How to Become a Veterinary Assistant in West Virginia

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Are you interested in a new career with great opportunities?

If so, and if you also love being around animals, consider a career as a vet assistant in West Virginia.

But first, check out the certification and training requirements below.

Veterinary Assistant Employment and Job Duties in West Virginia

You will have no problems getting hired on an entry-level position once you have the right training.

Popular facilities hiring vet assistants include:

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

Being a vet assistant is lucrative, but you will also have many day-to-day assignments to finish.

These will 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

If you lack experience with animals but still want to get trained, you can opt for an externship first.

Becoming Certified as a Vet Assistant in West Virginia

In West Virginia, vet assistant certification is not a requirement.

However, many facilities prefer to hire licensed vet assistants.

For that, to happen, you need to select a training program that fits your needs.

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

The vet assistant certification in West Virginia is offered through the NAVTA.

The program you select should also be accredited by the NAVTA.

If you wish to pursue more credentials, the following specializations can be helpful:

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

In West Virginia, there are various vet assistant programs you can attend online but also in person.

Online training programs are the right option if you lack the time to attend physical classes.

The training programs for vet assistants feature theory mixed with hands-on practice.

The theory covers the following subjects:

  • 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

Currently, the training programs for you can join in West Virginia are:

School Name Address
BridgeValley Community and Technical College 326 Third Ave Montgomery, WV 25136
Pierpoint Community and Technical College 1201 Locust Ave Fairmont, WV 26554
Ross Medical Education Center 5707 MacCorkle Ave SE #20 Charleston, WV 25304

If you are hired for at least 20 hours weekly, you have the option to become an experiential learner.

The training programs for vet assistants in West Virginia vary from 6 months and up to 2-3 years.

If you decide to join a college program, you will receive a B.S. in Veterinary Technology or an Associate’s Degree in Veterinary Technology.

In West Virginia, you will have to pass the VTNE (Veterinary Technician National Examination) test to become licensed.

The exam is offered through the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB).

To take it, you are required to submit a fee and schedule your exam online.

The topics will cover:

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

One thing to consider is that after 2 years, your vet assistant certification will need renewal.

To do so, you are required to submit a fee as well as attend 12 extra hours of class.

Salary Information for a Veterinary Assistant in West Virginia

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that vet assistants in West Virginia earn about $27,643 per year.

But, salaries vary based on several factors.

For example, you will earn more if you live in a big city compared to a rural area.

You can also have a better salary once you have some experience compared to an entry-level position.

Annual Salary Range:
$17K
$27K
$38K
10%
50%
90%
Annual Salary by Location:
Location Avg. Annual Salary
Charleston $28,420
Huntington $27,868
Morgantown $30,545
Parkersburg $27,706
Wheeling $30,545
Weirton $30,440
Fairmont $30,545
Martinsburg $34,576
Beckley $28,171
Clarksburg $27,456

Additional Information About Vet Assistants in West Virginia

Some useful resources for vet assistants include:

  • West Virginia 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

READ MORE: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

State Specific Information

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