What Do Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker Do?
Career Description Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.
Daily Life Of a Veterinary Assistant
- Dust, spray, or bathe animals to control insect pests.
- Clean, maintain, and sterilize instruments or equipment.
- Perform hygiene-related duties, such as clipping animals’ claws or cleaning and polishing teeth.
- Examine animals to detect behavioral changes or clinical symptoms that could indicate illness or injury.
- Provide assistance with euthanasia of animals or disposal of corpses.
- Assist veterinarians in examining animals to determine the nature of illnesses or injuries.
Skills Needed to be a Veterinary Assistant
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.
Related Job Titles for this Occupation:
- Research Animal Attendant
- Animal Care Provider
- Veterinary Technician Assistant (Vet Tech Assistant)
- Technician Assistant
- Veterinary Assistant (Vet Assistant)
Is There Job Demand for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers?
In the United States, there were 83,800 jobs for Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 19.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 16,200 new jobs for Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 15,500 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Veterinary Assistant are Utah, Nevada, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, Maine, or Maryland. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
How Much Does a Veterinary Assistant Make?
The salary for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers ranges between about $19,950 and $38,890 a year.
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers who work in Massachusetts, Maine, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
How much do Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools do Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Access
- Word processing software
- Scheduling software
- Practice management software PMS
- Labeling software
- IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX Cornerstone
- McAllister Software Systems AVImark
How do I Become a Veterinary Assistant?
What education is needed to be a Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Veterinary Assistant?
Where Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers employed by various industries.
Those interested in being a Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker may also be interested in:
Those who work as a Veterinary Assistant or Laboratory Animal Caretaker sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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