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Everything you need to know to become a Vet Assistant including study options, work experience and career options

If you are interested in working with animals, becoming a Vet Assistant is a rewarding role and the perfect starting point for career within the animal care industry. Once you’ve established yourself as a qualified vet assistant with lots of hands on experience, you will have the ability to advance your career and work in a variety of settings with a variety of animals.

In this article we take a look at what tasks a vet assistant does, possible study options and experience you will need to get a job as a vet assistant, salary expectations, and possible career progression options after you become a vet assistant. If you have any questions about studying to become a vet assistant please contact our friendly career consultants.

What Does A Vet Assistant Do?

Vet Assistants have a varied role in a veterinary clinic and you may find yourself doing some or all of the following tasks:

  •  Helping the Vet, Vet Technician and the Vet Nurse with clinical procedures such as x-rays, urine and blood sample collection
  • You will be required to comfort and restrain animals for care and medication to be administered safely.
  • Clean and sterilise kennels and pens, examination rooms and examination equipment
  • Feed, bathe, exercise, comfort and monitor animals post examination
  • Assist with lab work and reviewing results
  • Administer medication to pets
  • Booking appointments and issuing billing information to pet owners
  • Giving the pet owners care advice following their appointment
  • Providing pet care guidance to pet owners including feeding guidelines, dietary needs, nutritional requirements
  • Performing reception duties and managing medical records using veterinary office software
  • Answering phones and greeting people and pets on their arrival

Veterinary assistants require administrative skills and the ability to use computer software specific to the animal health care system. You will need to be able to hold restrain pets with correct techniques for the safety of the animal and veterinary team.

What Study Is Required To Become A Vet Assistant

To become a Vet Assistant you will need to have completed a Certificate in Vet Assistant or similar. This gives you the skills to begin a job in a vet practice with an understanding of how a clinic works, the ability to restrain and comfort animals whist they receive medical treatment, as well as administrative skills required for day to day operation.

The Certificate in Pet Care and Vet Assistant is one of the short courses we offer at Upskill Online. This course is completely online, giving you the flexibility to choose the hours you study. You can start this course at any time and there are no prerequisites required.  You will gain the skills you need to confidently begin working as a vet assistant.

  • Topics covered in this course include:
  • Animal Healthcare
  • Faculties Administration and Management
  • Occupational Health and Safety – OH&S
  • Signs of Poor Health
  • Common Diseases
  • Common Treatments
  • Common Pet Issues
  • Animal Behaviour
  • Rehabilitation
  • Introduction to Diseases
  • Bacterial Diseases
  • Fingal Diseases (Mycoses)
  • Parasitological Conditions
  • Metabolic & Nutritional Conditions
  • Poisoning
  • Other Common Disorders and Conditions
  • Common Disease Indicators
  • Disease Investigation
  • Sampling

Find out more about the Certificate in Pet Care and Vet Assistant here. If this is not quite what you are after, Upskill online offer a range of courses for those who would like to work with animals. You can view all the Upskill Online courses here.

What Is A Vet Assistant Salary?

The average base salary for a Vet Assistant in Australia is $39,000-$42,000 per year. This will vary depending on the clinic you work at, your hours and your experience.

What Are The Career Options For A Vet Assistant?

Once you have qualified as a Vet Assistant there are a range of job opportunities available. Many people start their careers in the following positions:

  • Vet Assistant at a general vet practice, animal hospital, or specialised vet practice
  • Animal Shelter Assistant
  • Pet Day Care Centres
  • Pet Nutrition or Pet Pharmaceutical Company Assistant

With further study and experience as a Vet Assistant you will be able to progress your career to other areas that are of interest including:

  • Vet Nurse
  • Veterinarian
  • Veterinary Technician

How To Secure A Job As A Vet Assistant

Vet Assistants are in high demand especially there has been an increase in pet owners over the past 2 years. To increase your job prospects and employability, we recommend contacting your local vet practice and volunteering. This helps you gain experience and knowledge as well as establishing a network within the animal care industry. You may also find the clinic offers you a job once they see how capable you are.

To find out more about becoming a Vet Assistant or our course Certificate in Pet Care and Vet Assistant please speak with one of our career consultants today. Alternatively you can view all our courses here.