How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Washington

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How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Washington

Animal lovers are a great part of our population and their pets are worshipped and protected.

They rely on the veterinarians and their personnel when it comes to their pet health.

Due to the increasing number of people who have pets, veterinarians are in constant demand, and the needs for them cannot be met.

Being an animal lover means that you care for the health and well-being of animals, and that is a good starting point for deciding what you might become in your life.

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A veterinary assistant job can be a rewarding and fulfilling vocation for you, and at the same time, you can earn a decent salary for a living.

Job Description

A veterinary assistant is a person whose duties are usually centered around assisting veterinary technicians and veterinarians during their daily tasks.

Taking care of both big and small animals and providing comfort and support to pet owners are only some of the responsibilities during the day.

Veterinary assistants commonly find a job at veterinary clinics or animal hospitals where their duties vary according to their education, work experience, and eagerness to involve themselves more deeply into this challenging job.

While some assistants just work behind the counter answering calls and collecting data, others serve in surgery or animal patient examination rooms.

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant in Washington

Possessing the love for animals is the first step towards a career in veterinary sciences, since getting into this field is not too demanding and expensive, though.

Many people cannot afford to study at the university to become a veterinarian or do not want to continue education but want to find a job, so they decide to try their luck with the veterinary assistant job, which demands only a high school degree.

If they decide to get some kind of education related to animal care, veterinary science and support offer numerous campuses and programs for compassionate and capable animal lovers.

Medical conditions, surgeries, vaccines are only some of the things that you learn and might find useful once you enter a veterinary clinic.

The employers are more often searching for an assistant who will know what he/she has to do, with more education and practice.

If you want to make yourself an attractive candidate you can select courses to gain valuable real-world experience which can lead to a permanent job at the clinic or hospital.

Some veterinary assistant campus in Washington are:

  • NCTA (Northwest Career & Technical Academy)
  • Mount Vernon Campus, Quall Center
  • Renton Technical College (RTC)
  • Lower Columbia College
  • Veterinary Assistant Program
  • PMI Renton Veterinary Assistant Program
  • PMI Seattle Veterinary Assistant Program


Entering campuses and online programs is not designed just for inexperienced people.

Necessary education about veterinary studies is useful for experienced already employed veterinary assistants, so they can get the license at any of NAVTA online programs and campuses organized throughout the USA and Canada.

The knowledge and the appropriate training will make them more self-confident and will increase their chances of being first on the list of becoming employed.

Some of the college classes that students have to pass are animal anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, radiology, and nutrition, which usually lasts from six months to one year.

Getting a Job

That number of animal clinics and shelters is expected to increase in the future leading to the demand for new veterinary assistants.

The greater demand is expected to expand the earning potential since the current salary of veterinary assistants is not so satisfying.

When applying for the job offer, the fact that you possess a license will make you a more desirable candidate.

That is a kind of evidence that you are well competent to perform all the duties required by the job, which gives you priority over vet assistants without an AVA certification.

Potential veterinary assistant employers in Washington are:

  • WSAVT (Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians)
  •  VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
    • VCA Magnolia Animal Hospital
    • VCA Pacific Avenue Animal Hospital
    • VCA Five Corners Animal Hospital
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
    • Located in Seattle Petco
    • Located in Redmond Petco
    • Located in Spokane Petco
    • Located in Olympia Petco
  • Banfield Pet Hospital
    •  Banfield Headquarters Seattle
    •  Banfield Headquarters Vancouver
    • Banfield Headquarters Spokane


The salary of a veterinary assistant in Washington is average for the USA but it is not satisfactory and motivating and it does not make it a good career opportunity.

People who are doing this job are moved by the fact that they help animals in need, making this is an awesomely rewarding career.

Salary changes from state to state, and it is not the same among major cities.

The area development and citizen’s employment, the number of animal owners and facilities in the city are some of the factors that might affect salaries.

Here is the table showing different salaries within the state of Washington.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Auburn,WA $31,608
Bellevue,WA $32,534
Bellingham,WA $30,271
Bremerton,WA $32,020
Everett,WA $31,724
Federal Way,WA $31,608
Kennewick,WA $29,648
Kent,WA $31,544
Lacey,WA $30,514
Lakewood,WA $31,608
Marysville,WA $31,724
Olympia,WA $30,514
Pasco,WA $29,389
Renton,WA $32,503
Richland,WA $29,461
Seattle,WA $32,534
Spokane,WA $29,411
Tacoma,WA $31,608
Vancouver,WA $30,909
Yakima,WA $29,381

Regional Salary in Washington

Region Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
Bellingham, WA100$37,380$17.97$45,500$31,400
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA150$37,890$18.22$48,220$31,470
Kennewick-Richland, WA100$37,430$18$47,470$31,810
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA60$37,740$18.14$47,670$31,770
Olympia-Tumwater, WA180$37,230$17.9$43,140$31,650
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA2,220$40,410$19.43$45,810$36,640
Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA270$35,550$17.09$42,330$30,610
Yakima, WA110$35,450$17.04$43,750$31,140
* 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.


Working at a veterinary clinic is an everlasting challenge.

Veterinary assistants have a wide range of responsibilities being that some animal hospitals and clinics are open seven days a week.

This means a veterinary assistant may be required to work night shifts, weekends and holidays.

Responding to client questions and explaining the procedures and aftercare, scheduling appointments, organizing files and cooperating with other facilities are the duties of that less-educated veterinary assistant who are not experienced enough to involve themselves in more sensitive tasks.

Their other responsibilities are related to the animal patients in the clinic, grooming them, feeding them and checking on their condition.

Assisting with surgeries, interventions and medication applications are entrusted to more educated ones, eager to learn and succeed in this kind of job.

They might be allowed by the veterinarian to work in labs, do some scientific research and deal with blood work and urinalysis.


Now you can see that the job of a veterinary assistant just looks like an easy one, but this career can be physically and emotionally very demanding.

It is a very stressful job since animal healthcare teams depend on the services of veterinary assistants.

So that a veterinary clinic can function thoroughly during an average workday, a veterinary assistant has to give its best, and they are always willing to do so.

USA Veterinary Assisting by State

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