People who love animals and want to train for the career of a vet assistant need to find a school that provides quality education to become certified and land a job.
We have put together a list of the best online vet assistant schools in the country.
After a thorough evaluation of programs, we’ve listed the following vet assistant programs that offer the best educational value.
All of these schools are approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
Earn your accredited, affordable Veterinary-Related career diploma or degree online with Penn Foster!
Article Table of Contents
- 1 Penn Foster College
- 2 Animal Behavior College
- 3 VetBloom
- 4 How to Find Quality Online Veterinary Assistant Schools
- 5 Inside Look at Attending Vet Assistant School Online
- 6 How Much Does Online Vet Assistant School Cost?
- 7 Steps to Earn Your Vet Assistant Certification Online
- 8 Salary Outlook and Career Growth for Veterinary Assistants
Penn Foster College
Vet assistant program of Penn Foster College provides students with the skills required to work in an animal hospital of any size.
At the same time, it provides the flexibility of online education.
For this, Penn Foster allows students to customize their schedule so that they could complete their coursework at their own pace with access to class materials through their computer or mobile device.
After completing this program, students are qualified to work as vet assistants performing such duties as filing medical records, preparing animals for surgical procedures, cleaning kennels and examination rooms, restraining nervous pets.
After completing the required classes online, students take hands-on training, working under the supervision of a vet to apply what they learned.
This externship lasts for eight weeks, during which students have to complete at least 100 work hours at a small animal clinic.
The tuition at this college is $859 if paid in one lump amount.
You can also pay monthly, which will sum up to a total of $929 total at $59 per month.
Also, since the school is military-friendly, veterans can use their benefits to pay for tuition if they qualify.
Animal Behavior College
Vet assistant program at Animal Behavior College usually takes about a year to finish, but online students can complete it at their own pace.
The curriculum includes 11 stages, most of which are online.
The first nine stages give the students the foundation they need to work as a vet assistant.
It covers such topics as examination room procedures, animal restraint, small animal nursing, surgical assisting, and radiology.
Additionally, students learn the business of running an animal clinic by learning how to work with medical records, inventory, and working effectively as a team member.
The college also provides a module that focuses on career-building skills, such as writing resume and interviewing.
After students learn these aspects, they move to the tenth stage where they gain hands-on experience necessary to get a full understanding of the work of a vet assistant.
This externship can take up to 20 weeks to finish, during which students receive training at one of the 4,000 partner facilities of the schools for at least 100 hours.
The last stage of the program includes a final exam, during which students demonstrate the knowledge they’ve acquired.
Additionally to these modules, there are short-term programs in which students can learn about specialized topics.
They are available to those who have completed at least nine stages of the training and cover such areas as animal nutrition, pet fostering, dog walking, and pet massage.
The tuition for this program is $2,999.
There are also payment plans available, and military spouses can use government education benefits to pay for tuition.
The online vet assistant program at VetBloom includes five modules that can be completed within 26 weeks.
Students study various topics, such as animal anatomy and physiology, basic medical terminology, nutrition, and diseases and their treatments.
Students also learn such skills as animal grooming, updating patient records, performing medical calculations, phone etiquette, discharging procedures, and more.
After they complete these five modules, students should participate in a clinical externship that lasts for six weeks.
There they work in a full-service animal hospital or clinic for at least 120 hours.
This is the opportunity to practice the skills they learned and observe the work of experienced professionals.
The tuition for the VetBloom program is $4,000, including fees for the certification exam.
The school allows students to use their payment plans and accepts the tuition reimbursement from employers.
Besides, there are government benefits for military spouses.
How to Find Quality Online Veterinary Assistant Schools
All students have different career goals and needs, so it’s essential to find a program that will help them achieve their specific aspirations.
There are some things students need to take into account when evaluating school to achieve their goals:
You should look for a school approved by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
It’s not mandatory to graduate from a NAVTA-approved school to become a vet assistant.
But this approval certifies that the program meets the high standards of training.
It also ensures they are eligible to take the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification exam.
AVA Exam Preparation
Vet assistants who want to obtain certification should first pass the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) exam.
So they should look for training programs that offer a curriculum that will prepare them for this test.
Review the coursework offered by the school to determine if it will provide this type of preparation.
Online vet assistant programs should prepare students for a successful career and not make them bankrupt by huge fees and tuition.
Students should compare the quality and costs of the course as well as consider what payment options are available.
Studying through an online vet assistant program is not only an opportunity to build a foundation in the vet assisting field but also a chance to network with organizations that may hire them after they graduate.
So, students should seek programs that are connected with vet clinics and hospitals to help them meet their externship requirements and network with potential employers.
Sometimes, schools also offer career services to assist students with job hunt after graduation.
Inside Look at Attending Vet Assistant School Online
People who are planning to enroll in an online vet assistant program may be wondering how they can learn everything they need online since some skills require hands-on practice.
These are effective programs because some concepts can be learned online, such as animal anatomy or physiology.
Besides, these programs require students to participate in externships to gain hands-on clinical experience.
How long does a veterinary assistant program take to complete?
The time needed to complete the program depends on the school.
However, generally, it takes about a year and a half.
What are some common courses and program requirements?
The online vet assistant program curriculum is designed to provide students with theoretical knowledge necessary to work in the field.
It pairs with hands-on training required for graduation.
The coursework is aimed at preparing students for the certification.
So students may be required to complete the following courses:
Not only should vet assistants be good with animals but also with their owners.
In this class, students learn how to communicate with customers effectively to build long-term relations.
The topics covered in the class include how to console people who grieve the loss of a pet, properly use nonverbal communication, and avoid compassion fatigue.
Animal Anatomy and Physiology
Students study the function of the animal body systems and how vets treat specific medical problems.
The course includes the nervous system, skin, fur, hormones, and organs.
To provide the best care, vet clinics should have accurate patient records.
Vet assistants are largely responsible for maintaining these records.
So in this class, students learn how to accurately and completely document patient events.
Besides, students may study medical calculations.
Veterinary Business Practices
In this class, future vet assistants become familiar with the insights of the vet practice operation.
This can be helpful to those who aspire to advance to managerial positions.
The course may cover attracting and retaining clients, pet health insurance, appointment scheduling, inventory control, and working as a team member.
Students should take externships to gain experience in the realities of the job and put what they learned in class into practice in a clinical setting.
How Much Does Online Vet Assistant School Cost?
Tuition and fee costs in online vet assistant programs vary by school.
Here’s a brief example of what some programs charge:
- U.S. Career Institute, Veterinary Assistant Certificate $589.
- Ashworth College, Veterinary Assisting Diploma $699.
- Blackstone Career Institute, Veterinary Assistant Certificate $1,214.
Steps to Earn Your Vet Assistant Certification Online
Finding the right school is only the first step to entering the field.
Here’s the path that people should take to earn the Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) certification.
Step #1 – Enroll in vet assistant program approved by NAVTA
If you enroll in a NAVTA-approved school, you will be well-prepared for the challenges of a vet assisting career and will meet the employers’ expectations.
Step #2 – Complete standard online coursework
Online courses provide the foundation to succeed in this career.
People gain a variety of skills, from communicating with clients to restraining animals, so they can keep up with the daily challenges on the job.
Step #3 – Complete on-site externship
Externships are an essential part of the program that allows students to put what they learned into practice.
Students can apply and improve their skills in a real setting under the supervision of a vet professional.
Step #4 – Sign up for and pass the AVA exam
Upon completion of clinical work, students should pass the AVA exam.
It includes 100 questions and is developed by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
The exam is administered on the VetMedTeam website and takes 150 minutes to complete.
Step #5 – Renew certification every two years
To ensure that AVA professionals keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date, they should renew their certifications in two years.
For this, they should complete ten continuing education credits and pay a fee of $10.
Salary Outlook and Career Growth for Veterinary Assistants
The US BLS estimated the employment rate growth for vet assistants at 19% by 2026.
This translates into 16,300 new job opening in the upcoming years.
The reasons for this growth include an overall increase in consumer spendings for pets.
The annual median salary is $27,540, according to the BLS.
Additionally, the top 10% of earners in this profession make $38,890 per year, and the bottom 10% make under $19,950.