How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in New Jersey

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

In New Jersey, the vet assistant industry has been on the rise.

This also means that it is a good time to start a career in this field.

Before that, you should have an idea about the requirements and certification options, so read on!

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in New Jersey

You can start your job search in a vet facility like:

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

The main job duties you will need to fulfill daily include 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

Some candidates prefer to volunteer first in order to get more experience working with animals.

You can also check out the resources below:

  • New Jersey 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 New Jersey

In New Jersey, you can find a veterinary assistant position with only have a high school diploma or a GED.

However, you might also need to provide:

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

Before you can get hired as a vet tech, you have to learn more about the trade.

This can be achieved once you join a training program provided through a school in your area.

There are quite many veterinary assistant schools in New Jersey.

After you complete your training, you will be able to apply for the AVA (Approved Veterinary Assistant) certification.

This certification is offered through the NAVTA.

The program of your choice should be accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association’s Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities (CVTEA).

You can also pursue a specialization, such as:

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

Many schools offer online programs, but you can also opt to attend a program in person.

It all depends on your needs and how much time you have to attend class.

passing a certification exam is required after you finish your program and before you get your certification.

Some of the topics available in class are:

  • 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 techs in this state will include feature a mix of theory and lab hours.

During the last part of the program, there will be a focus on practical training.

Some schools in New Jersey offering vet assistant programs are the ones below.

School Name Address
Bergen County Technical Schools 504 US-46, Teterboro, NJ 07608
Bergen County Technical Schools 540 N Farview Ave, Paramus, NJ 07652
Bergen County Technical Schools 200 Hackensack Ave, Hackensack, NJ
Brookdale Community College 765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft, NJ 07738
Hunterdon County Vocational School District 8 Bartles Corner Road Suite 201 Flemington, NJ 08822
Mercer County Community College 1200 Old Trenton Rd, West Windsor Township, NJ 08550
Morris County School of Technology 400 E Main St, Denville, NJ 07834
Ocean County College 1 College Dr, Toms River, NJ 08754

You will also be required to submit:

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

Veterinary assistant training programs in New Jersey last for 2.5 years.

You can pursue a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

Your Approved Vet Assistant certification will be released by the college after you take the exam.

This exam is offered through NAVTA, it costs $100, and you also need to pay the certification fee of $350.

You also need to submit an application processing fee to receive an Authorization-to-Test letter (ATT).

This ATT in this state is issued by the Professional Examination Service (PES).

The test will cover topics such as:

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

The AVA certification in this state remains current for 2 years, after which you will need to get it renewed.

You are required to take 20 extra hours of class before you can apply for renewal.

Your certification will be issued and renewed by the New Jersey Veterinary Technicians and Assistants Association.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in New Jersey

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, vet assistants in this state have a salary of $34,495 per year.

You can also earn more if you work in a bigger city.

Annual Salary Range:
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Newark $35,631
Jersey City $37,534
Paterson $35,974
Elizabeth $35,631
Edison $35,007
Lakewood $35,053
Woodbridge $35,007
Toms River $34,391
Clifton $35,974
Trenton $33,719

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in New Jersey

Being a vet assistant is easy and rewarding if you have empathy for animals and love being around them.

All you have to do is choose a school and finish training.

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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