How To Become A Vet Assistant: Degree and Education Requirements

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what degree do you need to become a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker
majors for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Other names for this job might include Animal Care Provider, Animal Care Service Worker, Animal Care Taker, Animal Caregiver, Animal Health Technician, Avian Keeper, Emergency Veterinary Assistant, Laboratory Animal Caretaker, Research Animal Attendant, Small Animal Caretaker

  • $25940
  • 72%
    Job satisfaction
  • Medium
    Becoming one
  • Medium
    Job growth
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Be A Vet Assistant: What You Really Need

In this requirements guide for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, you will find out what do you need to become a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker and what it takes to become one.

After reading this, you will be able to plan for your future if you want to be a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker.

Degree required

Recommended degree level

High School Diploma

High School Diploma

Associates degree

Some college courses


No degree

Generally, employers are looking for Vet Assistants who have a High School Diploma. They also prefer someone who is good in Active Listening and Monitoring.

1 common question that we always get is what major or degree do I need to become A Vet Assistant or what courses do I need to take.

We did a survey to ask other Vet Assistants what did they major in college or university and here are the most popular majors that came up.

Most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers have a high school diploma and learn on the job. Experience working with animals can be helpful for jobseekers.


schools for Vet Assistants

Interested in becoming A Vet Assistant? Find the right schools that can help you to become one. You will need some of your details to get you matched with the right college or university. This service is free thanks to our sponsors.

Questions to ask the university or college:

  1. How many students are in the program?
  2. Is your program accredited?
  3. How many faculty members do you have? Do they hold the right credentials?
  4. What is your job placement rate?
  5. Does your school hold career fairs or other on-campus events with employers? How many employers typically attend?
  6. How many of your students have at least one internship by graduation?

Click to start becoming a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker

How long does it take


You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge or experience to be A Vet Assistant.

For example: An electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

To become A Vet Assistant, you will usually need 1 to 2 years of training which includes both on-the-job experience and training with experienced workers.

How long does it take
1 to 4 months

Work experience
1 to 3 months

No experience

1 to 3 months

6 months to 1 year

1 to 2 years

3 to 6 months

Job training
0 to 1 month

0 to 1 month

1 to 3 months

6 months to 1 year

3 to 6 months

No training

Most Vet Assistants have 1 to 3 months work experience and 0 to 1 month job training.

To increase your chances of getting a job, you can look for job training while studying to be one.

License and certifications

Do you need any license or certification
Recommended but not required

Although not required by employers, veterinary assistants can become certified as an Approved Veterinary Assistant (AVA) through the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA). For laboratory animal caretakers seeking work in a research facility, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS) offers three levels of certification: Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician (ALAT), Laboratory Animal Technician (LAT), and Laboratory Animal Technologist (LATG).

Skills required

We asked other Vet Assistants if they could only have 5 skills, what would they be. Here is what they said.

1. Active Listening what does this mean
2.Monitoring what does this mean
3.Service Orientation what does this mean
4.Reading Comprehension what does this mean
5.Speaking what does this mean
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

We did some research and found that most successful Vet Assistants have these 5 common characteristics. Most of them had Attention to Detail and Cooperation.

1.Attention to Detail
3.Stress Tolerance

Knowledge required

Just like any other job, you will need some know-hows to do the job. To become a successful Vet Assistants you need to acquire knowledge in these 5 key areas.

1. Customer and Personal Service what does this mean
2.Biology what does this mean
3.English Language what does this mean
4.Mathematics what does this mean
5.Sales and Marketing what does this mean

As A Vet Assistant, you may also be required to know how to use certain Medical software, Label making software and Medical software tools.

IDEXX Laboratories IDEXX Cornerstone (Medical software)
Labeling software (Label making software)
McAllister Software Systems AVImark (Medical software)
Microsoft Access (Data base user interface and query software)
Microsoft Excel (Spreadsheet software)
= Hot in-demand that most employers are looking for

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Career type

Healthcare and Medical
Animal Systems
Diagnostic Services

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Related to Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Requirements

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Additional resources is a career and college finder site. We help students to find a career and college that is right for them.
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers
Written by: Stanley Tan
Vet Assistants feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine post-operative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.
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