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Earn your Certificate of Achievement and prepare for entry-level employment as a veterinary assistant.

At a Glance

About the Program

What Will I Learn in the Veterinary Assistant Program?

Carrington College’s Veterinary Assisting program prepares students for the clinical, lab, and administrative duties required for entry-level employment as a veterinary assistant. The program concludes in an externship that allows students to practice skills in an actual veterinary health care setting.

Our veterinary assistant college offers courses that provide education in the clinical, laboratory, and administrative duties of a veterinary assistant. They include animal anatomy and physiology, nursing skills, pharmaceutical chemistry, and a wealth of other surgical and office skills.

Program Outcomes

Veterinary assistants typically work under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian doing clinical work such as performing various diagnostic tests and medical treatments. They also assist with dental care, prepare tissue samples and assist veterinarians in a variety of exams and procedures.

Upon completion of the Veterinary Assistant programs, graduates will be able to:  

  • Perform a variety of administrative, clinical, nursing and surgical assisting procedures in veterinary medical settings  
  • Demonstrate the ability to apply critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and professionalism

 

Locations

Carrington College’s Veterinary Assisting program is available at five campuses in three states. To learn more about each location, explore their campus pages.

* Instruction is delivered at the Phoenix Trades Education Center:
8836 N. 23rd Ave., Building B, Phoenix, AZ 85021

Student Life at Carrington College

We know college is a big step. But education can be the first step in building a better future. Your instructors, administrators, and fellow students are there to help if you ever hit a bump in the road along the way. Carrington College offers a lot of great student support services designed to help you succeed.

Student Finance

From scholarships and grants to loans, we will help you understand how to search and apply for financial aid.1

Tutoring and Study Groups

For help with schoolwork, your instructors and Student Success Center staff are often available for tutoring or you can join in an open student study group.

Fixed Tuition Promise

How would you like to know what you’re going to pay, right from the beginning? We promise your tuition won’t change through the length of your program. It’s our commitment to you.2

Externships, Clinical Rotations and Fieldwork

Most programs include an opportunity to learn in the real world before you even graduate! You’ll earn impressive experience that looks great on your resume.

Career Services

After graduation from our veterinary assistant college, we’ll help you with your career search with everything from resume writing help to job search support to interview tips.

Veterinary Assistant Career Opportunities

Veterinary assistants provide routine animal care to help veterinarians with their daily tasks. Between 2018 and 2028 employment for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers is expected to grow 19%, much faster than average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics3

The national average salary in May 2019 for veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers was $28,590 per year or $13.75 per hour3.   For detailed regional information please visit https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes319096.htm#st.

Most veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers work full time and may work holidays or weekends. Expect this industry to continue to grow with the animal rights movement and the demand for better operational procedures for pets.

Cost & Financial Aid

Education is a major investment, but it’s an investment in your future. Every student comes to Carrington with unique financial needs. Carrington College is committed to helping you achieve your education goals. We participate in most financial assistance programs, both federal and state, as well as private financing. Each program has different requirements and application instructions. Student loans, grants, and scholarships are available to those who qualify.

For complete information on current tuition costs, please see the Academic Catalog

The best way for us to understand your financial needs is to meet in person. Call (602) 492-1086 to make an appointment with our Student Finance Department so we can help you develop your personalized financial plan to achieve your educational goals.

Accreditation and Approvals

Carrington College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (ACCJC/WASC), 10 Commercial Blvd., Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, 415 506 0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the US Department of Education. Additional information about accreditation, including the filing of complaints against member institutions, can be found at accjc.org.

For comprehensive information on Carrington’s accreditation and approvals, visit carrington.edu/accreditation.

Vet Assistant FAQ

How much does a vet assistant make?

The median annual wage for a vet assistant and laboratory animal caretaker was $28,590 in May 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)[1]. The lowest 10% earned less than $20,790, and the highest 10% earned more than $39,800.

Be advised, salary for entry level positions may be lower than the national average.

How long does it take to be a vet assistant?

Carrington College’s hands-on Veterinary Assistant program can be completed in as few as nine months. 

What does a vet assistant do?

As stated by the BLS, veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are responsible for the following tasks:[2]

  • Feeding, bathing, and exercising animals
  • Cleaning and disinfecting cages, kennels, and examination and operating rooms
  • Restraining animals during examination and laboratory procedures
  • Maintaining and sterilize surgical instruments and equipment
  • Monitoring and care for animals after surgery
  • Helping provide emergency first aid to sick and injured animals
  • Giving medication or immunizations that veterinarians prescribe
  • Assisting in collecting blood, urine, and tissue samples

What is the difference between a vet tech and a vet assistant?

Vet techs are qualified professionals that can perform high-level clinical tasks to help diagnose or treat animals. But vet assistants support veterinarians or veterinary technicians in their daily tasks while performing clerical work. Some of their duties may include performing daily kennel functions, maintaining animals, or spending time on front-end tasks. The main difference between vet techs and vet assistants is that vet assistants complete clerical activities.  

Sources: 

  1. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm#tab-5
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm#tab-2

Read Our Career Guide On Veterinary Assisting

You love animals and working in a fast-paced environment with lots of other employees. You enjoy connecting with customers and helping educate clients. If this sounds like you, you may be a fit for an exciting career in veterinary assisting.

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Disclaimer

  1. Student loans, grants and scholarships are available to those who qualify.
  2. Fixed Tuition Promise is available for all Carrington College students who remain active and in good standing during the duration of their program. Students who withdraw or are withdrawn from school and are not reinstated within 180 days of their last date of attendance are subject to a tuition increase. Students who are required to repeat a course to fulfill graduation requirements are subject to additional expenses.
  3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/veterinary-assistants-and-laboratory-animal-caretakers.htm (visited January 07, 2020). Data reflects a national projected percentage change in employment from 2018-2028 and may not reflect local economic conditions.