The position of a veterinary assistant is different than that of a veterinary technician. Unlike a vet tech, the veterinary assistant does not hold a degree from an accredited vet tech school. Normally a veterinary assistant learns by hands on experience in a veterinary hospital. Because a veterinary assistant does not have the schooling of a vet tech, they are not allowed to perform the same type of work-related duties that a vet tech. However, there are online degree programs for veterinary assistants that can allow for more knowledge and greater pay.
A veterinary assistant is usually under the direct supervision of either a veterinarian or a credentialed vet tech. A veterinary assistant can work in several different settings, some of which include, laboratories, vet hospitals, and clinics. The job of a veterinary assistant can be quite physically and emotionally demanding. Often veterinary assistants work long hours and can deal with sick animals, as well as stressful staff. Keep in mind that the job of a veterinary assistant can and will be tough at some points.
Currently there are over 70,000 veterinary assistants. The veterinary assistant job market is expected to grow by over 10% from 2012-2020. That is a great outlook for those who would like to pursue a career as a veterinary assistant. With a 10% growth in available jobs, that will lead to over 7,000 new jobs for veterinary assistants in the coming years.
So how much is a veterinary assistant salary? The average hourly rate for a veterinary assistant in 2012 was $11.12 and the average yearly salary was $23,120. That is not a bad salary for anyone who wants an interesting job without having to go through any additional schooling. Most veterinary hospitals only require a veterinary assistant to have their high school diploma. Many hospitals will provide voluntary positions to those who are still in high school, but want to pursue a career as a veterinary assistant.