How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Montana

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Perhaps you would like to work in a different industry.

If you are an empathetic person, you can easily become a veterinary assistant in Montana.

But first, read on to have a clearer idea of what skills you need to develop.

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Montana

You can find a vet assistant job in a facility that works with animals, including:

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

Some of your day to day tasks as a vet assistant will include:

  • 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

You can volunteer or get an internship first if you don’t have enough experience with pets.

You can also have a look at these below resources in Montana:

  • Montana Veterinary Technician Association
  • Big Sky Veterinary Technician Association
  • National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA)
  • Veterinary Career Network
  • Vet Tech Life
  • Vetcetera
  • Where Techs Connect

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in Montana

In Montana, you can get hired as a vet assistant if you have a high school diploma or a GED.

However, you may need to send in additional documents, like:

  • COMPASS test
  • Proof you are a resident of the state
  • A meeting up with a mentor

To become a vet assistant, you will first have to develop some particular skills.

This can be achieved if you enroll in a training program in your area.

There are many schools in Montana where you can receive veterinary assistant training.

Then, you can also apply for the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification for veterinary assistants.

This certification is offered through the NAVTA.

The program you join has to be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

You can also opt for one of the below specialties:

  • Dental Technician
  • Anesthetist
  • Internal Medicine
  • Emergency and Critical Care
  • Behavior Technician
  • Zoological Medicine
  • Equine
  • Surgery
  • Clinical Practice
  • Nutrition
  • Clinical Pathology

Many schools provide programs for veterinary assistants online but also in person.

This means that you can choose a program that suits your needs best.

When the program finishes, you will need to pass a certification test.

Some of the subjects you will attend in class include:

  • 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

The training programs for vet assistants provide a mix of theory and practice hours.

Some of the schools that have veterinary assistant programs in Montana can be seen below.

School Name Address
Helena College 1115 N Roberts St, Helena, MT 59601
Pima Medical Institute 434 E Poindexter St, Dillon, MT 59725
University of Montana Western 710 S. Atlantic St. Dillon, Mont. 59725

When enrolling, you may have to also send:

  • Tuberculosis clearance within a year
  • Tetanus vaccine within 10 years
  • Health insurance proof
  • A recent criminal background check

The veterinary assistant training programs in Montana last about 2 years.

You can also go for a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

After you finish the veterinary assistant training, you can apply online to have your certification issued.

The certification exam that you need to take is the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination).

The exam is provided by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB)

The test lasts for 3 hours, during which you have to answer 170 questions.

Before joining the exam, you have to make an appointment first and pay a $300 fee.

You are also required to pay an application processing fee to receive an Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

This ATT will be sent to you by the Professional Examination Service (PES).

The subjects in the exam are:

  • Emergency Medicine/Critical Care
  • Dentistry
  • Pain Management/Analgesia
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Surgical Nursing
  • Pharmacy and Pharmacology
  • Laboratory Procedures
  • Anesthesia
  • Animal Care and Nursing

Your certification will remain valid for 2 years, and after that, you will need to get it renewed.

You will need to attend 5 extra hours of class before being allowed to renew it.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Montana

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, Montana veterinary assistants have a median salary of

Experienced veterinary assistants earn more than the average in this state.

Your yearly salary will be higher if you live in a bigger area.

Annual Salary Range:
$17K
$28K
$39K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Billings $29,880
Missoula $25,787
Great Falls $27,051
Bozeman $25,787
Butte $25,787
Helena $26,255
Kalispell $27,399
Havre $26,583
Anaconda $25,787
Miles City $29,412

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Montana

Building a successful career as a veterinary assistant in this state will be easy once you get trained.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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