How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Alabama

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Becoming a veterinary assistant in Alabama could be an ideal career choice for someone who likes animals.

Read on to learn the steps towards this occupation, as well as the salary you can expect!

Veterinary Assistant Training in Alabama

Those who are sure they want to become a veterinary assistant, need to undergo some training.

The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association oversees the practice of those in the veterinary field.

The Association doesn’t require licensing or certification for future veterinary assistants.

Most employers will require a high school diploma or GED.

National Certification for Veterinary Assistants

Certifications open the doors for those who want to have a career in the field.

These are available through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America or NAVTA.

Training programs can be found at trade schools, community colleges, and online institutions.

There is one training program approved by NAVTA in Alabama and it is found at the Animal Behavioral College.

Upon graduation from this program, students need to pass the NAVTA exam and then they’ll become certified.

All the programs need to have a hands-on training period, not just theory classes.

School Name Address
BROWN MACKIE COLLEGE 105 Vulcan Road, Suite 100 Birmingham, AL
DST Health Solutions 2500 Corporate Drive, Birmingham, AL 35242
FORTIS INSTITUTE 100 London Pkwy Ste 150 Birmingham, AL
HERZING UNIVERSITY 280 West Valley Ave Birmingham, AL
Providence Hospital 6801 Airport Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36685
REMINGTON COLLEGE 828 Downtowner Loop W Mobile, AL
Ross Medical Education 930 Old Monrovia Road, NW, Huntsville, Alabama
University of Alabama Hospital at Birmingham 1802 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35233
VIRGINIA COLLEGE 488 Palisades Blvd. Birmingham, AL
VIRGINIA COLLEGE 2021 Drake Avenue, SW Huntsville, AL
VIRGINIA COLLEGE 3725 Airport Blvd, Suite 165 Mobile, AL
VIRGINIA COLLEGE 6200 Atlanta Highway Montgomery, AL

Not all the institutions suggested above will issue a certificate for future veterinarian assistants.

These schools offer programs that last between 100 and 240 hours.

The coursework can be completed in up to 1 year.

The tuition varies from school to school, as well as on the classes a student actually takes.

The requirements for admission will vary between schools as well.

The classes will teach students:

  • How to identify different breeds of animals
  • The best ways to administer meds
  • How to administer post-operative care

Those interested in becoming certified by NAVTA have a few other options at their disposal for this purpose.

These options are:

  • Internship
  • An experiential learner
  • Field-based Veterinary Assistant Program

The internship is a temporary workplace training that often takes place before actual employment.

The experimental learner works half-time and performs a full range of veterinary assistant’s duties.

Through the field-based Veterinary Assistant Program, an individual works full-time in a vet office and receives the needed credit.

Regardless of the chosen option, candidates are expected to pass the NAVTA exam for certification.

The certification will turn the individual into an Approved Veterinary Assistant.

In Alabama, this certification is expected to be renewed every 2 years.

For this you’ll need to:

  • Pay a fee
  • Complete a number of continuing education hours

Employment and Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Alabama

The demand for veterinary assistants in Alabama is steady and it is not expected to decrease.

Employment places include:

  • Veterinary clinics,
  • Animal hospitals,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Educational institutions

Veterinary assistants complete a series of tasks given to them by the veterinarians they work with.

The tasks will also vary based on your workplace, and can include:

  • Managing client records
  • Keeping Inventory count
  • Instrument sterilization and sanitation
  • Cage cleaning and disinfecting
  • Making sure exam rooms are prepped
  • Maintaining updated medical records
  • Handling animal walking and exercise

In Alabama, average salaries are higher in cities like Birmingham, Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Madison.

Annual Salary Range:

$18K
$29K
$40K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Birmingham $29,459
Montgomery $27,903
Huntsville $29,434
Mobile $28,802
Tuscaloosa $29,171
Dothan $27,489
Auburn $28,079
Decatur $28,534
Madison $29,434
Florence $26,381

Additional Information for Veterinary Assistants in Alabama

If for some reason you can’t find a veterinary training program suitable for you in Alabama, you can try other states.

Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, and Florida are the closest states to Alabama, where you can find such programs.

The Association can help you find not only training opportunities but also a job throughout the state if you seek employment.

There are many other animals welfare organizations that offer information and support for those who seek to work with animals.

These include ASPCA, AVMA, and VSPN.

The NAVTA certification is not the only one available for these professionals or the only one accepted for employment.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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