How to Become a Vet Assistant
Do you love animals? Can you imagine caring for them as a career path? If so, you might want to look into becoming a vet assistant. While this job can be challenging, it’s also very enjoyable. Before you make the move, you’ll need to get the inside scoop. Here’s everything that you need to know.
What does a vet assistant do?
Thinking about a career as a vet assistant? There are plenty of options here: You may want to become a veterinary nurse, a veterinary assistant, or simply work in animal hospitals. Before you can become accredited in this type of role, you need to know what it entails.
Understanding the day-to-day duties of the role is your first port of call. This role will involve caring for sick and injured animals in the clinic. That may mean treating inpatients, feeding them, overseeing X-Rays, cleaning out their kennels, giving out veterinary medicine, and helping administer any treatments.
The tasks that you will have to do will depend largely on the size of clinic you’re working within. For example, you may need to help with specific treatments, such as injections or even giving the animals certain types of medication. This type of job role usually involves weekend and evening work, and you may be expected to work irregular shift patterns. That is worth keeping in mind when deciding whether this career is right for you.
What characteristics should you have to be a vet assistant?
If you’re considering this career pathway, it’s important to understand the type of characteristics you will need. For the right type of person, this role can be particularly fulfilling. Here are the traits you need:
It’s important to note that vet assistants and veterinary technicians typically work in veterinary clinics, and can work demanding hours and have a wealth of tasks to prioritise. If you are a natural-born animal lover, for instance, you will find working with all types of creatures to be a rewarding and enjoyable job.
What qualifications are needed to become a vet assistant?
To become a vet assistant, you will need to first gain the level three diploma from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS). You can undertake this type of qualification on a full or part-time basis.
Before you can enrol on this type of course, you will need to obtain five GCSEs at grade C or higher. If you live in Scotland, you will need to gain five Scottish Standard Grades at levels one to three. These qualifications must include maths, one science-related subject, and English language. After you’ve achieved this, you can move onto additional training.
You can also gain a veterinary care assistant (VCA) qualification or an animal nursing assistant (ANA). You will also need to gain the functional skills level two in communication and application of number.
How long does it take to qualify as a vet assistant?
When you have gained your GCSEs or Scottish Standard Grades (or the other qualifications we have listed), you can undertake the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) qualification. It will take between two and three years to complete the qualification, depending on whether you choose part or full-time. Keep in mind that there are online programs you can undertake, such as veterinary assistant programs.
How much does a vet assistant earn?
Ahead of starting your job training, it’s important to understand your salary prospects. The average salary for a vet assistant is £20,562 a year. This may vary depending on where you are in the country and your level of expertise. What’s more, this career can open you up to many vacancies in this high demand area.
The more experience you gain in this field, the more money you can expect to make in the long run. The UK average salary for senior vet assistant roles can go up to £37,000 a year or higher.