Veterinary Care School

An animal lover's dream job

Whether you're working with small animals or large, you'll find a career as a veterinary assistant to be extremely rewarding, as you work to make sick animals better and help healthy animals stay that way.

A veterinary assistant works with a veterinarian on tasks and treatments that are less critical. Typical duties of a veterinary assistant include cleaning and disinfecting cages and pens, sterilizing laboratory and surgical equipment, providing some post-operative care and administering non-critical medicines.

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Getting Educated

Getting accepted into a veterinary school can be very difficult, as competition is intense. To get into one of these colleges, you'll require a significant number of undergraduate credits - and most schools, in fact, require a Bachelor's degree.

Aside from satisfying these core requirements you may also have to submit a Graduate Record Examination (GRE), a Veterinary College Admission Test (VCAT) or even a Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). On top of all this, some schools place more emphasis on experience with animals than on anything else.

Most veterinary programs, including pre-veterinary courses, emphasize studies in the sciences, including physiology, zoology, microbiology, animal nutrition and biochemistry. You may also consider courses in business (some schools require them), as many veterinarians are self-employed.

Competition for veterinary assistant schooling is far less intense than that for veterinary college, however - in fact, veterinary assistants are often trained on the job, but having a certificate or an Associate's degree can help you get a more lucrative job in the field.

Job Prospects

There are a variety of places that hire veterinary assistants. These include boarding kennels, shelters, stables, zoos and any other place where domesticated animals are kept. The field is expected to grow faster than average over the coming years. One of the primary reasons cited for this is the increasing affluence of pet owners.

Since veterinary assistants are generally involved in only minor procedures, their salary is lower than vet technicians and the vets themselves. The median salary in this field is between $20,000 and $25,000.

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