How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in North Carolina

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in North Carolina

Animals provide us with unconditional love and the least we can do for them is to make sure that they are happy and healthy.

The pet ownership is on the rise and it increases the need for skilled veterinary assistants.

If you love them enough to work with them full time and help them when they need you and if your dream job involves spending more time with furry and feathered friends then veterinary assistant vocation should be your future interest and you might want to explore what it takes to become a veterinary assistant.

Job Description

Veterinary Assistants are there to provide first aid and medical care, as well as facilitate positive customer relationships.

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Through their training and experience, they learn how to help the animal in case of illnesses and injuries.

When things go wrong, many issues are entrusted to them, and that is the reason why their job needs to be respected more.

Their certifications and licensees, as well as eagerness to learn more, determine whether they will perform some of the more complex and sensitive tasks.

Although the job requires a great deal of collaboration with veterinarians because they work under their supervision, veterinary assistants also have the opportunity to work independently and use their knowledge.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in North Carolina

If you want to be good at something, you first need to learn how to do it and that proves the fact that numerous already employed assistants decide to enter courses to gain more education and practice from experienced people.

You can get formal education and training with the certification once finished through Veterinary Assistant programs.

Here are some of the veterinary assistant programs in North Carolina:

  • Middle North Carolina Technical College
  • Ogeechee Technical College
  • University of North Carolina

Upon entering these programs, you will learn how to interact with pets, the anatomy, and physiology of small animals, how to take animal medical histories and take blood and urine samples.

After finishing these courses and get into the clinic, you will already be prepared for administering medications to animals in a safe manner, restraining animals during exams, taking vital signs accurately and performing first aid on sick animals, meaning that you will instantly become a valuable member of the team.


There are no strict requirements when becoming a vet assistant since you can learn how to keep pets healthy through the experience at the clinic itself.

However, the procedures on how to work with animals and properly restrain them cannot be thought easily and it is advisable to pass some kind of education related to that field.

NAVTA has organized numerous courses throughout the USA and Canada, where employed and unemployed people can learn the importance of good nutrition and safe environments for animals, the best way to interact with their pet patients and the people who own them, popular and successful treatments, and many other things so as to become skilled and caring professionals.

Besides enabling students to assist the veterinarian in day-to-day clinical procedures, these Veterinary Assistant Programs prepare students to effectively perform administrative and reception duties and upon successful completion, students may be eligible to work not only in clinics but also in university laboratories and marine facilities.

To become an approved veterinary assistant in North Carolina, you can choose from one of the three following options:

  • Externship Option
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program

Then, you will need to pass the AVA exam and renew your North Carolina AVA by attaining 10 continuing education credits within the following 2 years.

Getting a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in this field is expected to increase thus improving the chances of getting a job


Potential employers include veterinarian clinics and hospitals, pet adoption facilities, zoos, and animal shelters.

Here is a list of potential veterinary assistant employers in North Carolina:


The salary of a veterinary assistant depends on many factors.

If you do not possess a license, you cannot expect to be paid equally as the one who possesses it.

The skills, knowledge, abilities and daily duties affect the amount of money you will earn as a veterinary assistant.

Also, the work setting and reputation of the clinic affect the annual salaries, making them different from one city to the other.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Asheville,NC $27,235
Burlington,NC $28,130
Cary,NC $28,444
Chapel Hill,NC $28,191
Charlotte,NC $29,043
Concord,NC $28,465
Durham,NC $28,284
Fayetteville,NC $27,205
Gastonia,NC $29,082
Greensboro,NC $28,255
Greenville,NC $28,237
Hickory,NC $28,786
High Point,NC $28,504
Jacksonville,NC $26,835
Kannapolis,NC $28,067
Raleigh,NC $28,444
Rocky Mount,NC $28,237
Salisbury,NC $28,136
Wilmington,NC $27,042
Wilson,NC $28,237
Winston Salem,NC $28,403

Regional Salary in North Carolina

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Asheville, NC340$31,580$15.18$38,330$21,840
Burlington, NC70$30,330$14.58$37,360$22,150
Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC1,240$32,490$15.62$41,560$21,790
Durham-Chapel Hill, NC370$35,810$17.22$50,940$23,380
Fayetteville, NC160$28,920$13.91$35,600$21,300
Greensboro-High Point, NC380$29,810$14.33$37,290$20,560
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC140$28,220$13.57$36,060$19,240
Jacksonville, NC80$28,720$13.81$35,180$21,940
New Bern, NC40$30,770$14.79$39,810$21,920
Raleigh, NC910$32,010$15.39$38,720$21,740
Winston-Salem, NC270$30,790$14.81$37,990$20,550
* 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.


Veterinary assistants generally can perform basic diagnostic including x rays, they can monitor and report to the veterinarian the condition changes of a hospitalized animal.

Some more educated ones can perform the administration of vaccines and sedatives and presurgical medications, as well as maintain laboratory equipment and provide post-operative care to a variety of animals.

In instances where a veterinarian may not be available the first aid is entrusted to them.

In other words, a veterinary assistant is far more than just the administrative worker.

It is enough to say that their role is to help the veterinarian save the life of the animal to encounter how sensitive and serious their job is.


It can be said that the job of a veterinary assistant is performed primarily because they have a desire to work with and help animals.

They find satisfaction in providing them with love, care, and affection, as well as supporting them in the worst moments of their lives.

Even though their salaries are not satisfactory and should be higher when we take into consideration all their responsibilities, they still find this job fulfilling and rewarding.

That is why veterinary assistants are usually people ready to provide effective, high-quality care and are continually inspired for new knowledge and improvement throughout their whole career.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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