How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

If you want to become a veterinary assistant in Colorado, this article is for you!

You won’t only learn what is that you need to do for this career path, but also what salary you could expect to have!

Requirements for a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

Future veterinary assistants don’t need to meet many requirements in Colorado.

The law in this state only requires candidates to have proof they graduated from high school or a general education diploma.

Additionally, they’re required to be at least 18 years old for employment.

It is the employers who set requirements up, and they relate mostly to training.

Having national certification or an associate’s degree is something most employers prefer.

Most ads for this position mention these skills as being ideal:

  • Good communication
  • Able to multitask
  • Resistant to stress
  • Time management
  • Anger management
  • Team player
  • Physically fit

All vet assistants interact with a variety of people, most of them being the owners of the pets.

You’re supposed to be fit because you’ll generally have to help lift or lift heavy animals on your own.

Additionally, a good amount of strength is needed when trying to subdue some of the pets.

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties

Vet assistants in Colorado can work in a variety of settings.

These include:

  • Pet clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Educational institutions

Some of the best employers in Colorado are:

  • VCA (Veterinary Centers of America)
  • Vetco Wellness Centers and Vaccination Clinics inside PETCO
  • Banfield Pet Hospital

The most common tasks for this type of personnel, are:

  • Managing client records
  • Keeping inventory count
  • Instrument sterilization and sanitation
  • Cage cleaning and disinfecting
  • Preparing rooms for examining animals
  • Preparing rooms for surgery
  • Maintaining updated medical records
  • Handling animal walking and exercise

Earning the National Certification for Veterinary Assistants in Colorado

As mentioned, national certification is the best tool to have for a career in the veterinarian field.

This certification is obtained from the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (or NAVTA).

NAVTA approved a series of programs and organizes an exam before issuing diplomas.

The NAVTA program can be completed in a maximum of 1 year.

To take the exam, you can follow one of the paths below:

  • Complete the NAVTA-approved coursework
  • An internship – employment with a veterinarian is a must for this option
  • Obtain experiential learning – you must be working part-time in a vet office
  • Get certified while employed – you need permission to take the exam if you are already employed

The required documentation and the $100 exam fee are needed by the individuals wanting to be certified.

Other certifications and even an associate’s degree are accepted for a future vet assistant.

The degree will take 2 years to complete.

You can obtain these from the following institutions:

  • High schools
  • Training centers
  • Community colleges
  • Online programs

Even these schools have requirements when it comes to enrolment.

They will vary from school to school.

The schools below have programs suited for vet assistants.

School Name Address
Apex College of Veterinary Technology 330 S El Paso St, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
Bel-Rea Institute 1681 S Dayton St, Denver, CO 80247
Colorado Academy of Veterinary Technology 2766 Janitell Road, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80906-4944
Colorado Association of Certified Veterinary Technicians 191 Yuma St, Denver, CO 80223
Community College of Denver 1070 Alton Way building 849, Denver, CO 80230
Pima Medical Institute 13750 E Mississippi Ave, Aurora, CO 80012
Pima Medical Institute 5725 Mark Dabling Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80919
Pima Medical Institute 7475 Dakin St Suite 100, Denver, Colorado 80221

Once enrolled, expect to study topics such as these:

  • How to identify different breeds
  • Animal anatomy
  • The best ways to administer meds
  • How to administer post-operative care
  • Handling various breeds of animals
  • Medical terminology
  • Handling chemicals

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Colorado

The salary you can receive for certain jobs can be motivating enough to get into those fields.

How much a vet assistant earns, depends on several factors.

Some of the factors are their credentials, how much experience they have, and even the location.

In some facilities, you might have to work night shifts and this can significantly increase your paycheck.

As a guideline, below you can see the median salaries for veterinarian assistants across the main cities inĀ  Colorado.

Annual Salary Range:

$19K
$31K
$43K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Denver $31,553
Colorado Springs $31,054
Aurora $31,532
Fort Collins $30,373
Thornton $31,553
Arvada $31,553
Westminster $31,553
Pueblo $28,935
Boulder $31,961
Greeley $30,490

Additional Information for Veterinary Assistants in Colorado

The national certificate that NAVTA issues, has to be renewed every 2 years.

For this purpose, individuals must complete several continuing education hours and to pay a fee.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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