How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Florida

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

There are many options for those wanting to go into the veterinary industry.

If you are looking to become a vet assistant in Florida, have a look at the guide below.

You will get to learn more about the licensing process and required training.

Job Duties for Vet Assistants in Florida

Some of the job responsibilities duties you will have every day are the following:

  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Request records requests from other vets
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • Help with filling prescriptions
  • Prepping exam and operating spaces
  • Keeping records updated
  • Pay attention to the dietary needs of pets
  • Make sure the animals get enough exercise

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Florida

You do not have to adhere to any regulations to work as a vet assistant in Florida.

But, many facilities require you have at least a high school diploma or a GED.

You can also get into a training program and receive a diploma upon finishing it.

Doing this will increase the career opportunities you.

You can always attend an online program if you cannot join a course in person.

Regardless of how you choose to enroll, the program must be approved by NAVTA.

In Florida, some of the best schools that provide vet assistant programs at the post-secondary level, include:

  • Marion County Community Technical and Adult Education Center
  • Orange Technical College
  • Suncoast Technical College

However, if you want to see a complete list of all the schools, check the table below.

School Name Address
City College 6565 Taft Street Hollywood, FL 33027
City College 7001 NW 4th Blvd, Gainesville, FL 32607
Florida Coast Career Tech 101 E State St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Florida Veterinary Medical Association FVMA 7207 Monetary Dr, Orlando, FL 32809
HiTEC Campus-Aparicio-Levy Technical Center 10119 E Ellicott St, Tampa, FL 33610
Orange Technical College 955 E Story Rd, Winter Garden, FL 34787
SPC - Veterinary Technology Center 12376 Ulmerton Rd, Largo, FL 33774

In Florida, those looking to work in the field can earn the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification.

FVMA is the only body certifying veterinary assistants in Florida.

While getting a certification is not required, it will be difficult to find a job without one.

Some of the topics you will study in class include:

  • Medical terminology
  • The identification of different breeds
  • Proper restraining techniques
  • Ways to administer medications
  • Handling chemicals

There are several ways to becoming an approved vet assistant in Florida that we present below.

Externship

This option is ideal for those who do not work in any vet facility

The training program provides theory classes as well as practice, which will be helpful when searching for a job.

Experiential Learner

If you are already working in a vet facility, you can follow this option.

You have to be employed for 20 hours in a vet facility to meet the criteria.

Veterinary Assistant Program

To get into a program, you have to work part-time in a vet facility.

To become certified, you must score at least 70% on the exam.

Once you earn your certification you have to be renewed it every 2 years to keep it valid.

For this, you will also have to join 10 extra education hours and pay a fee of $10.

The education hours have to be completed over a period of 2 years.

Salaries and Employment for Vet Assistants in Florida

As per The Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet assistants in this state earn $29,599 yearly.

Salaries are higher in areas such as Fort Lauderdale, Hialeah, Miami, Pompano Beach, and Hollywood.

Annual Salary Range:
$18K
$29K
$41K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Jacksonville $29,531
Miami $30,332
Tampa $29,655
Orlando $29,640
St. Petersburg $29,662
Hialeah $30,098
Tallahassee $28,259
Port St. Lucie $29,407
Fort Lauderdale $30,257
Cape Coral $28,972

The demand for vet assistants in Florida keeps increasing every year.

After getting certified, you will find an entry-level position easily.

Some training programs offer assistance in finding a job for students who need it.

If you lack the required experience with animals, you can also choose to apply for an internship or voluntary based position first.

Some of the biggest employers in Florida are:

  • The VCA Animal Hospital at its various locations:
    • Clearwater
    • Coral Springs
    • Hollywood
    • West Miami
  • The Banfield Pet Hospitals at its various locations:
    • Lakeland
    • Kissimmee
    • Orlando
  • ┬áThe PETCO stores at their various locations:
    • Palm Beach Gardens
    • North Miami Beach
    • Naples
    • Vero Beach

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Florida

Many people like to volunteer first at the businesses they want to work at.

Many times these volunteer positions can turn into full-time employment at those facilities.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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