Being a veterinary assistant means you like being surrounded by animals but also by other people.
If you also live in Mississippi and you’d like to know more about this profession, continue reading!
Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Mississippi
Veterinary assistants can be seen working in many different settings, such as:
- Animal clinics,
- Animal rescue facilities,
- Animal shelters
- Veterinary emergency centers
Below you can see some of the veterinary practices in this state:
- Gulf Coast Veterinary Emergency Hospital
- Horn Lake Animal Hospital
- Brookhaven Animal Hospital
- Animal Medical Center in Hattiesburg
- North State Animal Hospital
Of course, if you don’t live in one of the cities these hospitals operate, you can still find businesses catering to the needs of various animals.
While there are many options when it comes to finding a job, meeting the requirements of the employer is more difficult.
There are differences when it comes to job duties as well.
These are the most common of them:
- 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 Mississippi
The State of Mississippi doesn’t regulate the work of vet assistants.
These professionals don’t need to receive special training or a license in order to work in a facility for animals.
However, many employers will require such credentials.
While you have several certifications to choose from, the best of them is called AVA or Approved Veterinary Assistant, issued by NAVTA.
The AVA certificate is recognized across the nation and you can obtain it after you graduate from a program with approval from NAVTA and you pass an exam.
You should know that such programs are not available in all the states.
Mississippi is one of the states where such programs are not offered, however, there are a few other ways in which you can qualify for the exam.
Below you can see the alternative ways of qualifying for the exam:
- Externship – Individuals participating in this option have no previous experience in the veterinary field.
- Experiential Learner and Veterinary Assistant Program: These 2 options are similar and they both require part-time employment in a facility with services for animals.
When you’re ready to take the exam, you’ll have to submit a few papers demonstrating you’re qualified, along with the certification fee of $350.
This fee includes the review of the papers.
Earning Other Credentials
Since a NAVTA program is difficult to enroll in, in this state, you can choose a post-secondary education program instead.
Through such a program you have the option to earn either an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree.
Both degrees will help you develop a better career down the line.
You can check out the schools below for such a degree.
|College of Veterinary Medicine||240 Wise Center Drive P.O. Box 6100 Mississippi State, MS 39762|
|Holmes Community College||1 Hill St Goodman, MS 39079|
|Itawamba Community College||602 W. Hill Street Fulton, MS 38843|
|Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College||51 Main Street Perkinston, MS 39573|
Each school will generally have its own curriculum, but the subjects are very similar:
- Identifying the different breeds
- Animal anatomy
- The best ways to administer meds
- Post-operative care
- Handling various breeds of animals
- Medical terminology
- Handling chemicals
It’s also possible to have the option to study a field more than others, such as:
- Dental Technician
- Internal Medicine
- Emergency and Critical Care
- Behavior Technician
- Zoological Medicine
- Clinical Practice
- Clinical Pathology
Students usually spend two years studying for an Associate’s and 4 years for a Bachelor’s degree.
Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Mississippi
Depending on the experience you have, as well as the type of credentials you earned, your salary will vary from the median ones seen below.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Mississippi
Every 2 years, holders of the AVA certification must renew their credentials.
The renewal fee for the AVA certificate is $250.
You should also stay updated in case the regulations change, and these organizations can help out in this regard:
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- Mississippi Veterinary Medical Association
- Humane Society of South Mississippi
- Mississippi Animal Rescue
- Veterinary Hospitals Managers Association
READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant
State Specific Information
- New Hampshire
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- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia