Veterinary Assistant Certification and Diploma Programs

Discover certificate programs available for aspiring veterinary assistants. Learn about education prerequisites, program coursework, employment information and continuing education possibilities.

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Essential Information

Veterinary assistants clean and maintain examination rooms, take animal vitals, administer wound care and assist with medical procedures. Oftentimes, veterinary assistants do not have formal education and learn their trade on the job. Those interested in gaining an educational background can enroll in a certificate program, which usually requires 24 credits for completion. Diploma and certification programs do not exist in this field. Courses offered in certificate programs include animal health terminology, handling techniques, animal anatomy and physiology and front office procedures.

Education Prerequisites

Applicants to a veterinary assistant certificate program generally need a high school diploma or GED. They should be capable of lifting a larger size animal. Basic computer skills are also helpful.

Program Coursework

Programs are occasionally offered online. However, many programs are offered on-site because lab work is an important component of veterinary assisting programs. A practicum may be required. Classes often include:

  • Animal health vocabulary
  • Office procedures and financial collection techniques
  • Grooming basics
  • Lizard, snake and bird physiologies
  • Methods of animal restraint
  • Animal nutrition
  • Veterinary pharmacology
  • Animal injury care

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

As of 2012, veterinary assistants across the U.S. earned an average annual salary of $24,740, notes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). Veterinary assistants work in animal shelters, clinics, grooming shops and kennels. From 2010 to 2020, the BLS anticipates a 14% rise in the employment of vet assistants, which is equivalent to the average for all other jobs.

Continuing Education

Individuals who have earned a veterinary assistant certificate can stay abreast of industry changes and relevant topics through various programs offered by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, www.navta.net. Additionally, individuals with an undergraduate certificate in veterinary assisting may decide to pursue a 2- or 4-year program in veterinary technology.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (3 campuses)
    • Georgia (1 campus)
    • Minnesota (2)
    • New Jersey (1)
    • New York (3)
    • Texas (3)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Distance Learning Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which degree level do you plan to pursue?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    Which subject are you interested in?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have a bachelor's degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

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  • School locations:
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (1 campus)
    • Florida (6)
    • Idaho (1)
    • Kentucky (2)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Ohio (7)
    • Oklahoma (2)
    • Tennessee (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Virginia (5)
    • West Virginia (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Medical Assisting and Administration

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Applicants must have completed 12 college credits
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (19 campuses)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Health Administration

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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