Vet Assistant Schools In Maine

Vet Assistant Duties and Schools in Maine

Becoming a vet assistant is an excellent choice, both for newly graduated individuals and those seeking to move to a more rewarding career. Because of the growing importance of effective veterinary care, vet assistants are enjoying robust and growing job opportunities.

With its range of rural and urban populations, Maine is a state that is currently enjoying a rise in veterinary care employment opportunities.

Vet Assistants in Maine

Currently, the BLS estimates that there are over 71,000 vet assistants employed in the United States, and the number of veterinary assistants is expected to increase by at least 14 percent between 2010 and 2020. Maine currently employees over 500 veterinary assistants, and that number is likely to continue to increase as the need for qualified veterinary assistants in Maine remains solid.

Maine enjoys better than average pay rates for veterinary assistants. As of May 2012, the national mean wage for veterinary assistants stood at just over $23,000.

However, in Maine the annual mean wage for vet assistants is just over $30,000, over $7,000 greater than the national mean wage. In addition, Maine enjoys a very high quality of living, making it an excellent state to live or raise a family in.

Vet Assistant Schools

Although vet assistants are not required to have a formal education, those that do complete a vet assistant program usually enjoy superior employment and salary options. Because of this, seeking training from a qualified school is becoming popular among both vet assistants and their employers, who are spared the need to train a new employee before he or she can start to provide effective services to the veterinary establishment.

Most vet assistant programs are offered by adult education centers, community colleges, or vocational training institutions. In general, a vet assistant program takes anywhere from six months to a year for the student to complete. Upon successfully finishing the program, the vet assistant is granted a certificate of completion. As there is no national authority supervising veterinary assistant programs, these certificates are generally specific to the issuing college.

In addition, many vet assistant programs currently offer part-time and distance learning options. These options can help students who cannot attend on a regular schedule, due to work or family obligations. In addition, online programs allow the student to study and work where he or she feels most comfortable, thus improving the student’s ability to complete the program.

Vet Assistant Duties

Veterinary assistants provide a wide range of services to the veterinary clinic. In general, the vet assistant ensures that the clinic is clean and that all implements are properly stored and ready for use by the veterinarians or vet techs.

Among the most common duties assigned to a vet assistant are the following:

  • Feeding and watering all animals according to the specific instructions of the supervising veterinarian.
  • Observing all animals at the clinic and alerting the veterinarian or vet tech to unexpected changes in their behavior.
  • Exercising those animals that require it. In some cases, such as when working with equines, this may require additional skills on the part of the vet assistant.
  • Carrying out routine tests under the supervision of the vet tech or veterinarian.
  • Administering medication that has been prescribed by the veterinarian.
  • Taking and accurately labeling biological samples for later testing.

Office Duties

Some veterinary practices also use veterinary assistants as clerical staff. This will generally involve working with the clients of the veterinary practice, ensuring that all records and paperwork are accurately processed and stored, and presenting a professional and polite appearance to the practice’s clients.

Veterinary assistants who work in the office must have a firm command of written English, be familiar with common word processing and spreadsheet software and be able to take accurate records.

Further Education

Although vet assistants are not required to obtain extra education, many do in order to improve their salary and professional prospects. One of the most common sources of extra education are veterinary assistant certification programs offered by professional agencies such as the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA).

These programs can help the vet assistant demonstrate that he or she currently complies with the high standards of skill expected by most veterinary clinics and institutions.

Vet Assistant Training as a Gateway to Other Careers

For those individuals interested in a long-term career in the veterinary care sector, becoming a vet assistant can be an excellent introductory path. Due to the small investment of time and money required to become a vet assistant it is a viable path for individuals who cannot afford to become a veterinarian or vet tech. Furthermore, the experience gained as a veterinary assistant can help those individuals who are interested in progressing on to become a veterinary technician or veterinarian.

Ultimately, becoming a vet assistant in Maine is an excellent choice for those individuals interested in a long-term and financially secure career in the animal care sector.

Whether they have just graduated and are preparing to enter the job market for the first time, or are planning on transitioning to a new career, becoming a vet assistant is both a professionally and personally rewarding choice.

Vet Assistant Programs In Maine

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