Home > Blog > June 2021 > Veterinary Assistant – Let’s Talk Salary & Job Opportunities

Veterinary Assistant – Let’s Talk Salary & Job Opportunities

Posted: June 28, 2021 by Kasey Bowser
Veterinary students working together to give dog oxygen in the veterinary lab.
Get hands-on training with your classmates in the veterinary assistant field.
 


Earning a veterinary assistant certification at Pima Medical Institute has many benefits for people looking to get into the veterinary field. You can use the program as a stepping stone toward other veterinary roles as well as gain experience helping animals. The bonus is it only takes nine months to complete, getting you working in the industry quickly. While many people want to enter the workforce with a high salary, the reality is, you will need to gain experience. With more experience often comes salary increases. We also want to point out that this career is great for someone who’s not necessarily in it for the money. They do it because they just want to make a difference in the lives of animals. 
 
So, what exactly does a veterinary assistant make?
 
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a veterinary assistant’s median annual salary is $29,930 or $14.39 per hour. Keep in mind that salaries are different depending on where you work as well as the amount of experience you have.
 
Veterinary students prepping a dog for surgery by shaving her belly. In the veterinary assistant program, you will be able to practice your skills in our real-world labs.
So, how does a veterinary assistant gain experience when they’ve just completed their program? This is a very common question and rightfully so. Toward the end of Pima Medical’s program, students are required to complete an externship that includes 240 clinical hours. Some students receive job offers during their externships and can begin working as soon as they have completed the program. For others, the career services team is ready to assist with job placement and to provide other resources. If you’re still having trouble, the best thing to do is stay persistent and positive. Keep applying on job sites like LinkedIn and Indeed and stay in constant contact with your career services team.
 
What types of places can a veterinary assistant apply to? There are a variety of places veterinary assistants can work, and when you’re just starting out, it’s best to get as much experience as you can. Once you’ve earned that valuable on-the-job experience you can begin applying to places you think you might be happiest.
 
Here’s a list of some of the places you can apply to:
  • Private veterinary clinics
  • Animal hospitals
  • Specialty clinics
  • Zoos
  • Medical research centers
  • Animal shelters
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is projected to grow 16 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
 
If you’re ready to start working in a rewarding animal care career quickly to gain experience and see where it can take you, becoming a veterinary assistant could be a great choice for you. Learn more now at pmi.edu.
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