5 Tips for Advancing Your Veterinary Assistant Career
The healthcare industry, including animal care, is among the fastest-growing careers today, with an estimated job growth rate of 13% from 2021 to 2031. This growth makes it a great choice for people graduating or looking to change careers. But what’s the best way to get started? People who want to work with animals often start with a veterinary assistant program. This gives them entry to the field without a major investment of time or money and allows them to start working immediately.
Working in the field will make it easier to know what kind of career you’d like to have, and you can then use your experience as a stepping stone.
Why Advance Your Veterinary Assistant Career?
Advancement is a critical component of any successful career. In veterinary medicine, this can mean more money and better job opportunities. According to a market size analysis, the global pet care market is projected to hit the $232.14 billion mark by 2030. Pet owners are looking for premium pet services, which will require more professionals in the animal care industry.
How to Take Your Veterinary Assistant Career to the Next Level
- Obtain a Veterinary Assistant Diploma
Getting a job as a veterinary assistant doesn’t require a diploma, but having one can be a great advantage if you’re thinking of advancing your veterinary assistant career and improving your prospects of securing a better-paying job.
You can get a veterinary assistant program diploma in only 10 months. This program provides the basic training and knowledge you need to get a good job. Most schools offer hybrid learning models where you can study online and on campus.
At HCI College, the program involves 35 hours of hands-on training and includes course materials, textbooks, and equipment. For those who qualify, a financial aid package is available.
- Get Certified
Certification is also not a requirement, but it’s always helpful to boost your credentials as much as possible. Should you decide to get certified you can get the special Approved Veterinary Assistant designation from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America, or NAVTA.
This special designation requires intensive training and there is an exam, but it gives you a competitive edge to land a job in a top-tier veterinary clinic.
- Maximize Your Training
In addition to basic theoretical knowledge about animals and their health, you also need to be well-versed in the practical aspects of the career. Be open to training and learning opportunities. Don’t hesitate to learn from industry experts when you get your first job. Ask questions. Find a mentor you can shadow and learn from.
Remember that the veterinary field continues to evolve, and you need to stay up to date on new developments and methods to provide the best care possible.
- Explore Next Steps
As you gain hands-on experience and learn technical skills, consider your next steps. Ask yourself what roles you might be interested in. Do you want to take on an office leadership role, or would you prefer to be more involved in actual animal care?
The usual next step in advancing your veterinary assistant career is to become a veterinary technician. But you may also be considering becoming a veterinarian, and either continue to care for animals, engage in research, or teach.
- Continue Your Education
Once you’ve chosen the path you want to take it’s time to continue your education. In this field, you’ll need an aptitude for biology, general sciences, math, and practical knowledge in animal care, which you already have from your experience as a veterinary assistant.
After your program, you can seek accreditation from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). Vet tech programs typically last for two years, during which time you get hands-on experience or an externship to build and test your clinical skills and earn an associate degree. If you still want to pursue higher education you can enroll in a four-year bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree will allow you to earn a higher salary and more advanced roles and responsibilities.
Advance Your Veterinary Assistant Career
Remember, the choice of continuing your education is up to you. You need to recognize your strengths and consider how you can further improve them to build a successful career you will enjoy. Associate with people who can give you the best guidance and support. If you’re unsure, you can always consult the career services department in your school.
Interested in a veterinary assistant program? Check out our programs today to learn more!
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