How Much Do Vet Assistants Make in 2021 (including Starting Salary)

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2021 Annual Salary, Salary Range, and Highest Paying States and Industries

Vet Assistants

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 postoperative 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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Table of contents
  1. Average salary
  2. Starting salary
  3. Salary rank
  4. Salary range
  5. Highest paying states
  6. Highest paying industries

Average salary

Annual salary
$30980 per year
Hourly wage
$15 per hour

Starting salary

Entry-level annual salary
$21,570 to $25,370 per year
Entry-level hourly wage
$10 to $12 per hour

Entry-level Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $21,570 to $25,370 per year or $10 to $12 per hour. Similar to any other job, their salary will increase as they gain experience.

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Salary rank

Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank. We compared the salary of all careers then we gave them a rank of A, B, C, or D depending on where their average salary sit in comparison to other careers.

Salary range

Level Hourly Annual
Highest (Top 10%) $20 $41,080
Senior (Top 25%) $17 $35,900
Middle (Mid 50%) $14 $29,930
Junior (Bottom 25%) $12 $25,370
No experience (Bottom 10%) $10 $21,570

Highest paying states

State Hourly Annual
ME $21 $43,290
MA $20 $41,000
DC $19 $38,890
CT $17 $36,100
CA $17 $35,620
MD $17 $35,110
NY $16 $34,100
WA $16 $33,750
AK $16 $33,720
OR $16 $33,700

Another simple way to increase your salary as a Veterinary Assistant and Laboratory Animal Caretaker is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like ME doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the expenses at ME might be much higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to BLS, the highest paid Vet Assistants are in the states of ME, MA, DC, CT and CA.

Highest paying industries

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Management of Companies and Enterprises $48680 $23.40
Local Government $41520 $19.96
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools $39690 $19.08
Scientific Research and Development Services $38500 $18.51
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $38340 $18.43
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals $37810 $18.18
Employment Services $35780 $17.20
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions $33850 $16.28
Individual and Family Services $32630 $15.69
State Government $32160 $15.46
Other Personal Services $31740 $15.26
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services $30230 $14.54
Social Advocacy Organizations $29570 $14.22

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