Would you call yourself an animal lover? Would you like a career working with animals on a daily basis? Follow your heart! There may never have been a better time to prepare for an animal career than right now.
The general shortage of people to fill jobs, paired with an ever-growing need for pet industry services, means that prospects are great for anyone who wants to become a groomer, dog trainer, or vet assistant. There are always openings for groomers and trainers, and both provide ideal paths to starting your own business.
Vet assisting, on the other hand, allows you a wider selection of places in which to work. Besides the obvious animal jobs in veterinary clinics and hospitals, you could choose to work in a research lab, a wildlife refuge or rehabilitation center, an animal shelter, or any other facility that cares for animals.
How to Start a Vet Assistant Career
You don’t have to have a college degree to start a vet assistant career. In fact, you can enter the field with just a high school diploma or GED. Be warned, though, that many other people who are passionate about animals will be applying for the same jobs.
In order to have a first day as a vet assistant you have to actually land a job. If you are serious about the career, you should do anything you can to get a leg up on the competition.
- Educate yourself by reading about animals and their care
- Do some research about what veterinary assistants do
- Try to get as much experience working with animals as you can to fill out your resume
- Volunteer at a local vet clinic, shelter, stable, or other animal-related facility
- Earn your vet assistant certification
How to Get Certified as a Veterinary Assistant
When you realize some of the job requirements for a vet assistant job, you will have to set out to educate yourself accordingly. Can you even imagine starting such a job without having a clue what you’re doing?
Unless you are fortunate enough to live near a brick-and-mortar career training school that offers a program in veterinary assisting, your best bet is to enroll in an online school. Animal Behavior College, for example, offers a veterinary assistant certification program (along with six other animal career certification programs). ABC’s flexible, affordable program is approved by NAVTA, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America.
ABC’s Veterinary Assistant Course teaches you everything you need to know to prepare for your first day on the job. Even though you will be working through the course curriculum online, the school offers plenty of support to its students. Program managers provide guidance, answer questions, and even help students prepare their all-important job resumes.
ABC graduates can enter the job market confident in their job knowledge and abilities. Not only does the coursework provide an excellent education in job requirements, such as animal restraint and safety, hospital and pharmacy procedures, small animal nursing, and more, the program also includes invaluable real-world experience.
Get Hands-On Vet Assistant Training
All students in the ABC Veterinary Assistant Course are required to complete an externship after they finish the online curriculum. This allows you to put your new knowledge to the test.
For the externship, ABC will pair you with a mentor in your area. Under your mentor, you will get at least 80 hours of real-life veterinary assistant experience in a vet clinic or animal hospital.
The externship hours are unpaid, but such a skill-building opportunity is priceless. There’s no substitute for confidence, especially when you consider that you’ll be working with anxious animals and even more nervous “pet parents.” It’s a great feeling, walking into your first day as a vet assistant self-assured and ready to help animals.
Get Ready for the First Day of Your New Career
Being able to put “Certified Veterinary Assistant” on your resume and job applications can open doors. Visit Animal Behavior College online and see what ABC graduates have to say about the program and their resulting careers. You can enroll in the program any time; just call 800-795-3294 to speak to an admissions counselor.