotions have to exist, but they need to be overcome in the case of the worst possible outcome.

If you are not so well educated, you will work under the supervision of a veterinarian, but sometimes, talented and qualified assistants might be left without supervision and the life of an animal will depend on them, meaning that they always need to try to achieve more knowledge so as to be able to manage emergencies.


For an animal lover, helping animals all day might sound like a dream job, but like any other job, it has its positive and negative sides.

The veterinary assistant has to be strong to stand a wide range of tasks and to understand that he/she will be seriously involved in the medical care and curing process of wounded or ill animals.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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