Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers 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.

  • Hold or restrain animals during veterinary procedures.
  • Clean and maintain kennels, animal holding areas, examination or operating rooms, or animal loading or unloading facilities to control the spread of disease.
  • Fill medication prescriptions.
  • Administer anesthetics during surgery and monitor the effects on animals.
Read more about what does a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$28690 per year

Average hourly wage
$14 per hour


Vet Assistants with little to no experience tend to make between $19950 and $23060 while the more experienced ones can earn over $32730 per year.

Top 5 paying statesHourlyAnnual
MA$18$36,720
CT$17$34,850
ME$17$34,680
CA$16$32,480
NY$16$32,320

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker is to move to a higher paying state like MA. Right now, the highest paying states for Vet Assistants are MA, CT, ME, CA and NY.

However, a higher pay at MA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at MA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Vet Assistants what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by an Associate’s Degree.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

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Read more about how to become a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker and the degree, training and education you need.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who values relationships between co-workers and customers and wants to work in a friendly non-competitive environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Short working hours (Less than 40 hours per week)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to start and carry out projects
One of the lowest paying jobs

What is the job like

Job satisfaction
72%

Is this job meaningful
78%


72% of Vet Assistants said they were satisfied with their job and 78% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Helpers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others.




Learn more about Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

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Related career information

Vet Assistants job description, Vet Assistants salary, Vet Assistants information, what is the job of a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker like, pros and cons about Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, colleges and universities for Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, is Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers the right career for me, careers in Healthcare and Medical

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