How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

Even though many people do not consider a veterinary assistant job as rewarding and satisfying, many young individuals would not mind spending all working day around animals and cooperating with people as well.

They know that their love for hugging cats and patting dogs can earn them a decent salary once they finish secondary education without having to enter any kind of further formal education, so they try becoming veterinary assistants.

However, they need to know is that it is not the only skill needed, as playing and caring for animals would not be their only task.

Job Description

Future veterinary assistants have to take into consideration the various roles that they might have in a typical veterinary clinic and all the obligations and responsibilities that go with this job.

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The tasks and duties of a veterinary assistant greatly depend on the facility they are working in, since the more popular and reputable hospital is, the greater demands and duties are there.

No matter where they work, veterinary assistant duties include cleaning, maintenance, and animal care tasks such as feeding them and disinfecting their cages, assisting in physical examinations performed by the veterinarian and collecting blood and tissue samples for laboratory testing.

The ideal candidate for the veterinary assistant job should be familiar with all these and many other tasks and has to be emotionally strong and mature in cases of emergency.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Tennessee

Since no formal education is required for entering this field, training and education most often happen on the job under the supervision of a veterinarian.

So, if you possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency, you can easily become a veterinary assistant.

However, once hired, they realize that veterinarians themselves perform just one part of the daily job and that all the staff working there has its role in dealing with pets and pet owners.

That is the moment when some kind of knowledge related to that field comes into play, so getting further education and become a certified veterinary assistant should be considered.

The organized courses and programs prepare them to work with veterinarians and learn them how to care for sick and injured animals.

The curriculum is related to veterinary workplace and a range of medical, surgical and dental nursing procedures.

Some veterinary assistant campus in Tennessee are:

  • Volunteer State Community College
  • Lincoln Memorial University
  • Southwest Tennessee Community College


Since 2010, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America offered educational programs for both experienced and inexperienced people enthusiastic about working with animals.

Even though people with a high school diploma might get the job, the priority is given to those that have a license, so the number of constant demands for licensed programs is increasing.

NAVTA offers credentialed veterinary assistant training programs available throughout the country, as well as four accredited online programs.

Three different options can be taken to become an approved Tennessee veterinary assistant offered by NAVTA.

  • Externship Option
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program.

However, once you get you AVA, you will need to renew it every 2 years, by earning 10 continuing education credits.

Getting a Job

Regarding the fact that job growth is expected to continue in Tennessee as the demand for veterinary assistants grows throughout the United States, there is the chance that the number of job prospects consequently increases.

If you gained your certificate and have passed all the training and practices, they might be considered yourself able to successfully fulfill daily tasks that an animal hospital might ask you to do.

Once you learn to perform all daily duties of a veterinary assistant, lab procedures and treatment methods, you can start searching for a job.

Veterinary assistants can potentially look for a job in animal shelters, veterinary hospitals and clinics and zoos which have achieved numerous awards for the great care of all kinds of pets.

The staff decides who will be hired, but the participants with the certificate will undeniably have better chances since their AVA makes them veterinary assistants with greater priority and qualifications.

Potential veterinary assistant employers in Tennessee are:

The certification can improve your chances of finding employment.


The veterinary assistant salary is not so high and satisfying about the number of responsibilities the job requires, but the workers find fulfillment in other spheres of this job.

That veterinary assistant who works in rescue centers and animal rehabilitation centers has higher and more serious responsibilities thus making them better paid, unlike those that work in small, private practices.

A salary of veterinary assistants in Tennessee varies among the major cities and the less paid are veterinary assistants in Kingsport with $ 25 901per year, while their colleagues in Memphis get $ 28 047annually.

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

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Chattanooga,TN $26,641
Clarksville,TN $26,651
Franklin,TN $27,378
Germantown,TN $27,978
Hendersonville,TN $27,433
Jackson,TN $27,840
Johnson City,TN $25,804
Kingsport,TN $25,901
Knoxville,TN $27,113
Memphis,TN $28,047
Murfreesboro,TN $27,267
Nashville,TN $27,475

Regional Salary in Tennessee

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Chattanooga, TN-GA280$30,060$14.45$35,380$22,970
Clarksville, TN-KY110$29,290$14.08$35,300$23,040
Cleveland, TN60$28,820$13.86$35,310$22,840
Johnson City, TN90$29,270$14.07$34,990$23,130
Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TN-VA140$28,590$13.75$35,350$22,880
Knoxville, TN560$29,940$14.39$35,930$22,040
Memphis, TN-MS-AR560$32,570$15.66$40,650$23,900
Morristown, TN60$29,040$13.96$35,040$22,760
Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN1,060$33,130$15.93$43,480$24,530
* 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 entering an animal hospital, you first get acquainted with the person behind the counter and you think that greeting and answering your questions is the only thing that he/she does in the day.

However, the everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include not only administrative and clerical work but they are also seriously involved in animal health care which might not be perceived in the first place.

The difficulties that a veterinary assistant has to face are huge and all animal health care clinics trust them and rely on them.

They provide animals with food and water, exercise and bathe them and clean their cages.

They assist veterinarians and veterinary technicians thus making the job flow undisturbed.

Some of them might be asked to take x-rays, hold animals during treatment and assist with surgery.

All these depend on the facility they are working in and the amount of daily work that they need to deal with.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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