How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in Nevada

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Nevada is a good state to become a veterinary assistant in.

This is because many pet owners live there and they need facilities that ensure the health of their pets.

Read on to find out more about this occupation and what do you need to start on a new career path!

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Nevada

You’ll find veterinary assistants in many different settings, such as:

  • Animal clinics,
  • Animal rescue facilities,
  • Animal shelters
  • Zoos
  • Veterinary emergency centers

Everyone wants to work for the best employers in the state, so below are the ones present in most American states:

  • Veterinary Centers of America
    • Their centers in Nevada can be found in Las Vegas, Reno, and Henderson.
  • Banfield Pet Hospital
    • This hospital can be found in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas.

If you don’t live in one of the cities mentioned for the above facilities, you can easily find many others near you.

Be prepared to meet a variety of employment requirements and to have to complete many different tasks as well.

Of course, these depend on the employers.

Here you can see some of the most common tasks assigned to a vet assistant:

  • Assisting with surgeries
  • Applying bandages
  • Monitoring anesthesia and vital signs
  • Collecting samples
  • Administering medications
  • Giving subcutaneous fluids
  • Filling prescriptions
  • Communicating with clients
  • Making appointments
  • Inventory control
  • Cleaning vet gear
  • Sanitizing animal cages
  • Operation room cleaning
  • 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 Nevada

Nevada doesn’t have any regulations in place for veterinary assistants, but this can’t be said about most employers.

What this means is anyone can start working as a vet assistant with no previous training or experience.

Because many facilities expect their employees to be familiar with the job beforehand, many people choose to first work as volunteers.

Individuals who want to stand out from the rest choose to earn the AVA certification, from NAVTA.

The AVA certification has nation-wide recognition, it requires training but this is not available in all the states.

Nevada is one of the states where finding a NAVTA-approved training program is not possible.

However, NAVTA recognizes a few ways to qualify for the certification: 

  • Externship – an option for those who have no previous experience in the veterinary field.
  • Experiential Learner
  • Veterinary Assistant Program
    • These 2 options are similar when it comes to the conditions one has to meet.
    • Both options require at least part-time employment in a health facility for animals.

NAVTA expects those who meet the criteria for the certification, to sign up for an exam by sending in:

  • An application
  • The documents proving their eligibility
  • The application and certificate fee $350

Earning Other Credentials

So what do you do if a NAVTA program is not available where you live?

That’s simple: you enroll in a post-secondary educational program and earn a diploma or degree.

One of the most popular programs in Nevada is the one found in Las Vegas, at the Pima Medical Institute.

You need 9 months to complete this program.

PMI is not the only school in Nevada with a veterinary program, as you can see from the table below.

School Name Address
Carrington College 5740 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 140 Las Vegas, NV 89119
Pima Medical Institute 3333 East Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89121

Below you can see some of the subjects you’ll study:

  • Animal Life Stages Nutrition and Husbandry
  • Animal Nursing and Diagnostic Imaging
  • Pharmacology and Principles of Anesthesia
  • Aseptic Technique and Surgical Assisting

Some individuals prefer becoming specialized in one of the following fields:

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

Remember that depending on the credential you want, the time you spend studying will be different.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Nevada

Salaries in Nevada are generally higher than in most other states.

At a national level, a veterinary assistant earns an average of $31,200 per year.

As seen from the table below, these professionals earn more than that.

Annual Salary Range:
$20K
$31K
$44K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Las Vegas $31,871
Henderson $31,746
Reno $31,325
North Las Vegas $31,871
Sparks $31,325
Carson City $31,450
Pahrump $31,403
Sun Valley $31,325
Elko $26,551
Fernley $30,869

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Nevada

Holders of the AVA certification need to renew it every 2 years for $250.

Most vet assistants use the following resources to stay updated on the industry changes:

  • VetMedTeam
  • American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
  • Advanced Pet Care of Northern Nevada
  • Wild West Veterinary Conference
  • Las Vegas Valley Humane Society
  • Nevada Veterinary Medical Association

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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