• Vet Assistant with animals


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What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Vet Assistant?

Published: May 31, 2018 | Updated: October 26, 2020

Do you love animals? Have a pet of your own? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you understand that pets are like family members and should be treated like it. People spend more and more on animal care, driving growth for the Veterinary Services industry. If you’re interested in this growth sector and want a chance to work with animals every day, you might enjoy a job as a Veterinary Assistant.

Do you have what it takes to make this your career? Consider some of the qualifications you’ll need:

Skills and Qualities of Veterinary Assistants

You will need compassion, good communication skills, fine attention to detail, and empathy for animals and their owners. As a vet assistant you will interact with pet owners and work with veterinarians and technicians. You may find yourself in emergency situations where you will need a cool head.

You’ll tend to animals’ hygiene and diet, clean their cages, and administer post-op care. You’ll need patience and a commitment to good animal care. But you’ll also need to understand the technical side of vet assistant work.

Education and Training: How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

What education do you need to be a veterinary assistant? You’ll likely need a high school diploma or its equivalent to start on the path to your new career. To enhance your knowledge and vet assistant prospects, a veterinary assistant training certificate program can provide you with a high level of specialized knowledge and practical animal caretaker knowledge.  

You’ll learn best practices in veterinary management, animal systems and diseases, preventative care, pharmacology, toxicology, and more. You will also need to understand whatever computers and programs are used in the front office of the veterinarian practice.

Work Experience at a Veterinary Hospital or Clinic

Look for a veterinarian assistant program that offers hands-on externships at a veterinary hospital or clinic to help you prepare for the workplace. It will give you real-life experience and could help you land a job when you’re ready to interview—employers prefer candidates with experience already under their belts.

An entry-level job at a clinic or shelter, or volunteer work, will also give you experience interacting with animals and their owners. With your high-level understanding of vet assistant work, some hands-on experiences, and a great animal-first attitude, you should be able to hit the ground running as a vet assistant.


These capabilities are reinforced in students in Charter College’s certificate in veterinary assistant training program in Vancouver, WA and Oxnard, CA. Request more information today to find out how Charter’s program will give you the tools necessary to prepare you for a job in a fast-growing industry that makes a difference in the lives of animals and the people who love them.