When you work with animals, you also work with people.
Becoming a veterinary assistant in Pennsylvania is relatively easy since this is an entry-level position.
Read on to find out more about this occupation!
Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in Pennsylvania
Not everyone knows where a vet assistant works and what their responsibilities are.
These professionals can work in many different settings, like:
- Animal clinics,
- Animal rescue facilities,
- Animal shelters
- Veterinary emergency centers
Wanting to work for one of the most reputable companies in Pennsylvania is normal, so here are some of them:
- Veterinary Centers of America
- Their centers are found in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Yardley, and Dunmore.
- Banfield Pet Hospital
- This hospital can be found in Philadelphia, Mechanicsburg, Lancaster, Warminster, and Plymouth Meeting.
Each facility will give its personnel different duties.
We’ll later talk about the different hiring requirements as well.
Vet assistants are responsible for:
- 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 Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania didn’t set up any educational requirements for future veterinary assistants.
When it comes to employers, they might expect you:
- To be at least 18 years old
- To have a high school diploma or GED
- To have good communication and organizational skills
- To be detail-oriented
- To have some related certification
- To possibly have some previous experience in working or handling animals
Not everyone has previous experience in working with animals.
For them, volunteering for some time can be an excellent option to accumulate some experience.
Another way in which a candidate can stand out is through the AVA certification.
You can obtain it by attending a training program approved by NAVTA.
With this certification, you can work as a veterinary assistant in any American state.
Not everyone can attend a program in person.
If you’re one of these people, you can also complete one of the following:
- Enroll in an online NAVTA program
- Enroll in an externship
- This option is perfect for those with no veterinary experience.
- Experiential Learner
- Requires you to work 20 hours per week in a facility for animals.
- Veterinary Assistant Program
- You need to already work at least part-time in the field.
The certification requires:
- An application
- The documents proving their eligibility
- The fee for the application and certificate – $350
- Passing an exam
Earning Other Credentials
The AVA certification is great for employment in the veterinary field, but you can also obtain a degree.
A degree takes at least 2 years of education and can be more beneficial for your career in the future.
Check out these schools before you make a decision!
|Dauphin County Technical School||6001 Locust Ln, Harrisburg, PA 17109|
|Great Lakes Institute of Technology||5100 Peach Street, Erie, Pennsylvania 16509-2482|
|Franklin County Career and Technology Center||2463 Loop Rd, Chambersburg, PA 17202|
|Lancaster County Career and Technology Center||1730 Hans Herr Drive Willow Street, PA 17584|
|Parkway West Technology Center||7101 Steubenville Pike Oakdale, PA 15071|
The topics covered by training include:
- Animal Life Stages Nutrition and Husbandry
- Animal Nursing and Diagnostic Imaging
- Pharmacology and Principles of Anesthesia
- Aseptic Technique and Surgical Assisting
It’s also possible to specialize in a particular field related to the veterinary practice:
- Dental Technician
- Internal Medicine
- Emergency and Critical Care
- Behavior Technician
- Zoological Medicine
- Clinical Practice
- Clinical Pathology
Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in Pennsylvania
In cities like Philadelphia, Upper Darby, Bensalem, and Abington, you can earn a much higher salary than the median one at the state level.
Keep in mind that extra certifications can help you by default to earn more, from the start.Annual Salary Range: Annual Salary by Location:
|Location||Avg. Annual Salary|
Additional Information About Vet Assistants in Pennsylvania
Every two years, those who earned the AVA certification need to pay $250 to renew their credential.
They might have to meet a few additional requirements as well.
The rules related to the veterinary medical field can change in time.
To make sure you’re always informed, make sure to check regularly the websites of these associations:
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
- Pennsylvania SPCA
- Western Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association
- Humane Pennsylvania
- Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association
READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant
State Specific Information
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia